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The Cryptic Lines

Narrated by: Jake Urry
Length: 4 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (220 ratings)
Regular price: $14.95
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Publisher's Summary

Set in a sprawling gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently. After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem - the cryptic lines. If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred's will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears....

©2015 Richard Alan Storry (P)2016 Richard Alan Storry

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  • Leslie F.
  • LONG BEACH, CA, United States
  • 08-29-16

Great atmosphere

I really enjoyed this book. Its a mystery centered around finding a hidden treasure that is part of an inheritance. Hidden treasure, creepy house with hidden rooms - what's not to like? I loved the clues given to find the treasured item, and I loved that "booby prizes" were placed in every place where the characters initially looked, which only pointed out that the "seekers" weren't as clever as they thought, and nothing is what it appears to be. I listened to the Audible audio version narrated by Jake Urry, and I LOVED his narration. His voice really added to the atmosphere of the story. All his character voices were really good, he did great on female voices (which is a big test for me), and really everything about his narration was superb. I don't think I've ever listened to him before, but I can't wait to check out more stuff that he has done, along with Richard Storry and any more books he has written.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Brilliantly done mystery. The writing style is very old-school, reminded me of some of those classic mystery novels. Dark and creepy. It had a dry sort of humor I really enjoyed. The old mansion, cryptic messages left by a dead millionaire and the narrator gave a great ambiance to the story. Loved the ending!

The narrator was perfect for this story. Wonderful performance.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely Fantastic

Any additional comments?

"The Cryptic Lines" is my favorite book I've listened to recently. Expertly crafted, absolutely masterful narration and a surprise ending make for a truly satisfying experience. Rarely do I intend on listening to a book twice, but this story had so much intricate nuance throughout that was only revealed at the end, that I just might have to listen again. This is a story about an old man and his jerk of an adopted son. Normally, this isn't a story line I would be even vaguely interested in but somehow Storry grabbed me by my eardrums and didn't let me go until the story ended. It was suspenseful, thrilling, mysterious, alluring, touching and unique. I would recommend this story to literally anyone who enjoys a good book. And Jake Urry is the best voice actor on Audible!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Scavenger Hunts have NEVER been this fun!

I LOVED this audiobook so much!!! Jake Urry shines and I just LOVE his voice.

The story was amazing. It was a quick listen and I was entranced by the plot.

It’s a story of a wealthy man who leaves behind a fortune. But instead of giving it to his a-hole son just because, he decides to make his son work for the fortune. If he doesn’t solve the puzzle/scavenger hunt, then he doesn’t get the fortune.

I just really loved how the author wrapped the storyline up in the end. My heart and my mind were like “oh no he didn’t!” It was such a thrill!

I received this book for free from Jake Urry, and I swear to you that because I got this book for free, it in NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM changed my perception of this book. This was an honest review! Yasssss Jake, WERKKKK!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A good, cozy mystery with plenty of suspense

If you could sum up The Cryptic Lines in three words, what would they be?

Suspenseful cozy mystery

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed that there weren’t an overwhelming number of characters to keep track of—a mistake many authors make in shorter tales. Mr. Storry presented us with a small handful who were nicely developed. They all stayed true to their motivations and personalities; no one suddenly took a left turn to Albuquerque just because the plot/author suddenly demanded it of them. James the Butler was probably my favorite and what we find out about him in the end is just heart-breaking. I didn’t see it coming and I imagine other readers won’t either. The surprise was refreshing.

Which scene was your favorite?

The last two or three chapters, especially the events in the crypt, were the best.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

You have to read between the cryptic lines

Any additional comments?

Jake Urry was the best possible choice as narrator. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was born to read books like this (I’d love to hear his renditions of Poe)! His accent fit the gothic setting perfectly and his inflection conveyed the ratcheting tension. I’d say he put the ‘cryptic’ in “The Cryptic Lines”. He read neither too fast nor too slow and he didn’t dramatize the characters, though it was still quite easy to distinguish each. I was able to form a detailed picture of everyone in my head simply from the way they were voiced and thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for not making Meg sound like every old lady we’ve ever heard in audio! Mr. Storry clearly intended her to be a bit feisty and Mr. Urry nailed it. The only sort of annoying thing was the occasionally inconsistent audio quality. There was at least one place towards the end where I’m guessing something was re-recorded and spliced in, but the volume was different from what preceded and followed. Otherwise, this was nicely recorded.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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More twists and turns than a mountain pass

What made the experience of listening to The Cryptic Lines the most enjoyable?

I can't think of just one thing, the combination of both story and narration together are what made it so good.

What other book might you compare The Cryptic Lines to and why?

It's similar to 14 by Peter Clines, they both keep you guessing all the way through and just when you think the last revelation has been made something else arises.

Which character – as performed by Jake Urry – was your favorite?

That's got to be Charles, but really all the characters voices and the narration as a whole was really well done.

Any additional comments?

This is the first Richard Storry novel I've 'read' and I'm hooked! This book complex and creative and very well written. If you like a good mystery then this book will not disappoint.

Note: This book was provided free by the author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!

A very good read. Once into the book it was tough to set down. The story line and characters were well developed and continually interesting. Many surprises along the way but none compared to those at the end.
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely wonderful!!

I am so glad I got to hear this book!! I was hooked from the moment it began. You think you know what going to happen - then you realize you didn't. Great beginning, middle and end!!!

So you know, I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. However, my rating if this book is completely honest!! I loved it!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An great story with outstanding narration

Any additional comments?

The story, set in a sprawling Gothic mansion owned by the elderly and recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby, begins as he calls on his lawyer, to make a final revision of his will. Lord Willoughby is torn on what to leave is only living son, Matthew, because he has proven to making poor financial choices and is always coming to his father for money. Lord Willoughby decides though to make Matthew work for his inheritance by creating a challenge that will hopefully prove he has ‘grown-up’ and ready for the responsibility that comes with enormous wealth. If Matthew can’t complete the challenge in the allotted time, he receives nothing. Matthew, who is a greedy and lazy son, will stop at nothing to ‘win’ the fortune he feels he is entitled to.

With cryptic clues, hidden secrets and an old mansion, this story is filled with so many twists and turns, I could not help but keep listening nonstop until the very end. Richard Storry has a definite talent of drawing the reader in and keeping them hooked and guessing the outcome. I, for one, was shocked at the ending, because I didn’t see it coming – at all.

This was my first audio book narrated by Jake Urry, and I will have to say that he did an excellent job at portraying each of the characters in a way that created the perfect atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. His voice MADE me want to listen - to hang on to each and every word. Each character had a distinct voice and personality that made this story come alive.

Overall, this was an intriguing book with interesting characters, a mystery that really held my attention and an ending that I did not predict nor expect. If you love a good story with old Gothic mansions, secret passageways and rooms, mystery and cryptic messages, then I would highly recommend you pick up Cryptic Lines. It’s a short read/listen and will not leave you disappointed in the least.


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake Urry. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Deliciously suspenseful treasure hunt!

Lord Alfred Willoughby has finally passed away. His solicitor, Charles, must see to his will, which holds quite the surprise! Once Willoughby’s adopted son Matthew views the will, then the race is on for cryptic poems to be deciphered, more clues discovered, and hopefully the final fortune to be won before the time limit is up. Set in a Gothic mansion somewhere in the British Isles, this tale holds much suspense and a little bit of trickery.

This was a delicious suspenseful book, perfect for the Halloween season. The story opens with a rainy storm and the death of rich, old Lord Willoughby. James, the butler, helps Charles to find Willoughby’s important papers. Eventually, Charles finds a film, which is actually Willoughby’s recorded will. After viewing it, they track down Matthew, Willoughby’s wayward son. From there, the story turns into a treasure quest. Poems contain clues and those clues lead them all over the sprawling estate. This tale is complete with hidden passage ways, an actual crypt, and nearly forgotten family secrets.

While the 4 main characters are all male, there are two more characters, Mrs. Gilkerry (housekeeper/cook) and Meg (retired maid) who are more than they seem. First, I really enjoyed Mrs. Gilkerry’s cooking. The descriptions of her meals made my mouth water. Who says English cooking lacks flavor and zest? Meg doesn’t come into the story until much later so I won’t reveal too much about her. However, I will say that the discussions with her provided some humor in the middle of this tense book.

This treasure hunt reveals much about the natures of not only Charles and Matthew, but also Lord Willoughby. In a way, Charles learns more about his client’s private life through this quest than he ever would through his legal duties. Matthew has a long history of being a bit of a scoundrel, only returning home when he gets into more trouble or debt than he can manage. This hunt provides a background to show his true mettle: misunderstood man who made some mistakes or a man who truly lacks a moral compass? The ending has more than one secret to reveal! The winding suspense was excellent and I quite enjoyed taking an afternoon to read this. My only wish is that I had enjoyed it on a dark and stormy night.

I received this audiobook at no cost via The Audio Book Worm.

The Narration: Jake Urry was a really good choice of narration for this book. I loved his proper English accents along with his range of voices for all the characters. I especially loved his voice for Meg. Here and there, the characters reveal some emotion and Urry portrayed those emotions quite well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Devilish Accord
  • 05-01-16

Twists, turns and unexpected results

Would you consider the audio edition of The Cryptic Lines to be better than the print version?

I haven't seen the printed version, but I'm finding audio editions to be rather delightful.

What did you like best about this story?

The descent into the crypt was nail-biting, and the reveals at the end were not as I had expected.

Which character – as performed by Jake Urry – was your favourite?

James the butler was for me the best character. The voice performance was as I would expect this type of servant to sound.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The reveals at the end of the book left me shocked and very happy for the hero. Just desserts and all that.

Any additional comments?

Absorbing book with lots of colour and twisting plot turns kept me engaged all the way through. Very interesting characters, perfectly voiced by Jake Urry. Highly recommended.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • MeDi
  • 06-16-16

The Cryptic Lines

Who was your favorite character and why?


This book will keep you guessing all the way through with mind boggling twists, and a brilliant ending.

What about Jake Urry’s performance did you like?

He was the best narrator with this genre

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • bec
  • 04-28-16

Fabulous 5 Star Story

This is a truly enjoyable story that enthralled me from the very beginning, I just had to listen from beginning to end. The plot is unlike most of the mysteries I read or listen to in that it's not about murder. It's about a most unusual treasure hunt, the clues are provided from beyond the grave, albeit via a reel of film.

The setting is an old mansion that wouldn't be out of place in a horror story, full of hidden secrets. There is a faithful butler to attend their every need and a cook who prepares for them meals fit for the fussiest gourmet.

The clues they must solve are very cryptic, and the attempts to solve them lead along a convoluted route to some very eerie locations. The story has the feel of an Agatha Christie play and I realised I had no idea of the time period in which the story was set, though I might have missed that bit. The ending is both unexpected and satisfying, I felt I had just listened to a rather wonderful play on the wireless. I highly recommend this intriguing tale.

Narrator
Narrated by Jake Urry, and what a wonderful job he made of it, his voice conveyed an ominous significance to the words which was just perfect for this book. He maintains a good rhythmn and his voice has a pleasing cadence which helps bring life to story. I had no trouble differentiating between the characters because he bestowed them with distinct voices, he has also mastered the art of conveying the age appropriate voices. Jake also passed my "old lady voice" test, many of us listeners get tired of any female character over 60 being given a high pitched, weak and quavery voice. Darned good job Jake, I'm sure you will do exceedingly well in the audiobook narration business.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher in return for an honest review

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • 04-07-16

Gripping tale from my favourite narrator!

Would you listen to The Cryptic Lines again? Why?

I will keep this on my iPod and listen again! In fact I imagine its one of those books that's a completely different story once you know the ending and are reading for the second time.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I loved the climax to the 'treasure hunt', and the dramatic revelations that happen towards the end of the book - really gripping and I couldn't stop listening, so I recommend you have a good hour to absorb the end of the book in one sitting!

Any additional comments?

I'm new to audiobooks and found this great narrator and love his work. Will be keeping an eye out for future narrations by him. This story is the kind of thing I love, and very well executed by both writer and Narrator.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Petra
  • 06-08-16

Great fun! Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries

The Cryptic Lines was a delightful cozy mystery set in a sprawling old manor house somewhere in Britain. It was really different, as there were no dead bodies to be discovered or murderers to be hunted. Instead, the plot centers around a rather unusual treasure hunt to determine who would inherit Lord Alfred Willoughby's vast fortune. His squandering son Matthew is hoping it will be him. But there is also another unassuming contender. The story was beautifully written with subtle humour and reminded me of the traditional Agatha Christie mysteries. I adored the loyal butler, James. What a great character. Some of the reveals at the end were not what I had expected at all. A very satisfying end to the story. This was a really entertaining, light listen that kept me completely engaged for the full 4 hours.
Jake Urry was a new narrator for me. He had a lovely cadence that seemed very fitting for the story and switched to a great ominous tone where appropriate. There were two elderly ladies' voices that were performed admirably without any of the grating high-pitched tones that male narrators frequently use. His rendition of James was perfect, just as you would expect the classic British butler to sound like. I was really impressed how he managed to make the 'old' characters sound appropriate for their age because Jake Urry is actually a very young narrator. A very talented new voice artist.
I received the audiobook version in exchange for an unbiased review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • The Audiobookworm
  • 10-07-16

A short, but fantastically written suspense story

4.5★ Audiobook⎮ The Cryptic Lines was a pleasantly surprising story. It provided precisely what I was looking for on a rainy October night. It was a short listen, full of unexpected twists.

I’ve come away from this experience with much appreciation for Richard Storry’s writing abilities. His storytelling captivated me. He told a better story in just over four hours than some authors tell in double or triple that amount of time. The tale itself slightly called to mind The Count of Monte Christo or some other work of Poe, but without any gore. Richard Storry didn’t need blood and guts to tell this tale. He used skillful writing to create an atmosphere of suspense, which can be much more frightening than outright horror.

Atmosphere was very important in The Cryptic Lines. Storry’s visual imagery plays to the listener’s imagination, allowing it to run rampant for nearly 4 hours. Strangely enough, The Cryptic Lines reminded me of the 1985 movie Clue because of the sprawling mansion setting and the scavenger hunt-type mission the characters go on. Trying to solve the riddle was frustratingly fun and akin to being in a carnival’s haunted house.

I was never in fear of prematurely solving the riddle. The mystery was pretty well cloaked. Even if I had been on the verge of figuring things out, Storry still have plenty more twists up his sleeve. Some of the twists were actually quite heartbreaking. I wasn’t expecting a mystery/thriller story to tug at my heart this much. The ending may seem a little far-fetched to some, but it was written with such fluidity that I took it in stride. Besides, Storry had already thrown so many curveballs that I was prepared for just about anything.

I’m so glad that I saved The Cryptic Lines for October. It was just perfect for leading up to Halloween. Richard Storry’s writing was marvelous and I am very much a fan of his style. I definitely recommend The Cryptic Lines to anyone looking for a short, but fantastically written suspense story.

Narration review: Jake Urry’s narration was as surprising as the story itself. For a young man, Urry managed to sound ageless. If I hadn’t known better, I would have guessed that he was quite a few years (maybe even decades) older than he really is. His voice had an air of distinguishability that really made me buy into the story of an aging British Lord living in a gothic mansion. Urry’s timbre, accent and articulation held atmospheric qualities that greatly enhanced the story. I quite enjoyed listening to his narration and it intensified my feelings of suspense while listening. This was a case of a story and its narration having a perfectly symbiotic relationship which produced something remarkable. ♣︎

➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Jake Urry, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Jake!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • PB
  • 07-25-16

Great spooky story

I really enjoyed this audiobook. It was a good story with interesting characters and lots of unexpected twists and turns. Jake Urry, the narrator, got the tone just right. A very good listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vicki Goodwin
  • 07-16-16

Puzzles, Clues and Treasure! Well Narrated Story

Maybe it is just me, but there is something so deliciously inviting about a scavenger type hunt. Searching for clues, second guessing every hint.

This audio book is really a fun one. There is a will that has a challenge presented in a video left by the Matthew's father.

Matthew Willoughby has not lived up to the expectations of his father Lord Alfred Willoughby. His selfishness and immaturity shines through this story.

The book is filled with interesting and somewhat secretive characters. This is my first book by Richard Storry. I like the way he writes. He uses words that evoke emotion that go along with the mysterious old mansion and the out of the way corridors they keep searching through. The clues are tied to a love of classics that Lord Alfred loves. It was well written and entertaining to follow them in their puzzle solving.

Jake Urry has presented this story in the best voices. Each one is obviously different from the others. I keep forgetting there is only one person reading this book. His voice is strong yet when he does the elderly woman Meg, I hear an elderly woman. It is a craft he is well adept at.

This is a really great book. Nicely written and narrated so nicely.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison Kelly
  • 06-12-16

Unturnoffable...The Cryptic Lines

This is a compelling story: the attention is held to the last word, belief in characters and narrative maintained throughout. Storry has a strong sense of pace, so that suspense and surprise are introduced with artful timing.

Richard Storry has a gift for creating atmosphere, and descriptions of place, people and plot are vivid and full of interest. To add to the book itself, Jake Urry's voice has a wonderfully hypnotic quality, and he draws out the characters skilfully.

This is a rattling good yarn, and the denouement won't disappoint!

Alison Moncrieff-Kelly

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Liane
  • 08-10-16

Great story

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a different genre for me and I listened to it in one day as it just flowed and I so wanted to know how it ended. This is the second audiobook that I have listened to narrated byJake Urry and he did another fabulous job with this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful