Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
The only reason I withheld one star from this Crais novel is that I read "Suspect" first and it swooshed me over to buy another Crais book... Which is why I bought and loved "Hostage". It's just that "Suspect" was my standard for Crais and well, as good as "Hostage" is... "Suspect" is even better. Hey.... treat yourself... listen to 'em both... and enjoy how James Daneils creates these characters in your mind.
This is good stuff!
On the down side, Pessi breaks out in rashes of over-writing… She also suffers in one scene from I-Need-An-Editor flu. But… but… Hollywood tells us that there are only what, 8 different stories? Well, I have no idea into which I'd drop this imagination explosion… These characters are so magnetic… I cared about them. Enough that the torrent of what at first seemed like epilogues pulled me into an entirely different experience. Yep, kept expecting an ending but…
Let's step out of the review here and talk about something unique to audio books. Unlike a hardbound on your lap, you're never spontaneously aware of how much more is to come. That's a good thing if you want the author to own surprise. Sooo back to the review.
Chapters began to end the story… then abruptly Jake Webber announced another… and another and… And it works. I'm convinced that Pessi's brilliance blended with Weber's talent will forgive almost everything.
Steven King once wrote like this, but he'd depend upon the gross-out to snap him away from trouble. Pessi keeps portending, but she has another solution. Not to worry, no spoiler alert here… Just another satisfaction with her startlingly complex talent.
I hope that next time Pessi will sand down some histrionics, and maybe disobey the rules and tell us rather than show every detail. Won't matter though… I'll preorder whatever she does next. Pessi's a resonant new psychological thrill pilot.
Okay, a good mystery needs red herrings. But… they shouldn't decompose into a stink. In Full Dark House, a great big hunk of the plot is made of herring that's left out of the fridge too long. Then there's the deus ex machine ending and… two lead characters that dawdle and droop through twin historic lines… and the result? Well maybe BBC might make a 90 minute TV drama out of this just to use as a deal sweetener with America's PBS so they'll pay top dollar for some soap opera in bodice-busting, costume, period-piece, drag that insecure American upper middle class viewers seem to become besotted over…. And.. and…
Oh, thanks, I needed that. Simply put, pass on "Full Dark House". K?
Have you read "Digital Fortress" Dan Brown's clanky stew of improbabilities? Pity, you should have read, and still should read "The Fear Index". I'm an economist with a specialty in finance. And I wondered throughout this book if Harris sat behind me in class, taking better notes? Or maybe he was off studying the art market? Or maybe he spent those study years in cyber studies… or…
A number of authors have played with the general theme of "The Fear Index"… none better than Harris does here. And Christian Rodska is so superb that he'd surely win some sort of Academy Award for excellence in the audio genre if only one existed (Does it? Why not?).
I'm giving copies of "The Fear Index" to friends this Christmas. When you do that, you're reputation for picking thrillers is on the line. I'll walk that line ho-ho-ho-ing with Harris in my Santa bag.
Treat yourself, listen to this one.
Oh J.D., how dear is cop-mission to a lady-officer besotted with truth, dedication, goodness, and virtue? . How many times will you have her preach these dear things at us to separate a couple of gooey sex scenes kidnapped from treacly bodice-busters? "Treachery In Death" is a gaggle of speeches held together by a chicken-wire of police-procedure.
I never listened to J.D. Robb before this one came on sale. Nope, never will again. It's said that Robb is a pseudonym for a writer with a big-foot brand name. Whoa, there's a brand to avoid. As for Susan Ericksen… Is that the way she thinks men sound? Maybe she gets better when NOT acting out what bores like the cast on a secondary-school stage performing a "story" written by a team-assignment to a junior level English class. Oh, and there's a tediously predictable car-fight thrown in to make credibility go PHWANG! with the subtlety of a piano pushed from a balcony.
Nope, didn't like it. Should have been named, "Treacle In Death". No wonder it went into the Audible remainder bin.
I wish McKinty would stay in Ireland. This series has Michael Forsythe here in the U.S. and while still immersed in an ersatz Irish culture its exploration is not as compelling to me as his travels around 80s Belfast in "The Troubles Trilogy" nor his exploration of different Irish subcultures in "Falling Glass". McKinty is dark... a strength of his. However this Foresythe series pours more blood into, or tortures it out of, the darkness of this series' plotting. Sometimes less is more, and frequently... as in this series, more brutality is less impactful. I'm thinking of taking a rest from Michael Forsythe after this second in the series. Perhaps after some months my spirits will have healed much like Michael Forsythe's amazingly (and a tad unbelievably) resuscitative body.
Once again, Gerard Doyle's Irish-filled mouth zapped me into a sense of powerful place.
This is like a collection of short stories...Maybe even comic book stories. Each is interesting and they do hang together... And it's not really boring. But I kept expecting something greater than the sum of these parts would happen and less did. There are so many books to listen to and I'm a tad disappointed that I spent this much of it on "Strip".
Still it made my morning gym visits less uncomfortable and wasn't bad company during household chores. Not sure that's a great recommendation though. Plus there are brothers in this plot and Michael Kramer seemed stymied over how to make their tongues seem different enough to keep track. On the other hand they, like most of these characters, really weren't much deeper than comic book characters so, maybe he didn't care about them, so... neither did I.
On balance? Pass on this one. It's not a waste of time but....
In one of his best earlier (the sixth) Dave Robicheaux stories, “In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead” James Lee Burke began to explore the thin line between spirituality and mysticism. In the process he created a new genre - the metaphysical cop story. Here in the eighth Robicheaux he revisits that idea. I’m glad. You will be too, especially if you’ve started the series from the beginning.
In fact, I’d recommend that you skip right over “Dixie City Jam,” Burke’s seventh and slowest novel and come from “Electric Mists” to “Burning Angel”. You’ll miss nothing in the epic evolution of Dave, Bootsey, Alafair, and Cleetus but you’ll get to enjoy Burke’s growing his ability to explore this lyrical new story arc.
Of the eight Burke novels, I still think that the first and that “Electric Mist” are the most haunting. But with the exception of “Dixie City Jam”, they are among the absolute finest work in American detective fiction … EVER! Uh-huh…. EVER! And as always,The late Mark Hammer’s lyrical talent to create this back-bayou Louisiana world is magical. If you enjoy detective/police/thriller/mystery fiction… the Dave Robicheaux series is a must start.
McKinty knows there's a difference between logic and perception: That time is the dimension that changes all of the others and eventually erases them. Lead character Micheal's 19th year ends, um, differently from its beginning. And that is where we puzzle through the time and murder-fueled gap between logic and perception.
This is my fourth McKinty... I'm hoping the fifth will be at least as good as these others. Okay, this book starts slowly but then... BOOM! Wuddhell's going on, you wonder? And that wonder's spun into mystery all about why-dunnit. And then the pace snaps into warp drive. And... Gerard Doyle nails a sense of place (Belfast, Mexico, California, Texas, New York, wherever...), time, and character. Can't help it, an hour of Doyle-listening and my tongue's misted in brogue.
These guys are a great team and this is good stuff.
WARNING (1): This is the second part to "In The Woods" the two book are Siamese twins joined at the head. WARNING (2): It is Tana French's nature to show, not tell. And show.. and show... and...
Detective Cassie Maddox piqued me up during "In The Woods" but somewhere between books the perky gymnast lost both her perk and reflexes. So much of "The Likeness" involves minute, laborious, Frenchian efforts to make an astonishing coincidence explicable. In the process she's made it clear that Trinity University's Ph.D. admission standards and student credulity coincidentally collapsed at exactly the right moment to allow French's premise to slide through. Not only that but apparently listeners' ears for accent and regionalism among English speakers also evaporated just in time to allow everyone to accept Australian for Californian for South Carolinian for Dublin for...
Okay... I couldn't jump the shark even though Heather O'Neil tried reeeeeely hard to sell the story. But... the worst speed bump in "The Likeness" is French's inability to ever get to the point. Okay, people are complex... I get it. I got it a few hours into "In The Woods"... part one in this saga. This time I felt like a passenger in a heavy carriage hitched to a turtle. Often I yowled, "Get To The Point Tell me! Stop showing, DAMMIT!"
Pity, French knows how to "cast a lot of lures so you fail to notice the hook in the middle." The characters, shaken loose from boring debris are fascinating, and the ending's darkly poignant. If, like me, you are determined to finish what you've bought... and wondered about Cassie after reading "Into The Woods"... well maybe... maybe... you'll also finish this thing.
Tanya French has chosen to show rather than tell how it seems when an understanding of the normal abruptly shifts. Perception is reality. Change the former and reality changes for the perceiver. We are the sum of our ideas. Should they shift from a manic trauma, reality will change. Like a rider in a windowless train’s car we depart into a reality that’s seemed to have moved while in fact we were the ones who travelled.
Tanya French shows rather than tells the psychological horror of someone trying to balance upon a shuddering reality which threatens to blur like the view from a careening vehicle’s window. And she does it with a mastery of detailed research that's hidden from us like the Disney folks hide their critical infrastructure in tunnels and behind soothing facades. The clues are here from the first pages, but not until well into the end do we realize how important those dark tunnels and backrooms of psychosis are.
I have a mega quibble. This book promised an Irish tale. Yes, there’s good reason to explain why the narrator Steven Crossley’s accent for the protagonist is British. Pity though that Crossley was unable or unwilling to find a trace of Ireland in the voices of the rest of the Irish cast of French’s characters. I wish that perhaps Gerard Doyle, the masterful Irish voice of Adrain McKinty’s powerful novels had told us this story. Even though I easily recommend the challenge and imagination of “Into The Wood”, Crossley is miscast as this novel’s reader.
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