• Switcheroo

  • A Gideon Oliver Mystery, Book 18
  • By: Aaron Elkins
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (145 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Skeleton Detective is back.

A cold case dating from the 1960s draws forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver to the Channel Islands decades later to shine a light on the mysterious connection between two men who died there on the same night.

Swapped as young boys by their fathers during the Nazi occupation, wealthy Roddy Carlisle and middle-class George Skinner had some readjusting to do after the war ended - but their lives remained linked through work, trouble with the law, and finally, it would seem, through murder.

Nobody expects that Gideon's modern-day investigation will turn up fresh bodies. But old bones tell many tales, and the Skeleton Detective has to be at his sharpest to piece together the truth before the body count mounts still higher.

Declared "a series that never disappoints" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Gideon Oliver mystery series is highly recommended for fans of Agatha Christie and Kathy Reichs.

©2016 Aaron Elkins, all rights reserved. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Switcheroo

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasant but poor narrtion

Aaron Elkins books are always a nice read. This was was worth a listen. If a "cozy" can be written by a man, this one is -- engaging story, no sex, violence, or much bad language. However, the narrator is an amateur and the characters sound forced and unconvincing. If there are more of Elkin's books on Audible, I will pass unless the narrator changes.

8 people found this helpful

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Major spoiler alert. Sort of.

This one was just annoying.

First, the narrator exhibited the worst set of accents from the British Isles I have heard. Really awful. Including the worst Cockney accent since Dick Van Dyke in The original Mary Poppins. And his attempts at growly male voices may be even worse than his light fluffy attempts at female voices.

Second, the pace is agonizingly slow. I often like slow-paced books, but even I do not want nearly real-time (or slower) renditions of how a group of people move from one place to another, or a five minute discussion of decisions generally made in 30 seconds or less. You’d think writers were still paid by the word, it’s so padded.

Third—and here comes the spoiler—you know almost from the beginning who the killer is going to be, both because how else would the (agonizingly slow and excruciatingly detailed) prologue be relevant, AND because the author makes the character so (stereotypically) likable.

Ok, maybe not technically a spoiler because I won’t include his name, but you’ll know throughout who it’s going to be if you read/listen to this.

It’s basically an authorial trick, and it annoyed me. I began thinking “I hope it’s not going to be him” as soon as he was introduced, but sure enough. Nor did I find it at all plausible that the character as described up to the point of the reveal would behave as described at the end.

Elkins isn’t a great writer, but I’ve enjoyed many of his other books, but he lost me on this one.

2 people found this helpful

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Not as enjoyable as I expected

I have listened to all of this series, and In “Switcheroo” there is a different narrator than the other books. Unfortunately the change in narrators effectively changes the personalities of the reoccurring characters, at least for me. I find both Gideon and John’s voices to be nasally and whiney, and I don’t much care how this narrator does women's voices either. I am about half way through this book and will probably finish it, but I can’t say I am enjoying it as much as I did the rest of the series.

1 person found this helpful

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What happened to Gideon Oliver?

Should have stopped with Book 17! It's like a very bad ghost writer wrote this last book in the Gideon Oliver series. Then the narrator sounds like a 25 year old for Gideon's voice. What is that??? The book takes place in 2011, Gideon was in his mid 30's in 1982 in book 1 - do the math; conservatively he would be in his 60's! Also, there is so much wrong with the story - tolerated it a little over half way thru and found too much trivial information; not enough Gideon or his analysis, really painful listening. Our recommendation is don't bother - stop at book 17. Returned it....

1 person found this helpful

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Dreadful narration

I have enjoyed Elkin’s books, but the accents attempted by this narrator were just awful. Could not finish the book.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Have enjoyed this entire series immensely!

Lovers of forensics, history and travel will enjoy Oliver Gideons adventures! From Mt. St. Michelle to deep in the Amazon jungle!

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Read it, not worth listening returned after only an hour of listening

I am a big Aaron Elkins fan, but the first hour of this audio book was so depressing and predictable. Felt like I was hearing a Greek tragedy, or a slow motion train wreck. The sledgehammer foreshadowing and general misery of all concerned was just too much for me- I returned it after only listening to less than an hour. I don't care if the story got better- the beginning was so awful I just didn't want to know and didn't care.

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Elkins never disappoints

Good story line with just enough plot twists to keep things interesting. Naration was good but he made John sound kind of dumb other than that an excellent listen.