From the beginning this is a game for the reader to discover who is the killer. In fact, it is a self described primer for a television series upcomin..Show More »g on ABC. I give it 2 stars simply for keeping me guessing till the end.
Another reason for 2 stars is the five star performance of actor Gildart Jackson. I am confident his reading made me feel like I was listening to something worthwhile. Sadly this was not the case.
The story begins with the introduction to Jeeves. He is of all things a modern day butler. He is lured into employment by money and a mysterious, anonomous employer who answers to the name of X. However, no sooner does he arrive on the California estate, than he discovers he is imprisoned along with the entire staff.
Of course he is to direct 10 duped guests in a deadly game of whodunit? Nine of the guests think they've won a contest where they will spend a week living like a billionaire. They are told immediately the killer is one of the 10 guests. Only they are not to discover who did it, but only how the murder was accomplished. Those who come to false conclusions are slated to die next. Thus, one by one each guest is murdered in the most gruesome and imaginative way.
The story is simply a made for TV farce. There is no character building. We know almost nothing about Jeeves in the introduction and though the story revolves around him, we learn little else. The guests are truly innocent people who get slaughtered for no reason whatsoever. In the end we learn nothing at all about the killer. Nothing about his/her background or why he/she chose his/her victims or even why play the game at all.
So here is a story with no hero, weak characters, a game instead of a plot, and full of innocent people being murdered in preposterous ways. It's a setup for a weekly show full of guest stars much like Fantasy Island or Love Boat. Or maybe it will be set up like Lost and 24. Regardless, this book is more like a TV show than literature.
STORY (murder mystery) - Giles, a butler, reluctantly must host a murder mystery game on a small Caribbean island. There are 10 co-workers who have ..Show More »been "rewarded" by being trapped for a week at the luxury resort where Giles works. Someone is killed each day, and the survivors must compete with each other to solve each murder. They are allowed to visit either the murder scene, the morgue or the last place the deceased was seen alive. Some work alone, and others are trusting enough to form alliances. The winner may rest assured he has been spared from becoming the next victim.
The book is short (about 6 hours) and moves quickly. Since there are multiple murders, the riddles and clues are not very detailed. The murders are pretty grotesque, but the author moves quickly to the participants trying to solve the murder and doesn't dwell on the gory details. I'm pretty squeamish, and I was okay listening to this book. The murderer is revealed in the end, and the book comes to a satisfactory conclusion.
PERFORMANCE - The narrator had an awesome "butler voice." It was very low with an English accent, and pompous enough to sound like the butlers you see on TV. He made a pretty good attempt at giving the characters different voices and even did a halfway decent teenaged girl.
OVERALL - (actual rating 3.5) Can't go wrong with this freebie. There's another called Murder in Mystery Manor, which I plan to hear as well. There's no cursing and only slight references to sex, but you must be prepared for some brief grisly descriptions. It's definitely not a high-quality listen, but I still found it entertaining. Check it out.