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Denton is seemingly overrun by criminals, but as most of the police force are off suffering from flu, the onus is on Detective Inspector Jack Frost and his new side-kick, Detective Sergeant Gilmore. Gilmore initially despises his new boss - as they wade through a series of killings of old-aged pensioners, poison-pen letters, arson attacks, death threats and a missing girl, he is taken aback by Frost's unorthodox police methods - but soon he comes to realise that there is more to the scruffy Frost than meets the eye. Unfortunately, Gilmore's wife is getting more and more frustrated with Gilmore's long hours. And they still haven't caught the serial killer or found the missing girl. Will they be successful in their investigations or will the body count continue to rise?
I am not particularly a fan of David Jason as Jack Frost - I find him patronising and annoying in the role; nor am I really a fan of R D Wingfield's books featuring Frost - unfortunately, they are just not that well-written (in my opinion of course). However, I do like the stories that feature Jack and the audio book manages to convey the message of the stories without having to see David Jason or be annoyed by the standard of the writing. This is one of three Frost audio books that I have, all of which I have listened to time after time and are still going strong.
I haven't been able to completely avoid David Jason, as he narrates this audio book. However, I quite like him as a narrator - his voice is familiar and comfortable and I find listening to him very relaxing. He isn't the best narrator I have heard - some narrators, Martin Jarvis and Hugh Fraser to name but two, are excellent at altering their voices depending on the character that is speaking. David Jason doesn't do this at all well, which means that the book is mostly narrated in his voice. There are a couple of exceptions - an elderly woman for example, whose voice he changes to a rather silly old lady voice - but to be honest, I'd rather he hadn't bothered trying.
This version of the audio book has been abridged and lasts for about 3 hours. I generally tend to find that my attention span for an audio book lasts about this long, so the length is perfect for me. Any longer and I tend to find that I've forgotten the beginning by the time I've got to the end. This does obviously mean that parts of the book are missing, but having read the original book, I can honestly say that the most important parts are there and I didn't feel that anything in particular was missing.
R D Wingfield's books tend to have several strands to them, usually including a personal story, and this is no different. Apart from the various crimes, we also find out about Jack Frost as a character, including all his foibles, such as hating to do paperwork and refusing to bow to his superiors. It would have been easy to do skip on the characterisation in this abridged version, but I am pleased to say that it is very much still there, as is Gilmore's home life and it is this, as much as the investigation they are conducting, that held my attention.
Just a warning for those who are squeamish - although R D Wingfield isn't exactly known for his graphic descriptions, there are a couple of bits in this story that are not particularly pleasant - protruding entrails etc - so it would be worth ensuring that this is not played in front of children.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audio book for the nth time and can heartily recommend it to anyone who wants something light to listen to while driving, doing the housework or just to relax. I'm sure that a better narrator could have been found, but frankly I am not that bothered - I was interested in the story rather than the narrator's skills and this is a well-abridged story.
The audio book is available on cassette (4 sides), which is the version that I have and CD. A version downloadable to an MP3 player is also available.
I bought my copy from listen2online.co.uk about 2 years ago and it is still available on audio cassette for £6.99. The CD version is available from play.com for £8.99. The MP3 version can be bought from www.audible.co.uk for £7.69.
Another set of unsolved crimes for television's DI Jack Frost (A Touch of Frost) to stumble through. Read by David Jason, the star of the television series. A serial killer is terrorising the senior citizens of Denton, and the local police are succumbing to a flu epidemic. Tired and demoralized, the force has to contend with a seemingly perfect young couple suffering arson attacks and death threats, a suspicious suicide, burglaries, pornographic videos, poison-pen letters ! In uncertain charge of the investigations is Detective Inspector Jack Frost, crumpled, slapdash and foul-mouthed as ever. he tries to cope despite inadequate back-up, but there is never enough time; the unsolved crimes pile up and the vicious killings go on. So Frost has to cut corners and take risks, knowing that his Divisional Commander will throw him to the wolves if anything goes wrong. And for Frost, things always go wrong !