Audible Fan, Amazon Customer, Gardener, Quilter, Liberal and Activist. I'll read about anything!
I totally enjoyed "Alone" by Lisa Gardner with great dramatic narration by Anna Fields. While Gardner is known for her dramatic novels, her series suffers from lack of continuity in narrators, which can be quite disturbing to listeners. Wish producers would take this into consideration when setting up narrators for series, though it just may be the way things go-availability eta. I've read some of this series in bits and pieces and found Anna Fields narration to be one of the best of the many narrators the series has to offer. This is a narrator I'd look for.
Many of Gardner's books focus on lost or abducted children, which can be an issue that disturbs listeners with young children-perfectly understandable. If this is a personal issue of the potential listener, this might be a series for her to avoid.
I found the story arc to be involved, with crossing and intersecting plots. Sometimes this doesn't work, but it did, for me, in "Alone". Though this is supposed to be the first book of the DD Warren series, DD Warren is a minor character. The primary characters are Bobby, a police sniper who is recovering from his first kill. Bobby becomes an ongoing character in the series. Another primary character is Katherine, who was abducted as a young child, and the ongoing story of her disturbed life, her interactions with her equally disturbed husband and controlling grand parents. Katherine is a one off character and has not appeared in any of the other novels I've read in the series.
I found the story to be exciting and enjoyable as well as dramatically narrated.
Well worth my credit.
Unlike others, I didn't have a problem with the narration. Sometimes the publishers request the distinct voices and I thought the narrator did a decent job maintaining it.
I thought the book was fine, but not great. Mostly I was disappointed in the end, which felt like a big southern cliche to me, which I find particularly tedious from non-southern writers. The characters were fairly interesting, but after listening through the whole thing I was left feeling a little let down. I'm always looking for more thriller writers, but I may continue my search elsewhere.
I had read book six in the series and enjoyed it so went back for Book One. This one has female narrator. To me her male voices, particularly our "hero" sounded like a stereotyped punchy old boxer. Expected the heroine of book six (Dee-Dee) who supposedly this series is about, is barely in this book. In only two books I've read by Lisa Gardner repetitive phrases "Everyone has to die sometime." And how likely is it that TWO books have some degree of dependence on a rare psychiatric illness munchausen by proxy. I have already bought the second book in the series (which will be my third by Lisa Gardner) so I'll read one more.
Addicted to Audible!
I usually enjoy Lisa Gardner's work, but I gave up on this one just over halfway through. First of all, this is some of the worst audiobook narration I've ever heard. I've heard Anna Fields before, and she was competent, but this is cringeworthy. Her attempt at male characters reminded me of adolescent girls pretending to be men while making prank calls. Plus, all the men seemed to have slurred speech. She attempts to do a Boston accent with the character of Bobby (the only character with a Boston accent in a book full of Boston natives), but it comes and goes, and is never effective.
The story seemed intriguing at first -- top-notch sniper saves the lives of a mother and child in a hostage situation, but finds himself accused in a murder plot -- but became so implausible that it got tedious. The femme fatale Catherine is supposed to have such beauty and sex appeal that men abandon their senses, morals and good judgment at a single glance. She's written like a really bad cartoon character. The sniper Bobby, whom I've enjoyed in other Gardner novels, completely lacks common sense in this one. Hard to believe that a supposedly smart suspended cop runs around interrogating witnesses, showing up at crime scenes and doing just about everything that could incriminate him.
And the idea that virtually everyone is prepared to ignore the facts of the case -- armed man is shot after pointing gun at woman's head -- in favor of some bizarre conspiracy theory just gets silly after a while.
I am not usually this negative about an audiobook, but this one made me angry that I had wasted so much time in hopes that it would get better.
Fortunately I didn't start with this book first or I probably wouldn't have bothered with the others. I loved the others so much I decided to listen to this one too. I could'nt get past the first half. Dull, boring narration. I will be buying the book to read it.
The description of this book made me want to listen to it. The narrator, however, had such a boring and monotone voice I only listened for about half an hour. Sorry, but I can't get caught up in a book if the reader doesn't sound interested.
I read all the time, or nearly. I always have, I guess, since I was very young ... and now, getting older, more audio than any other medium.
I read a LOT of mysteries. I listen to most of them, read the rest on my kindle. I am a fan of the genre. Additionally, I lived in Boston -- the setting for this book -- for many years and don't live far from it now.
I absolutely hate the reader. Her fake Boston accent is at best annoying, and at worst, so distracting that I could not listen to the story. Her characterizations are closer to cartoon than drama. This may be a fine book, but not in this form. Maybe if you aren't from New England, it won't annoy you as much. Then again, maybe it will. Too bad.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It's almost a bit too far-fetched. It wasn't so over-the-top that I stopped reading it, but I did roll my eyes more than once.
It's obvious it's a female author. And just as obvious that she took a Feminism 101 course at university at some point in her career. The book has so much feminist rhetoric (a.k.a. - in this case - stereotypes) that it also caused me to roll my eyes.
But, otherwise, the story was quite engaging... it wasn't clear who the good-guy was (or all the bad-guys) until pretty close to the end of the book. In fact, it took the epilogue to finish making sense of who did what, exactly, and why.
All in all, I enjoyed the story and will read more in this series (though if it wasn't for the fact I already knew it was a series book, I wouldn't have been able to tell from the story - it's completely wrapped at the end.) I'm confident that Gardner will tame down her feminist enthusiasm and retain the suspense in the future books.
I don't think there was any swearing, there is no sexual content and it's not graphically violent. I did not like the narration very much. The narrator spoke clearly, but since the majority of the characters were male, she spoke in a lower register for much of the book, and it did not sound natural. I was not able to tell which male character was speaking from her narration alone and had to wait for the "Rocko said" to know who said what most of the time.
I wanted it to be over. Gunshots are heard. Neighbors call the police who surround the house. Inside Jimmy is pointing a gun at his wife Catherine. Bobby is a sniper and member of the police SWAT team. He sees Jimmy’s face change, and he believes Jimmy will shoot, so Bobby shoots and kills Jimmy. Now Jimmy’s father James is suing Bobby. If James wins Bobby goes to jail. If James loses, he will repeatedly appeal because he is wealthy. He can afford to. The problem is that the city and union will not pay Bobby’s legal fees because James is filing suit through a clerk magistrate which is not the normal process. Bobby did what he was trained to do. If he didn’t shoot Jimmy, then he believed Jimmy would have killed Catherine. Now Bobby has to pay $5000 to a defense attorney. I was furious. Policemen should not be forced to pay their own legal feels for following orders and doing their job. I don’t know if this exists in real life, but if it does, then something is very wrong. This part of the plot made me so angry that I had a hard time enjoying the rest. This legal-issue-stress hangs over Bobby until the last few pages of the book.
Was the rest of the story good? Parts of it maybe. Catherine was kidnaped and raped by Richard when she was twelve. When her only child Nathan was born, Catherine had some mental problems and did not appear to be a good mother. The child has been raised by nannies. Nathan is frequently sick and the doctors don’t know why. Some fear it is Münchausen syndrome by proxy, which means the mother is purposely doing things to make the child sick to get attention for herself. For most of the book, the reader wonders if Catherine is good or bad for her son. James is also suing Catherine for custody of Nathan.
Richard has been in jail for twenty-five years. James uses his influence to get Richard released on parole. Someone is now paying Richard to murder people connected to Catherine or the case.
I did not enjoy the characters. I felt anxiety and depression rather than sympathy. I didn’t feel fun anticipation rooting for someone. We don’t know if Catherine is good or bad, but she’s not likeable. James and Richard are too one-dimensional, powerful, and evil. Bobby spends too much time suffering and second guessing himself, wondering if he did the right thing. He was having problems with the concept of killing someone. He talks to a psychiatrist several times about this as well as troubles from his early life. Some of this was ok, but it seemed a bit much. He also did some illogical and stupid things which made him less sympathetic. Regarding the plot, I had questions unanswered at the end. But maybe part of those were necessary. I understand Catherine has some kind of role in the sequel “Hide” which I have not read.
Ending: good guys win.
Genre: mystery suspense thriller.
I did not like the narrator Anna Fields. The voice she used for Bobby and some of the men was so deep that it sounded like a mentally slow person who is groggy and slurring his words. Some of her general third party narration was too sharp and hurried, almost like she was reading a report and not thinking about what she was reading. When talking about a sniper she said “he breathed in, he breathed out.” That phrase should have been read slowly and calmly, yet the narrator’s voice was sharp, staccato, and fast.