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From the best-selling, multiple prize-shortlisted novelist Catherine Ryan Howard comes an explosive story about a twisted voyeur and a terrible crime....
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?
Natalie wishes she'd stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There's something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can't - not until she's found what she's looking for....
This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You've already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking....
Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a twisted voyeur and a terrible crime from the best-selling author of Distress Signals and The Liar's Girl.
“Twisty, suspenseful and totally engrossing. SUPERB.” (Wll Dean)
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- Murder Mystery Thriller Fan
BRILLIANT WHODUNNIT MURDERED BY BRUTAL NARRATOR
I was really longing for this book to be released as it has all the elements of a really intriguing, intelligent mystery thriller very much of the moment in light of the AirB&B hidden camera scandals and the growing phenomenon of social influencers. It was a powerful premise tantalising thriller set in one of my favourite places East Cork and simply ticked all my boxes.
However though I tried and tried and tried to listen to it as the writing seemed excellent and in an unusual, likeable, sometimes tongue in cheek, style. the narration was quite simply brutal making it impossible to listen to,so much so, it turned out that whoever cast Alana Kerr Collins and produced the book, without realising how it is practically unlistenable it turned out, committed a far worse crime than any in the book.
I must admit I was not enamoured by the sample reading but nothing could have prepared me for this car crash of a performance which not only sounded so cringingly contrived but made a nonsense of the book as it was read with such strange emphasis put on random words with a weird rushing rhythm - rather like someone who had a bit too much to drink reciting a Limerick while trying to seductive. I so wanted to enjoy this book but even the simplest of sentences was made into such a major production, it became unintelligible and almost like a foreign language due to the weird meaningless gabble that was made of the words.
It was almost as if the narrator was not given a book to read but simply had flashcards help up before her with maybe one or two words so had no way to structure or predict the sentence so it flowed or made sense.
The read is simply so baffflingly distracting you are left totally bewildered, puzzling over what you just heard and so desperately trying to extract the meaning of that sentence that you miss the next two. Simply impossible to follow. infuriatingly frustrating when you so want to hear the story - much like your favourite song being played by a halting, out of tune amateur orchestra who have never seen sheet music before.
It is whoever produced and cast this disaster of a narration whom I blame, not Alana Kerr Collins herself as possibly she cannot help her terrible performance which made this audiobook virtually unintelligible due to her bizarre cadence and placing emphasis on random words making the sentence impossible to understand. It is rather like she is reading a language she does not understand - or as if the words were read and recorded individually and they spliced together into sentences in post production.
In a way it is more like someone reading poetry than a book as it has a forced rhythm which takes priority over the meaning governing the words forcing them to fit it so they are squeezed in, drawn out or added on as an afterthought to fit the tempo.
Part of the problem is the way her accent veers wildly between Northern Irish to American Drawl to regional rural Irish accents. Most of the time Alana Kerr Collins seems defeated by the letter T - so instead of waiting people are wading, Natalie is mainly called Nadelly and sometimes even Maddelly ... and all the many other words written with a T dragged into a slurry DDDDD.
Overall the read sounds like an older woman who has had a couple of drinks and was once told she had an alluring voice who is going around a party trying to chat everyone up but is making no sense at all. Each sentence is wrapped in mystery and meaning like a dramatic reveal even when it is describing the most mundane details - which sounds exciting but it isn't as it just got old very quickly. Reminiscent of the worst sort of amateur dramatics performance, after stringing together the words in a strange breathy rush, going up and down, drawing out some for dramatic effect, leaning on others for no logical reason set to some strange rhythm, then the last word left hanging .... as if revealing the ultimate mystery and pausing for reaction and applause - again it sounds like that might be interesting but it is just very annoying.
It also makes it completely impossible to follow the story as this read, made up of a string of words read with no sense of meaning, going up and down, slurring, dragging, revealed in a self congratulatory haze is more like like an endless string of hankerchiefs - some big some small - pulled hither and thither from an amateur magician's pocket at a child's party than storytelling.
Pronunciation, consistency and accents also flounder wildly and frequently throughout. The place name Shanamore which is sometime pronounced correctly but half the time she calls Shanimar or even Shalimar is a constant niggle. Once she managed to get Shanamore and Shanamar into the same sentence. The word "coiffed " and others are mangled by mispronunciation but that pales into insignificance beside the awfully embarrassing read which make a nonsense out of a very appealing and intriguing book.
I struggled and struggled, went away from it, came back to it, hoped the narrator would settle down, become less self conscious, start performing less and letting the story tell itself and simply work on getting the meaning of the sentence across without trying to sound so mysterious, alluring, intriguing and instead look for the meaning of the words and convey it to the listener as it deserved to be read.
I was so bamboozled by this bizarre read that I never did find or follow the significance of the REWIND theme of "Pause, Fast Forward and Rewind" which punctuates the book as I was just so distracted by the cringeworthy and shambolic performance which denied the listener any chance to make sense of even the simplest sentence let alone follow a paragraph full of random words emphasised while some were left hanging, some tumbled over, T's dragged into D;s and every county in Ireland's accents visited with an American drawl thrown in on top.
I would beg Audible to ask for this book to be rerecorded by a narrator who could at least allow the listener to make sense of this potentially enthralling book and to be able to follow the plot without being distracted and infuriated by a bizarre, senseless read by a narrator who sounds as if they have fallen in love with the sound of their own voice and are enjoying giving a performance devoid of meaning.
I simply have never listened to such an infuriating narration and being so fascinated by the book and loving the style of writing this was just incredibly frustrating and it was with great sadness that, blood boiling, I threw in the towel as I could not bear to hear this brilliant book tortured any further.
I think Catherine Ryan Howard is a very talented author with her finger on the pulse and this is such a fascinating of the moment mystery and I will look forward to listening to more of her audiobooks with different narrators but for now I will return this audiobook and instead get the regular book version and try my best to forget this terrible experience.
9 people found this helpful
I only lasted 10 minutes the narrator was terrible and struggled to understand what was being said
8 people found this helpful