Archive for the ‘audiobook reviews’ Category

Audiobook Review: Sleeping Murder – Agatha Christie

Sleeping Murder Audiobook by Agatha Christie

Title: Sleeping Murder
Author: Agatha Christie
Narrator: BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation
Publication date: 9 January 2006
Publisher: AudioGO
ISBN: 9781408482001
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
Genre: Mystery
Age group: Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: AudioGO

Synopsis

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple, the sharp-witted spinster sleuth.

Gwenda Reed arrives from New Zealand, travelling ahead of her husband with the task of finding the perfect place to make their base. In the quiet village of Dilmouth, she finds a house with immediate appeal. A few renovations will convert it into her ideal home.

Then things get very strange indeed. Wanting porch stairs, Gwenda hires a builder to put them in – only to find some old steps, covered up by bushes. She decides on a connecting doorway between the drawing-room and the dining-room, but discovers one already there, now plastered over. When she opens the painted-over doors of an old cupboard to find wallpaper exactly the same as she had imagined, she begins to wonder if she is going mad.

It takes Miss Marple to realise that an unsolved murder is behind Gwenda’s apparent intuition – but even she does not suspect the murderer will strike again…

My thoughts

Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder was the very first radio drama I’ve ever listened to but it definitely won’t be the last. I’m still quite new to audiobooks and even though I see why they’re so practical and why so many people love them, I’m still not entirely sure I could ever get used to them or listen to them on a daily basis. Radio dramas, however, are right up my street.

If you’ve ever tried audiobooks or at least listened to an audiobook sample before then you’ll understand my problem. Namely that regular, unabridged audiobooks can be… well, they can be a bit dull, can’t they? A good narrator makes them a lot enjoyable but still, one person reading the lines of a dozen different characters gets a little monotone after a while. Well, this was not the case here.

A few minutes after starting the tape I realized something. Do you know what radio dramas remind me of? Going to the theatre or the cinema without all the fuss of actually getting there or having to worry about not being late or finding your seat. It lets you listen to a complete performance with at least half a dozen different characters from the comfort of your own home. And if that wasn’t good enough, I love the fact that it’s not just a bunch of actors reading out their lines either. There’s music and all sorts of sound effects which make it easier for you to imagine what the setting’s like or what the characters are doing at that particular time. It’s almost like watching a film without actually seeing it, if that makes any sense. For example, when Gwenda and Miss Marple bump into each other in town during a heavy rainstorm, you can actually hear the rain pouring down and how they must have been in a hurry to find a shelter from the rain. When Gwenda and her fiancé arrive at someone’s house and are about to get out of the car, you can hear the brakes and the car keys turning. When someone’s walking down the stairs, you can literally hear their steps and the stairs creaking. It’s just brilliant. And it’s very, very far from being dull.

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Audiobook Review: Portrait of a Killer – Patricia Cornwell

Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Narrator: Lorelei King
Publication date: 1 May 2012
Publisher: AudioGO
ISBN: 9781445848297
Length: 12 hours 44 minutes
Genre: True Crime / Non-fiction
Age group: Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: AudioGO

Synopsis

Between August and November 1888 at least seven women were murdered in Whitechapel. The gruesome nature of their deaths caused panic and fear for months in the east end, and gave rise to the sobriquet which was to become shorthand for a serial killer – Jack the Ripper.

For over a hundred years the identity of the murders have remained among one of the world’s greatest unsolved crimes, and a wealth of theories have been posited which have pointed the finger at royalty, a barber, a doctor, a woman and an artist. Using her formidable range of forensic and technical skills, Patricia Cornwell has applied the rigorous discipline of twenty-first-century police investigation to the extant material, and here presents the hard evidence that the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders was the world-famous artist, Walter Sickert.

By using techniques unknown in the late Victorian era, Patricia Cornwell has exposed Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters to the Metropolitan Police. Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows how his art continually depicted his horrific mutilation of his victims, and her examination of this man’s birth defects, the consequent genital surgical interventions and their effects on his upbringing present a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.

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