"You'll never get me up in one of those things. They're absolutely lethal."
Seville, 1931. Six months after the loss of the British airship the R101, a German Zeppelin is coming in to land in Southern Spain.
Hilary Manningham-Butler is an MI5 operative eking out a pitiful existence on the Rock of Gibraltar. The offer of a job in the Americas provides a potential life line, but there are strings attached. First she must prove her mettle to her masters in London, and that means stepping on board the Richthofen before the airship leaves Seville.
A cache of secret documents has been stolen from Scotland Yard, and the files must be recovered if British security is not to be severely compromised. Hilary must put her life on the line to discover the identity of the thief. But as the airship makes its way across the Atlantic toward Brazil, it becomes clear that nobody on board is quite what they seem. And there is no guarantee that any of them will reach Rio de Janeiro alive....
©2016 Jack Treby (P)2016 Jack Treby
I really enjoyed this detective novel. I listened to the Audible version, and the narrator did a good job with pacing, excitement, and character differentiation. This is a second novel in a series, and though I didn't read the previous book, that did not hamper my enjoyment of this one. I actually plan to go back at some point and read the first one in the series. This book reminds me a bit of "The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire" series by Rod Duncan, of which I was a fan. Though "The Red Zeppelin" is not a steampunk story like the others, it has a similar premise. Overall, this book was fun, exciting, and definitely worth the read.
The Red Zeppelin by Jack Treby is an old fashioned detective novel set in 1931 with a sleuth who is a bit of a mystery herself. The story centers around MI5 operative Hilary Manningham-Butler who poses as a man so she can circulate in areas only where men are allowed (as well as be gainfully employed). Hilary is about to transition into a new position in the United States. But before she is allowed to go, she must first prove herself worthy by recovering secret documents that were stolen from Scotland Yard. All that is known is the documents are now on a German Zeppelin that is soon leaving Seville, Spain headed to Rio de Janeiro. Once Hilary arrives on board, the body count starts piling up, including a possible attempt on Hilary's own life.
The Red Zeppelin is cleverly written, with a few very good plot twists. I had no idea who was the thief and murderer until the big reveal. There are also several great secondary characters, Hilary's butler being one of them. Their relationship is similar to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, with the sidekick doing at least half of the "heavy lifting," but the "star" getting all the credit.
I listened to the Audible version of the story narrated by Angela Dawe who did a great job. She used a variety of accents and gave each character their own distinct voice. She was also able to switch between characters with ease, which helped with the natural flow and pace of the story. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.
Angela Dawe's reading brings this book to life. Hilary Manningham-Butler lives her life as a man, working as an undercover agent. Hilary and her manservant investigate the possible theft of state secrets while traveling on a zeppelin between Spain and South America. The plot is a good balance between comic fun and well-plotted intrigue.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
Having said that, I liked the book enough to purchase the first book in the series and am hoping for a third book.
The continuing travails of Hilary Manningham-Butler, the most annoying protagonist ever. Though this book is self-contained, and it's not necessary to read the first book first, Hilary's character is slightly less annoying if you know why he's (she's) suffering the inconveniences set upon him (her) in this installment. (The first book is much better constructed too.) Experienced mystery readers will rumble the villain smartish, and some players in the drama are cardboard stereotypes, but I did keep listening to the end, primarily because of Angela Dawe's top drawer performance. Emotional import, pace, accents, timbre, pitch, etc, etc; here is excellence in audio book performance. The plot of The Red Zeppelin is thin, and motivations are vague or unexplained or obvious. The final jeopardy scene is so implausible that it must be a not-funny joke on the reader. But really, listen yourself to decide if you've ever met a more annoying protagonist.
I love to read and working on my first book. Maybe it will be on Audible someday.
I have to admit, I really enjoyed listening to this short mystery. It took me several days due to other commitments. I didn't have much time to get on the computer this week, and when I was in bed I had three other books to read, two of them dead tree books, but overall it was very enjoyable. I like that it kept me guessing right up until the end. There were a few surprise twists that I was not expecting. That was good.
I enjoyed the narrator, but if I had one complaint it was that she did not do male voices that well. I would have thought that would have been a necessity since the main character was supposed to be a male. Oops! Did I give something away? Probably not since this is actually book two in a series. If you have read book one you would know that our protagonist masquerades as male, but is, in fact, a woman. Still there were other characters that were actually male, and she did not do them justice either. I don't think she can do an Irish accent either because early in the book there is a character that the author describes as Irish, yet Dawe doesn't even try to do an Irish accent for him. Her German accent is pretty good, though, at least inasmuch as it sounded like what I thought it should have sounded like.
I will give this one 4 stars for the story, 4 stars for the narrator and 4 stars overall.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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