First of all, do not get this "Vanished" mixed up with the excellent book also entitled "Vanished" but written by Joseph Finder; they are not of the same subject or quality. "Vanished" as written by Karen Robards is not unique in any way, and I do not recommend it.
Ms. Robards' "Vanished" is the very over-used story about every parent's nightmare; a woman's six-year-old daughter vanishes in a busy park and is never found. But 10 years after the girl's disappearance, the Mother begins to receive strange phone calls from her long-gone daughter, wanting to come home. The Mother, of course, panics and begans frantically looking for her little girl. At this point, the story starts going downhill quickly; for example, It's immediately apparent to the reader that the calls could not possibly be from the daughter. The voice on the phone sounds like a typical six-year-old child, but the reader is thinking: WAIT; wouldn't the daughter be 16 or 17 now and presumably not still have the same baby voice and lisp that the Mother's six year old had when she first disappeared? Someone finally figures that out, but not until a lot of panicky scenes have occurred and not until the reader has became a little agitated at being treated like an idiot.
But the real tragedy occurs not with the very trite subject but with the narrator. Joyce Bean does an excellent job when she stays in the voice of female characters. However, in the audiobook, when Ms. Bean first starts growling out the voice of her supposed male lover, I laughed, then cringed, then was rather creeped out. Her boyfriend, as voiced by Ms. Bean, sounds exactly like a cranky old woman, a life-long smoker with a resulting scratchy throat. At first it wasn't much of a problem listening to Ms. Bean trying to make her voice sound an octave deeper than it could actually go, but it was a Big Problem during the "romance" scenes: since we cannot "see" the sexy scenes, all we can picture in our minds are a young woman and a grouchy old cigarette-smoking old lady with male genitalia. And, no, I am not homophobic or transgender-phobic, and I usually have little problem with a female reading a man's part in an audiobook. But Joyce Bean needs to stick with narration of female characters only (and at which she is very good), and the author needs to quite trying save a buck by not hiring both a male and a female for naration of her romance novels.
Don't waste your time or money. One of the worst female narrators ever. Entire story is told through the male's point of view; having a female reader is distracting and senseless.
Very slow first half but with the usual excellent writing of Archer. Ending of book very disappointing. Good narration throughout.
Exceeded expectations. Good story that always kept flowing well and a good narrator. On one or two occasions, the upcoming action was telegraphed a bit, but all in all a pleasure to listen to.
Terrific listening. Exceeded my expectations, even though I'm a Peter May fan anyway. I cannot pick out my favorite part of the story without revealing more than I want to and because I had several favorite scenes. Narrator was on par with some of the best Americans narrators. Spend a credit on this book; you won't regret it.
Good book, interesting Middle East history. George Guidall, the narrator, can make any novel fascinating, as he did so here. The book is very light on mystery but has some good moments. Good listening during a raging snowstorm like today.
No, but ONLY because I never listen to the same book twice (so many books, so little time) and it is quite a long story. But this audiobook is one of the wittiest, most fun-filled who-done-its I have read or listened to in a long time. It's not a comedy, don't get me wrong; it's a legitimate mystery, but the interplay among the characters -- and the interpretation given to each character by the narrator -- is superbly done. You'll even smile when you get the meaning of the title of the story. I highly and wholeheartedly recommend this audiobook.
All three attorneys for the defense: the murder suspect and his co-worker, both of whom are civil attorneys and know nothing about criminal law and courtroom drama, and the elegant, wonderfully articulate, perfectly narrated criminal attorney who worked with the pair with both patience and utter frustration (the "straight man", if you will).
I purchased this book by shear mistake. I was irritated when I realized what I had done but reluctantly turned the audiobook on while I was cleaning the kitchen. 30 minutes into the story when I was actually laughing out loud, I knew it was one of the best mistakes I had ever made. Admittedly it is a little slow at times (but never for very long) and it isn't really a "thriller" or "hanging by your fingertips" suspense novel. It is just a sophisticated, clever, darn good mystery that makes you feel good throughout the whole murder suspect's ordeal.
This book could never be a 4- or 5-star listening experience. None of the characters are believable, all of the characters are stilted and hackneyed, and the listener has no reason to like anyone in the book. The writing is horrid; for example, during a semi-romantic moment in the book, the author writes, "He ran his fingertips along her trapezius muscle . . . and they danced along her latissimus dorsi." Honestly; who writes like that?
His writing style. Mr. Andrews would do well to attend several creative writing programs before subjecting any reader to another novel.
Oh, dear, no! Mr. Childs has a fairly decent voice, but he has no talent as an audiobook reader. His vocal range is extremely limited so that all of the characters sound exactly the same and sometimes not even like normal people. He reads with a slow cadence whether the scene is supposed to portray scariness, sadness, or excitement.
The two brothers who are supposedly highly talented killers.
Frankly, I could not get past Part 1 of this book before I had to throw in the towel. I found it inane, totally unabelievable, and not the least bit humorous (other reviewers found the book hilarious, but it left me irritated). I suppose if one likes the idea of a new police recruit being able to speak to ghosts and learning to perform magic and wizardry while he's trying to solve a "mystery", it might have some appeal, but this was advertised as an adult mystery book, not for children, so it would have to be an adult with a child's mind. The new recruit's supervisor - who no one likes because he's too weird - is from some obscure division of the London Metro Police (ala X Files) and makes it a point to help train the new recruit. It's supposed to be like Harry Potter meets the X-Files, but it doesn't come close on either count, other than perhaps a little plagiarism.
Ditch the concept for the entire book and try writing something else. The disparaging remarks about women certainly did not add any appeal on any level.
The narrator at times read too quickly.,
No. The author borrowed ideas from different movies and books and tried to make a mystery story from it. He failed miserably.
The book is not worth commenting on any further.
Doubtful. I do not appreciate authors who try to advance the sale of their next book by creating novels that cannot stand alone but, rather, where the reader has to wait (and pay) for a follow-up novel to find out what happens next. If you've read the books "Outbreak" (inspired by the epidemic of Ebola in Africa during 1976), "Pandemic" (based on the SARS scare of 2007), "Outbreak and Contagion" by Robin Cook, "The Stand" by Stephen King, etc., it is obvious that the pandemic theme is not Brett Battles' genre. Weak plot, not enough intrigue, and poor character development (often the case in "series" where the writer knows he/she can possibly make up for it in the next installment). Battles should stick with The Cleaner, where he shines.
What ending? It continues into book 5, much to the delight of the author's bankers.
The narrator did a good job trying to make sense of the slow pace of the story. He's not in the top ten yet, but he'll get there.
This theme is so tired and trite. It's been written about extensively since at least the 1990s. I suppose teenagers would enjoy a movie, but there is not enough action for a TV series.
This novel is replete with advertisements, a new and underhanded scheme by the author, Deborah Crombie, which listeners must not accept. While the Crystal Palace (a plate-glass building quickly built in 1851, thus the reference to "broken glass" in the title) actually existed in English history, it is not critical to the theme of the book, and in fact its existence could have been completely omitted from the novel without changing any part of the story. However, the author repeatedly uses the words "Crystal Palace" as a reason to then cite the full website addresses of other authors' websites (even the BBC's) that cover the Crystal Palace's history and current status like a barker who attempts to attract patrons to an event they might otherwise pass by. It was very irksome to be listening to this mystery and suddenly have the narrator stop and clearly announce: "w w w dot Judy North dot com" (example only). Presumably the listener is supposed to think Deborah Crombie felt the need to give credit to other authors' thoughts about the Crystal Palace that Ms. Crombie pilfered for use in her own book, like footnotes in a thesis, rather than put the idea in her own words. But this is not a thesis; if the author felt compared to quote so much of other authors' works, she could have done so at the end of the story and all at one time. But since the Crystal Palace had no great significance to the theme of the book, why did Ms. Crombie want to interrupt her story with pointless website promotions about it? Did Ms. Crombie receive payment for each website announced during this novel? That's what it appears to this listener!
Omit the promotion of other authors' works during the narration of the story.
There was no scene that stood out as a favorite. The only thing that stood out was the blatant promotion of other authors' websites.
I don't know. I was too irritated with the "w w w dot Judy North dot coms" promotions to be able to pay the attention to whatever qualities the book may or may not have had to offer.
The narrator, Gerard Doyle, did his usual outstanding job.
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