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False Pretenses  By  cover art

False Pretenses

By: Catherine Coulter
Narrated by: Renee Raudman,Paul Costanzo
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Publisher's Summary

Meet Elizabeth Carleton, a fascinating woman who is not only a famous concert pianist, but is also married to a wealthy international business tycoon, Timothy Carleton. She is the envy of all until her perfect life falls apart literally in a heartbeat: Timothy Carleton is stabbed in the chest with an ice pick and Elizabeth is accused of his murder. Things rapidly go from bad to worse until a surprise witness appears to give her an airtight alibi. The jury finds her not guilty. The only thing is: She’s never met the man who testified on her behalf. What does he want? There is also her late husband’s family, who are out to destroy her. On top of everything else, Elizabeth is expected to take over the financial empire her husband left behind. Then three men suddenly appear in her life. Can she trust any of them? Or is one of them a murderer?

©2000 Catherine Coulter (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about False Pretenses

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    28
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Story
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not her best work

the plot was incredibly predictable; the narrator was monotone and sounded like he was reading right out of the book with absolutely no affectation in his voice.
Worst narrative I've ever heard.

5 people found this helpful

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

False Interpretation

Would you try another book from Catherine Coulter and/or Renee Raudman and Paul Costanzo ?

I like the author's storyline, however, it was ruined by the rote, meaningless interpretation of feelings by Paul Costanzo. His reading did not give depth to the characters as an audio book should.

What did you like best about this story?

I expected the twist to have another twist, but it delivered a good ending anyways. In the end, good triumphs over evil.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The female role was executed well. The male role left MUCH to be desired.

Any additional comments?

While the story was very good, I personally don't need nor care for explicit details between the escapades of the characters. It really adds NOTHING to the story. A warning about such material in the synopsis would be helpful.

3 people found this helpful

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

What a let down

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The only people that might enjoy this book are people that enjoy stereotype plots and low-level narrators.

What was most disappointing about Catherine Coulter’s story?

The plot. Totally predictible. The characters - superficial.

Would you be willing to try another one of Renee Raudman and Paul Costanzo ’s performances?

never. The male narrarator sounded like a 1950's radio announcer reading lines. Costanzo's lack of connection to the emotions of the characters in their situations was even more boring than the plot itself. Even the romance scenes sounded like Paul didn't even know his guy was getting aroused. His character might as well have been grocery shopping for all the interest that Costanzo put in his voice. He would do well to listen to other male narrators that know how to engage the listener and make their characters come alive.

Renee wasn't as bad.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

boredom and anoyance for wasting my time and money on this book. The plot was just based on the steoreotypical female in a man's world plot that didn't go any further than the superficial level. Totally predictible.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Suspenseful

As always a great story, well written and suspenseful to the end. The recording however was not great. Twice sections were missing. Assume it was from bad cassette or CD with scratches.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Could have been good

Spoiler! liked the story but for Elizabeth to marry Harley after he said such awful things to her and call her names,several times, made me not like him/her at all! For the cop/DA also to speak so unprofessionally was ridiculous! Also, Elizabeth goes from a sweet pianist to a witchy corp. tycoon within 1 chapter.The narrators were also awful. The male voice was like a robot.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

love Coulter but this one felt lacking

felt like some parts of the story fell flat. some characters lacked the usual surprise and excitement that is common in Coulter materials. I wouldn't listen to this one again. it was just ok.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Yaaawn!

This was a very boring book; story line, and especially the narrators. I returned it after listening to 4 chapters, it was so bad.

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

A great post-pandemic book

I enjoyed sitting with my morning 🍵 tea listening to this book. Although I found Paul Costanza's delivery forced, after awhile I could ignore what I thought was annoying.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

plot hasn't aged well

such an odd plot with really outdated and sometimes offensive depiction of charaters....I didn't finish the book, couldn't stand it anymore.

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

Love Elizabeth's Strength

If you've looked at other reviews, you've already noticed that the narration has taken a big hit. It wasn't the best, especially the male POV. It just dragged a bit and lacked the life I've come to expect in most audiobooks. But I've also heard much worse, unfortunately. So while it wasn't my favorite, it didn't ruin the story for me.

The story itself--wow. It reminded me of the time in the 80's or so when mini-series were so popular (or the TV show Dallas) with big casts and outrageously crazy rich people doing outrageously ridiculous things to each other. The kind of people who really do think that they have so much money they can do anything they want. Such is the world of Elizabeth Carleton, AKA- Elizabeth X. This woman goes through quite a bit in her short life, and while she's a very accomplished musician, her emotional state and her very personality are a bit stunted when we first meet her. But as her story unfolds and she learns that she can't really rely on anyone but herself, she grows exponentially. She reinvents herself like the caterpillar emerging as a butterfly from the cocoon, and becomes an amazing woman who understands her worth. Even as those around her continue to underestimate her.

Within this interesting tale of suspense, power, deception, hostile takeovers, corporate spying, and matriarchal machinations lies one of the most memorable romances I've ever encountered. Basically this this story has it all, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.