P D James has become a little formulaic over the years, but what a wonderful formula. Dalgleish is a classic character, and in this book he shows just a little more of his personality. The book itself would only warrant a 3 or a 4, but combined with Charles Keating's wonderfully evocative voice and diction, it gets my 5. This is a book to live in for a while, London and the characters come alive, and you are with them. Keating is the voice of Dalgleish for me and many others from now on.
The protagonist in this book is an intriguing and convincing character, involved in an interesting and compelling plot. Unfortunately the narrator simply murders the book. The written style is full of witty dialogue and irony, requiring an understated reading for its full affect. This narrator simply over acts (hams up) the dialogue, making quite enjoyable witty dialogue just plain irritating. Patrick Lawlor is now on my (very short) narrator blacklist.
I really wanted to like this book, but just could not. The plot and setup are quite promising, but fail to deliver. The characters are poorly constructed, not plausible (even within my highly flexible imagination), and do not develop in a three dimensional way. Net net I could neither relate to, or like any of the primary characters. The overly dramatic reading did not help. What a shame.
I enjoyed this book for its period character, and it is a good story with strong characters. Somehow, the overall effect did not reach its full potential. Very little detail of the times of DaVinci in the book, quite a trivial tale really. Was it Leonardo's swans to ride the coattails of the DaVinci Code?
I am a big fan of the reader of this book, and the book is a good story. However, the 'production' is just weird - odd sound effects throughout - doors banging, traffic, trains. The overall effect took quite a bit to get used to. I think it is still worth the listen, but what on earth were the producers thinking of?
Another fabulous book from Colin Dexter, read with wonderful skill and creativity. Unfortunately, only available in format 2, and this considerably degrades what should be a wonderful experience. Still worth listening, though.
as a frequent reader of mysteries, I have to say this was the worst I have ever heard or read. Having the author read the book was a big mistake, I am afraid that the reading is truly dreadful. The story however, is worse. Weak dialogue, poorly developed characters, and a plot that never rings true. Nothing to recommend this book. Avoid it at all costs
I enjoyed this book, and with its other two parts offers the opportunity to live in a colorful and well described world. In spite of this the books are surprisingly thin - the plot is just OK, and the character development is weak. The characters themselves offer plenty of scope for development, but somehow the author fails to achieve this.
This is a fun and interesting mystery. The star of this book is the absolutely brilliant reading by Barbara Rosenblatt. I have listened to some other of her readings, and this one is the best. A good author read by a great reader is the best combination!
This book is extraordinary. The plot is good, but unexceptional, solid, fast paced and secure. The characterisation and the creation of the environment of the south of this period is what sets the book apart. Reading books aloud is becoming an art form of its own, and the reader in this case creates the mood that is this book's strength
An excellent book. Tightly plotted, completely impossible to put down. Like Titanic, most will know the ending, but not how it influences the broad set of characters in this book. For many of us the subject of history was destroyed by teachers who only treated it as memorization. Historical fiction of this quality redresses the balance, showing us that historical figures are just like those alive today, but living in a different age with different capabilities, technologies, and resources.
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