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On leave from her job in Newcastle upon Tyne following the death of her lover, DS Abby Foulkes is on Skiathos with their young son, Johnny. But just as they begin to relax, Johnny finds human bones in a wood near a Greek monastery on a hillside above Skiathos town. It isn't long before Abby discovers that this isn't the first set of bones to be found. When someone disappears from the Hibiscus Fruit hotel where they are staying, Abby is drawn into the mystery.
Although not categorized as such, this is very close to being a cozy mystery. It differs from most cozies in many respects, but there is little direct violence, and, for the most part, murder is dealt with indirectly and circumspectly.
There are 2 stories in one. First, there are the crimes, past and present, and the investigation by the Greek police, with Abby as unasked for help. She must overcome the natural resistance of the local investigators, which she does, and she becomes an integral part of the investigation.
But alongside that story is Abby’s own story, one of love, loss, and terrible grief. She had come to the Greek islands to begin the healing process, and ended up falling into the worst “vacation” ever. However, she finds new friends, one of whom is also learning to begin his own healing process, and she slowly comes to terms with her loss, her family, and herself.
The story line is intricate, and, for the most part, well developed. I did find that the clues leading to the real villain were sparse and subjective, so, in that regard, I don’t think the author “played fair” with her readers.
On the other hand, her characters are excellent, and she manages some of them, especially those with hidden motivations, extremely well. Her characters are 3 dimensional and interesting, and while some of them are despicable, there are enough sympathetic characters to keep the reader interested and invested In them.
The writing is vivid and eminently readable, and the author has an excellent sense of place, and can evoke the Greek islands with such vividness that this reader could picture them easily, and, in fact, would like to have been there.
While the narrator did a professional and competent performance, I found her narration a bit flat. She modulated her voice nicely, but I suspected that she would have read anything, including a local phone book, using the same phrasing and expressions. Still, she has a pleasant reading voice, and listening to her didn’t distract me much from enjoying the book.
I give the book 4 stars and the narrator 3 stars. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of AudioBookBlast dot com.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Alison Gray and/or Lisa Angelini?
If you’ve listened to books by Alison Gray before, how does this one compare?
This was my first book of Alison Gray I have listened to
Which scene was your favorite?
On the boat about to be raped
Was Hibiscus Fruit: Where Grief Leads to Murder in Paradise worth the listening time?
Any additional comments?
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Would you recommend Hibiscus Fruit: Where Grief Leads to Murder in Paradise to your friends? Why or why not?
Any additional comments?
This is a very slow moving book.The plodding of the story nearly made me give up on it.Lisa Angelini does a very dry reading,sometimes it sounds like she is recording in a can.Abby takes her son on holiday to try to work through her husbands death.She is a police woman.On the island her son finds bones and a story of other bones,murder and betrayal plays out.s.l.o.w.l.y...
There is a lot of disbelief by many people in this book.The back and forth repetitive observances surrounding this is at times unbearable.This audiobook was provided to me at no cost for a fair and honest review
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would to some one who likes this genre. It is a complex mystery thriller.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Hibiscus Fruit: Where Grief Leads to Murder in Paradise?
When the children were rescued from the traffickers.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
It was a bit monotone at times. There could of been more tone inflections and variances in the characters voices.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This was not an all in one sitting listen.
Any additional comments?
The book has a bit of a slow start and drags a bit initially. Bear with it as the book gets more interesting.
Also there are are too many distractions in the story which do not apply to the actual story. I'm thinking that the extra information and distractions such as who murdered Abby's domestic partner and the Bone Killer serial killer will be further developed and put to rest in subsequent volumes of the series.
Sweeping aside the distractions and the parts that drag, this is a fairly decent mystery thriller. It is through sure serendipity and good fortune that the villain is identified and caught as there was almost another victim.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”