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Carol

Ashhurst, New Zealand
  • 39
  • reviews
  • 67
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  • 101
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The Portrait of a Lady cover art

A test of determination

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-06-19

I really wanted to like this book given its acclaim as a classic, but all I can say is, buy the abridged version if it’s available. Despite the superb narration of Juliet Stevenson (as usual) so much of this book is dull and dry, full of vague dialogue where no one seems to say exactly what they are thinking. The last quarter is much more interesting but only sheer determination got me through to the end. I enjoy reading classic novels, but unlike Dickens and Austen who infuse their stories with warm vibrant characters and subtle humour, this felt more like a lecture delivered under the thin veneer of a narrative. None of the characters are particularly likeable - Isabelle at best is frustrating (I just wanted to shake her); the reptilian, manipulating Gilbert hateful. The up-in-the-air ending has left me feeling little more than irritated.

Close to Home cover art

Let down by a far fetched premise

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-19

It’s a shame the premise of the story is so far-fetched because it is well written, well narrated, and easy to listen to. A huge problem for me was that it centred around an eight-year-old girl. If the child had been 12 or 13 years of age, it would have been much more believable. And unfortunately the ending twist just seemed trite and unnecessary, and beyond the bounds of reality. However, if you can put up with these gaping flaws, it is an enjoyable listen.

The Stolen Girls cover art

Hard to like Lottie Parker

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-19

If I ever need a detective, I hope they’re nothing like Lottie Parker. No logic, no instincts, never listens or answers her phone, doesn’t keep promises, and can’t see what’s under her nose. Not many endearing qualities either. Don’t know if I have the patience to listen to any further stories with this character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I'll Keep You Safe cover art

Disappointingly Ridiculous

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-10-18

I almost gave up on this early on and, having pushed on to the end, I wish I had. I’ve liked many of Peter May’s books but this one is too far-fetched.

Sweet Little Lies cover art

Loved it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-07-18

Have listened to a lot of audiobooks in this genre, and this would be one of my favourites. Kept my attention from start to finish. The 1st person voice gave the story an immediacy and intensity that many books lack. Will be looking out for more by this author. Another plus was the narration - not many women readers can make male characters sound half decent, but Jane Collingwood does well in this respect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Dead House cover art

Gotta love a crazy lady

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-05-17

She's as mad as a spoon and crazy as a bag of frogs, and I'm not sure I'd want her come to my aid if I needed help, but for some reason I love Fiona Griffiths. Despite some rather gruesome descriptions, I have really enjoyed this whole series. Looking forward to what comes next.

Dead Simple cover art

So so

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-05-17

An average story with supposedly intelligent characters who can't see what is right under their noses. Had moments of almost screaming in frustration while listening. Not helped by truly awful narration - some of the worst I've heard. Have got the next in the series as a special deal, so will give it a go & hope that a change of narrator helps.

All Fall Down cover art

A Let Down

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-03-17

I persevered to the end with this because it has so many positive reviews, and kept hoping it would get better, but I just couldn't buy into the story, which seemed implausible, or like any of the characters. Perhaps this was partly down to the narrator - the women's voices, in particular, just sounded drippy. Overall the storyline was too rushed to be believable - the 'brood' plot line, especially, was just too bizarre. I was glad when it was over.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Set in Darkness cover art

Definitely James Macpherson

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-01-17

Not sure what version other reviewers listened to, but it's definitely James Macpherson reading in the download I received, and he does an excellent job as usual.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Silent Scream cover art

Awful narration

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-17

While looking for another book to listen to, I came across the subsequent stories in the Kim Stone series. Wondering why I hadn't bought any more, I decided to re-listen to this book again to see if the narrator was as bad as I'd previously thought. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Very unnatural intonation. Everyone sounds either disgusted or sarcastic. Shame, because the story isn't too bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful