I love books!
I've always liked spy thrillers but it seemed most I've been reading have written by European authors, mostly British. I'd been wanting to find a good American author to read, came across Vince Flynn and decided to give him a try. Was it the greatest book ever written? No. But, it was an enjoyable listen and I'll read him again, maybe my next listen. The action was fast paced and you wanted to keep listening to hear what was going to happen, isn't that what you want out of a book? It was entertaining!
Several years ago I discovered James Lee Burke and Dave Robicheaux and became a fan. I started working my way backwards in the stories reading the new ones that came out as well. So, it was a nice surprise when I discovered Audible had released a book written in 1987, remember the days before cell phones, pc's, hand held devies? Anyway, this was hard hitting from the beginning, gave good insight into the background of Dave, in this book he's still a NOPD detective and Clete Purcell and he hadn't bonded the way they do later. I enjoyed this book from start to finish and blew right through it in just a few days. Now where do I go from here?
I feel like I've just finished an Henning Mankell trilogy; Dogs of Riga, White Lioness, and now The Man Who Smiled. I must admit I enjoyed them all. I guess now I"ll have to go back to his first book and then hope that the later Wallander stories show up on Audible. In Man Who Smiled, the author again delves into the human side of Kurt Wallander and he has many of the same feelings we all do, at least I know I do. I always thought the weather in Sweden would suck and in reading these books that's affirmed unless you like living somewhere where it's foggy, rainy, cold a good portion of the time. The mystery flows pretty well, too, sometimes it seems the story moves slowly as the investigation plays out but Mankell does make the story interesting. Sometimes you think what is Kurt Wallander doing but it does make for an interesting tale.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
Originally, I wrote this review for the Vine program on Amazon. So I didn't pay for the book. Then I ran down a copy of the CD audio book through a friend. I fell in like with the narrator. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith has a fantastic voice for this book-- actually he has a lovely voice for reading anything. I cannot imagine Peter Grant being read by any other narrator. He also does a great job with the other characters. I purchased this from audible because I have not actually paid for a copy of this book until now and because I wanted Audible to keep bringing good audio books like this to the US.
Ok, ignore any references to grown up Harry Potter. Yes, the hero does end up apprenticed to a wizard but that's where the resemblance ends. Peter Grant starts as a probationary constable in the London Metropolitan Police. His father is a drunken jazz musician while his mother cleans offices for a living. Peter wants to become a detective on the murder squad. However, Peter is not the ideal candidate for any of the high profile squads. He is though the ideal candidate for one very obscure squad with a total membership of 2, counting Peter.
Things I liked-- Aaronovitch writes about a multicultural London. Peter is mixed race and writes about his experiences with a serio-comic turn that I really like. He's smart, quick thinking and funny so reading from his viewpoint is a pleasant. Dark humor punctuates bouts of well described action.
The book actually comes across as a police procedural, even as Peter deals with issues like a dispute between Father Thames and Mother Thames-- which gives the book it's British title, Rivers of London. I like that title better any way..
The next one is available on Audible already. I hope other readers enjoy this book as much as I have.