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I liked the story. It had an interesting plot, plausible characters and the pace was fine. However the narration was just terrible. The male narrator's rendition of the female characters was almost comedic - think David Walliams 'I am a lay-dee' or Hinge and Bracket. He put on this awful 'posh and squeaky' voice, so that all the women sounded like something out of a black and white 1940s melodrama. It was most off-putting. Given that most of the central characters were women, it would have been far better to use a female narrator - for instance Rosamund Pike is great at narrating both male and female parts. Such a shame that the narration spoiled what would otherwise have been an enjoyable listen.
32 of 32 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about Only the Innocent?
This was a good story line with some sympathetic characters that made me want to persevere with the book - more of that later in the review!
Who was your favorite character and why?
Tom was an interesting character drawn more deeply than many policemen in crime fiction and I found myself caring about what he thought and how he would manage his situation.
How could the performance have been better?
Sadly the narrator was the wrong choice for this book. He couldn't bring to life the female characters and instead it was like listening to a comedic rendering of a bunch of insipid females (think David Walliams in Little Britain!) with the one exception of the character of Beatrice, who was given a more forthright and punchy tone. If I were the author of this book I would be pretty upset that my work had been so diminished by such a reading.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, from a story-line perspective I did want to work through it in one sitting. However I really had to steel my nerves to endure the narration such was the intrusion of the different tones used, and had it not been for the good story then I would have given up.
Any additional comments?
I think it would be worth re-narrating this book with with a male reader who has the ability to portray female characters and do them, the story and the author justice.
45 of 46 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Only the Innocent?
I could not enjoy the story due to the poor editing. I had to discard listening in the early part .A character was described as 'looking out a window while walking around a room doing various things.' All that was said in one sentence.Aside from the visual image of a buffoon walking into furniture trying to do things with their head cranked around looking out a window, I''m supposed to believe that an intelligent character was doing that. A good editor would have pointed out the wisdom of separating the actions. When I struck the second such poorly constructed sentence that even a program such as Grammarly would have pointed out was clumsy construction, I returned the book for a refund.
What was most disappointing about Rachel Abbott’s story?
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?