The third and final of Francis Durbridge's Tim Frazer novels is a bit of a step down from the previous outing, Tim Frazer Again, but it's still an enjoyable enough ripping yarn to make it a pity there were no more. Originally written in 1978 nearly a decade-and-a-half after the previous novel, at the time it was rather dated stuff, feeling more like the 50s than the 70s, but now that works in its favour as a piece of enjoyably cosy nostalgia best enjoyed on a Sunday evening with a mug of something warm. The former engineer continues in his new career as a secret agent, this time in search of the killer of a female agent and a missing scientist in a small Welsh town. The latter is a bit of a problem for narrator Anthony Head, who really can't get to grips with the accent and renders most of its inhabitants Midlanders instead, but in all other respects his admirably straight-faced reading is so excellent that you can let that go. More problematic is that the adaptation to audio book is a little awkward in a couple of stretches, particularly in one repetitive passage where the same information is relayed to three different sets of characters. Thankfully such padding is rare, and there's enough that works - most notably a nice bit of business with an overcoat - to let that slip as well. It's certainly not essential, but it is enjoyable.
Undercover agent Tim Frazer, a creation of thriller writer, Francis Durbridge, (who achieved notable success with the Paul Temple series,) has been revitalised and produced by the BBC in an audio format. Tim Frazer gets the Message is the third and follows on from, The World of Tim Frazer and Tim Frazer Again. (If you are a Paul Temple fan, I think you will enjoy this production.)
It is read extremely well by Anthony Head. The different characters and accents are performed perfectly and he successfully conveys the drama of the tale.
In this production, Miss Thackeray, a British Intelligence agent, has been murdered and there is the intriguing incident of scientist Kurt Lander,(who had been working for the British Government,) going missing.
Are the two incidents connected?
Tim Frazer is summoned to help the Police, who appear to 'have hit a wall" in their investigations.
It is an excellent story, a 2 CD, and two hours and twenty minutes of enjoyment, for listening at home, on your ipod or in the car.
I hadn't come across the Tim Frazer series before so wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I have enjoyed the Paul Temple series so I anticipated good things, and I certainly wasn't disappointed.
Tim Frazer Gets the Message started off a little busy and a touch confusing to me at first, where the scene was being set, which seems a little fast paced, and I found a it a little bit of a push to keep track of all the characters being introduced so quickly.
If, like me, you're not fully concentrating at the start you may miss the relevance of the key characters' names and background, so make sure you read the baseline for the story on the back of the CD to get a grip with the underlying background of the story.
The story starts off around a murder in Wales and a mysterious and very interesting report from a British intelligence officer which must be dealt with quickly, but all isn't what it seems. Tim Frazer is needed. I thought his entry to the story was a little abrupt, but once he was in the story seemed to flow much better.
It nicely settled down to a good pace and a very well structured story which was impressively presented by Anthony Head with plenty of characterisation. I found myself very drawn along with the story all the way through and couldn't stop listening until I was at the end, although I was listening on the computer which crashed at the worst moment, just on the final track leaving me with a complete cliffhanger wondering how the finale would play out and would Frazer get his man...! This is an exciting and riveting adventure, nicely intertwined, keeping you thinking about the characters and with some nice amusing lines in the story.
This was a very enjoyable couple of hours listening at the weekend and I can certainly recommend it if you enjoy a good detective story/murder mystery.
This is an ok but fairly short (2 x CDs, 2hr 20min) listen that is not a particularly inspiring or clever tale. Fraser is sent to a remote Welsh village to find out why Miss Thackery a British intelligence agent was found brutally murdered in the Welsh countryside. She had only recently returned incognito from Hong Kong where she had been negotiating the return of Kurt Lander a top German scientist who was much in demand by various military establishments. He was missing too...
Unfortunately the plot was fairly scant and Tim Fraser came across as a bit bland, not helped by some fairly average and bored sounding narrating by smoothy coffee-seller Anthony Head whose accents (when attempted) were all over the place. Ok, it can be a bit embarrassing putting on ladies accents but others have done so ok. The combination of story and story teller was far from a Gold Blend in my opinion.
I would strongly recommend the Durbridge's Paul Temple audios over this any day; the stories and story teller both have a lot more personality than this one I'm afraid.
This audio book is read by Anthony Head, probably best known as Buffy the Vampire Slayer's handler. The multitude of voices and accents that Head creates for the characters are consistent and fit the novel very well. The lack of sound effects and music are refreshing and encourage greater attention to the speech. This is not an action adventure but a pleasant mystery, and lends itself well to a quiet evening in front of the fire, or perhaps a long car journey. The 2 cd's total 2hours and 20 minutes. The ending is probably not what you were expecting! This is a well-produced offering which may not be best-of-breed but I can heartily recommend it for entertainment value.
An action-packed and fast moving thriller that starts in rural Wales but reaches its climax in the dives of Tiger Bay in Cardiff. Despite the Cold War setting this is an old-fashioned story with a resolute hero typically undaunted by injury who is investigating the brutal murder of a British intelligence agent and the disappearance of a mysterious German scientist, confronted by villains, both open and hidden - though the identity of the latter is quickly worked out by the attentive listener. Its strength lies in the skill of Durbridge as entertainer, though its fast pace, possibly the result of abridgement, provides little opportunity for anything more than just the telling of a story.
Anthony Head is required to produce a variety of accents, some more successful than others, but he has a pleasant speaking voice and provides an entertaining reading of just over two hours in length.
Although not as popular as Frances Durbridge's famous Paul Temple series, Tim Frazer as the engineer who becomes a spy is a great fun murder solving mystery and Tim is an interesting character as he does have his faults.
Anthony Head does another fine job as narrator, and I do recommend any set of CDs that he has narrated as he really does bring the story to life.
This is a well paced murder mystery with all the charm of a bygone era. A pleasure to listen to.