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 It was predictable, patronizing, and terribly out-of-date gender-wise.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
I think this is only the second book I've listened to by Iles, but I will certainly listen to more in the future. I chose this one based the five star reviews of other Audible members.
I can't recall listening to him before. He gave a great performance and I enjoyed listening to him.
I actually did listen to this book all in one day.
I really enjoyed this story, although I feel some of it was beyond the realm of possiblity. I won't spoil it by pointing any of those actions out though. This was a fun and easy listen and if I could have given it 3 1/2 stars, I would have.
Way over the top with dramatics. Characters performed with exaggerated hysteria and emotions that seem inappropriate and distract from the plot.
Albeit fiction, I have to find some credibility in a book for me to be interested. A situation, even if fantastic, has to have some plausibility, so you could at least think that something like this, as improbable as it may be, COULD happen. The actions and choices the character make have to make some sense. If a character in a "desperate situation" repeatedly fails to cease opportunities to find solutions to the problems, I stop sympathising with their plight and start to lose interest in the book. For me, I found this book to have too many of these and other flaws. I don't think I will try this author again.
It was fine. It really dragged out the story line and got a little 'not common sense' or 'not logical or believable' in the story line.
The most interesting aspect was how the kidnapper got away with this type of kidnapping over and over again. The low dollar requested and that the people couldn't be bothered if the ransom money was not that much to them. The least interesting and actually most ridiculous was the plane tracking and then stopping the car on the highway by landing the way it did. A helicopter maybe, but a plane?!
It was fine.
And there were so many people that were a part of the kidnapping that it seemed not likely it could all come together without a hitch. Just not that believable overall.