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Winter’s Return by James Philip is the 4th book in the Guy Winter series featuring the Scotland Yard detective during WWII. Think of this series as the book equivalent of an episode of the television show “24”. Both are espionage thrillers, with episodes occasionally ending in cliff hangers. Winter’s Exile is set primarily in the English Midlands near Coventry, where Guy and his right-hand man George Ransom investigate a mass murder and attempted murder of England’s most famous actress.
Melanie Fraser did an outstanding job narrating this audiobook as she did the prior books in the series. Simply put, Melanie’s reading was very enjoyable and entertaining. She provides distinct and consistent voices for each character, and changes the tempo in all the right places.
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Note: I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
I've been listening to this series from book one and I didn't get off to the best start with it, having not felt a real connection to the characters and getting a bit lost with regard to the plot and the various character relationships. However, it has grown on me quite a bit, in large part, I believe, due to Melanie Fraser's performance. She has such a realness to her characterizations of the different people involved that you feel as if you've quite literally been plopped into the middle of 1940s England.
Surprisingly though, imo, this book wasn't as engaging as the previous book was. The series was slowly getting better for me with each installment but this one felt like one of the earlier books, at least with regard to how much I liked the storyline (it felt a little disconnected and the ending was a bit anti-climactic) and the MC. Guy Winter isn't a character I can easily peg. I always feel a bit of distance there with him - he's not someone I can connect to as well as I'd like. And because of his behavior in this book, I'm finding myself feeling more than a little peeved toward him as a character. I hope he doesn't end up misbehaving in the next book like how we're given hints that he might. That would not be cool at all and I'd probably find myself ultimately rooting against him. Which isn't how I want to feel about the MC in a series I've grown to enjoy.
Names and dialogue that would be embarrassing in a Billy Bunter book. One minute Jane Austen the next torrid explicit bodice ripper. A chapter given over to the history of Scotland Yard which sounded as if it had been copied and pasted from another publication. Then it went downhill. The author is churning out this and several other series of books at a great rate of knots and it shows. Absolute rubbish.
I've complained to Audible regarding self published books before. I think they should make it clear that this is the case or put them in a separate section.
Unlike the other reviewers I paid for my copy, but I will be returning for a refund.
This fourth instalment of the Guy Winter series is certainly full of mystery and suspense. Murder and mayhem abound which makes for thrilling reading. The cliffhanger ending came quite abruptly but the high drama ensures that I will be reading the concluding episode, Winter's Spy, as soon as possible.
There is quite a bit of historical information at the beginning of the book regarding the origins of New Scotland Yard which I found very interesting. The detail surrounding the blitz was also well done and I liked how the author brought the social impact of the bombings into the story line. We get a real sense of the hardships faced by people who lost their homes and the community spirit that developed as people banded together to help one another out.
Again, Melanie Fraser gives a flawless performance. There is such quality and clarity to her voice I really feel like I have stepped back in time as I listen to this series.
I voluntarily reviewed a gifted copy.