The story is dated (Soviet Union) but still intriguing, mostly I think because of the confined and isolated setting - on a fishing factory ship in the Bearing Sea
There were unexpected turns, but not edge-of-your-seat action
The narration was the weakest point, in my opinion, as the accents the reader took on as various characters slipped a little. Still good narration, but not great.
No, I can't imagine any book I'd want to spend 10-12 hours in one sitting listening to.
This is a different type of Christie story for me, as almost half of it takes place in the past - remembered by characters and explained in exposition - rather than actively happening. That made for a different feel to the story, but it's a good story nonetheless: A year ago, a young socialite married to an older man dies of cyanide poisoning at a restaurant, and it is declared a suicide. Almost a year later, her husband gets a note stating that it was actually a murder, and at the birthday dinner at the same restaurant for the dead woman's sister, he ends up dying of cyanide poisoning himself. Was it suicide from grief? Was the note correct or a red herring? Was his death also a murder?
All good questions and a plot for a good mystery, but the resulting solution is weak and unworthy of the setup, IMO.
Like the first in the series, this is good, lightweight fun with a lot of humour and a little crime on the Jersey Shore. There's more character development in it, which makes me look forward to future installments, but it's still a fun, easy "read" that kept me entertained. It's not great literature, but it is good fun, and the narration was terrific.
This is probably a very difficult novel to read, as it is various streams of consciousness of different (but often intertwining characters) taking place in the course of a single day. The novel jumps from one to another without so much as a chapter break, but the fabulous narration of Juliet Stevenson makes it so much easier to understand and follow. The language is so wonderful, it's almost poetic in it's feeling and pacing, and this was a joy to listen to.
I'm a big John Wyndham fan, but this is one I'd never read - and fortunately it's wonderfully read and rendered as an audiobook. Like several of his others, this book follows an invasion of Earth, centering on England, but unlike many alien-invasion stories, this one involves aliens in the deep that are never seen by any of the characters in the book. It adds an air of mystery to the already mysterious happenings, as does the music that separates segments of the story in this production.
The narrator does a great job, not only in personalizing the different characters, but also in keeping the tone from getting too maudlin.
There's a lot of strangeness in this story - strange characters, strange setting, strange history - and it all mixes up nicely into an unsettling and kind of creepy story. Not frightening, just kind of weird and disturbing. It's clear from the set up that the protagonist is suffering from an undisclosed psychological issue - her words and actions are too juvenile for her actual age - but you never really know if it's always been a factor in her life or if it's secondary to the changes she's gone through since the murder of most of her family by poisoning.......She now lives a mostly secluded life in the old family home with her older agoraphobic sister and her wheelchair-bound uncle who survived the poisoning but with a loss of both mental and physical capabilities. Most of the townspeople blame the older sister for the murders, in spite of her legal acquittal, and so the sisters have reacted to the town's shunning and malevolence by withdrawing further and further into their own lives in seclusion, but managing to be content in their own little world. When a distant cousin comes to try and bully them into allowing him to rule the family home and money, it upsets their isolated fantasy world and causes unexpected changes.
It's not my favourite Christie novel, but it's still an interesting story with great characters - I particularly like the malevolent mother who is the murder victim in this story. Not sure why it was called "Appointment with Death", though - time is a factor, but no appointments were made out in the deserts around Petra (in Jordan). Hugh Fraser does a great job again, and I love listening to his narration of so many of the Agatha Christie mysteries.
I hate to say this because I love Benedict Cumberbatch's speaking voice, but the narration on this audiobook is really bad - the pacing is too quick and, espcially with the fast pacing, it's difficult to tell one speaker from another. There are parts where the narration is much better and there is tone and emotion in the various character's voices, and other times when it sounds like the book is being read quickly with little inflection, as if under time constraints. I don't know if that's a post-production issue or if Cumberbatch read it that way.
I haven't decided if I'm going to continue or return it. I might choose an unabridged Ngaio Marsh title with a different narrator, as I can see some good mystery underneath it all.
This is a fun, lightweight mystery set in a small seaside town.....The narrator is a summer cop, a part time employee to help with the extra summer season crowds. He is partnered with a full-time cop of the Joe Friday mold - "just the facts, ma'am" - and the contrasting styles of the buddy-cop theme works well. Even though I kind of saw the end coming, it didn't take away from the fun of the characters, and I look forward to trying the next in the series.
Apparently JL Burke never met a simile he could refuse - I've never seen such an overuse of similes, and to me it's a sign of lazy and heavy-handed writing.; It's a lot more difficult to write a description without a simile than with it, and it's more didactic and heavy handed to write a simile that leaves nothing for the imagination to create or enjoy. While some might say that it results in wonderful description, I say it results in a paint-by-numbers picture rather than a work of art.
And the sloppy plotting......oh, where to begin? Did everyone forget that Sonny has a look alike cousin? Why did the professional assassin make such an amateurish job of trying to kill Dave? What did anyone's recollections of their military past add to the various story lines? And why were there so many subplots?
As for the editing of the audiobook, there were extremely extended pauses - some of 6-7 seconds that made me wonder if the app had stopped working. And at one point, I heard a muted "what's wrong" at the end of the chapter, as if either the mike was still active or the editor had not trimmed out that piece of audio.
I like Mark Hammer's lazy and slow reading pace - it seems very appropriate for a deep south storyline. But he still has problems differentiating voices, and it got confusing sometimes - a really good narrator should allow you to recognize the character without hearing the name spoken.
I can't decide if the author has written a stupid detective or if she simply thought no one would notice that a major element of the crime identified by him early in the story would simply be forgotten by the police or the reader for the rest of the (too long, too melodramatic) book. This was simply shoddy work from a crime mystery point of view, and the writing style and narration did nothing to improve it or make me suspend my disbelief over the important missed element.
It's quite clear that Anne Perry wants to focus on the social status of the classes in Victorian London.....I would have been great if the reader could have discovered those things from the characters words and actions, but rather than illustrating them with conversations, actions, or deftly placed descriptions, she repeatedly drives them home with long passages of the characters thoughts that sound more didactic than enlightening. It's as if she wants to teach rather than share or let the reader discover it. Sadly, she's using mysteries as a tool to teach that focus, but her creation of a mystery and her writing of the process of investigation and deduction leave much to be desired - for instance totally ignoring a major determinant of the crime, making her protagonist look stupid or ill-prepared for his job.
As for the narrator, I found she enhanced the melodrama with a slow reading and long pauses between sentances - this is the first audiobook in almost 100 of them where I chose to run it at 1.25x speed, because the ponderous reading and multiple pauses made it very heavy and slow.
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