Yes, I'm sure I'll listen to it again in the distant future. I found the story really compelling, and the fact that this kind of thing happens in life made it somehow scarier.
The plot kept me engaged from the first minute. Though we already knew certain things weren't happen, I still kept hoping against all hope that they would. The heroine in this story is thoroughly sympathetic, and this was the first time I felt like I could really understand how somebody could get sucked into an abusive situation. The leaps between present and past also kept the pace really fast.
This book really stands out because the characters are so well written and interesting. The mystery itself was also quite absorbing, even if the murderer was especially stupid. As with most of my favorite mysteries, though, the actual case seems secondary to the detective's process, and that is true for me with this book. Cormorant Strike and Robin are both compelling characters, and I found myself as eager to know more about them as I was to know what happened with the case. I hope that J.K. Rowling or Robert Galbraith (or whatever she's going to call herself now that the secret's out) continues with these characters, since they deserve more stories.
As to the performance, Robert Glenister was the perfect choice. I am often bothered by the Narrator, especially when he or she is voicing the opposite gender, but I thought Glenister's voice blended seamlessly into the story and actually probably enhanced it in some ways. It was very natural and never obtrusive.
"Beautiful Ruins" is among my favorite audiobooks. It ranks in my top 10 of the audiobooks I've listened to thus far.
The story was very well-paced. The way Jess Walter switched back and forth from the past to the present kept up the intrigue and engaged me completely. I also loved the well-developed characters and their interactions with each other.
He has an excellent lyricism to his voice that makes you forget you're listening to a narrator at all. He also has an excellent command of Italian, so his accents were well done. A poor accent can take me right out of a story, but Ballerini's ability to shift effortlessly from woman to man, Italian to American, and young to old made his narration completely effortless.
I loved the early scenes set in Porto Vergonia, especially those featuring the American writer.
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