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Melanie Preston Lewis

London
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  • reviews
  • 130
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  • 301
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  • Dig Two Graves (The Detective Solomon Gray Series 1)

  • By: Keith Nixon
  • Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Was it suicide… or murder? When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective's son, Tom, would've been, had he not gone missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there - or worse, dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Premier League of Audio Books

  • By Melanie Preston Lewis on 13-02-19

Premier League of Audio Books

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

Reviewed: 13-02-19

Don't judge me, but this isn't the first time I've listened to Dig Two Graves; it's my second. Also, I've read the book about 3 or 4 times, (OK, 6 times, but who's counting?). But I have a really good reason, honestly, gather round and pay attention because I don't want everyone to know. The reason I've read and listened to Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon so many times is because.....IT'S ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Really and truly, you can't get better than this. Is Solomon Gray the unluckiest man in the world? I just want to help him. He doesn't seem to be inundated with good friends or any family and even though he's a borderline alcoholic, a curmudgeon and foul tempered, it seems to me that it's a defensive wall he's put up to protect himself from any more hurt. How he manages to stay sane when he has no idea if Tom is alive or dead is beyond me. Considering everything he's seen and suffered, his moral compass is remarkably stable. The action is fast paced, the characters are well drawn and credible and the location is unusual. Ben Onwukwe does a marvellous job, giving voice to Mr Nixon's excellently crafted, meticulously honed and thoughtfully placed words. Big, huge, ginormous recommendation to buy Dig Two Graves; the book and the audio version. Treat yourself right now; you can always thank me later!

  • Game Theory

  • Katerina Carter Fraud Legal Thriller Series, Book 2
  • By: Colleen Cross
  • Narrated by: Petrea Burchard
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Someone is siphoning funds from billionaire Zachary Barron's currency hedge fund. Intent on prosecuting the thief to the fullest extent of the law, he hires Katerina "Kat" Carter, the best forensic accountant in the business, to follow the money trail. Both are shocked when it leads to Zachary's father, Nathan. And he's just the tip of the iceberg. Nathan belongs to a shadowy organization with global ties and unimaginable resources.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another success!

  • By Melanie Preston Lewis on 11-02-19

Another success!

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

Reviewed: 11-02-19

When I read Colleen Cross' first book, Exit Strategy, I was blown away by the hero working as a forensic accountant. We've had all sorts of unlikely professions as heroes, and I worried that this was stretching it a bit. Two things changed my mind, the first being a local 'philanthropist' being jailed for running a Ponzi scheme and all his charity work being at the expense of other people and the second, and the reason most relevant, was the excellent writing. In Game Theory, Ms Cross has once again created an all too believable tale, and the hero at the centre of it all is the brilliant Katerina Carter, Forensic Accountant extraordinaire. Coping with the disappearance of her boyfriend, death threats, a beloved Uncle with dementia and a psychopathic cousin, Kat unravels all the threads and neatly ties them in a bow, sorted and resolved. She has a strong moral code and you have to respect that. Ms Cross cleverly entwines Kat's professional and personal life, and this is what makes the story so credible. I understood the financial shenanigans better in this book than in book 1, maybe because I've just seen this happen in real life. How people can do what they do, is a constant surprise to me. Thank goodness we have real life Katerina Carters to sort out the tangled web of lies these criminals spin. Excellent narration by Petrea Burchard. I am thrilled to recommend Game Theory, a clever and carefully plotted thriller that will keep you absorbed the whole time.

  • The Crossing Places

  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,407
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,257
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,252

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Crime and archaeology - what's not to like?!

  • By Adrian on 05-06-11

Perfection

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

Reviewed: 31-01-19

If you want nearly 8 and a half hours of perfection, this is the book for you! The first book in what transpires as one of the best series I have ever had the pleasure of reading and listening to. These books are so good I 'double dip' them; that is I read them and I also listen to them on Audible. Why we have yet to meet Dr Ruth Galloway and DI Harry Nelson on the screen is one of life's unsolved mysteries. They are the most unlikely, and yet the most endearing of couples. Within this, the first book, they have captured my heart and I know I will carry them with me through all the books that will follow. Clever, carefully constructed plot and sub plots that captivate and pithy dialogue will leave you feeling bereft at the book's end. I am genuinely surprised when I don't get invited to their Christmas party, as I think of Nelson, Clough and Judy as my friends. How I would love to know someone like Cathbad; what a wonderful and interesting companion he is. Elly Griffiths seems to possess the magic formula to constructing the perfect book and it is complemented by the wonderful narration from Jane McDowell. There is nothing better than a few hours with Dr Ruth Galloway. 5 fulsome stars and onto the next one from me.

  • Blue Monday

  • A Frieda Klein Novel, Book 1
  • By: Nicci French
  • Narrated by: Beth Chalmers
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 494
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 425

Monday, the lowest point of the week. A day of dark impulses. A day to snatch a child from the streets.... The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is left troubled: one of her patients has been relating dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew. Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson doesn't take Frieda's concerns seriously until a link emerges with an unsolved abduction twenty years ago....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Welcome first outing for a new series

  • By S. K. Doughty on 10-08-13

Superb

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

Reviewed: 31-01-19

As is usual, I have listened to this series in an entirely random order. My bad! I've just got round to book 1, and, of course, loved it. Nicci French have created a fabulous hero in Frieda Klein, one that women of the 21st century can really get behind. She's clever, intelligent, educated, calm and dignified. She may be a little bit too independent, but that's not altogether a bad thing. Fortunately, in this book, Frieda meets a police officer who understands that quiet intelligence is a useful tool in solving mysteries. I love the juxtaposition of Frieda and her family, beautifully contrasting against each other. As I've now finished book 1 I'm going to buy the rest of the series, (I do have some of them) and make an effort to listen in order. Excellent narration by Beth Chalmers makes this one of my favourite series.

  • Hold My Hand

  • By: M. J. Ford
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

How long do you hunt for the missing? A horrible vanishing act.... When a young Josie Masters sees a boy wearing a red football shirt, Dylan Jones, being taken by a clown at a carnival, she tries to alert the crowds. But it's too late. Dylan has disappeared.... Thirty years later, Josie is working as a police officer in Bath. The remains of the body of a child have been found - complete with tatters of a torn red football shirt. Is it the boy she saw vanish in the clutches of the clown? Or is it someone else altogether?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • an alright listen

  • By Rebecca on 11-04-18

Enjoyable listen

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

Reviewed: 31-01-19

This is a an enjoyable listen. I had worked out who the 'baddie' was quite early on, but I kept listening to see how the various threads would eventually be linked together. I am a bit tired of police officers who don't have any family they are close with or friends. It makes police seem as if they're a different species from the rest of humanity. In my 15 years as a civilian oversight volunteer with the Met, all the officers I've met are remarkably normal. It's maybe a little bit cliched, but the story is well thought out and knits together well. Worth a punt!

  • The Murder of Harriet Monckton

  • By: Elizabeth Haynes
  • Narrated by: Lisa Coleman, Joe Jameson, Richard Reed, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The community is appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the surgeon reports that Harriet was around six months pregnant. Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet’s final hours through the eyes of those closest to her and the last people to see her alive. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Melanie Preston Lewis on 29-01-19

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 29-01-19

How clever is Elizabeth Haynes? It must be so much harder to write a story when the truth dictates you take a specific path, combine imagination with fact. The Murder of Harriet Monckton is an example of how fabulous Historical Fiction can be when written by a hugely talented author. This book is full of atmosphere, there are times of terrible darkness and moments of love and light. It certainly is a clear display how far women have come in nearly 200 years, and reminds us of how hard our predecessors had to fight for equality. All the narrators work hard to bring an already inspirational book, to life. The language used is incredibly well researched. No stone is left unturned in Ms Haynes quest to make this the best book in its genre. I have always been a fan of Elizabeth Haynes and this book ensures there can be no doubt she is a masterful and top notch writer. This is a 'MUST BUY' book, in fact it's a 'MUST BUY IMMEDIATELY' book. But don't stress, you can thank me later!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Guilty...Until Proven Innocent

  • DI Braddick, Book 3
  • By: Conrad Jones
  • Narrated by: Stewart Crank
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

Braddick is back. Following a storm, a body is washed up on a beach, intricately wrapped in wire mesh. DS Marcus Braddick is struck by the similarities to a triple murder case from seven years before - a case that eluded his predecessor, Alec Ramsay. Across the city, a teacher is accused online by a predator hunting group. As his life unravels, a killer stalks the hunters. Braddick and Ramsay have to work out how the two worlds are entwined and discover who are the innocent and who are the guilty before it’s too late....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Guilty until proven innocent

  • By Teresa evans on 28-01-19

Wowee!!!

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

Reviewed: 28-01-19

There are good books, there are great books and on top of that, at an even higher level, there are Conrad Jones' books! Guilty - until proven innocent is a 'double dipper'. You know, like "New York, New York - so good they named it twice". I've read this book and now I've listened to this book and on both occasions I was blown away by the brilliance of the plot, the clever characterisation and the dazzling dialogue. So many books and so much genius. It's such a treat to envelop myself in the words that flow from the pages. Mr Jones' challenges your perceptions and then, just when you think you've made up your mind, he challenges them all over again. The narration, by Steward Crank, was excellent, but I personally preferred Diana Croft, who narrated Book 1 in the series. That's not because Mr Crank did anything wrong, it's just a personal preference. I really think it's about time we saw Detectives Braddick and Ramsay on screen. If you are looking for an intricate plot, tightly woven with captivating characters who draw you in and keep you absorbed and invested in the outcome, look no further. Treat yourself to the whole series today. You can thank me later!

  • Beyond the Cabin

  • By: Jared Nathan Garrett
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Born into a controlling, abusive cult and betrayed by those he trusted, Josh hungers for freedom from the Fundamental Faith in God. After his first escape attempt fails, Josh takes even more solace in a rustic cabin he and his oldest brother made, finding peace in isolation. After unspeakable tragedy strikes, Josh flounders for hope and anything that will soften the grief threatening to destroy him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Life in a cult.

  • By DubaiReader on 15-02-19

Quite shocking

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

Reviewed: 22-01-19

I genuinely felt I was listening to Josh's diary the entire time. Whilst there were a couple of shocking events, it was mostly just a record of the daily drudgery of life in a cult. The relentless decimation of the children's personalities as the adults work enthusiastically to turn them into brainwashed drones with no room for self awareness or free thought. The constant fear of punishment and threat of violence was an undercurrent that should shame those in charge to the core of their being. It was genuinely upsetting and so believable, and I had decided well before the end to Google the author and see if I could find out something of his background. It was frighteningly real with no 'Hollywood glamour' added in an attempt to make it more marketable. What was also very real was Bill Nevitt's narration. Now I happen to know that Mr Nevitt is not a 14 year old boy, but he sure sounds like one in this audio book. His pitch, intonation and pronunciation were absolutely spot on for a teenager. Credit where it's due, this wasn't narrating, this was voice acting and we are treated to an Oscar worthy performance. Beyond the Cabin is marketed for 13 years and up, and I'm very much the 'up' part of the scale! It kept me captivated for over 10 hours. Jared Nathan Garrett doesn't set out to shock us, but shocking it is.

  • Witch You Well

  • The Westwick Witches
  • By: Colleen Cross
  • Narrated by: Petrea Burchard
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Even if the entire town is now accusing Aunt Pearl of murdering her guest. Even if her fiancee is acting weird and talking about seeing ghosts. Even if the town's sexy new sheriff, Tyler Gates, treats her like the most hexing of all the witches.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Witches

  • By JEYCEE on 24-11-17

Enchanting

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

Reviewed: 21-01-19

Witch You Well is a top rate example of the cosy mystery genre. How can your heart fail to be warmed by a family of witches, hard working, eccentric, arguing, making up and there's even a dog! You get a huge package within one book, there's murder, mystery, broken marriages, romance, deception, magic and a dog!! (I love dogs!!). Much as you shouldn't smile your way through a murder enquiry, I couldn't help it, the whole tale was so endearing. I laughed at rebellious Aunt Pearl, felt huge sympathy for the lovely Cen and her poor mother, cheered when she had her little chat with Brayden and fell in love with Sheriff Gates. Nearly 6 hours of eloquent writing, beautifully articulated by Petrea Burchard, who's narration I enjoy more every time I listen to her. This is Book 1 in the Westwick Witches Cosy Mystery series and I look forward to spending more time with Cen and her enchanting, (if you'll excuse the pun!) family. 5 stars and a go out and treat yourself recommendation from me. You can always thank me later!

  • Harriet’s Big Fat Wedding Blunder

  • A Romantic Comedy
  • By: Lynda Renham
  • Narrated by: Rosie Akerman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15

On arriving home after a friend’s posh wedding, launderette worker Harriet finds her flat has been ransacked and her boyfriend is missing. Shortly afterward, she is harassed by East End gangsters and upper-crust aristocrats. Accepting an offer she can’t refuse, Harriet, against her better judgement, becomes the fiancée of the wealthy Hamilton Lancaster, with dire consequences. What she had not bargained on was meeting Doctor Brice Edmunds.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious story - totally recommend!

  • By Liz Rev on 09-02-19

Chuckle-icious!

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

Reviewed: 16-01-19

Let's get my complaint out of the way first! My face hurts, (I know, I know, my face has been making people hurt for years), from smiling! This was like opening the window on a crisp, spring morning and letting the fresh air rush in. It was a warm embrace when you're feeling blue, an open-log fire on a snowy, winter's day. OK, enough with the metaphorical musings and onto some facts. Lynda Renham has cracked it with this book; it's funny, endearing, absorbing and a real British farce! All the characters are suitably bonkers, even the normal ones, and when they interact with each other, chaos, misunderstandings and madness ensues. Bravo to Rosie Akerman for her performance, there were a lot of characters, many voices and accents and this was a real challenge to narrate. Ms AKerman did a superb job, how she did it without losing her mind is beyond me, but you can only stand back and admire her work. Of course, a narrator can only be as good as the words allow, and Ms Renham gave Ms Akerman some of the choicest cuts to work with. Harriet's Big Fat Wedding Blunder is British humour at its best. Making fun of ourselves, our class system and the characters and caricatures within. A 5 star hit and over 9 hours of smiles, chuckles, laughs and joy. Tremendous!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful