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I never give mysteries a five, but this one deserves it. What a find!
2. Characters. John May is rational, extraverted, orderly, popular and a student of human psychology. Arthur Bryant is introverted, intuitive, disorderly, difficult, and a student of everything except human nature. They have been partners for nearly fifty years. To stay together in the PCU they have refused promotion, and they are doing everything necessary to resist the forces pressuring them to retire.
In spite of the fact that they have been together for so long, each has the capacity to surprise and to annoy the other.
2. Narrator. Tim Goodman is as good as they get. He subtly slips from his role as omnipotent narrator to any of the dozen voices he has created for the story,and like the other excellent readers, he can change his distinctly masculine voice to one that is clearly feminine without a noticeable change of pitch and without sounding ridiculous.. You always know who is talking, but no single voice demands more attention than any of the others.
3. Plot. One of my criteria for a good Audiobook is length. Dickens is, by far the best buy, but this one, at 14 hours, is excellent value for one credit. The plots are clever and coherent. If you are not paying attention you can listen to parts of the story for a second or third time and enjoy them that much more.
4. Writing. I give Dan Brown a 1-. Donna Leon and Sue Grafton go between 2 and 3. Fowler is a solid
His prose is fresh. He uses words and phrases I've never heard, and the dialogue - especially between John and Arthur is so well and lovingly crafted that I'm tempted to buy and read a hard copy of the book.
42 of 43 people found this review helpful
This was a really good audiobook. The story had just the right amount of mystery and humor. And the narrator was superb. I wish Audible had more of the Peculiar Crimes mysteries and more of this narrator's works.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
I fell in love with Bryant and May from first book I listened to. I got into the series by following a recommendation and picked a book a random which as it turns out wasn't the fist in the series. It didn't matter. I was hooked!
I have come back and started listening from the beginning. Having got into the characters already I found Full Dark House slightly disappointing and I would suggest this might actually be a better place to start the series. There are a couple of references to what went before in the first book before but anyone starting here won't feel like they have missed anything. In this book both characters appear fully formed and you get to know them as they are now - rather than bouncing back to an old case and the Peculiar Crimes Unit being formed. The voices, brilliantly narrated by Tim Goodman also appear more confident and seem to take the form in which they will continue.
I love the characters, in particular Bryant's blunt honesty and dry sense of humour. The story - as all of Fowlers other stories keeps you hooked, and although it gets a bit ridiculous at times with perhaps just one too many deaths and always the question that seems to run through all his books about whether the PCU be shut down you get carried along. May acts as a perfect foil for Bryant's eccentric approach. While I don't now London very well the detail behind the stories is fascinating. I thoroughly recommend the series - and if you are looking for a place to start I would (bizarrely) suggest this might be better than Book 1
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
Not that this book and the Rivers of London Trilogy are the same in terms of writing style, but the complex plot lines involving London's underground rivers, off-beat crime units in the depths of the Met and the whiff (in this case) of magic all made this book remind me strongly of the Rivers of London series - which is all about magic, basically.
Long passages in this book slightly lost me because I wasn't fully interested at times, but I think they were about building a picture of the main characters, which it vividly did. Could have been a bit shorter and still told a good tale. But I did enjoy it. Also I read them out of sequence having accidentally missed Book 1 - it didn't matter at all.
Well read. Good voices for each character, with an unhurried pace - much like the plot.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful