No. I wouldn't even listen to another book by Cottam if it was given to me for free. David Rintoul was serviceable, although a bit too grandfatherly sounding to generate any excitement. To be fair, the material he was working with was execrable.
It is billed as a sort of supernatural mystery, so one hopes for some tension, some horror, a little bit of that fear that good horror gives, and a lot of the curiosity that drives most mysteries forward. The narrative starts off slow, and at first I kept listening in the hopes that the interesting stuff would be right around the corner. By the end, I was listening only to see if there was ANY payoff, whatsoever, for the time I had invested. Maybe the ending would be worth the wait? It was not. The horror was not horrifying. They mystery was not terribly mysterious. I have the feeling this is a very old manuscript that was pulled out of someone's slush pile, and updated to add a few modern day references. It feels like something written in the 70s. Shame on Audible for promoting this!
Too dry and too RP for this particular book. He might as well have been reading the OED.
Profound disappointment that Audible seems to have been pushing this title for some time now. It's really, really awful.
I'll be using my satisfaction guarantee on this one. I've only used it once before. I feel it shouldn't be abused. But if ever a book deserved to be returned for a refund, this one is it.
I tried to give this the benefit of the doubt. The performance was so bad that I just couldn't listen anymore. I tried to imagine whether the story would have been improved with a better reader, and it's possible, but I suspect that bad reading simply made a bad book worse. Confession: I only made it through the first two hours before bailing. This book was marketed as being in the vein of Stieg Larsson, and clearly the publishers were trying to catch the Nordic Noir wave. I hate when publishers treat their consumers as if they were idiots. We're buying *books* not shiny, sparkly things. At some point, we will discover that you're lying to us.
What I managed to absorb of the story was trite and hackneyed. It's as if the authors decided to write something that could be marketed as Nordic Noir, and followed a very precise formula to achieve that. Gruff, middle-aged, misanthropic detective, dealing with grief, loss or depression? Check. Detective resists new technology and clings to the past? Check. Evil doers are from Eastern Europe? Check. Character who presents stark contrast between placid home life in Scandinavian socialist paradise, and anarchic, gritty underworld professional life? Check.
Feh. After two hours of listening there was not a single character about whose fate I had any interest; and I still wasn't sure what the central mystery was even though there was a murder at the start.
There are very few readers to whom I refuse to listen. In fact, until now, there was only one - John Lee. Christopher Lane makes two. Why on earth would you give the characters slight, vaguely Germanic accents when they are speaking? They're speaking their own language in their own country! They don't hear each other as having accents. Why do we need ot hear them as having accents? GAH. Furthermore, why would you make them sound like such repulsive people? The "voicing" of the lead detective was so terse, abrupt and grumbled that it was annoying. This reading sounds like something out of the bad old days of audiobooks - very 70s. A reader should either avoid acting and inflection and read neutrally, OR, add tone and inflection and "voices" if competent to do so. Christopher Lane is not competent to do so.
Misleading marketing of bad book with truly awful performance. I rarely take the time to write out a full review. This might actually be my first. It was that bad.
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