Follow Inspector Alan Banks as he investigates Yorkshire's toughest crimes.
©2004 Peter Robinson; (P)2004 Recorded Books, Inc.
"Suspenseful and engrossing." (Orlando Sentinel)
"This one is entertaining and sophisticated, crime writing of a high order." (Washington Post)
"Lots of suspense...richly complex...satisfying and subtle." (Publishers Weekly)
When people write about the "Golden Age of Mystery" they're always referring to the 1930's. Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and all that. Well, as much as I enjoy those classic mysteries, I say the Golden Age of Mystery is right now. If you don't agree, just check out this first rate contemporary suspenser from Peter Robinson.
The audio version adds immeasurably to the experience. Reader Ron Keith brings the characters to life with a wide range of English accents that I, as a Midwesterner, couldn't have begun to conjure up. (No, not even with close study of Masterpiece Theater.)
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
I have read several Peter Robinson's DCI Banks books, and have enjoyed them all. In this novel, there are two mysteries which unravel side by side - the 35 year old disappearance of Banks` friend, and the current disappearance and murder of a teenage boy. This one was not my favourite, but it was definitely a well-crafted story, and introduced a new female detective - Michelle Hart - who works with Banks as he delves into his past.
This is the first Banks novel that I listened to (the others I read on my Kindle), and while the story was good, the narrator was dreadful, and it took me half the book to get past the bad narrator and enjoy the tale.
Why is Ron Keith a poor narrator? Let me list the ways :
-he sounds, throughout the novel, like he is telling a joke, and working up to the punchline. It feels like he is repressing laughter. So annoying.
-At several points, he just doesn't get the tone right. For example, in one part, the narrator says something like, "It wasn't me" in a loud voice, then says, "he whispered". Well - then whisper it!!!!
-Another problem is the accents. Nobody seems to have a different accent at all, and yet Banks says to Michelle, "I thought that's where you were from by your accent". Well, what accent, I wonder?? Hers and everyone else in the book speaks the same.
One thing, though - the narrator did do okay differentiating between the characters. So, that's good.
I was able to mostly get past the narrator and enjoy the story, but I'm sure I would have enjoyed it much more with a better narrator. I will make sure to never listen to another book narrated by Ron Keith.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
Interesting, well written, all the usual suspects, but it felt a little flat for me. I good listen and worth the credit just not my favorite Banks so far.
I liked the dual storyline, connected only by Banks' perceptions of each boy. How we often pick out traits in a person that we long to be or fear then idealize or condemn.
I would only recommend it in written form. The narrator totally distracted from the story.
He made Banks sound (to quote my Yorkshire Dad) A pompous pratt. Stilted nasal narration, and no resemblence to either a Yorkshire or southern dialect. The narration waa so annoying that it spolied the whole book.
I note the same narrator has been used in another couple of Peter Robinson's books. I shall buy them to read as I cannot listen to this narrator "murder" another good book.
I enjoy this series. I do not enjoy the reader. I would give the book and the series a 4+ and the reader a 2-. Average is 3, a very real compromise.
I looked forward to reading another Peter Robinson book after Friend of the Devil. Couldn't even give it a chance because the reader was so AWFUL. Weird intonations, nasal, bizarre.
The Inspector Bank's series is wonderful. I am listening to them in order. The last one I read was Cold Is the Grave and I am on to the next. Each one is great. I preferred the original reader to the current one. I am banking on Audible filling in the gaps which will start after the next 2.
I am in the car a lot. I love to listen to these books. Peter Robinson's characters are so well rounded and the stories are just riveting. This one was a little easier to figure out the mystery but that is not usually the case.
I am so hooked on Inspector Bank's mysteries!
At the four hour mark, I have to agree with the other reviewer(s) - the narrator?s nasal Scottish brogue and stilted, halting delivery are both annoying and distracting. And maybe I've been spoiled with faster-paced American mysteries by Jonathan Kellerman, John Sandford and Patricia Cornwell. By comparison, Close To Home creeps along at an arthritic snail's pace. Perhaps it will get better, but so far . . . pretty underwhelming.
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