Review: The Cryptic Lines – Richard Storry

First off, I would like to wish each and every one of you a Happy Halloween!

Halloween is by far my favourite time of year, mostly because it allows me to be my weird self without judgement, but also because of all the scary books, movies, and plays.

As such, it seemed only fitting for me to review a mystery audiobook on spookiest day of the year, thanks go out to Jess at The AudioBookWorm for inviting me on The Cryptic Lines tour.

Interested to see what spooky reads I’ve been partaking in for the month of October? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

The (audio)Book

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…

The Review

The thing I enjoyed most about this audiobook experience is that it was a relatively short listen. Coming in at only a four hours and 13 minutes, I was able to listen to this book in the span of a shift at work.

Of course, the story itself also made the listening experience enjoyable. I have to say, before I continue, that the parents of author Richard Storry aptly gave their son the most appropriate last name ever.

The story weaved here by Storry was, although not as original as I had hoped, definitely gave me a The Goonies meets Clue meets The House on Haunting Hill vibes, which I might add is never a bad thing.

I also found that I wasn’t able to guess the mystery, which is always a tell of a great mystery writer.

The Cryptic Lines Narrator Jake Urry

Jake Urry, the narrator of the audiobook, had a very Vincent Price-esk air about him. I mean, it literally sounds like he’s smoked a pack or two of cigarettes every year for 25 years, which I think added to the eeriness of the story.

When I googled Jake Urry to put a face to the voice, I can without a doubt say I was shocked. His voice sounds like it should be coming out of someone three times his age, which gave a new meaning to don’t judge a (audio)book by its cover.

The only reason I didn’t give this audiobook 5 stars has little to do with the narrator and more to do with the speed of the narration.

Usually, when I listen to an audiobook, I have it on a speed of 1.25x or higher. However, for this audiobook I felt that in order to create the ambiance needed for listening to a spooky story, I had to put the speed down to 0.75x.

Maybe that’s Audible’s way of telling me to slow down and take my time listening to a book, but I am a speed reader, so it hurt me a little bit to add more time to my overall listening time.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.


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