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Summary

On leave from her job in Newcastle upon Tyne following the death of her lover, DS Abby Foulkes is on Skiathos with their young son, Johnny. But just as they begin to relax, Johnny finds human bones in a wood near a Greek monastery on a hillside above Skiathos town. It isn't long before Abby discovers that this isn't the first set of bones to be found. When someone disappears from the Hibiscus Fruit hotel where they are staying, Abby is drawn into the mystery.

©2014 Alison M Gray (P)2015 Alison M Gray

What members say

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

Puttin something right.. means letting people down

The book starts well with the discovery of a spiral of human bones on a Greek island where Detective Abby Foulkes is holidaying with her seven years old son, Johnny, following the murder of his father, her partner, three months before. Other piles of bones had been found recently, too, she discovers. And the following plot, though convoluted, is reasonable. Unfortunately, it is the main protagonist, Abby herself, who is the destructive entity in the story: for someone who had raised herself through the force to reach her position, she was whiney, indecisive and constantly obsessing about her son. Yes, she'd recently lost her significant other and was possibly still under a death threat herself (so why, one has to ask, remove herself and her son from the protection offered by the force in England to go trailing through the stranger-danger environment of Greece, despite the beautiful isolation and memories it rekindled?): all the more reason to be with Johnny and not involving herself in another country's police work whilst agonising about his safety. She was a most irritating and juvenile protagonist, this reader had to keep reminding herself that Abby was not a newbie police cadet.

To add to the irritation, narrator Lisa Angelino, although having a pleasant voice, with clear delivery and innunciation, read with a 'Listen with Mother' affectation which made everything sound rather twee. Her English had a slight Antipodean (?) hint, and some pronunciations were distractingly strange, for example 'surgen' rather than sergeant, and Newcastle was given a two word rendering as New Castle. Her voicings for the other characters emerged better in the latter half of the book, but her vocalisation of the child, Johnny, was always good.

Hibiscus Fruit is a story which would probably really appeal to older children who could engage with Abby's angst ridden concerns without criticism and empathise with Johnny, whilst provided with the thrills and danger inherent in the story which comes without much overt violence.
My thanks to the rights holder from whom I received, at my request, a freely gifted complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. It will be interesting to find out if Abby manages to grow up after her return to England.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Deedra
  • United States
  • 25-03-16

Hibiscus Fruit

Is there anything you would change about this book?

narrator

Would you recommend Hibiscus Fruit: Where Grief Leads to Murder in Paradise to your friends? Why or why not?

no

Any additional comments?

This is a very slow moving book.The plodding of the story nearly made me give up on it.Lisa Angelini does a very dry reading,sometimes it sounds like she is recording in a can.Abby takes her son on holiday to try to work through her husbands death.She is a police woman.On the island her son finds bones and a story of other bones,murder and betrayal plays out.s.l.o.w.l.y...
There is a lot of disbelief by many people in this book.The back and forth repetitive observances surrounding this is at times unbearable.This audiobook was provided to me at no cost for a fair and honest review

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

Complex Mystery Thriller

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would to some one who likes this genre. It is a complex mystery thriller.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hibiscus Fruit: Where Grief Leads to Murder in Paradise?

When the children were rescued from the traffickers.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

It was a bit monotone at times. There could of been more tone inflections and variances in the characters voices.

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

This was not an all in one sitting listen.

Any additional comments?

The book has a bit of a slow start and drags a bit initially. Bear with it as the book gets more interesting.

Also there are are too many distractions in the story which do not apply to the actual story. I'm thinking that the extra information and distractions such as who murdered Abby's domestic partner and the Bone Killer serial killer will be further developed and put to rest in subsequent volumes of the series.

Sweeping aside the distractions and the parts that drag, this is a fairly decent mystery thriller. It is through sure serendipity and good fortune that the villain is identified and caught as there was almost another victim.



“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Storyline

What did you like best about Hibiscus Fruit: Where Grief Leads to Murder in Paradise? What did you like least?

I thought the general storyline was strong. By the end, it felt like there were perhaps one too many plot lines (the mystery of Rafe, the mystery of Joe, the bone murder mystery, the kidnapping/murder mystery of one of the hotel patrons, the stolen art aspect, the human trafficking aspect, the mention of Abigail/Johnny in danger at home and abroad aspect)

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I thought Ms. Angelini did a great job with the multitude of characters. Unfortunately, the technical aspect (pacing, mouth noise) was distracting.

Any additional comments?

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author via Audibookblast in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • cosmitron
  • 27-05-18

Well done first book in a Mystery series.

With a well crafted plot and interesting characters this is an entertaining mystery that
creates interest for the next few books in the series.

With all the elements of a compelling Mystery this book will interest many individuals
who enjoy this genre.

The Narrator did a average job with the material.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • James & Cindy Jackson
  • 31-07-17

A good mystery that keeps you guessing

Would you try another book from Alison Gray and/or Lisa Angelini?

Yes

If you’ve listened to books by Alison Gray before, how does this one compare?

This was my first book of Alison Gray I have listened to

Which scene was your favorite?

On the boat about to be raped

Was Hibiscus Fruit: Where Grief Leads to Murder in Paradise worth the listening time?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shoshana Hathaway
  • 21-10-15

Vacation from Hell

On leave from her job in Newcastle upon Tyne following the death of her lover, DS Abby Foulkes is on Skiathos with their young son, Johnny. But just as they begin to relax, Johnny finds human bones in a wood near a Greek monastery on a hillside above Skiathos town. It isn't long before Abby discovers that this isn't the first set of bones to be found. When someone disappears from the Hibiscus Fruit hotel where they are staying, Abby is drawn into the mystery.

Although not categorized as such, this is very close to being a cozy mystery. It differs from most cozies in many respects, but there is little direct violence, and, for the most part, murder is dealt with indirectly and circumspectly.

There are 2 stories in one. First, there are the crimes, past and present, and the investigation by the Greek police, with Abby as unasked for help. She must overcome the natural resistance of the local investigators, which she does, and she becomes an integral part of the investigation.

But alongside that story is Abby’s own story, one of love, loss, and terrible grief. She had come to the Greek islands to begin the healing process, and ended up falling into the worst “vacation” ever. However, she finds new friends, one of whom is also learning to begin his own healing process, and she slowly comes to terms with her loss, her family, and herself.

The story line is intricate, and, for the most part, well developed. I did find that the clues leading to the real villain were sparse and subjective, so, in that regard, I don’t think the author “played fair” with her readers.

On the other hand, her characters are excellent, and she manages some of them, especially those with hidden motivations, extremely well. Her characters are 3 dimensional and interesting, and while some of them are despicable, there are enough sympathetic characters to keep the reader interested and invested In them.

The writing is vivid and eminently readable, and the author has an excellent sense of place, and can evoke the Greek islands with such vividness that this reader could picture them easily, and, in fact, would like to have been there.

While the narrator did a professional and competent performance, I found her narration a bit flat. She modulated her voice nicely, but I suspected that she would have read anything, including a local phone book, using the same phrasing and expressions. Still, she has a pleasant reading voice, and listening to her didn’t distract me much from enjoying the book.

I give the book 4 stars and the narrator 3 stars. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of AudioBookBlast dot com.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kelly lauffenburger
  • 29-06-18

Loved this Series

I loved this series! Full of twist and turns in the plot. I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • CuteAsADaisy
  • 20-06-18

Great Start to a Detective Thriller Series

This was a fantastic start to a Detective Thriller series. The author did a great job with the character development, pacing of the story and kept the plot going in such a way that it wasn't predictable at all. I had a hard time putting it down especially toward the end. I enjoyed the narration and felt she did a wonderful job with it. I like that this wasn't a gory murder mystery and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys this genre.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author and publisher in exchange for an unbiased review via audiobookboom.com

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly watley
  • 17-06-18

Very entertaining!!

Superb. I suppose there is a formula for writing crime fiction but Alison Gray has certainly cracked it. Abby Foulkes is a great heroine and her exploits in London make fantastic reading.
"I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator."

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Darc
  • 17-06-18

Bones

DS Abby Foulkes is on vacation in Greece with her son Johnny. Her life partner had recently been murdered and she was working through his death in surrounding where they had spent time together. Her son finds some bones, which leads to a mystery of other bones have being found and laid out in the same manner. This all leads to serial killings to which Abby is pulled in to try to solve.. There are many twists, turns , leading to more mysteries to solve. On to Book # 2 in the series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brittany
  • 12-06-18

great story just ok narrator

This was a very interesting story although some aspects we're a bit unbelievable like Abby leaving her son with absolute strangers in a foreign country after just losing her partner. Overall I loved the two mysteries rolled into one story. The narrator was ok not great but not bad the characters could have had more differentiation to make the story easier to listen to. I look forward to listening to more books in this collection. I received this book for free for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • PattyH
  • 06-06-18

Hibiscus Fruit

ABBY IS DRAWN INTO THE MYSTERY OF BONE THAT ARE FOUND, THE FIRST BY HER SON. THATS WHERE THE INTRIGUE BEGINS. I WAS INTERESTED IN THIS STORY FROM THE FIRST PAGE, WITH TWISTS AND TURNS SURE TO KEEP ANYONE LISTENING, I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE INTO DETECTIVE THRILLERS

THE NARRATION IS EASY TO LISTEN TO AND ENTERTAINING

I REQUESTED A COPY OFTHIS AUDIBLE FREE AND AM HAPPY TO LEAVE MY REVIEW

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jan M
  • 01-06-18

Great Mystery!

I so enjoyed listening to this book by Alison Gray with all of its twists and turns. I thought the author wrote an original story and it kept me guessing, I so love it when I do not have it figured out. Kudos to Alison Gray for that. Lisa Angelini did a great job with her performance. She has a clear and concise voice, and she added to the imagery of the book. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I would definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.