Chesapeake, OH, United States | Member Since 2012
Originally, I wrote this review for the Vine program on Amazon. So I didn't pay for the book. Then I ran down a copy of the CD audio book through a friend. I fell in like with the narrator. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith has a fantastic voice for this book-- actually he has a lovely voice for reading anything. I cannot imagine Peter Grant being read by any other narrator. He also does a great job with the other characters. I purchased this from audible because I have not actually paid for a copy of this book until now and because I wanted Audible to keep bringing good audio books like this to the US.
Ok, ignore any references to grown up Harry Potter. Yes, the hero does end up apprenticed to a wizard but that's where the resemblance ends. Peter Grant starts as a probationary constable in the London Metropolitan Police. His father is a drunken jazz musician while his mother cleans offices for a living. Peter wants to become a detective on the murder squad. However, Peter is not the ideal candidate for any of the high profile squads. He is though the ideal candidate for one very obscure squad with a total membership of 2, counting Peter.
Things I liked-- Aaronovitch writes about a multicultural London. Peter is mixed race and writes about his experiences with a serio-comic turn that I really like. He's smart, quick thinking and funny so reading from his viewpoint is a pleasant. Dark humor punctuates bouts of well described action.
The book actually comes across as a police procedural, even as Peter deals with issues like a dispute between Father Thames and Mother Thames-- which gives the book it's British title, Rivers of London. I like that title better any way..
The next one is available on Audible already. I hope other readers enjoy this book as much as I have.
A wealthy newspaper owner is planning and financing an expedition to an Island off northern Scotland where a colony founded by the captain of a slave trader mysteriously disappeared leaving abandoned buildings. The disappearance had caused much interest and excitement in Great Britain, especially as subsequent attempts to find out what happened had resulted in no answers.
The beginning was intriguing with the discovery of a mysterious video and some chills.
It's a good set up but Cottam has too many characters, most of whom are stereotypes. Although he does ultimately try to make these 2 dimensional characters more well rounded, it's too little too late for this reader. Characters appeared only to be done away with without much reason at all.
I did finish it, but my reaction to it was along the lines of "That's IT???" Nothing is particularly surprising in the conclusion, which also felt rushed. It was like he wrote himself into a corner and couldn't figure out how to get out.
However, the narrator is pretty good and did his best to bring the story to life.
I don't think I know how to review these books any more. This one is number 16 in the Foreigner series. I had started at the beginning about 25 years ago (Cherryh has been one of my favorite authors since I picked up her first novel, The Gates of Ivrel nearly 40 years ago). If I hadn't started at the beginning how confused would I be trying to put together the world of the Atevi and the world of diplomat/translator Bren Cameron? Or maybe I wouldn't have been confused, maybe I just enjoy the depth of the story because I did start at the beginning.
Anyway, this one is better than the last sequence which had the feel of being a bridge between major parts of the story. Cajieri's young human friends have gone back to the station and it seems that Bren is going to get some work done now that certain plot lines in flux seem to have settled down. However, an extraordinary event sends the story off in another direction.
Daniel Thomas May is still doing an excellent job of narrating the story. Some of the Atevi words are not quite what I imagined when reading the books, but I am reconciled. Great to have all of the books with a single very competent narrator.
Second in the Johannes Cabal series. This is a new narrator, the previous one who made Johannes Cabal Necromancer a five star listen, unfortunately died of septicemia. However, I cannot find anything to criticize about Robin Sachs, the new narrator.
The book opens with Cabal, the Necromancer, the prisoner in a dungeon. Everyone, including Johannes Cabal, is expecting his execution, but instead, his captors have another plan.
Those who know Cabal know that he will not take execution lying down, and so he sets out to throw a spanner in the political works and then take off on the maiden voyage of the Princess Hortense. Shortly into the voyage a fellow passenger disappears. Then a murder occurs in a locked room. Cabal who does not have a great deal of patience with his fellow passengers, finds himself, much against his worse judgment, pulled into an investigation of what is happening on board.
Darkly funny, I enjoyed Cabal's machinations almost as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series.
I've listened to the three prior DI Mark Tartaglia books. I think the last one was released in 2011. I immediately bought the current book when I saw it listed on Audible. However, I was a bit disappointed in this police procedural.
DI Mark Tartaglia is awoken by the news that there was a murder in a upscale hotel, a hotel where he has just engaged in a one night stand. I'm not sure why that is even brought into the book because it shortly becomes clear that his sexual escapade has nothing to do with the murder.
Complications though ensure that Tartaglia's group instead are set to investigate the body of a man found in a burning car rather than the body at the hotel.
My frustration with this book had a lot to do with the plotting. Someone would be interrogating a witness and then would stop one question short-- the question that would have arose naturally from the previous responses. I might have forgiven this once, but it began to look like the author's method of sustaining suspense. Instead it points the reader toward the resolution.
I'm also not particularly fond of the narrator. He has read all of the Elena Forbes books and while I don't think his performance detracts from the books, I don't think it contributes to it either.
I actually put this book down in the middle because I had convinced myself that I knew What was going to happen. I picked it up again because it was just the right length for a cold winter's drive. I was wrong. Casey came up with an interesting plot that I enjoyed listening to.
Cops are being killed. The unit that Maeve Kerrigan works in is brought in to deal with this unthinkable series of deaths.
I don't want to give anything away except to say expect the unexpected.
The narrator as usual is excellent.
This is the second of the books in this series, I'm tempted to call it the Bobby Maiden series but the most interesting character in my opinion is Cindy Mars-Lewis, the cross dressing shaman who played a significant part in Cold Calling and will, according to the advance publicity, have a role in Night After Night.
Cindy is now working as a host on a national lottery show is snarky about the winners and makes some off the cuff comments about the fates of the winners that appear to come true. This brings him under media fire-- no light thing in the UK.
Meanwhile DI Bobby Maiden is being considered for promotion since his old boss was forced in retirement. But it appears that he is being framed for the death of a low level criminal. Grayle Underhill reappears as a reporter for, a magazine for those interested in occult experiences run by a grumpy retired school teacher.
Sean Barrett does the narration and he has thankfully toned down the New Jersey accent he gave Grayle in the first book-- seriously, she had been raised as the daughter of an academic with an international reputation who had lived and worked in New York before coming to England in search of her missing archaeologist sister. When he is on his own ground though with Welsh and English accents he is excellent and as the best narrators do, adds to the experience of the listener.
I've bought this book in paperback and Kindle so I knew what to expect when I started listening to it, but it kept me enthralled for most of New Years Day.
So, anyone who is listening, can we now have The Man in the Moss by Rickman in audio form soon please?
Pascha, the ghost of a deceased car thief who did not quite make it to the age of 25 before he was murdered, finds himself involved in another case. A young teacher has been kidnapped, the four children in her charge left in comas and Pascha seems to be the only one who cares. Martin, the coroner, is involved with his personal life leaving Pascha in a bit of a bind because he is the only living person that Pascha can communicate with directly.
Not quite the best but still good enough to be quite entertaining. Actually I picked up a copy of the paperback through Vine, then I bought the Kindle download and ended up listening to the Audio version, which I recommend as the best version. Read by MacLeod Andrews who as far as I am concerned is the voice of Pascha, it has good production values and and a nice snarky edge.
The beginning of this book is the 20 year old cold case of the first girlfriend of DC Maeve Kerrigan's obnoxious superior,DI Josh Derwent. Maeve is a character I know well from the previous three books, but Josh is given an interesting background. These characters are all wonderfully tough and interesting. I wouldn't want to work with them but I certainly enjoy reading about them.
Two women have been murdered in their apartments. There were similarities between the murders which suggested that one man was involved, a man that they voluntarily allowed into their homes. Maeve becomes involved into the investigation into the murders, trapped between her charismatic, brilliant boss, the surprisingly sympathetic (at times) Dewent and the abrasive female DI, who is Dewent's senior.
I was almost becoming afraid that Audible was not picking up this type of police procedural, so it was with relief that I found myself so wrapped up in listening to this one. It did not keep me up all night, but I did become annoyed when I had to shut my audio off and attend to someone else.
High marks for the narrator as well. All in all an enjoyable package for those who enjoy a bit of grit with their suspense.
Scott McGarth, a journalist on the downside of his career, becomes obsessed with the death of the daughter of a cult film maker, Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn't been seen in public for more than thirty years.
This is a book with wheels within wheels. Information frequently is proven to be unreliable. Characters are not what they seem. McGarth's own life spins out of control. I really had a hard time putting the book down.
It probably could have been tightened up, it's a bit long and saggy in the final quarter, but I think it is still worth the read. I think the narrator added to the experience.
Thomas De Quincey, the author of essays Confessions of an English Opium Eater and On Murder Considered As One of the Fine Arts (among others), is one of the main characters in this historical mystery. His youngest daughter, Emily, is another. Late in his career De Quincey and his daughter are living in Edinburgh. He is impecunious and trying to recoup his fortunes by coming to London and doing what is essentially a book tour in which he would go to bookstores and sign copies of his latest book.
Meanwhile a murder has occurred-- in fact several murders. And they appear to be copycats of the famous1811 Ratcliff Highway Murders. These particularly bloody murders inspired De Quincey's essay on Murder. And it seems that De Quincey is being framed for these latter murders.
The author has done quite a good job in recreating the feel of the mid Victorian era. The plot was a bit sloppy in places, but I still thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. The narrator was quite good as well. I particularly enjoyed the character of Emily De Quincey.
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