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By catsatcastle on 23-10-10
Lt Lindsay, haunted by memories of his ship being torpedoed and sunk, interrogates a U-boat captain who he thinks has knowledge of the breaking of British naval codes. Lindsay himself is mistrusted by his superiors because his mother is German. It should have been a gripping story of a cat and mouse between the interrogator and his enemy but instead was a lacklustre series of events with a sudden and rather low-key ending. It was almost as though the author had given up on attempts to create tension and given up.
There was also the use of Ian Fleming as a character. There is nothing wrong with having a brief reference to a real person who has a connection with the general theme of a book (which Fleming did) but not to give that person a prominent role in the story. There is even a reference to James Bond! Robert Harris had it right in Enigma with just the fleeting appearance by Alan Turing in his novel about Bletchley Park. The effect of the 'haunting' memories were not really brought out in the writing - they were just stated to be there.
Whilst the book itself is not going to set the world on fire, it was unfortunately not done any favours by the narration. The narrator has a very pleasant reading voice and is clearly an accomplished reader. However, he chose to give Lindsay a harsh, grating voice(perhaps to give voice to the torment he was suffering?) and a voice that was more suited to a man 30 years older.
I usually look forward to listening to the next chapters of an audiobook, even if the book is not that special, but this was not an enjoyable listen and it took me weeks to get through it.