Monday 17 August 2015

Review: PRINCES GATE by Mark Ellis

Princes Gate by Mark Ellis
Narrated by Matt Addis
Book 1 in the DCI Frank Merlin series
Genre: historical crime fiction

About Princes Gate:
January 1940. London. DCI Frank Merlin and his team are called in to investigate when a scientist is killed in a hit and run and the body of an employee of the American Embassy is discovered alongside the Thames.

Merlin’s investigation leads him to the office of the American Embassy and Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, a well-known supporter of appeasement. When another Embassy employee dies, Merlin, the charismatic detective, finds himself exploring the seedier parts of wartime London. A corrupt night-club owner, high-flying diplomats and the Ambassador himself appear to be linked to the events surrounding the deaths.

DCI Frank Merlin must solve the case without ruffling feathers at the embassy, or straining Anglo-American relations, at a time when America represents to many Britain’s only hope of salvation.
Source: Info in the About Princes Gate was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

My Thoughts:
I am an urban fantasy girl. Not much of a crime fiction fan. However from time to time, I am known to go over to the dark side. Like for example, I am a huge fan of JD Robb's In Death series. A futuristic crime fiction series. That means their forensic methods is high tech. I wonder how it would work for historical crime fictions where they have to make do with what I imagine to be medieval forensics methods...? It would be interesting to find out...

And so I started listening to this book.

A few chapters down and I thought I knew the "whodunnit". Predictable much?! And there I lost interest. Plodding on was seriously an uphill battle. And that brought the pace of this book down a notch even though this is an audiobook. And the pace did not pick up again until about a few chapters before the end. And that's a lot of plodding to do. Glad to see I was wrong though. I had no idea of the "whodunnit"... The author has also perfectly captured the inanities of high society life contrasted against the backdrop of war... There's a lesson in there somewhere... Anyway, it gives the story a realistic feel which makes it easy to suspend disbelief.

Another plus for this book is that Mark Addis' voice is pleasing to the ears. It also helps that I agree with his interpretations of the book. Kudos to the narrator!

At the end of it, I did enjoy this book. Which is saying something given that I am not a crime fiction fan. And looking forward to listening to book 2!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 3.5
Ending = 3.4
World building = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10 hrs and 7 mins listening time)
Plot = 4
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Thank you!
Thank you to Audible and everybody in the publicity team for the review copy received.

FTC Disclosure:
This book was received for free from Audible in exchange for an honest review.

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