With "Dead Irish" John Lescroat begins his wonderful San Francisco-based thriller series, introducing many of the characters who populate subsequent episodes. I call the series soap-opera thrillers -- meaning no disparagement whatsoever -- because Lescroart devotes so much attention to character development. He makes us feel a real connection to his characters and the intricacies of their lives. I can see how this degree of character development might annoy some thriller fans who want plenty of action, without non-essential distractions. And to those people I would not recommend Lescroart's novels. But Lescroart clearly had a series in mind when he began it with "Dead Irish," wanting to establish his characters' motivations and emotional underpinnings. Lescroart writes well to start with, improving with each installment, providing us with a chain of very enjoyable audiobooks. Although each episode can stand alone -- since Lescroart always fills in the details we need to know from previous episodes -- I recommend listening to this series in chronological sequence, in order to fully appreciate the developing story. David Colacci has the perfect voice and acting chops to read these audiobooks, using the same voices for each character throughout the series. I only regret that Mr. Colacci wasn't tapped to read all the Lescroart audiobooks, because the other readers break the consistency Colacci had established. I highly recommend the entire series to all thriller-lovers who have the patience for good character development and intricate plotting.
The O'Shaughnessy sisters skate dangerously close to the romance genre with their Nina Reilly series. The novels have most of the qualifying romance elements, including the tall, hunky, blonde bad-boy totally in love with the tiny, beautiful, intelligent lawyer, who resists his love and her own longing for him. Fortunately, excellent writing; fascinating, innovative plots; and intelligent, exciting court scenes save this series from the romance category. The Nina Reilly series definitely falls into the legal thriller category, and makes a significant contribution to it. I am greatly enjoying listening to the entire series again in chronological order. It seems to me that each novel gets better than the last. That implies, of course, that this first novel in the series, "Motion to Suppress," is the least satisfying of the lot. None-the-less, this audiobook still rates five stars. Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy have initiated a wonderful legal soap opera with "Motion to Suppress." Here we meet Nina Reilly, toiling away in a San Francisco law firm, in an unsatisfactory marriage, raising a lovable eleven-year-old boy, who has a mysterious, absent father. The end of her marriage prompts Nina to move to beautiful Lake Tahoe, where she bravely establishes her own law firm. Her very first case begins the exciting adventures of Nina Reilly, esq. You will enjoy meeting her tough, assertive legal secretary, Sandy Whitefeather — a member of the Washoe nation — and her above-mentioned hunky investigator, Paul Van Wagoner. The narrator of this series, Laural Merlington, does a good job reading the stories. She has a nice, mature, versatile voice, which she uses skillfully to distinguish the characters, especially the men. As the previous reviewers have said, you can listen to these Nina Reilly audiobooks in any order; but I am discovering as I listen to them again in order, that doing so does enhance the enjoyment of this series. I recommend starting here, with "Motion to Suppress," and then listening to each of the novels in order.
John Lescroart frequently builds his stories around a burning issue of the day. In the case of "The Mercy Rule," he addresses assisted suicide -- which, although "The Mercy Rule" was written back in 1998, remains a burning issue today. Throughout the audiobook, most of the characters are assuming that Graham Russo assisted in his father's suicide; sparking a lively debate in the media, and causing the listener to contemplate the issue. In fact, John Lescroart ALWAYS makes us think when we listen to his novels. David Colacci provides the perfect, versatile voice for narrating this story. A few details date these older Lescroart novels -- like, for instance, the novelty of cell phones and the relatively primitive stage of personal computers back in those days -- but, otherwise, they continue to intrigue and inspire. I would recommend "The Mercy Rule" to all fans of carefully-crafted legal thrillers.
I listen while I paint- classic or modern mysteries, true adventure, & books that inspire or motivate
I was so looking forward to this novel, as two of my favorite Turow books, "Innocent" and "Presumed Innocent" are so rich in the details and drama of courtroom action. However, this story does not put the spotlight on the judge or attorneys.
Overall this is a complex story of two Greek families over a 25 year period. You need to pay close attention to get the numerous characters straight in your mind at the beginning, or it is easy to become lost. The two main players are Paul and Cass Giannis, identical twin brothers.
I found this a difficult review to do since there is so much going on, but I've condensed it to the following:
The story starts in 1982 at the home of Zeus Kronon during his annual Labor Day party. Among the guests are Lidia Giannis and her twin boys who are 25 at the time. The Giannis family and Kronon family have a shaky history, especially between Lidia and Zeus, but that doesn't keep their children from being friends. Unfortunately that day turns out to change the future of both families lives. Zeus Kronon's daughter, Dita, is found murdered in her bedroom after the guests have gone home, and Cass Giannis is quickly arrested on circumstantial evidence. He agrees to a 25 year sentence if he can serve it in a minimum security prison. No trial is necessary and the deal is agreed to.
Jump ahead to 2008. Paul Giannis is running for mayor. Cass Giannis is about to get out of prison. Dita's brother, Hal, a wealthy businessman, is against it and starts a media campaign to stop his release. This is where the real story starts. Hal asks his head of security, Evon Miller and a former homicide detective, Tim Brodie, to investigate and see if they can turn up any new information from the murder 25 years ago. Hal has never been convinced that Paul wasn't involved in some way, and is using the suggestion of his involvement to stall his campaign for mayor.
Back and forth the story is slowly revealed to us over time, from the Labor Day party and the actions of people on that day, then back to the present and what the investigation is turning up.
I liked the story, and it had enough momentum to keep me listening. The only small complaints I would mention are 1) the narrator is ok, but gets a little monotone, and 2) there is a lot of extraneous material that just goes nowhere. This is mostly related to Evon's girlfriend who keeps popping up throughout, and has no real relevance to the story.
Turow did keep me entertained throughout. There are a ton of suspects- - it is never really clear until almost the very end who murdered Dita and why. Recommended!