I've read a couple of other books in the Gabriel Allon series and enjoyed them. This mystery started with a death at the Vatican, progressed to a hunt for the killer, and then, ultimately, a resolution to the mystery. But then there is a completely additional challenge for Allon regarding the Pope's visit to Israel. This last part seemed to be tacked on, and, from my perspective, slightly polemic. Just not my favorite book.
This author seems to think that by repeating a situation the tension is heightened. It isn't. It is annoying. The idea of a small-time crook becoming a part of a drug ring to infiltrate a prison in order to bust a drug ring just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this book wasn't a mystery. It was a procedural on how to get away with murder, conspiracy by the powerful, and the best way to smuggle contraband into a prison using tulips.
I love the characters in this story. There are the usual evil doers, but there are also those willing to go the extra mile to help people. The dry humor in this series is terrific. All the "camel" references to help prove a point but are lost in translation lighten a difficult time for the characters. The previous books had some really challenging things happening to the victims. The victims in this book are not subjected to torture or bloody accidents.No years in a chamber to torment someone. I highly recommend this book, which you can enjoy even without reading the previous four.
I love the new Department Q the Danish police created to look into very cold cases. The book goes back and forth in time and between the victim's life and the detective's work. The first time I listened to this, it was difficult to get through what was going on with the victim. Just unimaginable. But going on to the detective and his sidekick, as they developed a working relationship that proved to be successful, was enjoyable. And the fact that the sidekick happens to be Syrian, with his unique interpretations of the Danish (English) language is fun. Great, imaginative characters.
A young woman with two children is broke and can't collect on her husband's life insurance policy because there is no body. It's been a year, and her life is spiraling down fast. Enter a trusty psychologist and retired cop, and things start to look up. I love the characters of Professor Joe O'Loughlin and DI Vincent Ruiz. They are kind but not pushovers. The story is engaging. The mystery unfolds slowly, but keeps your interest.
A xenophobic group dating back decades has a history of eliminating those it deems not worthy of being Danes. The blond, Teutonic members decide it's best to just not let the unworthy be born, so poor women are secretly sterilized, or their fetuses aborted without their consent. A detective and his assistants run up against the group when trying to track down people who went missing over two decades ago. I love the main characters. They are caring, determined and often ironic. The saga of one of the women mistreated is almost too much to consider. I'm going back for the other books in this series. I'm hooked.
I wasn't crazy about the start, with a guy who appears to be getting away from a bombing for which he is responsible. But then Michael Robotham makes the guy likeable, smart, and simply unlucky. And enter the beloved retired detective. Can he make things right? I love the characters, the plot, and, of course, the narrator. Great story that keeps you guessing up until the end.
I don't think I'll ever physically read another Grisham book as long as Michael Beck is around to read them. His performance, with all the amazingly diverse Southern voices, brings the book alive. Sycamore Row may be Grisham's best (I think I've read them all). But truly, listening to the story made it even better. The only part I put the listening speed on double was some of the courtroom stuff. I realize it probably gave a very accurate picture of a trial's progression. I just didn't need it. Otherwise, a wonderful, entertaining listen.
Mr. Nesbo is killing off police officers in a grisly fashion. But it's countered by Harry's relationship upswing. I'm not sure I'm ready for a recovered, happy Harry Hole.
John Lee is now narrating Harry Hole mysteries after the death of Robin Sachs. It takes a while to get used to the change. Mr. Lee provides a little more emotion for Harry than Mr. Sachs. I liked the lower key of the previous narrations. But Mr. Lee, as always, does a wonderful job, and it's a terrific performance.
Ferguson steps out of the realm of politics, and writes the history of civilization focusing on what works for humans--good medicine, property rights protection, the rule of law, and buying stuff, to name a few. I loved how he asked what North America and South America would look like if the opposites settled the land--the Spaniards in the North, the English in the South. His take on it was very interesting, and not what might be expected.
This is just great read. Ferguson's narration is amazing. I'm not sure if he's doing all the accented voices, but if he is, he's a born actor.
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