Tag Archives: audiobooks

The Ice Twins by S.K Tremayne – a review

The Ice Twins by S.K Tremayne was a recent ‘listen to’ rather than actual read. As I’ve previously mentioned I walk most places and occasionally attempt to jog. Both of these are hobbies that are made better with an audible book. Being read to can often be a bit hit and miss though. You are as reliant on the person who is reading it, as you are on the actual quality of the writing. I’ve started listening to a number of books over the years that I have had to give up on due to the really annoying voices of the readers.
This however was not one of them, and despite some of the fake Scottish accents sounding a bit comedy this was a really interesting listen.
Sarah and Angus are mourning the death of one of their identical twins. In order to try and move on with their lives they relocate to a remote island in the Scottish highlands (I think!) with their remaining twin Kirstie. However things don’t go as planned when Kirstie states she is actually Lydia and that they have been mourning the wrong twin.
I really enjoyed this book despite a few reservations. The main one being that I didn’t really like or get a proper feel for any of the main characters. There were times that if I had been reading the actual book, I would have had to flick back through to see if I’d missed something key as to why the characters acted as they did. Obviously it is not that simple when you are listening.
On the plus side, the Ice Twins was incredibly atmospheric. There was a lot of description of the surrounding area which added to the creepy feeling throughout the book. You got the impression of the bleakness and despair that the family felt as they spiralled further down into weirdness. The book was quite slow going, but this added to the overall feel. It was almost like it was written in slow motion, you can see what is about to happen but you can’t stop it.
I did think it was a bit odd that the parents couldn’t tell the twins apart, I don’t know anything about twins so I may be wrong but you’d think that by the time they are 6 there would be something distinctive enough about each of them to tell them apart. Saying that however, our main narrator is Sarah and she is clearly unreliable. It’s almost a chicken and egg situation, what came first, was it Kirstie saying she is Lydia, or did Sarah give her the idea?
I’m usually not a huge fan of ghost stories but this was more thriller than ghost and even by the end I wasn’t really clear was it a haunting or was it just confusion. This story was definitely worth a listen to and made my walk to work much more interesting.

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Trust your eyes by Linwood Barclay – a review

Firstly I need to caveat this review by pointing out that I listened to this, rather than actually read it. Personally I don’t think that listening to something is as good as actually reading, but it’s a good substitute for those moments when reading is just tricky – walking into town for example!

The main problem with listening is that a lot depends on whether or not you actually like the people narrating. Unfortunately with this book the two men who were narrating sounded rather like American robots which I found a bit off putting. However putting that aside, this was another good story by Linwood Barclay.

The story revolves around Thomas who is autistic and spends his days memorising maps using a internet programme called World360 (essentially google maps by another name) Thomas believes that Ex-President Bill Clinton has asked him to do this on behalf of the CIA in case of a terrorist attack. When his father dies, his brother Ray comes home to sort out the funeral and other arrangements. On World360 Thomas sees a women being murdered and this leads both him and his brother to get caught up in a political cover up, and to meet an ex-olympian gymnast turned assassin.
I liked the characters (well the nice ones not the murderer ones) and felt that Ray and Thomas were very believable in their frustrations with each other. As usual with Linwood Barclay books the pace of the story is fast, and is a bit of a rollercoaster from start to finish. He writes clever plots, and although I don’t think this was necessarily his best I suspect that is more to do with having to listen rather than read.

I’m not sure if I would have felt differently if I had been reading as that makes it easier to flip back and check things, but to me there almost seemed to be too many plots to follow. There was the mystery around their Dad’s death, a potential child abuse line, the murder and its reasons, the love story between Ray and a journalist, it was all a little too much for me.  However once you can get those straight in your head then it is a good story.

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