A great thriller, well read and acted, but the book should have been abridged. I could/would have skimmed through parts if I were reading the book, but this isn't easy to do when you are listening.
My husband and I listened to this on a road trip, and the first half was great. My husband gave up after 16 hours.
I give it 4 stars because the story and reader were good, but would recommend it only to those that like lots of description and words, not those who like suspense and get eager to know how it will end!
I intially found this book very interesting and certainly well written. In fact, its strength is in the narrative, rather than in the story. I was very disappointed by the drawn-out, unsatisfying conclusion. It was as if the author got bored and decided to conclude the book too quickly. You see, there are two main story lines, one concerning a recent murder which is concluded fairly reasonably, although not quite believably. I find it hard to believe that the police would not have looked more deeply into the victim's family, especially considering a family member does turn out to be involved in the murder.
The second is a disappearance that happened 20 years ago, with overtones of some sort of strange creature having possibly been the cause. This is never solved, but rather left hanging, making me wonder why then it was even brought up in the first place. Of course, the disappearance is part of the explanation for the twisted character of the main protagonist, but it would have been easy enough to create another reason for his actions.
Therefore, I was very interested at least 3/4s of the way through the book, then ultimately disappointed when it started to become apparent that the second story line was never going to be concluded satisfactorily.
This book starts with a great idea but it never really develops. There are two mysteries, one in the past, one in the present. The reader is led to believe that they are connected, but after lots and lots of dialogue, memories, etc we find that the first cannot ever be explained (due to "amnesia" on the part of the narrator) and the second could have been solved right away if the right technology had been applied sooner rather than later. The middle third of the book can be dispensed with- it doesn't have anything to do with either plot. Disappointing.
This is a great book. A very talented writer and very well narrated.
I don't understand a lot of the reviews here. It seemed like most people loved the book but were disappointed because the ending didn't wrap everything up neatly like a Mission Impossible episode. I thought that just made the book more realistic and intriguing.
This is an excellent book that I highly recommend. I look forward to Tana's next book!
I was really interested in the book and started to go ahead and give it a rating of 5 until I got about 3/4 through it and everything started to get just too depressing. It could have been a really great story if the writer had finished the second storyline. It had a really great premise but too much was left hanging.
From 4/12/15 on, I will only rate a book 5 stars if it so good I will listen to it again. To date, the Bino series tops that list.
I found this novel clever and entertaining. So much so I purchased another novel by Tana French. It's well read with a great detective story.
Had a hard time with this mystery, although I did make it to the end. The storyline needs to move forward (and backward in this novel) with a little more steam. It wasn't a waste of my time, but I wouldn't listen to it driving at night...drink some caffeine instead.
This story had me captivated. I listened to it eagerly awaiting the point where the 2 story lines converge and everything would make sense. There were hints of something supernatural going on and I loved that we didn't know what that was. Then in the last 1/4 of the book, the main character turned into a terrible jerk and the story just ended without a resolution. The author seemed to think he was so clever that we wouldn't have any clue about who was behind the murder but that part was pretty transparent to me. I was so incredibly disappointed with this book esp since it started out so well. Skip it.
Plus, the narrator didn't even try to do an Irish accent but he did appear to have a bad case of dry mouth as he can be heard smacking, gulping and swallowing throughout the entire book. This is a MAJOR irritation with me so some may not find it as obvious but I'm extremely sensitive to it.
For a homicide detective novel, it went on longer than it needed to. And the main character was interesting and funny but then he became a jerk to his partner for literally no reason — he admits this — and the book wasn't as good after that, although I guess it needed to happen for the plot. That said, it held my interest and, for once, in a crime drama, the female characters weren't simply males with the gender changed to give the story broader appeal. The female characters were genuine women and an integral part of the story. Sure wish there'd been some payoff to the opening plot twist. For squeamish readers, it wasn't too graphic. I don't feel the need to immediately buy the second book in the series; I'll wait for it to be on sale.
Coincidentally, I just finished Benjamin Black's "Vengeance", another procedural set in Dublin. Black's novel is skillfully written, but is no match for French's, kicking with life and clear-eyed observation. She has, for instance, a hardened detective, but he is no romantic figure: he is, as she both demonstrates and remarks, merely "****ed up". All her characters are palpably human, and, quite rare in any fiction, she portrays a convincing "besties" friendship between a male and a female. Amid the general dark mayhem lurks a keen sense of humor.