The Cryptic Lines
Thursday, 28 April 2016
Written by: Richard Storry
Narrated by: Jake Urry
Length: 4 hrs and 13 mins
Publisher: Richard Alan Storry
Set in a sprawling gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently. After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem - the cryptic lines. If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred's will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears....
©2015 Richard Alan Storry (P)2016 Richard Alan Storry
This is a truly enjoyable story that enthralled me from the very beginning, I just had to listen from beginning to end. The plot is unlike most of the mysteries I read or listen to in that it's not about murder. It's about a most unusual treasure hunt, the clues are provided from beyond the grave, albeit via a reel of film.
The setting is an old mansion that wouldn't be out of place in a horror story, full of hidden secrets. There is a faithful butler to attend their every need and a cook who prepares for them meals fit for the fussiest gourmet.
The clues they must solve are very cryptic, and the attempts to solve them lead along a convoluted route to some very eerie locations. The story has the feel of an Agatha Christie play and I realised I had no idea of the time period in which the story was set, though I might have missed that bit. The ending is both unexpected and satisfying, I felt I had just listened to a rather wonderful play on the wireless. I highly recommend this intriguing tale.
Narrated by Jake Urry, and what a wonderful job he made of it, his voice conveyed an ominous significance to the words which was just perfect for this book. He maintains a good rhythmn and his voice has a pleasing cadence which helps bring life to story. I had no trouble differentiating between the characters because he bestowed them with distinct voices, he has also mastered the art of conveying the age appropriate voices. Jake also passed my "old lady voice" test, many of us listeners get tired of any female character over 60 being given a high pitched, weak and quavery voice. Darned good job Jake, I'm sure you will do exceedingly well in the audiobook narration business.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher in return for an honest review