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peter

Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 88
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • Midwinter Break

  • By: Bernard MacLaverty
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

An intense exploration of love and uncertainty when a long-married couple, Gerry and Stella, take a midwinter break in Amsterdam to refresh the senses, do some sightseeing and generally take stock of their lives. Their relationship seems easy, familiar - but over its course we discover the deep uncertainties between them. Gerry, once an architect, is forgetful and set in his ways. Stella is tired of his lifestyle and angry at his constant undermining of her religious faith.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best listen of 2017

  • By peter on 08-11-17

Best listen of 2017

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

Reviewed: 08-11-17

This is a beautiful book. The writing is elegant, direct and vivid. The two characters are, like most of us full of faults but full of goodness. The story is both small and personal, and political in the sense that it is love story set against the background and aftermath of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, though virtually all the action takes place in Holland.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Deep Dark Sleep

  • A Lennox Thriller, Book 3
  • By: Craig Russell
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

Human remains are recovered from the bottom of the River Clyde. Not an unusual occurrence, but these have been sleeping the deep, dark sleep for eighteen years. Suddenly Glasgow’s underworld is buzzing with the news that the dredged up bones belong to Gentleman Joe Strachan, Glasgow’s most successful and ruthless armed robber.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First Class

  • By Reader on 15-05-12

Brilliant, gripping and witty

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

Reviewed: 05-04-16

This was my first Craig Russell novel. The story has many twists and turns but just about stays within the bounds of believability. The central character has all the hallmarks of a true crime thriller anti hero. Terrible but likeable. The reader is truly excellent. I am off now to download the next in the series. Can't wait!

  • Smoke and Mirrors

  • A Stephens and Mephisto Mystery
  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

Brighton, 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the snowy pier, with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin. But Max's headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. With fairy tales in the air, it's not long before the press have found a nickname for the case: 'Hansel and Gretel'. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The missing girl, Annie, used to write plays and perform them with her friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another first rate crime novel from Elly Griffiths

  • By peter on 27-11-15

Another first rate crime novel from Elly Griffiths

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

Reviewed: 27-11-15

What made the experience of listening to Smoke and Mirrors the most enjoyable?

The quality of Elly Griffiths' writing is excellent. The characters are believable and really come to life as the story progresses. The setting of the story in the musical theatre in 1951 works very well. The cast of characters is largely the same as in the previous novel, The Zig Zag Girl, including the detective Edgar Stevens and his magician friend Max Mephisto. Even though the context for the drama is on the face of it rather implausible (the Christmas Pantomime version of Aladin) as the narrative develops the characters become more fully realised and, as such, one feels for them and shares their concerns and anxieties. So it becomes a fully engaging story. As in her Ruth Galloway novels set in Norfolk, Elly Griffiths brings wit and erudition to her writing so as well as being an interesting mystery it also draws on the darker side of children's' fairy stories which to a large extent modern versions have been sanitised and bear little relationship to the more bloodthirsty originals which provide the underlying themes of this novel. I wondered where the author had read Bruno Bettleheim's 'The Uses of Enchantment' which describes vividly the real darkness of such stories as Hansel & Gretel.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Smoke and Mirrors?

It is not particular moments which give the novel it quality but the overall excellence of the story and the characterisations of the protagonists, especially the children.

Have you listened to any of Daniel Philpott’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes. The first novel in this series. It is just as well done.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

See the answer about memorable moments

Any additional comments?

Another really excellent read from Elly Griffiths. She must now rate, along with Mick Herron as amongst the best of the newer British crime novelists.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Sweet Caress

  • The Many Lives of Amory Clay
  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 510
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 470
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 473

It is Amory's photographer uncle, Greville, who gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography and unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future. Her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demimonde of Berlin of the late 20s, to New York of the 30s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I think it is the narrator....

  • By Louise on 22-10-15

Lovely, engaging and entertaining story

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

Reviewed: 29-09-15

I have long been a great fan of William Boyd's novels. They have strong narratives, believable characters and a moral dimension while at the same time being entertaining to read. The are what English literature used to be before it became too 'meaningful' and clever for its own good.

Sweet Caress is a truly engaging story well written and well read. It follows the life of a middle class English woman from her school days to her old age and eventual death. She is a marginal participant in some of of the great events of the 20th century but never a main player. So the story occurs on both a small and a large scale. It is not in the end about events but about one person living her life with honesty, passion and love.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Down Among the Dead Men

  • By: Peter Lovesey
  • Narrated by: Michael Tudor Barnes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

A nightmare discovery in the boot of a stolen BMW plunges car thief Danny Stapleton into the worst trouble of his life. What links his misfortune to the mysterious disappearance of an art teacher at a private school for girls in Chichester? Orders from above push Peter Diamond of Bath CID into investigating a police corruption case in the Chichester force, and he soon finds himself reluctantly dealing with spirited schoolgirls, eccentric artists and his formidable old colleague, Hen Mallin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved this book - perfect listening whilst crafting

  • By Elaine Calderwood on 05-08-15

Quite enjoyable, if a bit long winded.

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

Reviewed: 23-08-15

This is my first Superintendent Peter Diamond story. I enjoyed it. The storyline is interesting and the characters are engaging and well fleshed out by the author. It is not a work of 'literature' by any stretch of the imagination (in the sense that works by Mankell, Herron and Rankin transcend the genre) but I found myself thinking I wouldn't mind listening to another Peter Lovesey story in due course.

  • Tipping the Velvet

  • By: Sarah Waters
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
  • Length: 19 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 317
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 317

'Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this was a girl: the most marvellous girl - I knew it at once! - that I had ever seen.' A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King - oyster girl turned music-hall star turned rent boy turned East End 'tom'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Victorian London brought to exuberant life

  • By T on 14-10-14

A slow start but in the end a tremendous read

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

Reviewed: 18-12-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Tipping the Velvet to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version

What did you like best about this story?

The story becomes fascinating and is very well told. All the main characters are really well drawn and believable. Their moral dilemmas and choices are ones that ring true. The juxtaposition of a private lesbian life and the late Victorian public life of the city makes for a richness of of narrative and imagery that is constantly engaging. It is sort of like Dickens with a modern touch. However the first few chapters need a bit of persevering with.

Have you listened to any of Juanita McMahon’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any others.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

For me the story provoked quite a range of feelings and thoughts. That is the main reason I liked it.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend it as being a very good story that is well written and well read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Flesh Wounds cover art
  • Flesh Wounds

  • By: Chris Brookmyre
  • Narrated by: Sarah Barron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239

When her father’s killer, Glen Fallan, is arrested for another murder, PI Jasmine Sharp enters an underworld where violence is a way of life and vengeance spans generations. DS Catherine McLeod has one major Glaswegian gangster in the mortuary and another in the cells for killing him - which ought to be cause for celebration. But this case is far more dangerous than it appears on the surface; deeper than skin, darker than blood.…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A BRAW STOY

  • By Patricia on 18-08-13

A really enjoyable listen

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

Reviewed: 10-09-13

If you could sum up Flesh Wounds in three words, what would they be?

Gripping, moving, funny.

What did you like best about this story?

It is hard to say. The storyline is excellent and follows on really well from the two earlier books in the series, the characters are extremely well drawn, it manages to be serious, tragic, and funny all at the same time. Also the narration and the Glasgow accents and speech forms are very droll but also help create the authentic atmosphere of the setting.

Which character – as performed by Sarah Barron – was your favourite?

None. They are all good. Or one could say that Glasgow itself becomes a character through the use of language, accent and dialect.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I wanted to savour it. I was sorry it ended.

Any additional comments?

I'll definitely listen to it again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Cut Short

  • Geraldine Steel Series, Book 1
  • By: Leigh Russell
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 71

When DI Geraldine Steel relocates to the quiet rural town of Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be somewhere where nothing much ever happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private. But when she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women, she quickly discovers how wrong she is....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hmmm..not sure

  • By Sharon on 15-07-13

Very disappointing

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

Reviewed: 10-09-13

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

It is hard to say

Has Cut Short put you off other books in this genre?

No

Would you be willing to try another one of Lucy Price-Lewis’s performances?

Yes, but not another book by this author

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Very few

Any additional comments?

I am a great fan of crime/thriller books with a police procedural aspect to them but I have to say that, probably, this is the poorest such novel I have listened to for quite a long time. I feel this way for three reasons:
Firstly, I think the choice of a character with both learning disability and serious chronic mental illness as the murderer is ethically questionable. There is quite a lot of ‘How can we stop mentally ill people from going round murdering people?’ type of hysteria in the public media, when, the fact is that people with learning difficulties and mental illness are significantly less likely to be murderers than people without such disorders. The reality is that one is much more likely to be murdered by a sane person than a mad one. People with mental and learning problems have had to fight very hard to combat the stigma that has attached to such disorders in the past. Books like this exploit these vulnerable people and set back the cause of normalising mental health issues. Furthermore the author shows a very inadequate understanding about how people with serious chronic mental illness are looked after in the community.
Secondly, the quality of writing in this book is not very good, to say the least. Someone in another review described it with the phrase ‘...GCSE level...’ I would very much agree with that. Much of it has the literary quality of a very average adolescent school essay. Examples of ‘he said...she said...then they said..etc’ type dialogue and description, together with unnecessarily repeated actions and phrases, abound throughout the book.
Thirdly, there is very little real character development. None of the protagonists in the story really come to life in any sustained way. There are ‘stubs’ of side stories such as the graffiti attacks on Geraldine’s home and car, possible drinking/alcoholism issues with her boss the DCI, and the inclusion of a former rock superstar, and his daughter’s love life, but none are properly developed or embedded in the overall narrative in a way that makes real sense of why they are included.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Under Your Skin

  • By: Sabine Durrant
  • Narrated by: Tracy-Ann Oberman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 394
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 396

Gaby Mortimer is the woman who has it all. But everything changes when she finds a body on the common near her home. Because the evidence keeps leading back to her. And the police seem sure she's guilty.... Under Your Skin is an unpredictable, exquisitely twisty story, which proves that there are only three rules in life that mean anything: Assume nothing. Believe no one. Check everything.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely gripping

  • By Saffy on 24-04-13

An absolute 'cracker!'

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

Reviewed: 22-07-13

If you could sum up Under Your Skin in three words, what would they be?

Best this year

What did you like best about this story?

It is pacey, clever, witty, and gripping.

What does Tracy-Ann Oberman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She reads it at a pace which very well reflects the style of the novel and the internal life of the main protagonist. It is therefore believable and constantly engaging.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When I found out 'who dun it'!

Any additional comments?

More from this author when available.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Sleeper

  • By: Emily Barr
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,099
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,000
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 994

A tense, gripping psychological thriller, with Hitchcockian overtones, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Sophie Hannah and Rosamund Lupton. Lara Finch is living a lie. Everyone thinks she has a happy life in Cornwall, married to the devoted Sam, but in fact she is desperately bored. When she is offered a new job that involves commuting to London by sleeper train, she meets Guy and starts an illicit affair. But then Lara vanishes from the night train without a trace.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent.

  • By Vanessa on 22-02-14

A bit disappointing - more melodrama than thriller

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

Reviewed: 22-07-13

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not. I found this download in the crime and thriller section, but this is a bit misleading. It is sort of 'chick-lit' with a twist. The thriller aspect is quite thin (even though endlessly drawn out) and very much secondary to the rather dramatic (I would say melodramatic) emotional experiences of the two female protagonists. The eventual 'baddie', when he shows his true colours, is almost a caricature villain.

Having said all that, it was a bit of fun and I didn't feel like asking for my money (credit) back. I did keep going to the end.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Shorten it by 25%, mainly by removing some of both Lara's and Iris's more longwinded emotional outbursts.

Have a more believable villain especially towards the end when he reveals himself.

What three words best describe Imogen Church’s performance?

Well done with some pretty awful dialogue.

Her presentation of Sam as the clinging husband was hilarious.

Was The Sleeper worth the listening time?

Just about.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful