Give me a good mystery and I am happy!
A love story, a mystery, a legal thriller and some life lessons thrown in for good measure.
I enjoyed this book very much and hope to get more from this author. Well worth the credit and the time.
This is my second John Hart. I read "Down River", got all excited, and rushed to download this work. It's good, but pretty far short of the other. Since this was Hart's first book I suppose it stands to reason that he would have improved, started hitting his stride in "Down River".
The premise of the mystery is pretty clever, and Hart gives us a couple of likely suspects to focus on throughout the story. The action marches right along, not many digressions from the unraveling of the mystery. It seemed to me that the book was written as a series of scenes, like in a play. When one encounter of the characters gave up all the information they had, curtain down, curtain up, new scene, more information.
Some of the dialog is a bit dramatic sounding, not like people talk at all. As if it were typed in Aerial Font, for soaring rhetoric. From time-to-time I pictured some old Shakespearean actors called out of retirement to act out these scenes, with flourishes and grand sounding words.
Most of the characters were believable and well painted. I was a little curious as to the function of the old Viet Nam vet who'd suffered five years in a POW cage. He was far more interesting than his minor role in this book would indicate. He offers a little advice, then turns out to have witnessed something important, but he doesn't offer anything that a stock bartender character from central casting couldn't have.
I was sort of disappointed in the choice of narrator. David Chandler has absolutely no southern accent, in fact, not much of any accent at all. This is supposed to be North Carolina, after all. Even the Publisher's Summary mentions something about a southern drawl. But, as a lot of the action takes place in courtrooms and lawyers' offices, there's nothing about the book that requires it do be identified with North Carolina, aside from references to Charlotte. Nothing down on the farm or out on the plantation, not much small-town stuff. So maybe Scott Sower would have been an overkill.
Anyway, it's a pretty solid mystery, just not Hart's best.
In this outstanding suspense novel, John Hart captures the audience with a multitude of diverse characters and a twist and turn of events on nearly every page. From beginning to end, narrator David Chandler commands a magnificent performance in his presentation of Hart's brilliantly charming whodunit. Hart's literary style in creating fictional characters to resemble people any reader could easily know gives the plot an added dash of relish. Coupled with a slew of mysterious events, dramatic sequences and a touch of romance,The King of Lies is a recipe in perfect fiction.
I had just read Redemption Road and thought I'd start at the beginning of John Hart's books and read The King of Lies next. Well, let me just say that he has greatly improved in the last ten years. Redemption Road is MUCH better. In fact, I am shocked by the number of good reviews for The King of Lies. I found the main character ridiculous and cliche. The fact that it's a first person narrative makes him even more unbearable. He is full of self-pity when, quite frankly, he does not have it so bad (in fact, one wonders how he has not managed to do more for his sister in the last ten years....even if she did not like him). And his lack of character (so to speak) is incredibly irritating. Why is he blaming his father for the decisions he decided to take? He fails to see the obvious time and time again, digging himself into a ridiculous hole. SO glad Mr. Hart has improved so much since this book. Will download from the later books next. The narrator does an OK job.
Redemption Road was the first John Hart book I read/listened to, and it was so wonderful I could not wait to read The King of Lies. What a frustrating disappointment.
I think the main problems were: 1. I have never disliked a protagonist quite as much as I disliked "Work." He is whiny, self-absorbed, angst-ridden, and indecisive, and when he does act he does some really stupid things. 2. His "relationship" with his wife made me almost physically sick at times. Good God, send the witch on down the road already. 3. Although I think Hart can be a very good writer, the verbosity of this book was just over the top--not just the three-adjective descriptions, but the interminable interior monologues as well. 4. I have listened to many titles narrated by David Chandler, and although he is not my favorite, he is usually tolerable. In this book, his slow and sometimes stilted delivery and occasional strange word emphasis only served to exacerbate my frustration.
In a character-driven story, I actually have to like some of the characters. In an action-centered story, things have to happen. I hated the people and not very much happened. Unsatisfying on every level. I am mad at myself for wasting so much time on this.
John Hart deserves the awards he has received . This is a top rated introspective mystery. It follows the weaving story of a man trying to figure out his feelings about his family while attempting to solve his fathers murder. At times he blunders badly but all in a sincere effort to undo the perceived wrongs he believes he caused as a brother, husband and son. The characters are very real and as they are unmasked he constantly reevaluates the lies that have become his hollow life. The mystery itself wanders in many directions keeping the readers attention acute. Worthy of five stars all around. If one wants a book that is a joy to follow, than this is an excellent choice. Mike Dunn
This is my 3rd John Hart book. I enjoyed it. Only slight problem is there really is no likeable character in the book. The main guy borders on stupid with some of his decisions he makes . In spite of that I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended
When Work bought the puppy
Yes, however the narrator could have done a better job distinquishing between the characters
Really enjoyed the character development and the overall story. Surprise ending was a bonus!
This wasn't my favorite John Hart novel, but it was still pretty good. I didn't think it was as suspenseful as his others. Also, the narrator was awkward and you could hear background noises at times.