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Bernadette Aitken

Canberra, Australia
  • 55
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 79
  • ratings
  • Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets

  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 17

On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder. Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we’re told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the ‘forbidden’ festering beneath Victorian society?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 30-11-2018

Amazing

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

Reviewed: 30-11-2018

What a fascinating series. The series is a very high quality production. The addition of experts in their fields, actors reading diary and journal entries and the music made this an enjoyable series to listen to. When you think you know a lot about the Victorians, you will still find that there is a lot you didn’t know.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Their Lost Daughters

  • Audible's breakthrough crime author of 2018
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 528
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 524

Deep in the muddy fields of the Lincolnshire Fens, a teenage girl is found wandering, delirious, claiming to have been drugged at a party. Metres away, the drowned body of another girl is found on an isolated beach. And all this on a small stretch of land where, nearly 10 years ago, the shocking disappearance of a young girl remains an open case.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Small northern town low budget police melodrama

  • By Philip on 28-08-2018

What a find!

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

Reviewed: 29-10-2018

I love a good English murder mystery/ thriller and this is right up there with the best. The way that the stories within the novel all eventually linked were unraveled by the team was a pleasure to read. I couldn’t put it down, which was good because I had the audio book linked with the e-book.
The police team were believable and worked well with each other and were very likeable. I can see myself moving on to other books in the series.
I consider this to be a great find and I would recommend it to anyone who likes murder mysteries.

  • The Furthest Station

  • A PC Peter Grant Novella
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

There's something going bump on the Metropolitan line, and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly who to call. It's PC Peter Grant's specialty.... Only it's more than going 'bump'. Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter - making the follow-up interviews rather difficult. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely amazing

  • By Richard on 30-09-2017

Lovely

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

Reviewed: 26-10-2018

Brilliant as usual. A lovely treat to tide you over until the next book. Familiar characters and wonderful narration.

  • The Clockmaker's Daughter

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins. Over 150 years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pacey and enjoyable

  • By Lyn on 26-09-2018

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 11-10-2018

A wonderful story, flipping through a number of time periods. Each one with unique characters. The narrator grew on me as the story developed. She made it easy to keep all of the characters in my mind as they came into the story.

  • Duke of Desire

  • By: Elizabeth Hoyt
  • Narrated by: Ashford McNab
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked - and nude! - lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him...only to find she may have been a trifle hasty. Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Rock King

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 10-10-2018

The Rock King

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

Reviewed: 10-10-2018

I have read all of the Maiden Lane series and I’ve enjoyed each one. This one is the first I’ve had as an audio book. The reader was expressive and engaging. She moderated her voice for both pitch and tenor. Her pace varied depending on the situation and all of this attention to detail added to the pleasure of the story.
Having said that this is the darkest book of the series, which is unavoidable as we learn more about the Lords of Chaos and their impact on people. This story is also sexual in ways I don’t remember the others being. This may be because I was listening this time not reading.
Raphael, Duke of Dyemore, has suffered for the fact that his father was the head of the Lords of Chaos and he means to get revenge. He is a hardened character, created from a childhood experience and knowledge about his father. He was able to escape, others he knew had not been able to. His whole purpose for returning to England was to expose and stop the Lords.
Raphael rescues the kidnapped Lady Jordan, then marries her for protection, or so he says. Together they embark on a quest, one to destroy to Lords and one to destroy the preconceived self image of the other.
The story is stark and raw, but those readers who have come along for the journey from the beginning will appreciate the conclusion. Tying up loose ends from previous stories is satisfying. The legend/folktale/fairytale that Elizabeth creates at the beginning of each chapter is always one of my favourite parts of the book. Thanks for another winner.

  • Rotherweird

  • Rotherweird, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Caldecott
  • Narrated by: Kris Dyer
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 26

Rotherweird is a twisted, arcane murder-mystery with shades of Deborah Harkness, Hope Mirrlees and Ben Aaronovitch, Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey at their disturbing best. The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant-garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not the worst book I've read.

  • By Amazon Customer on 23-09-2018

Intriguing

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

Reviewed: 18-09-2018

This is an interesting story and as it went along I became far more intrigued with it than I thought I would be when I started it.
A community seperate from the rest of the country by royal decree. No study of their history is allowed, but what a tangled history it turns out to be.
A new history teacher and the renovation of the town’s Manor house appear to be the catalyst for some extraordinary revelations and suspicious deaths.
The characters have rather unique names and I will admit that I found it hard to keep the names in my head to begin with. The story wove in directions I hadn’t anticipated. I did feel as if not all loose ends we tied up at the end. Maybe I just need to go back and check.

  • Savage Rising

  • Redemption Harbor Series, Book 2
  • By: Katie Reus
  • Narrated by: Sophie Eastlake
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Having a child changed everything for Olivia - she vowed to keep her little girl safe from the mistakes of her past. But when the most dangerous person she ever met blackmails her into doing one last heist, the world she's so carefully built goes into a tailspin. Frantic, she heads to Redemption Harbor in search of help. Sparks fly when she meets Savage, a man who will do anything to keep Olivia and her daughter safe. He'll help her get her life back, but can he handle seeing who she once was?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Expect the unexpected

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 03-09-2018

Expect the unexpected

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

Reviewed: 03-09-2018

I liked this story. The past rearing it’s ugly head to bring down Olivia and Zac Savage ready to step in and help her out.
The connections between the ‘family’ members in this series means that they are all willing to pitch in with their expertise to help each other out.
Their methods may not always be strictly legal, but they don’t exploit anyone. There is a rather complicated series of links between the villains that I didn’t realise were coming. Expect the unexpected should be the catch cry for this book.
There are two occasions at the end that set up two of the other family members for following stories. You don’t need to read this series in order as the books can stand on their own, but it is a nice way to come to know everybody and anticipate what is in store for the rest of the cast.

  • Resurrection

  • Redemption Harbor Series, Book 1
  • By: Katie Reus
  • Narrated by: Sophie Eastlake
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Skye Arévalo left the CIA and faked her death to protect Colt Stuart, the only man she ever loved. Months later, a brutal kidnapping draws her to quietly infiltrate a dangerous cartel. Just when she thinks she's home free, things go horribly wrong and she escapes with bloodthirsty enemies on her heels...only to find herself face to face with a bewildered and angry Colt. When Colt, a former Marine, finds out the woman he loved betrayed him, he's shocked and hurt, but it doesn't stop him from breaking every law on the books to keep her alive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected twists

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 24-08-2018

Unexpected twists

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

Reviewed: 24-08-2018

I liked this story. The past rearing it’s ugly head to bring down Olivia and Zac Savage ready to step in and help her out.
The connections between the ‘family’ members in this series means that they are all willing to pitch in with their expertise to help each other out.
Their methods may not always be strictly legal, but they don’t exploit anyone. There is a rather complicated series of links between the villains that I didn’t realise were coming. Expect the unexpected should be the catch cry for this book.
There are two occasions at the end that set up two of the other family members for following stories. You don’t need to read this series in order as the books can stand on their own, but it is a nice way to come to know everybody and anticipate what is in store for the rest of the cast.

  • Cold Secrets

  • By: Toni Anderson
  • Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

When an international ring of sex traffickers kidnaps an eight-year-old girl in Boston, FBI Agent Lucas Randall heads undercover. But his rescue operation goes disastrously wrong and Lucas barely escapes with his life. Now the ruthless traffickers are hunting him down, along with everyone else who threatens their operation. Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world - evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills, and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with Lucas, she also has big trouble.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Trust me

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 21-08-2018

Trust me

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

Reviewed: 21-08-2018

I have really enjoyed listening to the Cold series books as read by Eric G Dove and this is no exception. His voice is lovely to listen to and his subtle differences in characters is more than enough to keep each character separate. I have had a few times in past books where his pronunciation of a word has been noticeably American, but nothing compared to the pronunciation of brothel in this book. I’ve never heard it said this way, so strange was it I had to check with the written version of the book to make sure of the word.
This distraction didn’t take away from an otherwise great action packed thriller. Strong characters and strong plot lines make for a ‘can’t put it down’ novel ( or in this case - can’t stop listening).
The FBI team is trying to solve a problem on home soil which becomes international. One of their own agents then becomes the target of this group because of her secret former life. Trust is the main theme running through this story. Breaking, making and rebuilding trust.

  • Fated

  • Alex Verus, Book 1
  • By: Benedict Jacka
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

Camden, North London. A tangled, mangled junction of train lines, roads and waterways. Where minor celebrities hang out with minor criminals and where tourists and moody teenagers mingle. In the heart of Camden, where rail meets road meets leyline, you might find the Arcana Emporium, run by one Alex Verus. He won't sell you a wand or mix you a potion, but if you know what you're looking for, he might just be able to help.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 21-08-2018

Unexpected

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

Reviewed: 21-08-2018

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but it grew on me over the course of the telling. Set in modern day London in an alternate, secret and parallel magical community it is full of interesting characters and action.
I found that the beginning was a slow burn as the main characters and their world was opened to the listener. The pace and the twists pick up after this establishment phase.
Alex Vruus is happily running his magic shop when a friend brings him a relic to him which has strange properties. This item is the catalyst for marking them targets of a few factions in the magical community, none of whom are friendly.
Alex’s talent, of forseeing the many possibilities of any action, is needed to keep them alive and to solve a centuries old problem.
This story is well read and very pleasant to listen to.