I wont critique this book....I leave that to others who are more erudite than I. But do snuggle down with an Elly Griffiths mystery and prepare to be awake all night, wanting to listen all the way to the end. The Crossing Places is the first book of the Ruth Galloway series... listen to them in order.
I do want to recommend "cruising" around the Audible website. Elly Griffiths was a happy discovery for me, along with Kate Atkinson, Louise Penny and Deborah Crombie, authors I hadn't previously read but who are now numbered among my favorite contemporary mystery writers.
Oh, good grief, I almost forgot Peter May...The Black House and The Lewis Man were just outstanding and I'm so disappointed that Audible doesn't have the US publishing rights for the third book, The Chessmen. Nevertheless, whether you listen or read, this is such a good trilogy... a cut above his other books, which are lighter in tone.
This book is my least favorite of the series. It takes an inordinate amount of time to get to the actual plot line and the cross country train trip is just boring.
The narration is driving me around the bend. Was there no producer to notice that the sheriff sounds like he's from a Wild West show? He's in Southern California! I realize I'm in the minority with my criticism of Katherine Kellgren ...while I do get a kick out of her voicing of Queenie, her "posh" characterizations have always seemed overdone to me. But the sheriff and the Mexicans? I'm not sure I can finish listening....it's that annoying.
I know I sound like an old curmudgeon and it's hard to tell that I am actually a Rhys Bowen fan and have been since her Evan Evans series (my favorite). This book, and especially the reading, just didn't do it for me.
I've enjoyed and looked forward to Susan Hill's previous books in the Simon Serrailler series but this one is heavy handed and downright sloppy. The story is all over the map...dementia, murder, euthanasia, Simon Serrailler's would-be love life, Cat's struggle with single parenthood, the Serrailler family at odds with one another....Lions and Tigers and Boring, oh my! I feel as though I was beaten over the head with the assisted suicide issue which then didn't contribute at all to the story line, unless I feel asleep and missed something. Simon is so one dimensional that I didn't give a hoot about his romance, which seems as obviously doomed as the best friend in a war movie. And the ending?! Plot lines are left dangling like so many participles. After finishing this I have more questions than answers but don't care enough to want the threads to be picked up in the next book. Let's just put this baby to bed and move on.
I usually appreciate Steven Pacey's narration but his voicing of Rachel completely lacks spirit. and personality. To give him his due, her character is so vapid that perhaps he had no choice.
If you're new to Susan Hill, I recommend reading all the earlier books in this series...give this one a pass.
Even though many of the regular characters are missing from this story, it is my favorite of the Richard Jury series available on Audible and I am anxiously awaiting the addition of more titles. One of my favorite mystery writers, Martha Grimes continues to add new cast members and develop their relationships as the series progresses. I particularly appreciate her characterizations of self sufficient children in books 2 and 3. Sorry to say Aunt Agatha is not a continuing presence in this story and I missed her but she will return! Years ago I owned the series on audio cassettes, read by Tim Curry, and I personally prefer Steve West's less stilted narration
This book just knocks my socks off. It is one of my favorite Irving novels and that's saying quite a bit. If you're new to John Irving you might want to start with Hotel New Hampshire or Garp but do get around to this one.
There are many who are superb at writing reviews and I, unfortunately , am not one of them. I just want to advise that you please not be put off be the narration, which may seem annoying at first listen: it is perfect! Joe Barrett reading Owen Meany sets the bar as high as it can be.
Aside from a very few hours' sleep I listened to this book straight through, determining my activities by my ability to listen and work at the same time. This is more than just a mystery and I wish I could find the words to describe the powerful pull of this book. I'm just sorry I didnt read Tana French earlier. The moment I finished this book I ordered the next two books in the Dublin Murder squad series.
The narrator is terrific...his narration of the interrogation of one particular suspect is so spot on that I was just stunned! I should add that his vocal inflections for one particular character did confirm for me "whodunit". I don't know that everyone would have that response and I certainly won't let it keep me from listening to him again.... with this one book he's already found a place on my list of favorite readers.
The narration was dreadful. When she spoke in a normal voice she was fine but her "upper class" voices for both sexes were just absurd and would have been laughable if they weren't so annoying.
I kept wishing I were reading it instead of listening to it. Probably a good beach read.
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