Diana and Julian Denver have the world at their feet. With a blissful marriage, a darling son and beautiful homes, Diana’s life, to the outside world, is perfect. But when Julian dies suddenly, Diana is convinced there is more to it than meets the eye. She calls on the one person she had never wanted to see again - her sister, Rachel.
A former tabloid reporter, Rachel appears to be living the dream as a diving instructor on a Thai island. The truth is she’s in exile, driven from her career by Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal. For Rachel, Diana’s request opens old wounds. But she is determined to make amends for the past, and embarks on a treacherous journey to uncover the truth.…
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Sub-parr for Perry's usual brilliance - 3.5 stars.
Avoid this narrator at all costs.
Bond has an extraordinary habit of using a kind of contrived little-girl-wryly-amused inflection to words and sentences that just do not call a tone of such affected jollity. It is a delivery pattern that is as infuriating as it is perplexing because it does nothing to enhance the amusement-factor in any given sentence. This intonation demeans the character who we are hearing about because they erroneously seem rather puerile which is usually at odds with both the writing and characterisation.
At the risk of sounding like a nerdy pedant I did find the affectation of the exaggerated pronunciation of the Thai Island where Rachel worked extremely grating, she did pronounce it correctly once though and had this been the only narration flaw I would not have mentioned it but it is just one example of so much that jars about this narrator.
I wish someone with sway over narration choice for Perrry's audios (and all audiobooks) could hear my plea and bypass Jilly Bond who should not be the go-to narrator for a lot of otherwise enjoyable women's fiction. I have overlooked other titles I would like to buy when I see she is narrating, though I'm toying with putting up with her again for one of Katie Fforde's titles.
It is testimony to how much I love Tasmina Perry that I prepared myself to bear the exasperating narration of Jilly Bond.
Perry is one of the few authors available on audio who combines romance and glamour with a satisfying dose of thriller all wrapped up in feel-good; it'll-work-out-in-the-end, escapism. If, like me, you enjoy this combination, and can stomach the puerile narration then definitely buy this. But if you are new to Perry go with one of her earlier titles. This and her last audible release, Perfect Strangers, are still great but feel tired and formulaic when compared to the terrific pace and overall edgy, original plotting and characterisation in her previous works. I'm still hoping for a return to her first-class form and will always buy one of Tasmina Perry because there are not enough authors providing her genre of enjoyable fiction in audio format. (The only others I have found who do this type of work really well are Louise and Tilly Bagshawe as well as Rebecca Chance.)
- Miss M
Deep Blue Sea