Nestled in the hills of the Cotswolds, the village of Duntisbourne Abbots is a well-kept secret. When Joel Jennison is found slaughtered in the same field where his brother’s corpse had lain ten weeks previously, a whole community falls under suspicion. Was it a family feud? An act of revenge? As a forty-something woman with no previous experience of detective work, Thea Osborne knows she shouldn’t be getting involved but as she calls on her neighbours to get some answers, she uncovers more tragedy and intrigue that she thought possible behind the chocolate-box façade of a peaceful Gloucestershire village.
©2004 Rebecca Tope (P)2005 Soundings
I work to keep my reviews free of plot spoilers. I hate reviews that tell you the whole story. That said, I do love reading reviews!
First, I liked the book-- it had the English police detectives, pretty country village with its secrets and twists and turns required for a mystery. It kept me engaged and in the last few hours took on an almost creepy atmosphere. The author explores pain--all types--in what is essentially a running monologue. It can be a little saddening with all the discussion of loss, coping or coping in unusual ways in many cases,
The narration was a slight disappointment as the reader had a clipped style and just read the book with almost no attempt to alter voices with each character. I have gotten to expect the acting out of the book many narrators do so beautifully on audible. It is very entertaining to have the characters have their own voices. There were only two or three characters that I remotely cared about in the story and I wonder if the reading in voices would have changed that. It was all about the main character and everything in the storyline revolved around her--what she thought and did. Not a bad thing just limited to one person's point of view--first person narrative--not a multi character exploration. I guess that is where the mystery comes in as the story unfolds based on what one person perceives, ponders, and then in the end solves.
Given the chance I would listen again and I didn't feel that I had wasted a credit. If you like British crime/mystery stories and don't mind the lack of varied voices it's worth a try.
If you like hard-boiled, gritty, fast-paced, violent thrillers, DO NOT buy this book. It is a traditional English cozy set in the Cotswolds and full of both typical and quirky English characters. Just the sort of book I love to read or listen to.
I liked the main character and amateur sleuth, Thea Osbourne, right from the start. Her adventure begins when she takes on a house-sitting job complete with dogs and sheep to look after. Following an unexpected scream in the night, an even more unexpected body turns up in the little pond on the property.
There were several scenes that were laugh out loud funny for me, including all the rules the owner writes down for poor Thea to follow.
The reading was well done.
I recommend this book and this reading to anyone who loves a more laid-back and less in your face mystery.
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