Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
Do you recall when you read your first Stieg Larsson? One of his "The Girl Who..." thrillers? And do you remember how potently he escorted you into the Swedish culture? How you felt as if you were feeling through a different prism? Well Barry Eisler did that for me this week as I listened to Brian Nishi's powerful interpretation of Eisler's tour through a Japanese prism. Everything works here... It's a thriller. It's a character study. A psychological study. It's a cultural study... It's worth every minute I spent and will stay with me just as powerfully as my travels with Stieg Larsson.
I'm off to find the next in the John Rain series... That's how strongly I recommend this book and this reader.
Apparently Scott Pratt's got some sort or denominational religious angst going on in his head… It apparently developed since his excellent earlier novel, "An Innocent Client" (which should be read first BTW). And here he swirls it around and around in a mishmash of mystical versus spiritual plot whorls.
I don't like it when an author relies upon ghosts, mystics, or satan/gods to solve his/her story difficulties. Pratt does that here. Maybe you'll enjoy it, since he's a good craftsman and Tim Campbell's a fine reader. Don't know whether I'll try the next in this series… I like my legal thrillers to be more "normal" courtroom matches without a gooey side-order of the "para'.
Listen to Charles Rosenberg's delightful "Death On A High Floor" before this one. That's VERY important. Set five years after that adventure, Jenna James, has lost a lot of her perk. To some degree it's the fault of casting Kate Rudd, only because I was used to Christopher Lee's brilliant creation of Jenna's character in book 1 of this series. Oddly, Lane did that Jenna better than the excellent actress… Rudd.. does in this book.
BTW, for some inexplicable reason I wrote Lane's name as Lee in my review of "High Floor" and wish that we could edit our reviews. I feel awful… grumble….
But maybe this book lets me down just a bit because Jenna James lost her perkiness. Her impetuosity, her sexual, um, spontaneity.Rosenberg's earlier work jumped the shark, but Lane's wonderful read made it work. Here, he only carries half of the water, so maybe that makes it more difficult to accept the improbabilities of this interpretation of academic politics. Dumno.. but while I enjoyed Long Knives… It wasn't "Death On A High Floor".
Still, if a third in this series arrives, I'll listen… especially if Christopher Lane's reading. AUDIBLE: GIVE CHRISTOPHER LANE MORE WORK… K?
From the first lines, Christopher Lee insinuates pompous, grumpy attorney Robert Tarza right into my mind. HE'S ALIVE!! Lee is an audible artist who makes Charles Rosenberg's characters full-up with dimensions. And Rosenberg gives them a bunch. Plus he makes the impetuous side-kick, young Jenna James… well, PETUOUS! These guys, Rosenberg & Lee make a kind of ordinary plot-line keep you in the car… in your driveway.. after a long ride home… still hanging on the next twist, wisecrack, and cliff hanger.
Did I write "side"-kick? I'm not sure who is kicking who's side here, it's a very clever ensemble, made even more interesting by quirky criminal lawyer Oscar Quesana… who will need to star in his own Rosenberg novel soon… hint.. hint… Hear me Charles?
I totally liked this… and immediately downloaded the next in this series which features the perky, brilliant, and sexy Jenna James… Hope it's as good a listen as this one.
AUDIBLE… come on… give Christopher Lee lots more work… PLEEEEESE!
Looking for the kind of legal thriller that Scott Turow used to write? Here's a guy NOT PREACHING his ideological message. Here's a nifty noir voice. I just listened to Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon where the hard-boiled detective got invented. Scott Pratt's in that league. Like Hammett he's writing straight entertainment while playing the various techniques of fiction like a jazz pianist pulls in the riffs and chords you expect from hands that can find the dark a well as light keys.
Tim Campbell's created this ensemble cast with same sort of note-perfect sense as Pratt. Did I like it? I just downloads the next Joe Dillard book. Wadda-you think?
Hammett shocked readers. He won't today. So stripped of that support, Falcon's now a slow period piece. The legendary snappy dialogue's also lost its snap over the years, copied and tightened as it's been by so many who've mastered this genre since Sam Spade was invented. Hammett invented pacing that goosed along the plot. And yet, even there his followers have learned to crank up the pace to warp speed.
It was interesting to return to the firm of Archer & Spade, but it was more like a class assignment... Something for study perhaps. Something to appreciate for its contributions.
I read Falcon when I was young. I like that memory more than this revisit. Hmmmm... Maybe you can't go home again, eh?
Scobel and Israel are a top IT reporting team. Maybe THE top team. They have an intriguing curiosity, wonderful access, and an ability to translate tech complexities into colloquial English. But, high tech becomes old tech at blinding speed. I finished this listen on 6/15/14. A lot of their material was… well think of a banana. You know how quick the yellow ones become brown? We'll this banana was flecked when I read it, on the way to brown.
I'm guessing the expiration date for Age Of Context is probably 10/14 or 11/14 at the latest. Get it while it's fresh, huh?
Jeffery Kafer's a good fit for the read he helped me enjoy the listen.
Imagine an argument with great links missing from its logical chain. Then imagine simply inventing links of fact to fill the gaps... Links fit into place with welds blended and blurred by strong emotional distractions.
A deus ex machina is a literary or sophist trick... an ancient device that Wikipedia defines as a seemingly unsolvable problem which is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object.
Robert J. Sawyer does that here in Calculating God... quite enchantingly. He "proves" the case for diesim by... well I use the word enchantingly in a couple of its meanings. It is much like a fascinating fairy tale that absorbs and charms you. And it is also a magical yarn that fits as well into the realm of fantasy as sci-fi. Indeed, it's an ingenious blend which proves nothing yet, seems to. Uh-huh, here the "calculations" and the "proof" are just like a guy suddenly and abruptly whipping a rabbit from a hat.
He does it so well, you forget that he's contrived to bring both a certain kind of hat, baggy-sleeved jacket, and well... his own unexpected rabbit.
Sawyer's good. And while you're enjoying this "calculatiion" ignore the man behind the curtain. There's nothing to see there... Just move along past :-)
Oh, and Jonathan Davis, or whoever... reads the book ... um... enchantingly.
You ever seen taffy stretched? Well it sags in the middle and even breaks if over-pulled.
Fidelity is rich, thick, and a sometimes gooey taffy. The characters are by Thomas Perry, so they're basically complex. Characters drive Perry stories. But here, the cast is pulled sometimes beyond its, um, stretchability.
Fidelity's a good book, and Perry's always a unique chef. This recipe's different from all of the other six Perrys I've listened to - so this author's not derivative. But it's more like "Strip" in his book of recipes… not a waste of time. Diverting. But I urge you to listen to either of "The Butcher Boys", or the classic "Metzger's Dog" first.
Oh… Michael Kramer ROCKS! He makes this book worth the time keeping this listen from becoming a stretch too far.
Michael Sears has mastered alchemy. He's turned the lead of securities trading into precious reading. You know how a magician can do a trick right in front of you, then do it again and you're still agape? Sears has done it again in "Mortal Bonds" - this second Jason Stafford novel. "Black Fridays" was good, it worried me though that it wouldn't …. no… couldn't be done again. It was… Even better. My only regret is that there is no third Jason Stafford book to yet download.
John Bedford Lloyd is what Scott Brick should be and he has made a masterful difference over the reader of "Black Fridays". He can do voices, creates totally believable females. He handles nuance the way grand prix drivers handle curves. But, he stays invisible… In the best ensemble productions, it is a bad performer who stands out. Little wonder that Lloyd holds a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Lloyd is magnificent at allowing Michael Sears' creation to sing much like a great conductor will interpret a terrific composer. But, this seems to be the only Audible book he's read. PITY! The man is brilliant, no wonder he's appeared in scores of movies.
OK… this is too long and most won't read it. So just take my advice and start with "Black Fridays" and you'll come in at the beginning of the creation of this complex and clever Jason Stafford epic. Then listen to this pair of alchemists at work in "Mortal Bonds".
FIVE STARS ALL AROUND!
Among well written stories, this one is average. Lloyd Sherr's a terrific actor and manages the entire cast brilliantly. Marty Singer's got an interesting, um, challenge that works to both deepen him and to add tension to the plot. Here's the "but".
That's the sound of snapping credibility. The evil mastermind behind all of the action sucks too heavily upon the reader's belief. Too much disbelief's got to be suspended. I couldn't do it so the ending sagged when the big-bad-boss TWANGED credulity.
Maybe I'll read the next Marty Singer mystery. maths Iden's created a clever character facing a unique challenge. So… If you're intrigued by the publisher's blurb… Well heck, it got me to read it. Just remember the "TWANG!" and don't say you weren't warned. K?
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