Book Review-Ash-and-Bones

Ash and Bones


Mike Thomas

Ash and Bones by Mike Thomas is described as a crime and thriller book.  And to a degree it is.  Before I go any further I must state that this was an audio book, not a read.

I have stated several times that I think a narrator can make or break an audio book.  In Ash and Bones, it was the latter.  I nearly stopped listening to it in the first few chapters as it seemed to be a continual drone with no audible difference between characters. This may have been me not being ready for a new book.  However, I did persevere as nearly three hours in a train gave me plenty of time to concentrate!

Somewhere in the latter third of the book, the narrator says something along the lines of ‘…then McCready said, ‘Has the cat got the biscuits’…..’  That was when I realised I could not hear any difference between the narrator’s voice and McCready’s.  McCready was a lead character, or at least one of them so we heard a lot from him.

Many of the male characters and even female characters also sounded like the narrator.  Also in the latter third an elderly lady was introduced and her voice sounded ‘old’.  From that point I began to notice slight, very slight audible differences, among other characters.

I have seen school teachers reading all characters in their own voice and noticed the glazed look upon the students’ faces.  I strongly believe that each character should be recognisable when the narrator is reading their lines.   Heck, recently I was reading in a Scottish accent…to myself!!

As for the book…it seemed to be a mixture of crime, drugs, murder (I think) and family dramas all rolled into one with no rhyme or reason to any of it.  For example, one chapter ended in London with detectives talking about their case.  The next chapter commenced in Nairobi followed by a jump back to London.  There was no other reference to an African country until near the end.  Similarly, a family drama about two thirds of the way through the book was resolved in the last sentence.

I listen to audio books while driving and so it is impossible to “go back a page…or three” to re-read any tenuous connection there may be between chapters.  It may be a better ‘read’ than the audio version.

I did not like the audio version of Ash and Bones.  I read for enjoyment and the only thing I found enjoyable about Ash and Bones was working out why I found it so boring and lifeless.

Really should have been a one star rating, however, it earned and extra star because I did complete it.

I have rated

Ash and Bones

 Image result for Ash and Bones book review

as aread.

Goodreads readers have rated

Ash and Bones

an average of 3.59 stars from 59 ratings and 28 reviews

Ash and Bones

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon


4 thoughts on “Book Review-Ash-and-Bones

  1. I so agree the narrator can make or break a book. I can listen to almost anything by Simon Vance or Davina Porter. I am addicted to audio books but have to limit myself mostly to British English narrators. I find most American English narrator voices to be flat and boring. Sometimes when an American actor reads a book it is better because the seem to know how to bring more life to the characters. But not even a good narrator can save a truly bad book. I think I will skip Ash and Bones. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So pleased that someone else is like minded. Sometimes, I wonder if it is just my mood on the day. I often find I have a break of 2-3 days before commencing reading a new book.

      My previous review, for A Head Full of Ghosts received a one star rating from me while Goodreads readers rated A Head Full of Ghosts
      an average of 3.81 stars from 20,754 ratings and 3,324 reviews. I do agree that not even the narrator can save a book. My thoughts are that there must be some rubbish ‘out there’ after listening to some of the novels which have been recorded.

      I am a Sean Mangan fan along with several other who make a good job of narrating a book. Currently I am listening to ‘Land of the Afternoon Sun’ by Barbara Wood, and Mia Gaskin is doing a remarkable job of narrating. She is from California

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just like self publishing on Amazon., you can self produce an audio book. One of my old neighbors had done it. I have to admit I generally read negative reviews first because they can give clues to what might annoy me in a book.

        And there are writers and readers who think you should only write positive reviews. I had a discussion on a writer’s blog who was complaining that people had negatively reviewed her book. And she has sympathizers who agreed with her. They thought it was mean. I disagreed. If a writer can’t take criticism, they should find a new line of work.

        Currently, I am relistening to my favorite mystery writer, Ngaio Marsh. I own all her books.

        Liked by 1 person

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