LISTENER

Bernadette Aitken

Canberra, Australia
  • 85
  • reviews
  • 29
  • helpful votes
  • 110
  • ratings
  • The Forbidden Duke

  • The Untouchables, Book 1
  • By: Darcy Burke
  • Narrated by: Marian Hussey
  • Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Spinster Miss Eleanor Lockhart is suddenly homeless and employment is her only option. Ruined after succumbing to a scoundrel's excessive charm nearly a decade ago, she's lucky to obtain a position as a paid companion and committed to behaving with the utmost propriety. She definitely shouldn't be in the arms of a man capable of utterly destroying what little remains of her reputation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Second chances.

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 16-07-2019

Second chances.

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

Reviewed: 16-07-2019

An enjoyable story about second chances and becoming an adult. Nora spent nine years in the country after an unfortunate moment during her season. It wasn’t too dreadful, but she suffered from it and not the gentleman. As a result of this and the death of his father Titus changes his life for the better.
If you love to see good people find love and happiness then this is the book for you. Strong characters and a HEA.
Very nicely read.

  • Inferno: A Flashpoint Series Novella

  • By: Rachel Grant
  • Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

US Embassy Officer Kaylea Halpert needs a date for a black tie event at a dangerous foreign national's lavish home. Preferably someone with brains and brawn who can watch her back. Special Forces Sergeant Carlos Espinosa is more than happy to escort the beautiful, brilliant diplomat - who just might be a CIA case officer - to the party. Date night in Djibouti turns deadly when foreign agents target the couple. But who is the intended victim, the covert operator or the Green Beret?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a first date!

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 14-07-2019

What a first date!

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

Reviewed: 14-07-2019

A great little novella to supplement a great series. A roller coaster first date for Kayla and Carlos. An intense personal response to finally acknowledging their attraction for each other, combined with kidnapping, explosions, society events and saving lives and you have an interesting first date.
Some threads from previous stories work their way into this story. It is like watching ripples on a pond expand from a single point. The conclusion is satisfying, while leaving a door open for more to come.
Listening to Greg Tremblay read the story is a pleasure in itself. He has a lovely voice and is able to reflect the mood by moderating his speed and tone.

  • The Body in the Dales

  • A Yorkshire Murder Mystery
  • By: J. R. Ellis
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? Then someone with vital information turns up dead....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring

  • By Anonymous User on 20-08-2018

Caving disaster

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

Reviewed: 09-06-2019



The murder of an unlikeable character is always an interesting premise for a mystery. The connections across various community groups to this man helped to create many possible leads and suspects. Greed, get rich quick schemes and revenge all impact on the characters.
I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Yorkshire countryside and the addition of the dialect. The police team and their personal relationships gave the investigation an intimate quality.
I appreciated the descriptions of caving, but it didn’t make it anymore appealing to me. The danger in the activity was highlighted on a number of occasions.
The humour, usually directed towards the new DS from London, broke the tension that built up in the book. The performance of Michael Page and his use of different voices also added to this humour.

  • Covert Games

  • Redemption Harbor Series, Book 6
  • By: Katie Reus
  • Narrated by: Sophie Eastlake
  • Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

Redemption Harbor Consulting’s greatest enemy, Alexei Kuznetsov, is in their sights. For RHC cofounder Leighton, toppling the treacherous criminal’s empire is one more small step toward making up for his own past. To destroy Kuznetsov, he’ll go through the Russian’s niece, a woman Leighton suspects may also be guilty of dirty deeds. A woman he doesn’t count on wanting...who boils his blood and makes Leighton want things he doesn’t deserve with someone he can’t have.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The final solution

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 24-04-2019

The final solution

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

Reviewed: 24-04-2019

In this book a whorl wind romance develops amid family secrets and the attempt to take down a man whose network preys on the vulnerable. Lucy and Leighton find themselves surprisingly connected in a very short period of time.
The members of the Redemption Harbor crew work together to wrap up a case that has been sitting in the background of the previous books in this series. Each member brings their own specialty with them. It’s their differences that make them a great team. Their significant other helps to ground each member and build the full family experience they each crave.
It’s been an action packed series filled with different situations and solutions. The relationships that have come about have enhanced the experience of reading and it make the reader feel involved with the series at a deeper level.

  • Inferno

  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 17 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 552
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 547

Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces. As Dan Brown comments: "Although I studied Dante’s Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful story that ran out of puff

  • By Swarup on 29-12-2015

Exciting

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

Reviewed: 20-04-2019

Poor Robert Langdown! He has no memory of the past couple of days, he has a head injury and he’s being chased by a number of different agents. Why? The answers seem to lie within a small projector and an altered painting of the Inferno.
Secret walkways and passages within the old quarter in Florence and Istanbul provide vivid images and more suspense than would seem possible for such a small time frame. Who can be trusted?
One of the things I enjoyed the most were the character backgrounds that kept popping up throughout the story.
At least one lead me to follow a red herring. Everyone has motives to get to the ‘prize’ first. Each person is keeping secrets. There are more twists in this plot than are in the average set of headphone cords.
Spectacular art and architecture, great ethical dilemmas and suspense at every turn. This is a great read and a definite page turner.

  • Untouchable

  • By: Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Narrated by: Amanda Leigh Cobb
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. But the more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace. But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Final chapter

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 20-03-2019

Final chapter

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

Reviewed: 20-03-2019

This was a fine way to finish the series of stories about the foster brothers/sons that were forged together as a family by the flames set by a charismatic crazy man. His full personality comes out in this story as he is one of the main characters, rather than a background one.
Jack and Winter both have unusual talents. Readers who are not very familiar with Jayne’s work may find it strange, but regular readers will be quite comfortable with their abilities.

  • Beware the Past

  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80

When Matt Ballard was starting out his career, three boys were murdered in the same area, the remote and bleak Gibbet Fen. When the main suspect was killed in a hit-and-run, the killings stopped. But Matt was not satisfied that the real murderer had been caught. Over 25 years later, Matt gets a photo in an unmarked envelope. It's of the Gibbet Fen crime scene. And the picture was taken before the murder took place. More photos arrive, relating to the historic murders, as well as intimate pictures of Matt's very secret private life.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • couldn't finish because of performance 🤨

  • By peter cousens on 20-07-2018

A gritty mystery

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

Reviewed: 05-03-2019

Wow! What a truly twisted story and protagonists. This was hard story to put down as a copycat killer appears on the fens and plays with the detectives trying to solve the case. There are twists and ‘Oh my’ moments at every turn. There was a secret from the past that was causing Matt to be obsessed with an old case, but I never imagined what that secret was.
The characters that torment the team and DCI Matt Ballard in particular, were cunning, methodical, logical, damaged and tech savvy. They used every method at their disposal to threaten the team, but it was all based on a false premise that could have been checked using DNA testing.
The relationship between Matt and Liz is complicated and is written about in detail. This is something different from the other series by Joy Ellis. I do love the fact that personal relationships are important the stories Joy writes because work and personal relationships can never really be separated from each other, even if they aren’t intimate.

  • The Guilty Ones

  • A Jackman and Evans Thriller
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133

Jackman’s sister-in-law Sarah disappears to London and throws herself into the river. What drove her to this? She was a woman with a seemingly happy home life and two beloved sons. DI Jackman and DI Evans dig into Sarah’s life. And Jackman realises he knew almost nothing about his sister-in-law’s past. Then, they discover a woman in a neighbouring village died in similar circumstances. What is the connection to a convicted murderer whose family are convinced he is innocent? Who is really pulling the strings?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • perfect partnership

  • By Jen on 07-04-2019

Twists and twisted

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

Reviewed: 01-03-2019

I am a great fan of Joy Ellis’s work. DI Jackman and DS Evans are a wonderful team and good friends. Their support of each other and their team makes for a lovely feeling in this team. What I enjoyed in this book was the connection that was made with Joy’s other series through DCI Cameron.
The perpetrator of the crimes in this story is a very damaged man. His twisted view of the world caused grief for many people and hit home with Jackman’s sister-in-law. His family’s sorrow was heartfelt. The amazing way that the investigation team collects information and pieces it together always surprises me.
Joy has crafted a complex and suspenseful story, while developing the personal characteristics and relationships of the investigation team. It is lovely to have both and it is what has encouraged me to read everything Joy has written.
I love Richard Armitage’s reading. His voice is very seductive and his voices have become the characters for me. I can’t think of the characters without thinking of his voices. Thank you

  • Let Me Lie

  • By: Clare Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Gemma Whelan, Clare Mackintosh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168

The police say it was suicide. Anna says it was murder. They're both wrong. One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life - a shocking suicide carefully played out to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with her parents' deaths ever since. Now with a young baby herself, Anna feels her mother's presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened. But as she looks for answers, someone is trying to stop her.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • too slow

  • By Jasia Hawkins on 01-07-2019

Stunned by the final twist

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

Reviewed: 01-03-2019

Great story! This is the second book of Clare’s book that I have experienced. I use that term because I became so involved with the story and the characters I felt as if I was invested it. The story style of flipping between characters, some named, others not, was a wonderful way of creating tension and a desire to go on for just a bit longer. It’s not hard to convince yourself to go on.
The epilogue has a final twist that made me go back to Murray’s last chapter and be amazed by Clare’s word craft.
The beautiful relationship between Murray and Sarah, despite its difficulties, sheds a harsh light on the relationship of Anna’s parents. Mental health plays an important role in this book. The twists and turns in the plot make it a book that’s difficult to put down.
The narration was very well done and it was easy to recognise each character through the subtle changes in Gemma’s voice.

  • Fire on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 9
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

The Fens are burning, and Detective Nikki Galena faces a cat-and-mouse battle with a killer arsonist. Someone is lighting fires. First they target homes and businesses, but then a body is found at one of the crime scenes. More fires are lit. And at each one a single person dies. But the victims have led spotless lives, and apparently there's no connection between them. Meanwhile, the town is facing a very peculiar threat from a group of sinister Satanists led by a charismatic businessman. Who is burning with anger, and can Nikki stop them before anyone else dies? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Burning revenge

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 16-02-2019

Burning revenge

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

Reviewed: 16-02-2019

This story is all about revenge being a dish best served cold. The perpetrator coldly plans the fires to seek revenge for a crime that he didn’t have the full facts for. His father’s lies and deception have lead to this young man’s mental instability. There are ‘suggestions’ from the higher ups that this case is too sensitive to continue investing. Fortunately for the victims and their families, Nikki, Joseph and the crew do some unofficial work until their evidence is overwhelming enough that they are given the go ahead to continue.
It wasn’t until the climax had almost arrived that I worked out a connection between the two main stories. I love the interactions amongst the characters and the feeling of being invested in their lives as a reader. I sincerely hope there is more to come in this series.