• The Concordances of the Red Serpent

  • By: William Meikle
  • Narrated by: Chris Barnes
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-05-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Seven Realms Publishing
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (4 ratings)


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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anna on 02-06-14

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Tony on 26-05-14

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dawnzilla on 26-01-15

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jeremy Moran on 29-12-14

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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