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Publisher's Summary

Patty Doyle holds the secret to eternal life, but it may only bring her an early death. Patty is working on a journal of a 14th Century alchemist. But after mentioning it in her blog she gets to the office to find everyone brutally murdered. Now she's on the run pursued by a killer who wants the secret of eternal life it contains. The Concordances of the Red Serpent is a thriller set in the USA, Canada and Scotland and echoes back to the glossy caper movies of Hitchcock. Mix with a bit of Da Vinci Code type musings on alchemical secrets and stir well.

©2011 William Meikle (P)2014 Seven Realms Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Not My Kind of Story But Still Superb

Would you listen to The Concordances of the Red Serpent again? Why?

This is not my kind of story. I prefer horror and darker the story, the more I like it. That said, yes, I would listen to this story again. It is full of likable characters, beautiful settings and twists and turns throughout.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Alex Seton was my favorite. He's a mysterious Scottish gentleman. What's not to like?

Have you listened to any of Chris Barnes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to almost all of Chris Barnes's other stories. In this one, he doesn't do a lot of different accents and voices, and listeners really get a taste of his true talent as he has to rely strictly on his 'normal' voice to keep his listeners riveted to the story. Of course, he succeeds brilliantly.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This was not a book I wanted to listen to in one sitting, and that's not a bad thing. I spent every evening for almost a week looking forward to the time I could spend listening to this book and found myself making excuses to listen, if only for a few minutes. I really didn't want it to end.

Any additional comments?

The Concordances of the Red Serpent is a fantastic collaboration of a great author and a great narrator. You can't go wrong with the Meikle/Barnes combination and there are just enough scary moments in this book to give you a thrill without being too scary.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Not just another Dan Brown rip-off

What did you love best about The Concordances of the Red Serpent?

There are a lot of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. It's a thrilling read.

What about Chris Barnes’s performance did you like?

As always, he does a phenomenal job with the characterization and creating atmosphere with just his voice.

Any additional comments?

Ended just a wee bit too fast for me, and the epilogue is slightly confusing. Another chapter or two would've really gone a long way towards clearing things up a little better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

An Engaging Read!

Any additional comments?

My review for: The Concordances of the Red Serpent by William Meikle
Narrated by Chris Barnes
Book Rating: A solid 4.5 out of 5 stars
Narration Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Shanna Roberson

Blurb taken from Goodreads:

Patty Doyle holds the secret to eternal life, but it may only bring her an early death. Patty is working on a journal of a 14th Century alchemist. But after mentioning it in her blog she gets to the office to find everyone brutally murdered. Now she's on the run pursued by a killer who wants the secret of eternal life it contains. The Concordances of the Red Serpent is a thriller set in the USA, Canada and Scotland and echoes back to the glossy caper movies of Hitchcock. Mix with a bit of Da Vinci Code type musings on alchemical secrets and stir well.


Review:

Being the first time reading William Meikle’s work, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but The Concordances wasn’t it at all. It was so much more! The depth of character development and winding twists of the story were highly engaging. Even though it had a slow start, once the story opened up, it was terribly hard to put down. If you like an intelligent read that will keep you on your toes, you’ll adore this book!

Even though this was a completely different narration I was used to from Chris Barnes, his reading held my attention completely. Without the glamor of his many accents which I am quite fond of, he used only the cadence of his own natural brogue to work all the magic. With just the tone of his voice, he made it easy to decipher which character was talking and how they were feeling. Another brilliant narration from my favorite narrator! I highly recommend this one if you are a fan of Dan Brown's novels…


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

The Concordances

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Great mystery. It was fun and scary traveling all over Scotland.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Alex Seton. What a wonderful character he is. Smart, funny brave and kind. A true man of mystery!

Which scene was your favorite?

All of them. I just enjoyed getting to know Alex, Patti, Mike and Sam. I wasn't ready for the story to end.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

The narrator Chris Barnes was the perfect voice for this book. He's got a wonderful Scottish accent that was easy to understand and very easy on the ears. I'd listen to most anything he read, except romance!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

great paranormal mystery

As this was written by William Meikle I was expecting a dark fantasy or horror but this is more of a mystery and paranormal thriller. And I'll say this right away, it's very well done.

Everything starts when Doyle, mentions some of her work (she works on old texts) in her blog. She comes to work the next day to find almost all of her coworker's killed. At the root of this is the papers she is working on that may or may not hold the key to immortality. She pairs up with a man named Alec Seaton to try and catch the people responsible. On the other side, there are two police officers, Mike and Sam, who are investigating the murder at Doyle's place of employment and they are also trying to catch the people responsible.

A pivotal moment in this type of book is when writers have a survivor of a murder leave the crime scene, instead of waiting for the police and then leaving it to the police to find the killers. It's not always done well and can make or break a book for me. In this case, Meikle takes us inside the mind of the traumatized Doyle and her leaving with Seaton instead of waiting for the police is done in a very credible way.

The characters were very well developed and I started to care about all four of these people. I really enjoy when an author can step away from a stereotype (i.e The hero being tall and muscle-bound) and do that well. I did guess a particular part early on but that still didn't change my enjoyment of the read. Things were wrapped up at the end so no real cliffhanger. The epilogue, however, was unexpected and was a bit ... abrupt? It left me with a "Whoa, wait a minute!" feeling. I'm hoping there is a second book that goes into more detail.

Chris Barnes does a really excellent job narrating this book. This is a straight read and although Barnes doesn't do all the accents, he does change up his voice so we know which character is speaking. Barnes' Scottish accent very easy to follow and understand. Meikle and Barnes is another great combination.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 06-02-14

A nicely written mystery thriller

Would you consider the audio edition of The Concordances of the Red Serpent to be better than the print version?

I hadn't read the written version first. I'll admit that I came to this book because this is one of my favourite genres- mystery thriller where the emphasis is on the adventure and mystery, rather than stumbling across it while browsing. I liked the premise, and the book didn't disappoint.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The book is narrated around two pairings - the cops, Mike and Sam - and the shell-shocked Patty with the charismatic Alex. I did like both of the relationships, so while it did (naturally) cut away to the other pair at cliffhanger moments, there was no sense of disappointment of having to trawl through this chapter to get back to the excitement happening elsewhere.

While the story is pacy and action-filled, Meikle does manage to develop the characters' relationships skilfully, with natural and humourous conversations, and he allows the reader a real connection with the protagonists. Patty comes into her own as the book progresses and she starts to recover from the shock of the beginning events, but for Alex Seton's character, please see below.

The book does have some tropes: the cop fighting alcohol as well as lawbreakers; an ancient manuscript that has left murder in its wake; murderous adversaries bent on obtaining knowledge at any cost, but again, the writing is superb (especially the dialogue) and Miekle puts enough of a twist on things to make it an enjoyable, fresh read.

Which character – as performed by Chris Barnes – was your favourite?

Chris Barnes did a great job in narrating this. The curl of his Scottish accent is pleasant to listen to, and he effortlessly propels the listener into the story. In particular, he brings out the humour of the relationship banter (which is a great strength of Miekle's writing), making it feel like natural conversation, but then can drop to a more ominous tone, suggesting the danger of what is happening to the characters and those they love.

Of all the characters, that of Alex Seton is the most intriguing, partly because of Patti's decision to trust him, made in a moment of great stress. Miekle and Barnes, in his portrayal, keep us guessing about the truth about all of the characters, a mystery which is satisfyingly sustained, and which does make for compelling listening.

Any additional comments?

I did actually stay up one night to finish listening to the last three hours, so that is definitely a great success. I would possibly mark it as a 4.5 if there were an option, as it wasn't utterly unique in its set up, but it was still a thoroughly enjoyable listen, a well-written story well told.

And the end line is the biggest twist in the book: one final twist before the curtain. Superb.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 05-26-14

The narrator makes the book

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Extremely disappointing. What a great first two thirds - exciting, well written and fun. Then, it all gets a bit silly.

Have you listened to any of Chris Barnes’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't yet, but I certainly will. Fantastically well read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful