In the isolated villages in the north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the chimney sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until the day that Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager's fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn't believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete's body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. It's up to Hamish to discover who's responsible for the dirty deed--and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.
©2011 Marion Chesney (P)2011 AudioGo
Ms. Chesney paints a very insightful portrait of human nature in this episode of the perils of Hamish Macbeth. Even Hamish is colored with the flaws of selfishness as he seeks to unravel the mystery of why a retired army officer is murdered and stuffed up a chimney. In fact, just about every character in this landscape of life in the isolated villages of northern Scotland is colored with some shade of flawed nature, ranging from fearfulness to an egotistical and insane pride that destroys the lives of at least twelve people and deeply affects the rest of those pictured. And what is the focus of all this trouble; stolen money and the deceitful promise of power and wealth. In the end it tells with a smell that can't be covered. If you're a student of human nature you will find in this painting a depth worth viewing.
I've read a lot of the Hamish Macbeth books, even seen the British TV series, and this one is one of the best I've read. There was little that could be called "typical" about it. There were several surprises along the way. I can't tell you about them, that would spoil it! How about letting you know that every body gets what's coming to them, but in most uncommon ways!
I love all the Books in this Series. But for some reason this one was freezing up my IPod. And everytime at the same Spots in the Story. I'm going to delete the book from my computer and IPod and downloading it again. I'm hoping this will fix the Issues. This is the first time this happenend with any books from Audible.
former nuclear scientist
First, the narrator. Sounds like a proper English gentleman. Pleasant voice that barely changes modulation no matter what is going on in the book. Plus, his inflection falls at the end of every sentence, as if even he is bored with what he is reading. When he switches from narration (English) to speaking (Scottish, apparently two different dialects, and/or English), his accents get sloppy.
The story is formulaic and seems as if it was written by a person with an outline, but not much imagination. There is some red-haired cop hero that no one at HQ takes seriously. There are murders, including of the chimney sweep (who was just there to move the story forward one pace and is quickly forgotten). Extremely unpleasant characters are introduced solely to get comeuppance. The characters are confusing and inconstant: first one falls in love with a woman, wooing her for months, loses her, gets her back, then suddenly starts ignoring her and drinking too much. He's there just so the woman can dump him, presumably so readers can cheer that she has grown a spine.
There are random side stories, I suppose because this is a series and the author wanted to give updates on favorite characters. But they are a distraction. A love interest shows up, but then the cop decides "eh." Then another love interest shows up, and the cop persuades her to do something so ridiculous and out of character for everybody that I actually wanted to spit.
The story is stupid. The characters are inconsistent and one-dimensional. The mystery is hardly a mystery. This was a total waste of my time.
I hope to read all the Death of:::books by MCBeaton. I like being in Loh Dub with all the villagers..Graeme Malcolm is the perfect reader.
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