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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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Sitting down to listen to James Philip's Winter series is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket with a good cup of coffee at your side. You settle in for a very pleasant afternoon. He writes in a style that harkens back to Bronte and Austen, moving leisurely along, setting the stage of the book slowly.
This story indeed starts out slowly. Winter and his family have returned from his honeymoon and settled back into London with the war, obviously, still raging. Guy Winters and George Ransom are still recovering from their wounds sustained in the last book, and are on light duty, when, finally, a crime is committed about halfway through the book. The author spends a lot of time setting up sub-plots and intrigues that we, the reader, hope will eventually come together coherently. The crime, which takes place in Coventry, seems at the centre of the other sub-plots.
This novel seems to end way too soon and really should have a warning .... To Be Continued. It ends on a cliffhanger, and while I suspected something was going to happen, wasn't expecting the ending given. I was left wondering why the author ended the book here, since all the other books in the series had the crime solved by the end of the book. Why not make the book longer?
Despite the cliffhanger ending, I did enjoy the book. I find Melanie Fraser to have a great voice for narration .... the cup of coffee, to the book's blanket .... and look forward to the next book to finish this case.
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.