63 y/o psychologist with two sons, living in SF Bay Area. I absolutely love all the feedback I've been getting for my reviews. It's very gratifying. Thanks to all of you.
Abe Glitzky and Dismas Hardy are two of the greatest fictional characters ever created. Lescroarts' series is
justifiably famous, and Davis Colacci's narration is tone-perfect. The feel of San Francisco (where I have lived and worked since 1978) is so vivid and accurate that you can't help but feel you are there. The plots are classic thrillers, and Lescroarts keeps you guessing until the very end. His knowledge of police behavior, criminals, defense attorneys and investigators is deep, the result of years of working in that environment. The author certainly writes what he knows. Hardy and Glitzky have grown during the long series, have had their disasters and triumphs, much like the rest of us, perhaps more dramatically than most lives; maybe not. Anyone who enjoys this genre will be thrilled. I guarantee it.
This is about the seventh book in the Andy Carpenter series, and by now we have come to know the loosely-formed family around Andy. Each case he takes on is interesting, and he always finds ways to tell us things about his dog, Tara, and his dog rescue foundation, The Tara Foundation, run by a guy he sprung from prison on a trumped-up charge. The current case takes Andy into mob territory, which is common for him, despite the fact that he paints himself as something of a schlemiel. What initially looks like two local murders turns into something extremely larger. The very end of the book is another twist of our expectations, which I have come to appreciate from Rosenfelt. Grover Gardner can simply do no wrong. No matter what the subject, he has one of the friendliest, most comfortable voices around, and it is always a pleasure to listen to him. These books are not great literature, and they are not meant to be: they are fun. Period. They may be a bit formulaic, but if you like the formula, as I do, then that just doesn't bother. I also like the quirk that Andy is wealthy and doesn't have to work, meaning that each case he takes on has to grab him in some way. If I won the lottery, as people say, this is what I would do with my life. Turning the books into mass-market successes is the icing on the cake.
John Lescroarts has written about Hardy and Glitsky for about twenty years now. He may feel like he needs to break out into new territory, but I humbly disagree. He has made real lives of these fictional characters. They have not stood still, as many other writers of thrillers have done. They get married, raise children, have tragedies and successes, and climb in their careers, although in the ways that ordinary people do, not as some kind of Supermen. This book may be the last of the duo. Gina Roake is the star here, and she has a real history herself. The widow of David Freeman, perhaps the best lawyer in the San Francisco Legal community, Gina, who is now a partner of the law firm that bears the names of the protagonists, withdrew after the death of her husband. She now has taken on a murder case. Her first, this is a case of many facets. Gina believes that her client is innocent, a rarity. Most defense lawyers tend not to want to hear whether their clients are guilty or innocent., There is a strong circumstantial case against Stuart Gorman. The courtroom scenes hold your attention. Lescroarts is certainly not Grisham, but he knows how to create believable characters, a murder case with truly complicated aspects, and he has a dramatic touch that keeps you rooting for Gina. If you have not read any of the Hardy-Glitsky books, I recommend all of them. Some are obviously better than others, but you will be drawn into the lives of these people.You can't go wrong here.
This is well worth the credit to listen to. Although not the deepest of fiction (what do you expect, really?), it certainly is a valuable choice.
The characters are real people, people that could live next door. There is certainly enough humor and sass to keep the story light. But there is also mystery and intrigue, how is it all going to come together in the end? I found it very entertaining.
The narrator is wonderful. I find that narrators who make a huge effort to have huge changes in their voice fail. Grove Gardner does not do that. There are subtle distinctions, but not enough to sound fake.
So this book is slightly more than beach fare, but not heavy enough to bore you. I also appreciate that this Andy Carpenter, although irreverent at times, is not loose-moraled. He shows respect for his parents, loyalty to loved ones (he doesn't take advantage of either an estranged wife or the new girlfriend), and is a good frend (even if only because of superstitions).
Enjoy this book. I look forward to reading others in the series.