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Calista

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Solid first novel in the series

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-2020

First up having a DCI who is a single father with three young kids is certainly different to any other crime novels I’ve written. Knowing that there isn’t even going to be any new “romance” is this single Dads life (because his wife is missing ) is also a new twist.
Also his kids were annoying - but that might be the idea lol.
The story held my attention for most (but not quite all) of the time and the reveal was satisfactory.
The narration was well done.
I’m hoping for some development of some of the other characters in the next book because for me, the officers the MC works with are just as important.

Well worth a listen (read) and I feel that this author will continue to improve his craft as he goes.

Not like the other books

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-01-2020

I never read books written by two authors and this book has shown me why.
You just can’t have someone else write existing characters. They will almost never get it right.
I suppose it was possible since we’ve never been inside Julie Shacklefords head before - but if this is an example of her thoughts - I’m glad we haven’t.
She’s so WHINY.
And I doubt Larry would ever use the word “décolletage “.
The narrator over dramatised - ending too many sentences on an upper inflection (which personally drives me crazy) - and Julies Southern accent was non existent.
Honestly I would have preferred the regular series narrator (Oliver Wyman) to do this one too.
The story isn’t too bad - more action than Siege.

Sometimes reality is a flaw

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-2019

The characters in this story are very real. Their thoughts, daily lives, fears, concerns etc all ring very true to actual people.
That’s a good thing unless the people are so ordinary as to be frankly - boring.
A woman who worries about the look of her upper arms or a man who thinks his pregnant wife’s farts smell might be REAL but it’s not very riveting reading.
And they aren’t just ordinary on the surface - their lives have an underside which is “murky” but ALSO “ordinary” - as in very commonplace. Affairs, teen pregnancy, incest etc.

In the end when it comes to books with a victim I ask myself ONE question- do I CARE. Do I care what happened to them, do I care that justice is served.

In this case the focus isn’t actually in the victim. The story is about people affected by her disappearance - mother, father, sister, friend and a “witness” and her family.
And I found I did NOT care at all.

Fantastic series!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-2019

Red Herrings, history, solid police work.
Overall a great addition to the series.
Excellent narration.

Didn’t enjoy this one

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-07-2019

I prefer more “run of the mill” murders than ones with any kind of politics or government behind them.
I found this one a bit boring tbh.

Fairly good with some weaknesses

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-06-2019

It was fairly long - so there’s a fair amount of “nothing really happens”.
Some bits of humour here and there which I think is essential in a crime thriller so it’s not all “doom and gloom”.
I took a star off purely for the unbelievably stupid actions of one character who did the equivalent of going into the basement alone to see where the spooky noise was coming from.
I’m not sure how I feel about the main character. Basically he spent the entire book pining for a girlfriend he had 30 years ago for six weeks.
I guessed who the guilty party was fairly early on but found the victim to be completely unlikeable so I didn’t care that they had died.
The narration was excellent - he did a good job with all the various accents.
I’ve bought the second book - I just hope the main
character grows on me a bit more.

It’s OK

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-04-2019

It’s one of those books you can listen to while you’re doing something else.
It’s not very suspenseful or intriguing - the main two characters are ok - you don’t cheer for them or anything - even the romance which starts in this book doesn’t have any heat to it.

I had no empathy for any of the victims - I think that was the biggest flaw in the books.
The second floor was the setting - amongst “preppers” - they seem to be a largely uninteresting bunch. Future stories are set in the same location which is a shame.

Last quarter is best part

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-03-2019

Nothing much happens in the first 3/4 of the book. Lots and lots of the usual banter (which has lost most of its spark).
I missed the regular crew - Chang, Desai, Williams and even Chotek. The new crew members were too conveniently good.
Things start to get better after chapter 25 - and we finally learn something interesting about the Elders.

There are lots more books to come and hopefully Joe and Skippys relationship gets back on track and we get more information related to the main story arc.

8 people found this helpful

Needs SOME uplifting moments

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-08-2018

I’ve listened to all the books in the series but I found the atmosphere in the one to be terribly....dreary.
Erica’s personal life is just so devoid of anything positive! When each book deals with a serial killer you need some balance - every page can’t be doom and gloom.
Erica’s relationship with a co worker promised to be the source of a lighter side in the books - but the author just fizzled it out in this one.
I would have liked Erica to be married to a successful author or chef or something with a wry sense of humour - to create a few lighter, positive moments in the storyline of each book.
That said it seems a shame that a strong female lead character has to spend SO much time pining for a man and children.
In fact NONE of the recurring characters have anything but disastrous personal relationships - with the exception of Moss. Everything literally is doom and gloom.
The narrator is excellent with accents and character voices.