©1997 Deborah Crombie; (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC
Deborah Crombie weaves a complex and subtle tale, with many characters, some of which I lost track of at times but later recovered. A multiple murder occurring over several years unfolds against the backdrop of Cambridge and the wonderful poetry of Rupert Brooke. My only complaint would be the characterization of a 12 year child as an adult. Otherwise, this is a wonderful book.
Listen to the sample, the narrator is fine - More than fine. She is good. The problem is she is new. You may start out a series and get attached to a narrator's voice and you feel let down when he/she is replaced. I felt that about the Bernie Gunther series because I adore John Lee's voice. This is a good book, kept me guessing and I enjoyed Ms. Sterlin's reading. It is harder, I feel, for a woman to do men's voices, but they can and do. Enjoy.
I'm listening to the Kincaid-James series in chronological order. This is the fifth of fourteen so far published, and, like each of its predecessors, it just gets better from book to book. At first I thought this one was rather slow, but it becomes riveting as the novel proceeds. I recommend it very highly, and if you have the time and money, I'd also recommend that your begin by listening to the books in order if you haven't done so already.
if you studied English and loved poetry, you're in luck with this book. The story centers around a poet and there are frequent quotations from the poems of Rupert Brook. I almost gave up on it during the first couple of chapters, because English was decidedly NOT my favorite class in school, and I abhor artsy poetry in particular. I stuck it out only because once I find an author I like, I always read his or her books in sequence.
I'm glad i didn't give up on this. The plot became more interesting as the story wore on. Around the middle of the book there is another death, and suddenly it became a page-turner. In addition, it contains essential background info concerning Kincaid's personal life, which I would have missed if I had given up and skipped to the next book in the series.
The author has mastered the disdainful upper-class drawl of the cultured English snob.
Listen to the sample narration - like me you might be intrigued by the initial lyricism of the reading - however then imagine the same dramatic and sepia tinted tones describing mundane tasks like answering the phone or a walk across a university lawn and you have the problem with Jenny Sterlin's narration in this audiobook - it lacks dramatic range and tends to be monotonous after the first 30 minutes. As for the plot, this is the first time I have listened to Deborah Crombie's work but I found the story tedious and explanation and understanding of the characters' actions was reliant on fortuitous discovery by the main characters rather than any careful thinking through of motive and evidence. In fact, the book seems to focus on romance far more than mystery, so - sample this book with caution if you like the mystery genre. It might of course be a much better read if you are already familiar with this author's style and are looking for a light romance focus in the storyline.
I always enjoy the books in this series, but I had to stop listening to this one and read it instead. The background narration was fine, as was Gemma's dialogue, but when reading dialogue for the other characters she gave them all the same exaggerated accent that reminded me of Katharine Hepburn at her comic best. It was almost impossible to follow a conversation with everybody sounding pretty much the same. Ms Sterlin's voice is not unpleasant, I just think she was the wrong choice for this book. With so many characters, the book needed a narrator who could give them distinctive voices.
I listened to 3 books in this series with Michael Deehy reading and really enjoyed the series. What a disappointment to listen to this insipid narration by Jenny Sterlin. It was awful, not worth even the 1 star I gave.
I enjoyed the first four books in this series very much, and was anticipating another great book, but I'm not sure about this one. Although I did like this story and characters, I had a really hard time getting past the voice of the narrator. I almost gave up listening until I found that if I double the speed on my ipod, it made Jenny Sterlin sound pretty normal. I think I will have to reserve judgement on the book until I get a copy from the library and read it myself.
Loved the first three books in the series, but the reader starting with this one is so bad that I can't stand to listen to more than the first 5 minutes. Wish I could return the book.
Certainly not any more books by Deborah Crombie unless the producers get rid of this reader and return to Michael Deehy or someone with a better voice and far better characterization.
The basic voice is unpleasant to listen to at all. There is no performance about it. The timbre of the voice is harsh and strident. There is no distinctions between or among characters. She has a terrible "male" voice, little differentiation from the female and no difference among the females. Also the candence is entirely soporific.
Other than great disappointment in the reader, never got far enough to determine anything about the story.
Is there any way to return a book?
Reading anything and everything...
I would listen again but prefer a different narrator.
Lots of twists and turn. This is a dark and very well written British crime story.
All the male characters sound incredibly pompous and arrogant. I had a hard time LIKING Duncan Kincaid because of the style of his voice. :-(
No but it did make me think.
Deborah Crombie is a fine writer. She ranks up there with Martha Grimes.
"Good book, spoiled by narrator"
Book is well written, characters well drawn, spoiled by narrator who sounds like Mariella frostrup on tranquillisers, and who frequently misplaces emphases. At least her slow speed .leaves the listener time to work out the meaning before she moves onto the next sentence. Will avoid this narrator in future.
"Great book - awful reader"
This was another excellent early story in this series. However the reader was awful. Slightly nasal and rather strangled vowels. Gemma sounded like Jamma. It has put me off any more by this reader.
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