Author: Michael Ridpath –
Publisher: Isis Publishing Ltd –
Genre: Crime, Mystery –
Overall rating: 5/5 –
Writing: 4/5 –
Duration: 11:12 (medium) –
Narrator: Seán Barrett –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: 4/5 –
Performance errors: 1/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 2/5 –
This is one of my favorite audiobooks. I like it every time I listen to it. There are a few reasons for this.
The story is layered like an especially elaborate wedding cake. Despite this, it is also very easy to follow. The narrative is expertly well-structured which comes as a surprise to anyone familiar with other books by this author. As much as the other crime novels by Michael Ridpath are entertaining to read, this one is simply thrilling. It paints a picture which is equally picturesque and difficult to believe. Faced with such a composition, the reader will make an effort to believe the story just for the sake of its beauty and, in the end, care about both main characters for no particular reason. It is also an unusual love story. The fact that it takes place across time and space makes it more adventurous than your typical sci-fi or fantasy novel.
I also found it particularly full of light. This may be due to the fact that the author cares about landscapes and nature in his descriptions or perhaps he applied some odd proportion in his writing, perhaps inadvertently. Mystery novels are ordinarily rather dark (some, like the ones by John Dickson Carr, very dark). The fact that the effort of fighting amnesia, of overcoming a kind of inner darkness, is made in such a transparent and well-lit environment created a stark, powerful contrast. The story seems also a perfect material for a movie.
The cover does not look like much. It is made in a similar style as several other novels by Michael Ridpath. It does not really fit the contents of the book. The title is also not very clear. Overall, not a great cover, but a particularly satisfying novel.
Cover Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash