What Ian Rankin is to Edinburgh David Mark is to the seaport of Hull in Northern England. This is the beginning of a dynamic, thrilling series featuring detective Sgt. Aector McAvoy, a psychologically-probing investigator who finds patterns and motives in seemingly unrelated deaths in his hardscrabble town.
©2012 David Mark (P)2012 Recorded Books
First question - why can't we see all the reviewer ratings like we used to? According to the page this recording is on there are between 5 and 8 reviews, yet I cannot see all of them. Why not an option on the drop down menu for "all" versus the options there now which I could care less about. I am writing this review because of the 1 negative and 1 positive we are allowed to see and feel that this book is well worth a listen. I really enjoyed the story and the narrator. The main character is described as a shy, uncommunicative type of guy and I think the reader really captured that. This protagonist is more of a real person versus the tough guy cops often depicted. The only character I felt was underdeveloped was his wife, who, although described as wonderful, is portrayed only as a sex object. She herself, in late term pregnancy, is also quite the minx. I doubt that a female writer would have created this character, but since she is not key to the story line, this weakness (clearly my view only) did not effect my overall appreciation of the book.
At last, another reliable mystery author! Modest Scottish detective solves crimes in Hull. He loves his wife. He is rightly suspicious of his collegues. Lots of atmosphere.
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
I love mysteries, especially those set in the British Isles. This book is a bit slow in parts (I didn't care for all of the scenes of domestic bliss) and I would I have like the minor characters to be more fleshed out. However, the story is gripping (once you make it past the introductory chapters.) I will definitely "read" the other entries in this series.
John Curless gives a great performance, making the characters distinct and voicing the women as well as the men.
There's a new cop in the English city of Hull. No sooner does he start his job than he views a 15 year old Somalian adopted girl being slash down in their central church. He has even seen the hooded slasher. But is he a serial killer? Seems that survivors of fatal incidents are being murdered. Thus starts this gruesome murder mystery with a unique plot for a murderer.
Perhaps some of the best parts are the development of the characters. Aector McAvoy is definitely an experienced cop, and rumors abound about his past with a dirty cop and a paid killer. Now he's supposed to be relegated to computer work because of his unique talents in finding information from a desk. His female supervisor tries to untangle his skills through his quiet personality. Aector is profoundly in love with his beautiful wife and young son. Through all this is the description of a dank and wet city of Hull.
This was a great start for a continuing mystery series. Aector is not reminiscent of any policeman that I've previously read about. I also appreciated the twisted motive that was also unique to this story. Definitely will read more from this author. Listened to this on Audible and really appreciated the dramatic affect, especially Aector's Scottish accent amongst the English.
I was looking forward to the beginning of a new series with a great new character to follow This ain't it. The main character, DS McAvoy, is nothing but a politically correct wuss who is supposedly crazy in love with his wife, but lusts after his female boss. Huh??? I've never read a book who's main character has less personality than McAvoy. And as a previous reviewer commented, the story could indeed do with a bit less domestic bliss. It added little to the plot and made me question just how much McAvoy loves his wife if he's conflicted about wether or not to kiss his overtly sexual boss.
I did a quick google search and found that the population of Scotland is over 5 1/4 million people. That said, could they not have found a narrator who can convincingly voice a Scottish character? Why do audiobook publisher's not check first to see if the chosen narrator can actually deliver a convincing accent? Why is it so hard to find narrators who can "speak Scots"? I've lost count of the times I have been disappointed in a narrator because of this. It really ruins the listening experience. Mr. Curless may be quite good at various English dialects, but he is AWFUL with the Scots accent. It was so bad that I couldn't wait for this book to end. This, coupled with the fact that his voice is SO gravelly, grated on my nerves so badly that I ended up listening on 3X speed just to get this book finished.
My advice is to save your credit. I won't be listening to anything else by this author or narrator.
The protagonist, Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy is such a craven, irredeemably moronic figure that one cannot even appreciate the genuinely intriguing elements of the mystery as they come together. And due to the fact that it is he who interacts with some genuinely interesting characters throughout the narrative, one cannot help but long for a different story, involving the latter, but absolutely lacking DS McAvoy.
Curless is exceptional; unfortunately, since he spends most of the story narrating from McAvoy's perspective, one must listen to the pusillanimous, weepy, submissive voice he uses for McAvoy for most of the audiobook.
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