Allen, TX, United States | Member Since 2006
Timely material - al Quaeda in Yemen - and a typical wild story with John Cory and Kate Mayfield. This one has a lot of highly believable characters and plot twists, with strongly drawn characters and situations BUT it is a bit of a stretch in some places: the FBI and NYPD send 2 agents to the Middle East to help the CIA capture one guy? So, if you embrace the premise, its a great tale. Scott Brick seems to understand John better with each narration-his work is exceptional here.
I have enjoyed Elizabeth Lowell's work before, but she must have written this one in her sleep. Although a basically interesting story line, the clunky dialogue and sophomoric similies ("he looked at her like a barefoot hiker looks at a snake slithering in the forest") made it a bit difficult to get through. The narrator likely did the best she could with the material, but I doubt that this was her finest hour, either. Only buy this if, like me, you have a gift certificate and it is on sale. Not worth a credit.
I have found the entire 3 Pines series to be very satisfying and more complex than some seem to, but the 9th book in the series is the very best yet. The same characters we love, with the expansion of some we have only just met in previous tales, and a more rapid-pace suspenseful storytelling. Several story lines get resolved, lots of intrigue and 2nd guessing, all the while building to a very dramatic cinematic climax. Penny remains true to her story telling, however by infusing the tale with a cozy feeling at the same time. Highly recommend.
I am a real fan of this series already, but this book is by far the best. The expected inclusion of several new characters is amped up by surprising revelations about some of the "regulars" in the series. I am anxious to hear the next book to learn how the citizens of 3 Pines handle the change of balance in their community brought about in this story. Yes, these are "cozy" mysteries, but this story is more complex and compelling than you might expect.
Is it a character study? A romance? Soft porn? I don't think artists need to fit themselves into a genre, nor do authors, but this book has the jarring effect of moving between an almost "cozy" friendship story, to the panic attacks of a young woman with a scarred past, to extremely graphic sex scenes. I like a good romantic description as well as the next person, but....yikes! They just come out of nowhere in this book and go on and on... Pretty good narrator, moving between Scottish and American dialects, and a basic love story. You know how it will end right away. It's a good choice for those of you who like "bodice rippers."
How refreshing to listen to a new Grisham with an original, fresh take on life in the South. The book is billed as a sort-of sequel to a previous book, but one can completely enjoy and understand the back story of this tale with no knowledge of the previous piece - they just overlap with some primary characters and as vague story reference. Crisp, contemporary characters, realistic situations, and the kind of social complexity that living in the south inevitably brings. 3 or 4 plot twists to liven up the action, enough court room scenes to make the legal thriller crowd happy, but not so much that it bogs down the plot. Even if you've never read John Grisham before, you'll enjoy this thought provoking story.
This volume of the 3 PINES series doesn't take place in 3 pines, except for a couple of scenes, which adds a bit of newness to the undertaking. Rather than serving as a catalyst, Inspector Gamache and his family are central figures. (Saying more will give important discoveries away.) Another family is the primary focus - their history, their current relationships based on the past, and how their childhoods influence their adult behavior. Much more of a psychological profile of life and death than is usual in these books, but Penny is able to add grit while maintaining much of the humor and coziness this series is known for.
This book is a series of bloody action scenes punctuated by sophomoric dialogue. It is the tale of stop-at-nothing, can't-be-killed ex-CIA hitman with a soft spot for children. The attempt at a human interest subplot of violence from the viewpoint of a child is jarring amid all the bloodshed and hardware. The story could have been interesting in the hands of a more skilled writer, but falls far short here. This may be the reason it was free.
Anyone familiar with Donna Tartt knows that she never wraps things up with a "happily ever after." It is also true that her stories are long, complicated, and packed with characters. This book is so beautifully written that I am sad to see the end of these characters, even after more than 30 hours of listening. She and Ken Follett are among the only writers who can keep one completely captivated in a book requiring this sort of time commitment.
Our hero/antihero, Theo, is deeply flawed, although he didn't bring it all on himself. His friend, Boris, is more scarred and troubled, but has a better grasp on how to navigate the world in many ways. Together, they muddle through adolescence, and the resulting impact that their behavior has on their adult lives. This book illustrates how art, beauty and love can malevolently intertwine with danger, betrayal and self destruction. A number of great character studies combined with beautiful story telling make this a great book. Mr. Pittu makes every voice and accent believable. Buy this.
Not only is this trilogy a good grouping of stories in the Bosch series, it is an economical way to hear 3 stories for the price of one. The link between the 3 is Harry's relationship with FBI agent Rachel Walling, but each story is a stand-alone in the series. A further subtle link between the tales is the notion of how passion to do the right thing sometimes oversteps rational choices, to both good and bad ends. Len Cariou does an outstanding job, not only as Harry, but in portraying women, men of various ethnic distinctions and people with vocal abnormalities. I never had the sense that he was "doing a dialect," but rather than the character was actually speaking through him. If you like Harry, you'll enjoy this set.
This book is entertaining, but I expected more. The first book of this series provided a tantalizingly unique "what if..." about the rise and fall of the Knights Templar. This book picks up in the same space with the same characters, but seems to have been a contract requirement for the author rather than an exciting new twist in the story. Same interesting characters, in impossible situations, with a few new bad guys thrown in. The best part of the tale is the back story of the 13th century monk who....well, listen and find out why he becomes a legend.
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