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Posts Tagged ‘detective’

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Murder on the Orient Express, is one of Agatha Christie’s best known and most loved novels. Hercule Poirot is travelling on the train when one of the passengers, a Mr Ratchett, is murdered. Now Poirot must sift through the evidence and work out which of the other passengers wanted Ratchett dead – and why.

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Although I am classing this as an audiobook, it’s actually more of a dramatisation of the novel, rather than a straightforward narration. Art Malik is the narrator but he in fact he serves mainly to provide links from scene to scene. As lovely and delicious as his voice is, the real star of the production is of course the character of Poirot, performed here by Tom Conti, who imbues his Poirot with just the right amount of eccentricity with a dash of arrogance.

The mystery at the heart of the story is an excellent one, and if I didn’t already know something of the ending, it certainly would have kept me guessing. My favourite performers apart from Conti were Paterson Jospeh and Sophie Okonedo as Colonel Arbuthnot and Mary Debenham respectively, but the whole cast were excellent and really brought the story alive.

I really hope that Audible gives the dramatisation treatment to more of Agatha Christie’s works, as I found this a splendid and enjoyable listen. Highly recommended.

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Year of first publication: 1934 (novel) 2017 (this dramatisation)

Genre: Murder mystery

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thevictimsclub

This was another short story which I listened to as an audiobook – keeps me entertained for 90 minutes while I’m out running. Detective John Avery investigates a case of assault, where a teacher at an exclusive college was drugged at a party and intimate photographs taken without her consent were circulated.

As Avery digs deeper into the case and comes up against a wall of silence at the college, he eventually pieces it all together.

The story, narrated by Scott Merriman, definitely kept me interested. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Ninth and Nowhere, another of Deaver’s short stories, but that one was so brilliant that it was always going to be a lot for this one to live up to.

The story was more or less a straightforward detective story, although there was a twist at the end. The reader/listener goes through the investigation alongside Avery and receives information at the same time as he does.

Overall, I enjoyed it a lot and definitely want to listen to more by Jefferey Deaver.

 

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blood-bath

This short book (I listened to the audiobook which came in at around an hour and a half) is part of a series of stories featuring Stephen Leather’s creation Jack Nightingale, paranormal detective. I wasn’t aware of that when I bought this one, but certainly didn’t feel that I missed out on anything but not having read/listened to any of the others in the series. Before I talk about this specific story, it’s worth mentioning that the print version of the story also features six other stories of the same name written by other authors. Having read reviews, it appears that the Stephen Leather one was by the far the best of them all, and so I am not particularly bothered by missing out on the others, but some readers may want to have the whole lot.

In this story, Jack and his assistant Jenny take on new clients Mr and Mrs Stokes, who have bought a hotel. However, due to the high number of suicides in the hotel over the preceding years, nobody wants to stay there and the business is losing money. Jack investigates and discovers that the suicides may in fact be murder by a malevolent supernatural force, so it is up to himself and Jenny to find out the truth.

As far as short stories go, this was…okay. Not really a horror, more of a fantasy novel, which admittedly is not necessarily a favourite genre of mine although the occasional fantasy novel will grab me. It was basically just a straight up chronological account of their investigation. I did like Jack and Jenny – both had a good sense of humour and a nice working relationship, and the story itself was serviceable even if it held no major surprises.

There were a few editing mistakes which annoyed me – one character went from being called Timothy to Thomas and back to Timothy again. Also, at the beginning of a conversation with Mr Stokes, the hotel owner says that he has no guests stopping there at that time and a minute later, during the same conversation, Jack asked him if he still had no guests stopping there. Little things like this do tend to niggle me somewhat.

I’m not sure I would be that bothered about listening to any more Jack Nightingale stories, but I also wouldn’t be against the idea of popping one on to pass the time during a long run or car journey.

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