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Bodiccea

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  • 211
  • helpful votes
  • 1,004
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  • The Ghosts of Belfast

  • By: Stuart Neville
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,254
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,545
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,550

Fegan has been a "hard man" - an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by 12 ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. As he's working his way down the list, he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What an unexpected good read!

  • By DPM on 08-24-10

Great story with some warnings

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-04-19

First, Gerard Doyle is a WONDERFUL narrator. I love that he conveys so much without over-acting it. I could listen to him all day.

Second, the story is absolutely riveting and very well-written as so many others have said.

However, it truly is not for those who are sensitive to violence. I had to skip through a few parts. The violence is graphic and horrifying. I wouldn't say it is gratuitous as these are "hard men" but it doesn't lessen the impact, at least for me. There is a dog-fighting scene that I couldn't listen to as well as several incidences of men being questioned using torture.

If this is something you can handle or if you're willing to skip through, it's a great listen.

  • The Body in the Dales

  • A Yorkshire Murder Mystery
  • By: J. R. Ellis
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 439
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 377

A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? Then someone with vital information turns up dead....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fresh approach; great narration

  • By Panache on 08-12-18

Narration spoiled the book for me

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-13-19

A reasonably good tale. Lots of interesting stuff (for me) about caving in Yorkshire and I liked the main characters, although I thought the budding romance between two of them came about rather suddenly and with very little basis.

However, I cannot listen to any more books narrated by Michael Page. He has the most grating voice I've come across in the long run and, sadly, I think if he just relaxed his voice, he could be a great narrator. He injects emotion into the parts without taking it over the top BUT he does it with such a strangled, gargling and at times shrill sound, it's intolerable. I was so distracted by his narration, it ruined the story for me. I found myself constantly clearing my throat because I wanted HIM to, or to take a big gulp of water or a shot of brandy or SOMETHING.

  • Inspector French's Greatest Case

  • An Inspector French Mystery
  • By: Freeman Wills Crofts
  • Narrated by: Phil Fox
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 6

At the offices of the Hatton Garden diamond merchant, Duke and Peabody, the body of old Mr Gething is discovered beside a now empty safe. With multiple suspects, the robbery and murder is clearly the work of a master criminal and requires a master detective to solve it. Meticulous as ever, Inspector Joseph French of Scotland Yard embarks on an investigation that takes him from the streets of London to Holland, France and Spain and finally to a ship bound for South America.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I really tried to like it but....

  • By Bodiccea on 05-02-19

I really tried to like it but....

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-02-19

I love cosy mysteries. I enjoy observant detail in stories. I am not a person who only enjoys fast-paced novels. But there comes a point when drilling down to the minutiae of an investigation is just plain boring. Imagine, if you will, the author describing every. single. step. taken by the detective, every lead, whether productive or not, every conversation, every thought the detective has as they try to figure it all out. It slowly suffocated every bit of interest I had in following the story.

The bones are good but there is far, far too much flesh on this story. The author needed a brisk and efficient editor to go wild here.

  • The Aspern Papers

  • By: Henry James
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4

In this superb novella, a nameless narrator travels to Venice in search of Juliana Bordereau, the former lover of Jeffrey Aspern, a famous and now dead American poet. We witness the battle between a strong-willed woman who is determined to keep the secrets of a famous poet and an unscrupulous man who is equally determined to uncover them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely delightful

  • By Erez on 11-08-09

Meh.....

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-26-19

I think Grover Gardner is a WONDERFUL narrator. I also think Gardner is the wrong narrator for this story. It may be that I have associated his narration with too many other stories to give him a fair chance. His delivery is IDEAL for any story with a sardonic wit, a smart-arse tone or an ironic turn. But it just doesn't fit here. I kept waiting for the clever punchline.

As for the story itself....I found it uncompelling. I can enjoy a story strictly for its beautiful language but neither the plot nor the language nor the characters moved me.

  • Deadly Engagement

  • A Georgian Historical Mystery (Alec Halsey Mystery Book 1)
  • By: Lucinda Brant
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 716
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 655
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 653

It's 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London and the shocking news his estranged elder brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but become engaged to the woman he had hoped to marry. When Alec reluctantly attends a weekend house party to celebrate his brother's engagement he gets more than he bargained for when a lady's maid is murdered, the bride-to-be is attacked, and a guest is shot dead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well written but a little darker than I expected

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-17-15

Should be marketed as "bodice-ripper" not mystery

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-24-18

Dripping with lurid misogyny, debauchery, bad guys that are so bad as to be cartoonish, the stereotypical hero who is unbelievably handsome, honourable at the same time as being an irresistible rake. More than one situation of rape, attempted and otherwise....really, the entire story is about sex, past and present. Every male in the story ranges from mildly to horrifically repellent, the females all caricatures - the innocent bubblehead, the rampant slut, the stoic heroine, the ugly stepsister. There is very little mystery for those who are looking for one.

The narration is good - a little overacted for my taste but it suits the writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Designer

  • By: Marius Gabriel
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,004
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 892
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 890

In 1944, newly married Copper Reilly arrives in Paris soon after the liberation. While the city celebrates its freedom, she's stuck in the prison of an unhappy marriage. When her husband commits one betrayal too many, Copper demands a separation. Alone in Paris, she finds an unlikely new friend: an obscure, middle-aged designer from the back rooms of a decaying fashion house whose timid nature and reluctance for fame clash with the bold brilliance of his designs. His name is Christian Dior.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Copper Is A Feminist Before It Was Cool—1944!

  • By Linda on 10-18-17

Title is VERY misleading

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-18

Yes, Christian Dior does appear in the book but he is relegated to a supporting role. There are stretches of the book in which he does not appear at all.

All forgivable except that there are very few other likeable characters in the book. The heroine starts off being interesting and quickly descends into too precious precociousness, whining and constant vacillation between choices. Also, given her penchant for often acting stupidly and even dangerously, the way it just all works like like a fairytale in the end stretches credibility to the breaking point.

Probably the most unlikeable is the portrait of Suzy, a lesbian who is determined to "have" Copper. The character is repulsive, predatory, manipulative and sexually assaults Copper on more than one occasion. She is the same only worse as Copper's first husband, an physically beautiful and morally bankrupt man. But the moral bankruptcy doesn't make them interesting in this case, only irritating as hell.

Henri, on the other hand, is so very mature and saintly and perfect that, again, he is hard to believe. He's likeable alright but comes across as almost vapid in his imperturbability.

Points for setting the scene well, for the descriptions of the clothes, fabrics, colours - that was the best part of the book.

Narration was good and bad for me. Ms. Maarleveld is able to develop distinct voices for each characters and handles the male voice well but her Copper was given to a little too much breathless, shaky expression which made her all the more annoying to me.

  • Luck and Judgement

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 3
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,024
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,024

When a worker goes missing from a North Sea gas platform, there seem to be just two possible explanations - it was a tragic accident or a suicide. It does not take Smith and his detectives long, however, to discover that James Bell led a double life back onshore in Kings Lake, a life complicated enough to make him at least one dangerous enemy. Before the case can be unraveled, Smith must get a new team working together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of series so far...hope we can get the remaining books soon

  • By Mark Hancock on 03-22-17

I just LOVE DC Smith

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-28-18

This is one of my FAVOURITE series. It's got everything I enjoy - twists and turns to the plots, intelligent conversation, wonderful wit and believable characters. Here you'll find humour, thoughtfulness, reflection without descending into the maudlin and, above all, damned good story. Thank you, Peter Grainger and long may you write.

SPECIAL kudos to Gildart Jackson! His narration is absolutely bang-on. He is able to do female characters very well; differentiates well between all the characters and captures the irresistible DC Smith perfectly. He is one of the most delightful men I've "met" in a long time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Moving Target

  • A Lew Archer Novel
  • By: Ross Macdonald
  • Narrated by: Tom Parker
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 119

As private eye Lew Archer follows the clues from the canyon sanctuaries of the megarich to jazz joints where you can get beaten up between sets, The Moving Target blends sex, greed, misdirected love, and family hatred into an explosive crime novel.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A good, not great start to a terrific series.

  • By Richard on 01-03-12

Unbearable

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-18

So.....on the good side, Tom Parker does a nice job with the narration and Ross MacDonald does a reasonable job with the scene setting, a la Raymond Chandler.

On the other side, rarely have I read a novel that is so misogynist. I can only assume that Ross MacDonald has never actually known any women or, if he has, he is terribly scarred emotionally in some way. Every last interaction with any female in his story is dripping with disgust and revulsion on the part of the protagonist. Think I'm exaggerating? Try this:

"It seemed to me then that evil was a female quality, a poison that women secreted and transmitted to men like disease."

"....her small sweatered breasts, pointed like weapons, were half impatient promise, half gradual threat."

“I opened the door of her car and helped her in. Her breast leaned against my shoulder heavily. I moved back. I preferred a less complicated kind of pillow, stuffed with feathers, not memories and frustrations.”

"An ugly woman with a gun is a terrible thing."

There is another passage which I am not going to waste my time trying to find but it involves the protagonist looking a young woman up and down, grabbing her and kissing her like mad and, of course, her melting and retreating and behaving like a good little girl afterward.

It's all a bit cringe-worthy and no, it's not just because of the time period in which it was written - Chandler and Hammet never sunk to such silliness.

Maybe the future "Lew Archer" books improve but this one isn't worth the occasional pretty turn of phrase.

  • The Bullet

  • By: Mary Louise Kelly
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,402
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,116
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,119

Two words: the bullet. That's all it takes to shatter her life. Caroline Cashion is beautiful, intelligent, a professor of French literature. But in a split second, everything she's known is proved to be a lie. A single bullet, gracefully tapered at one end, is found lodged at the base of her skull. Caroline is stunned. It makes no sense: She has never been shot. She has no entry wound, no scar. Then, over the course of one awful evening, she learns the truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "took a chance and glad I did"

  • By Sara on 04-08-15

Of two minds about this book

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-28-18

What I liked: The premise for the story grabs you immediately. It's an interesting idea and leads you right into the story.
Caroline is also a bit different than a lot of female protagonists. She's confident and intelligent without being a showboat. She has some reserve. I like her family and their dynamic as well.
The story continues to ramp up and kept me interested for a long time until.....

What I didn't like: It starts to get a bit ridiculous. The last quarter or so of the book is, as others have said, quite unbelievable to me. It requires a complete turnaround of character. The protagonist/author acknowledges this, that experiencing disorienting situations about oneself can make us realize that we're not who we thought we were. I can appreciate the point but it's a bit too much of a stretch for me to believe. In addition, the love interest in the book was hard for me to believe - maybe for a young 20ish woman to fall for but a 37-year old? Caroline did not strike me as having the necessary appalling lack of common sense that it would require to ... well, no spoilers.

A couple of other things that I found annoying:
- I think it's a cheap delaying tactic to write dialogue having one person repeating what the other person says. For example, "So he wasn't there that night." "He wasn't there that night??" "No, he wasn't there that night." Okay, occasionally but just stop. It's boring and irritating. At the very least, switch it up by saying, "Really?" "Or when did you find that out?" instead of just R E P E A T I N G the phrase.
- Another drag-it-out-filler tactic....the protagonist phones the detective to tell him something that she discovered. The detective (and this happens ALL the time in books and movies!) interrupts her explanation with, "Hold on, hold on, just a minute. Let's start at the beginning and get this all straight." Um, NO. Sure, you might say that if someone is giving you all kinds of unrelated facts or jumping from one thing to another but if they're relating the information pretty clearly, doesn't it seem as though you'd want to say something more like, "Okay, go on" or "Wow, tell me more" instead of frustrating both the protagonist and the reader by asking them to repeat a bunch of stuff we already know?
- the narration was problematic for me at times. I felt Ms. Campbell captured the main character quite well but was less thrilled with the other characters. And she narrates very slowly which, again, I found frustrating at times.


However - I certainly did listen to the end and I still think it's a good story. I hope that Ms. Kelly tightens up her writing a bit and sticks with it because there is certainly more good here than not and I would take a chance on another book by her.

As for warnings - very mild sexual content, nothing even remotely graphic, almost no swearing at all and very little violence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Murder on a Mystery Tour

  • By: Marian Babson
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 67

Reggie and Midge, genteel husband and wife who live in what was the family's more or less stately home, are now the reluctant managers of Chortlesby Manor Hotel, an English country inn of no particular distinction. But even this transformation will not solve their financial problems. The possibility of succor comes instead in a transatlantic phone call from Midge's old classmate, Victoria, who is arranging "mystery tours" of the English countryside for American visitors and wants to use Chortlesby Manor as one of the locales of her staged murders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Traditional English Mystery

  • By Beatrice on 05-06-16

Tolerable story; DREADFUL narration

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-18

Any additional comments?

I think it may be a tolerable story but can't say for sure as the narration is so dreadful that I have a hard time getting past it. I think that Steven Crossley would be a good narrator for children's books but for an adult book, there is far too much over-acting and preciousness, making the whole thing cringe-making.

The story itself is absolutely rife with clichés but I knew it was going to be fluff - and there are times I am happy to enjoy a bit of fluff. It's nice if fluff can include a few interesting characters or some viable humour. Unfortunately, not so here. Almost every character is banal and irritating.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful