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Simon Evers

UK
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-06-18

A good pastiche

If I'm a little dissatisified, it's because there are one or two details that simply don't ring true. For instance, (spoiler alert) after Bond is severely beaten and has his ribs broken, he finds no problem in swimming for his life in the sea - superhuman! Sixteen seems to me a silly name for the heroine, too.
Also for me the narrator's voice is a bit too 'flat' - almost laconic.
However, Horowitz certainly captures Fleming's way of writing and the details are authentic and timely. The story is typically Bond and there are some nice touches - particularly the revelation of the origin of 'shaken not stirred'!
A fun read, if not out of the top drawer.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-06-18

Engrossing saga

This saga completely draws the listener in. Beautifully written, superbly narrated: what more could one ask for?

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-09-17

Over-hyped

I was expecting far better from the so-called title of the year.
I found the whole story drawn out far too much. The protagonist became just rather annoying and the story line completely beyond any.belief.
I admire Joanne Froggatt as an actress but for me she went over the top with her histronic rendition of the dialogue too often.
What a disappointment.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-17

Lovely story; superb naration

I thorouglhy enjoyed this book - and I really only wanted to say that the superb narration (not least Owen's voice!) made it so.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-04-17

The best audiobook ever?

I have listened to many audiobooks and I honestly think it would be almost impossible to better this one. There are two reasons I say this:

Frstly, I have only recently come across Rose Tremain and her books. She makes her characters very real and completely easy to empathise with (which is so important). She is also a comsummate story teller. This book shows both these things in spades.

Secondly, the perormance of this audiobook is quite exceptionally good. Juliet Stevenson is a truly gifted actor and her skill in portraying the different people in the story is quite outstanding. Also, I don't usually like musical interludes in an audiobook but those here somehow add to the narrative rather than detract from it.

The total package is therefore completely satisfying - I was so wrapped up in the book that (almost) everything else was ignored!

Brilliant.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-02-17

Not the best in the series

Sadly - but inevitably, i suppose - Mark Billingham has never quite managed to capture the excellence of the first two or three in the Tom Thorne series. This isn't bad and has some good moments.

However, I have to say that I think he is wrong to narrate his books himself - he's a good writer but I find his narration flat and for me it detracts from a proper enjoyment of the book. I honestly think I would have enjoyed this book more if it had been narrated by someone more skilled.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-16

Engrossing

This is an engrossing story, full of atmosphere, switching between Spain in the 1930's and London in the 1960's, both of which are evocatively described. There is an intriguing connection between the two - and an interesting twist at the end. The characters are well drawn and well brought to life.

The reading is universally excellent although the various accents employed occasionally slip into caricature.

Overall, I much enjoyed this - even more, I think, than the excellent 'The Minituarist'.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-09-16

Sad but beautiful

The characters are totally believable and the setting very well described. The internal torment of the two main characters is very well caught.

The reader is excellent.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-07-15

So implausible to be almost laughable.

Oh dear. I like the characters in the series very much and the first three-quarters of the book jogged along nicely as we discovered a bit more about some of them as an intriguing story developed. There is a touching and well-written (and narrated) description of a police funeral - but then -

Once the villain is revealed, the whole plot - and the description of the villain himself and what he says and does - collapses into the completely ludicrous. The scenes set in the villain's house lurch from the ridiculous to something beyond absurd. I can't understand what overcame the author. It all ruins the book - for me, at least.

And other things jar - why can't the ridiculous Sandy saga be finished off, for instance? And as for the cliiff-hanger ending - I groaned at the thought that the Brighton Brander is going to get another outing.

But there we go - no doubt I shall buy the next one in the series - if only to see if Mr James can get back to the real world and write as well and as enjoyably as we know he can from past books in the series,

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-15

Not the best in the series

Strikes me this one is a bit of a pot-boiler. A slow story and really rather dull, partly because Thorne is off-duty and so the usual procedural details are missing.

And I'm sorry, Mr B, but I don't find your narration of the best! Your voice is a bit flat and your interpretation of Thorne jars with me.

(I shall read / listen to the next one in the hope that it gets back to the standard we are used to.)

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