I purchased this book based on a review I saw in People Magazine. It was touted as "fast paced" and "action packed" with twists and turns. It also eluded to being similar to a Grishim book.
I can say NONE of this is true. This is a long, drawn out boring story with a terrible reader to boot. He's monotone, and very unconvincing that this story takes place in the South. The characters are dull, and offer little to spark the imagination. The most interesting piece of plot is about a homeless man - which goes nowhere.D
This is a very rich book. Anyone who does not appreciate it may have read or heard too much truth. I really hope this character returns. Started hoping that around the middle of the book. John Hart is on my list of people to watch for. I heard his voice here but it was in the same vein as Turow. The narrator was good. Glad they didn't have a plummy NC accent doing it. Production value was interesting. I could always hear the tape recorder being turned on and off...
I'll be the first to admit that the storyline is engaging. The only reason I finished the book is that I couldn't resist finding out "who done it." However, the characters are completely flat. Each person falls into one of two camps: Completely Good or Completely Evil. In fact, I have trouble sympathizing with the narrator from the beginning; the author gives us no reason to! The worst part of this book was listening to clich? and after clich? dribble off the tongue of the overly dramatic narrator. One almost imagines that the author had a list of catch phrases next to him as he wrote the book. All in all, the author clearly has a talent in weaving out an engaging plot, but the character development and writing need some work.
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. The plot, with its miriad twists and turns, kept my attention. However, beyond having an excellent plot, this book also provided an excellent depiction of Southern living and mores. Indeed, the entire experience was reminiscent of Greg Iles, who is one of my favorite authors.
Badly written, replete with phrases that a schoolboy would be ashamed of, cliches galore, no noun goes without 1 or 2 adjectives. It goes nowhere and ever so slowly; I heard it in 35 minute spells (my journey to work) and it was insufferable - Elmore Leonard would have covered the same territory in 3 minutes. It was unbearable waiting for it to get moving. I can't believe this won an Edgar award for best first novel, it's terrible and needs a team of editors to reduce it to about 3 hours, not 12. Over-written, insubstantial, dull, the hero is not a hero, he's a whiner. Booklist said "Hart is a fine stylist, turning phrases with a panache that recalls Raymond Chandler." Rubbish, Chandler would have had Philip Marlowe kill the hero and the writer for murdering the English language!
Slow start, almost gave up because of too much not needed details. But...I did get into the personality of the characters and was looking forward to how it would end. A 5 star rating for me, means I was sad to see the book end & listened to it not only in the car, but at work and at home.
For those who loved "Prince of Tides," this is the book for you. Those (like me), who found POT overwritten and melodramatic, King of Lies will be just about unlistenable. Another disappointment is the reader. He is good but lacks the southern accent necessary to make the locale (and story) believable. I gave up on this book about two-thirds of the way through.
For an entertaining escape this listen is a good one. Engaging with good characters. My only detraction is a few times they are bit thin or not developed enough. I listened to this for the same reason I would listen/read a Grisham or Michael Connelly. On that basis it was not disappointing.
I think John Hart has a lot of talent ... but ever see a writer try too hard? Ever do it yourself? Usually, it spells disaster. John Hart overkills on the adjectives, enough that I wanted to scream at times. Will I read another of his books? Absolutely! Like I said, I think he has great talent ... but this book's verbose narrative made me feel like fingernails scraping the chalkboard. Enough said.