Say something about yourself!
You will feel detached from reality off and on, and unable to tell what is real and what isn't. This is the brilliance of this writer--to keep you as off balance as the characters in the novel. No matter if you love the story or not, there is no question that Marisha Pessl is a superbly talented writer. I loved it.
The review by Linda does an excellent job of summing up the story without giving anything away. She wrote what I was feeling.
I will look up other works by this author as time goes by, hoping she comes up with another gem like this one. In the meantime, I plan on listening to this one again.
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!
The Prey series continues with another solid Lucas Davenport "mystery"--although it's not really a mystery as we know from the beginning who did it, what was done, and why they did it. The fun part is riding along with Lucas and the gang while they figure it out and get the culprits.
The author has lightened up on his gruesome, bloody, murder scenes which I remember so vividly in his early novels. However, the witty banter and close relationships shared by Lucas and his fellow detectives and cops are still a big part of his stories. These guys really seem to like their jobs, and truly like each other, which is part of their appeal.
This one is set on the political stage as Lucas is called in to find out if there are dirty tricks being played in a new Senate race. It starts out with allegations of pornography and develops into murder. This isn't the best John Sandford, but it did have enough intrigue and interesting characters to keep me listening. As with any series, there is a chance of becoming tired of the same type of storyline unless the author steps it up somehow, and I would like to see something new in his next one.
Recommended for any long time Davenport fans, as well as new readers. If you're new to this series, starting from the beginning will introduce you to family members and friends as they developed over the years, however, this is fine as a stand alone novel.