Audiobook Review | The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

Interesting enough, but lacking in the drama I’d been promised. 3.5/5.


The blurb: It is midnight on 30th June 1860 and all is quiet in the Kent family’s elegant house in Road, Wiltshire. The next morning, however, they wake to find that their youngest son has been the victim of an unimaginably gruesome murder – the house was bolted from the inside. As Jack Whicher, the most celebrated detective of his day, arrives at Road to track down the killer, the murder provokes national hysteria at the thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes – scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealously, loneliness and loathing.

This true story has all the hallmarks of a classic gripping murder mystery. A body, a detective, a country house steeped in secrets and a whole family of suspects – it is the original Victorian whodunnit.

My take:

This is my second audiobook and, although my experience of listening to the story was positive, this is definitely a book I would have preferred to read myself. While Christian Rodska did a perfectly fine job with narrating and doing the different voices, I have a problem attending to non-fiction at the best of times, and my mind started to wander in the less than fascinating sections of the story.

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Audiobook Review | Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, read by Niamh Cusack

An atmospheric tale in need of a stronger final act. 3.5/5.


The blurb: Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America — to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood “just like Ireland” — she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

My take:

This was my first audiobook! Or, at least, my first audiobook since I used to listen to Disney stories on cassette tapes when I was eight. And I’m very pleased to say that, overall, I enjoyed Brooklyn.

The story is highly atmospheric. The author does a great job of capturing the different spirit of a small town in Ireland and then Brooklyn in the 1950s. The story has a good range of characters, which are all brought to life by Niamh Cusack’s voice and great skill with accents (particular credit to her for being able to switch between Belfast, south-west Ireland and Brooklyn in seconds).

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