I enjoyed the story and the written book actually deserves more than the 2 stars I gave the Audible book. The story was a little slow in places, but kept my interest. I kept trying to figure out the puzzle all the way to the end. I really enjoyed the main character's attempt to figure out his life and relationship after retirement. I can see other novels in this series, since the renowned detective can't let go of what he enjoys and does best; so many killers, so few experts. The one plot element I didn't like was the death of a loved one as the reason for all the angst. This theme is really overworked (think of how many main characters are tormented by his loss of a loved one) and not needed to develop the character or his relationship with his wife. Ok, enough about the story. What I didn't like was the reader, George Newbern. Why he was picked as the reader, I'll never know. His voice and inflections are monochromatic and dull. The pitch of his voice is a little too mid-range which adds to the dullness of his reading; however, it would work if he read with a little more excitement, like he really wanted to do this. The first part of the reading is clipped and spoken like he's reading a dull textbook instead of a thrilling novel. He does get better about a third of the way into the book, like he's getting used to reading, but it's not enough to save the performance. He ruined the book for me. My wife, listened to part of the book with me on a road trip and said the same thing about the reader. I would buy the next story in the series, if the author wrote it, but not if George Newbern was the reader! This is one of my pet peeves with Audible books. Who makes the decision on readers? Do people compete for the opportunity to read an Audible book? Why not use a panel of listeners to decide the reader? Oh well, I'll start listening to the sample audio before I spend my credit.
I could really use an extra day between Saturday and Sunday
From almost the beginning, this book hooked me.
When you need a book to keep you involved, like on a long car trip for instance, this could be it. I was not able to stop listening--had to know how the "tricks" were done. A recently retired detective is trying to help out a friend who has received threatening letters which contain poems for clues. The first "mind reading" clue is one I thought about for hours--never solving it, of course. I had to wait until it was revealed, and even then I wondered if it could be done--can't say more so as not to give any spoilers.
Bottom line on this one is--not great literature--but fun for what it is supposed to be.
Recommended for mystery fans, or anyone who likes a good puzzle.
I enjoyed this book, but it didn't make me seek out more by the author either. It was a little stilted in places: a bit stereo-typical with too many characters, a couple plot points i felt were weak, but i'm overall, not bad. It did have some good mystery too it, so i'm glad i got it.
I really wanted to like this book. But there were way too many times when various characters would ask "What do you mean by that?" of "That can't possibly be" when presented with a perfectly valid explanation. Perhaps Verdon was trying to make sure the audience understood the story so far, but the characters seemed far too stupid to be believable.
And then there's the plot holes. When the bad guy is finally knocked unconscious the two protagonist start to argue about how they subdued the bad guy. But meanwhile, the bad guy is still laying there with a gun in his hand and a house about to explode. There's no sense of urgency to reduce the danger of the situation. "Oh, he's knocked out, we'll be fine." And when they start asking important questions like "why did he escalate so quickly" they just shrug it off with no real answer.
Let's add in the character stereotypes. The brash, foul mouthed detective; the angry lead Sargent who's so abusive that I can't believe he would ever be promoted to that position with that attitude; the gay bed and breakfast owner who has a Wizard of Oz fascination and is more angry about the robbery of his replica ruby slippers than the fact that a murderer may have stayed at his place.
I know this was Verdon's first book and I hope they get better. But there were far too many places where I found myself saying "Really!? That's how you're going to write this?"
When you find the answer to the first "I'm thinking of a number" puzzle you'll think "Really?" And that scam never got anyone's attention? Unbelievable.
It's a great idea and I really wanted it to work. But I don't think I'll spend another of my valuable credits on another Verdon book.
I'm just a book lover!
I enjoy listening to novels. The problem is within the first chapter or two, I've already figured out who the murderer is/who done it/who falls in love....etc. This book kept me guessing till almost the last chapter. It was a good story. Totally plausible. I could see the main character being brought into another storyline and reluctantly struggling with solving another case or not. The performance was well done. A few of the voices sounded the same, but I really didn't think that was to big of a deterrent. I thought the Narrator, George Newbern, did well with his read. Overall, the book get's 5 stars from me as it kept me in the 'guessing game'. I will definitely check out another John Verdon novel.
Felt like the police and main character were stupid. Obvious things that should have been looked at closer, weren't. Really didn't care for the book
Not in this genre, but by this author
I enjoy mysteries, science fiction, Stephen King, and some fantasy novels. Now and again I like a biography and a bit of history. No romance!
Yes, but since this is a very complex murder mystery, it wouldn't be as much fun. Once you know the secrets, it's likely to lose some of it's pull.
I really liked the main character's wife. She was very clever. He was the one who had been a police detective but she had a natural instinct and saw things that others missed. I hope she is in future books because she is the perfect sounding board for the main character.
This was the first book performed by George Newbern that I had listened to but I enjoyed him very much. If I find more books that he is narrating, I will count that as a huge draw.He is easy to listen to and makes the characters stand out without over-shadowing the story.
There is a personal event in the past of one of the main characters that is very moving. I don't want to give anything away but I will say that it gives you some insight into the character's personality.
I'm looking forward to listening to more books in this series.
Actually not Deborah, but Donald. My wife opened the Amazon account and suddenly my Audible account became hers. I'm a basic 63 year old type guy who runs a lot and listnes to books as I run. It was a dark and stormy night ... but I still did 5 miles.
First, really nice plot line. I wanted to know what happened next. That is always a good sign isn't it?
Lot's of people seemed to dislike Newbern's reading. It gave the feeling of people who carried a cloud with them. You can decide for yourself if that is exactly true - or not. If true, then his reading was fine.
What influences us most in this journey of life? It just might be all that we carry that has gone before. The past always lives... That is as important as the challenge we face today.
I can usually figure out who done it at least midway through a book, but not with this one. It was unusual in the plot and well thought out and presented.
The writing wasn't particularly artistic or inspiring, but it was solid and presented a clever and unique storyline.
I wouldn't listen to this book twice, but it was well worth the credit to listen to it once!