Author: Pete Harrison
Narrator: Christine Rendel
Length: 5 hours 14 minutes
Publisher: Pete Harrison
Released: Nov. 14, 2019
Emily stood in front of a full length mirror in her well-appointed Camberwell apartment. She turned sideways on and looked over her shoulder before doing the same the other side.
“Anna, do you think I could pass for a man?”
Emily was nearly six feet tall; she wasn’t fat but was definitely solidly built. Her small breasts and wide hips showed her to definitely be a woman.
“Whatever do you mean miss?”
“Well if I bound my chest, padded my stomach a little and wore a man’s suit, with all my hair cut off, do you think I would look like a man?”
“Why ever would you want to do that miss?”
Anna was never surprised by anything her mistress said, she was always unpredictable and had some very funny notions.
“I’m going to dress as a man and pass myself off as a detective in the London police force. I’m never going to get anywhere as a woman”.
One time Telecoms engineer with a second career as a Racecourse Bookmaker, now retired and pursuing his love of the Theatre by becoming involved as a theatre technician he now heads up the sound department at the Loft Theatre, a highly regarded semi professional theatre in Leamington Spa. Varied interests include horse racing and all sports, WW1, music and theatre. The girl from Whitfield Hall, his first novel has ignited a passion for storytelling.
Christine Rendel is a British-born freelance audiobook narrator/producer and voice talent. She has narrated and produced over 40 fiction and non-fiction audiobooks. Genres include mystery, romance, children, young adult, science fiction, humor, history, biography, training and educational manuals and medical narration. Extensive medical background.
Represented as a voice actor by CESD Talent Agency NYC
Over 13 years experience in radio and broadcast production.
As an actor, performed in her native Britain, internationally and in New York Off and Off-Off-Broadway, on film and TV, and has numerous TV, radio, multi-media and industrial credits.
Founding member of the Anglo-American theater company Mind The Gap Theatre, and a member of SAG-AFTRA, APA and AEA.
I wasn’t quite sure where this story was going based on the first few chapters, but I was pleasantly surprised by the end.
Emily passed herself off as George the police officer well enough to convince them to let her “investigate” a case involving her brother Peter who was serving as a pilot in France. With that case under her belt she moved onto pastures new, and the main crime of the story – the murder of Henry, a friend of Peter’s and latterly working on a remote island far from home. The story behind his death just didn’t add up. So, Emily / George and her trusted maid, Anna, made it their business to find out what had really happened to him.
Emily is definitely ahead of her time, wanting to be a detective, learning to fly, and basically doing anything necessary to be the person she wants to be, and not be defined by her gender.
The narration was very clear, providing a sense of “prim and properness” to the characters of Emily and Anna, mixed up with a real joie de vivre and can-do attitude. Quite refreshing for that period.
I did find the structure of the story quite confusing – the constant change of characters, especially the introduction of new ones who appeared out of nowhere. However, ultimately the pieces all came together – it was certainly a story that required focus to join all those dots together, and I’m not sure it’s a style of writing I’d try again. I could see this working as a play though – it felt very much suited to that medium.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Pete Harrison. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author Pete Harrison
- How did you select your narrator?
- Because of the ‘Englishness’ of the book I had a very specific voice in mind. That being said the narrator had to be capable of doing a number of accents, particularly French. After listening to a number of audition tapes I knew within the first ten seconds that Christine was what I was looking for.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- Christine’s first five minute sample made it very clear that she had thoroughly read and re read the book. She asked if I wanted her to check with me continuously but I was happy to leave her to it.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Many of the locations visited in the book are places that I visited when I was much younger. In particular I stayed in the Pera Palace Hotel many years ago when English travellers were still something of a rarity.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
- I didn’t, I don’t think the novel is finished; the writing is done but actually getting people to read it takes a lot of effort.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Keep writing, even if you don’t think it’s any good, write till you run out of ideas at then start something new.
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- No. It never occurred to me until I came across ATX while doing some research for marketing.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- I love audio books. I find that the format can be more theatrical as it tends to be the narrators interpretation of the book.
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- I would like to be able to time travel back in time within my own lifetime, I have such wonderful memories that I would like to be able to re live.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- Listening to audio books is a completely different experience from reading; it changes the feel of the whole thing as when you read you conjure up your own images. Audio books tend to conjure up those images for you.
- What’s next for you?
- I’m writing a one act play for a competition. First prize is a public reading.
By Author Pete Harrison
- Joe Dempsie: Peter
- Rupert Grint: Harold
- Russell Tovey: Jimmy
- Dan Stevens: Dickie
- Nicholas Holt: Garrel
- Jean Reno: Jean Benard
- Saoirse Ronan: Anna
- Emma Watson: Emily
- Kara Tointon: Lady Rebecca
- Maisie Williams: Lynette
- Catherine Deneuve: Madam Defarge
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