The Cryptic Lines
By: Richard Storry
Publish Date: March 3, 2015, Audiobook Release March 16, 2016
Format: Audiobook - 4 hrs 13 mins
Narrated By: Jake Urry
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Series: Stand alone
First Impression: Competition/mystery for who gets the inheritance.
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 night it all began there was nothing foreboding to see - at first.
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My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review at my request.
Two weeks to do as Alfred wishes in order to decide who inherits his fortune. Or they lose it all, being donated to community programs. His attorney or his son. They both must solve the clues to find one gem to win his large fortune. Who will it be?
This is a first for me with listening to Jake Urry. He has a relaxed yet formal sound to his voice that fits for Charles and the story being told. There is, however, a small sound of his voice as if there is something passing in front of him as he spoke, giving a small sound difference as though he's behind something. Jake performs some great personalities present with Charles, Alfred, James, and even Matthew, who lives up to what his father and butler voiced of him. This gives the characters a feel of having their own personalities in their voices. None of the words feel rushed, on the contrary they feel methodical and well thought out as Jake speaks them.
The prologue is a short poem by Rudyard Kipling. I'm guessing this is to set the feel of the book and possibly what the story is derived from, based on the synopsis.
The story starts with the description of the home to give it a creepy feel. The description feels to fit the cover rather well. Great selection for the cover.
Charles has arrived at Heston Grange on this stormy night to meet with Lord Alfred Willoughby per the Lords request in order to amend his Last Will and Testament, yet once again. The man adjusts his will to fit who is in standing with him at any given time. Alfred is elderly in age but mentally sharp as a whip and still physically traversing with ease.
By the time we get to the reading, or viewing, of the will I was curious as to what was said. And how Lord Alfred Willoughby's son would take the details of the will. Then, when I get to hear it.... oh the game begins!
Is Matthew as bad of a person as Alfred, his father, and James, the butler, think he is? A scoundrel. Or is the person that Charles sees the true Matthew? I'm curious as to which way this will go. We are meeting Matthew for the first time with Charles and he seems like a good person... But there's James telling Charles to beware. I'm baited. lol. Then there are small glimpses we get of Matthew. Oh to see how he turns out.
If Richard were to be the creator of a mystery night or party to search for clues, I would TOTALLY be there! I was taken by the crafty design of the hidden clues for Charles and Matthew to follow. I really had no idea where the clues would take us and what Charles and Matthew would have to do to get to the next clue. It was neat how this place was built and how Alfred planned it all. Crafty in design and kept me curious.
In the end, I had a feeling how things would work out. Though, there were additional details I had not expected here shared in a heartfelt letter. This letter touched my heart with how well written and vocalized it was done.
This was not scary in any means, but suspenseful in not knowing what would lead to the next, and all fitting together to get to the next clue. Even the characters felt to hold true to their character and reveal in the end.
I felt this was excellently written and performed.
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Richard is the author of four published novels, with his fifth “A Looming of Vultures” due for publication in 2017. Prior to writing his first novel, “The Cryptic Lines” he was very busy in the theatrical world: He composed the incidental music to Chekhov’s Three Sisters, seen in London’s West End, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Eric Sykes, and subsequently broadcast on BBC4 television. His musical adaptation of “The Brothers Lionheart” premiered at London’s Pleasance Theatre, followed by a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival where it was voted Best Childrens’ Play. “The Cryptic Lines” has now been adapted for both the stage and screen.
Jake Urry is a British actor and audiobook narrator, and also co-founder of Just Some Theatre. Since graduating from an Acting degree course in 2012 he’s toured with Just Some Theatre as an actor and producer, worked on a number of commercial voice over projects and most recently started producing Audiobooks. Jake has produced over 10 titles since March 2016 and has rapidly found himself at home narrating Thriller, Horror, Mystery and Suspense titles. His audiobook work includes dark psychological thrillers White is the Coldest Colour and Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl, occult mystery series The Ulrich Files by Ambrose Ibsen, and gritty Sci-Fi novel Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats.