Say something about yourself!
I stumbled upon this book in Audible and the Trenton, NJ locale caught my eye. Trenton is about 30 miles from our house (though I have hardly ever been there) so I thought, "Sounds like fun!"
It was! Original characters? Clever plot? Fine writing? Not really (sorry, Janet). Nevertheless, the book was fun. The fun came, in no small part I think, from the narration of Lorelei King. I've read the criticism of her elsewhere in these reviews but I have to strongly disagree. I thought Lorelei sounded like she was having fun -- so was I. I wish this book had been available in an unabridged format.
Early on in the book, I was thinking a one star rating, but the witty humor bumped it up one star - actually one and a half a stars - but no half star ratings are available, so I rounded down. The plot was not very elaborate, and in some places had me saying - "wait a minute - what about........." or "I'm not quite buying that - to far fetched......", but most importantly, I thought there was little character development. We 'saw' and 'heard' what the characters did and said, but little about who they really were or maybe why. The dialogue was mostly guarded - rhetorical, with little insight into only one or two minds. There was ample opportunity to do that, but for whatever reason, the author chose not to. In some respects, I felt like I was reading a screenplay - a movie script - rather than a novel. On the other hand, I just finished Ender's Game - a brilliant novel, so maybe my standards were set quite high. Retrospectively however, I'm still not going above 2 1/2 stars on this one.
An 'action-mystery-romance' novel, it's way too cute for its own good. Downright silly sometimes, and the action gets a bit slapstick. The characters are also more stereotypical than real. I kept wondering why the heroine couldn't figure out who the bad guy was (it was pretty obvious) and why I was still listening.
This is classified as comic thriller mystery. Unfortunately, it's actually farce, yet rarely funny. The mystery is more of a side element to the ridiculous characters and "episodes." I'd call it a waste of time, considering all the better titles that are available.
I've never written a review before, but in this case, I must warn my fellow listeners! If an entire book can be written without any research, then I think this is it. I found the storyline boring and unimaginative. It lacks any interesting dialogue. In addition, this narrator suffers through the characters as if she is saying the same thing over and over (which happens when the narrator has not read before narrating). I'm sorry if this sounds so harsh, but, of course, it is only my opinion.
I listened to this book mainly because of the NJ connection. At one point, I accidently skipped an entire section. When I realized, I didn't bother going back because it really didn't matter. Predictable, annoying dialoge, and uninteresting characters make this an easily forgetable listen.
Aspiring writers are often advised to write about what they know. Assuming the author took this advice, everything she knows about New Jersey, Italian-Americans, Las Vegas, manufacturing, police work and officers, criminals, and psychopathology came from Hollywood and TV. Next time, some research away from the screen would be wise.
Although part of the stereotyping may come from the narrator-- who overacts each of the different voices-- the author does not miss an opportunity to make a person's ethnicity stand in for their personality. From the Italian grandmother who sees visions to the pushy Indian mother trying to marry off her daughter to the overweight black sidekick, you will get no more sense of who these people are from the book than you did in this sentence. Oh, and New Jersey is tough and gritty, a place where a 'minor mob boss' can coexist peacefully with the authorities. Puh-lease.
The plot is there, but just barely. Our hero gets mixed up in some bad business, chases a few dead ends, suspects (for no good reason) the wrong person, and survives in the end. No spoilers there, I hope! I'd say 60% of the text is filler describing the characters going to the mall, doing random tasks (locking the car with the remote control-- no kidding? Wow!), being sexually aroused, or going about their jobs until it's dark enough to fit the next plot point.
The book is apparently part of series about the main character. The author does provide enough history and context to the unitiated. I did somehow care about her a bit, too.
There is some sex and (ooh!) orgasms. If that is what you are looking for, you don't need to suffer through the rest of the book to get it. If you want a mystery, you _really_ don't want this. If you want good writing, no luck here.