Narration: decent reading, terrible southern drawl. Children's voices are annoying.
Writing: in stark contrast to what appears to be popular belief, I thought this book was awful. It was predictable, patronizing, and terribly out-of-date gender-wise. Perhaps worst of all, the story wasn't compelling enough to compensate for that.
The plot is far too neat, and the storylines are tired. The author won't trust his audience; he repeats the same thing three times, each time stating it more pointedly.
Overplayed stereotypes abound. Men are logical and driven, women are motivated by their relationship to their young. It is self-evident that all women have an overriding maternal instinct that they must either fight against or allow to control and direct them. Women are horrified by others' pain, men are fascinated and perhaps aroused by it. Women exhibit a constant need for the protection of their husbands, which husbands gallantly provide. The rare exception to these rules is treated as just that--an exception--making it noteworthy [only] because of the character's gender. There's no excuse for this. It's just plain lazy, bland writing.
I hear there's a movie. Maybe that's worth watching. But I wouldn't waste your time sitting through this book.
Reader, Listener, Optimist
The author, Greg Iles, is a novelist who conveys the nuances of life in the deep South with the insight that only a native can. Dick Hill is on my short list of favorite audiobook narrators and to my ear, he is the true voice of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch. However, he is not the right choice to perform the accent of any character from a setting in the modern South. He uses bits and pieces of southern caricature snipped from Amos and Andy meets Gone With the Wind to produce his interpretation of contemporary life in the American South. These voices do not approach an accurate representation of what the well educated professional people in Greg Iles' stories should sound like. Rather, the accents are a mixture of antebellum field hands mixed with gangsta rap. Examples: "Wut fo" (What for?) and "Close da do" (Close the door). Equally unfortunate is his lack of knowledge of the correct pronunciation of place names: Natchez, Baton Rouge, Biloxi are examples. It is almost as if someone played a cruel joke on Hill by misdirecting him to repeatedly pronounce them in the most hysterical way possible. The credibility of an otherwise excellent reader is undermined by his lack of knowledge of the subject he has been asked to convey.
The clever and well-conceived story is spoiled by the distraction of the inaccurate narration.
I really enjoyed this book. As usual Dick Hill was awesome. Greg Isles has the ability to make you really care about the characters in his books. The only thing missing was an epilogue. I wanted to know what happened to them all. But still a great listen.
This book just had too many scenes that have you shaking your head, saying why would anyone do this? Loved True Evil and Mortal Fear, but this one just wasn't in the same catagory
One of the best - probably in the top 20 - and I listen to at least 2 a week for many years now.
Every time I was sure he was going to pull out something trite, he fooled me with a twist I'd have never have guessed. This was a roller coaster ride start to finish.
Hill always does a good job, but this narration was superior.
Very difficult to leave it to do other things. I wanted to stay with it, but also didn't want it to end.
Have never been disappointed in Isles, but must say this is definitely a cut above his usual. I will now be looking for others of his that I've not heard yet.
A dish to be left untouched. The twisted mind of the villain dined on it every day for years it seems but he didn't count on the power of the selfless love of a parent nor the innocent love of a child. This story will grab you by the heart and wring the emotions of revulsion, fear, pity, and self-sacrifice from you. I almost listened to it straight through but despite my best efforts I fell asleep on waking I grabbed something I could eat quickly and I was right back to it. The is the best Greg Iles book I have read so far and the great Dick Hill was just the perfect narrator.
PB Gardens, Fl USA
This book is excellent. A gripping story in clear clean prose. I've been a fan of the author for many years. This did not disappoint.