First - I'll say that this is an adequate mystery, not great, but ok. I liked the main character but the supporting characters were weak. The overa..Show More »ll story was fine - interesting enough but not brilliant. Unfortunately, what really killed this story for me was truly dreadful narration. I've been able to tolerate a wide range of narrators and get used to voices that are less than ideal. If this narrator had simply read the story it would have been acceptable. However, she tried to do different voices for the characters and her attempts to do so were painfully bad. She tried to use accents that fell far short of authentic. Several of the character voices were like grating fingernails on a chalkboard they were so bad. The story itself would sound fine and then she would switch to one of the phony accents and my irritation would rise immediately. I had to listen to the book in bits and pieces because I couldn't tolerate the narrator for very long. I've listened to a lot of audio books and never found a narrator that I would avoid before now - but I won't listen to anything read by this narrator again!
This book is set in 1997, which could have been made clearer at the beginning. I kept wandering why no one, not even the police, had a cell phone and..Show More » why there was smoke in enclosed work areas such a pubs and police stations, not to mention a reference to an IRA bombing in the recent past. Come to think of it, I had a Motorola flip phone in 1997 so I still don't know why at least the police didn't have them.
Anyway a Constable of the RMCP, Danutia Dranchuk is seconded to the Peak district in the United Kingdom to learn about community policing. She attends the funeral of the mother of a friend she met in Canada when investigating another murder and learns that her friend has some concerns about whether his mother's death had been caused by some action or inaction of someone in the village. He wants her to take a look at some scrapbooks his mother had kept to try to help him figure out what was going on. There's a Well Dressing going on and a dispute between the rather conservative Vicar and some members of a alternative healing/WICCA group.
There's quite a bit of confusion as Danutia and her friend Arthur keep missing opportunities to look at the scrap books together until about 40% in on the Kindle book when Danutia and Arthur are involved in a car wreck. Arthur had also been a jerk about wearing a seatbelt and ends up with injuries. Danutia has the car examined and learns that the brake line was cut causing the accident.
Meanwhile there is some ritual sheep mutilations and a few break-ins with stolen spoons and Toby Jugs.
There's a bit of excitement toward the end, but the conclusion is a bit weak. I didn't particularly care for the characters either.
The narrator wasn't horrible but I think I have run into her before. She does not do children well, giving the younger boy some sort of pinched, lispy annoying voice.
AND POSSIBLE SPOILER---
DON'T READ BELOW THIS LINE IF YOU CARE
The is also one of my least favorite tropes in this book-- A character gets a bit tipsy and has unprotected sex and then thinks she has the flu because she is throwing up so often and even the thought of food makes her feel ill. Then after she figures it out every time she does anything active she worries about losing the baby.
And the take away from the book? Don't force your child to do necropsies, it can turn him or her into a psychopath.