This book was largely very well written. There were just a few points that I thought didn't come across quite right but for the most part I thought this book was great from a writing perspective and would definitely read or listen to another book by this author. Or even a sequel if she'd like to tell the story of some of the lesser characters or continue the story of the principles.
The narrator was just okay for me. I respect the narrators greatly as I would imagine it's a very difficult job to get the character voices and narrating style down. However, this narrator seemed to be just a bit too focused on developing a different voice for each character and let's be frank there are quite a few in this book. As someone else stated the character of Crane, in particular, just didn't come across as well as I'm sure the narrator hoped. Also I felt his focus on the different character voices made it difficult for him to develop a good style and some parts come across as rushed or not sounding quite right to my ear.
Overall, though, I would definitely recommend this book. I'm already listening to it again.
I liked this book and I really enjoyed Dennis Boutsikaris' performance. However, I thought the "third book" should have been drawn out a bit more. There was so much time spent going into how Nick Hacheney got his claws into so many of the church women and how the events after his wife's death unfolded but then it seemed like the author lost interest once Nick's schemes began to unravel and wrapped the book up too quickly.
I would have liked it more if the author have delved into the investigation and trial instead of just giving us a perfunctory epilogue.
My heart goes out to Jimmy Glass though. After poor Dawn Hacheney he really got put through the wringer and deserved much better than what he got from his so called family and friends.
I think this is generally a good book. If I hadn't gotten the book because I was so interested to find out what happened to Det. Ryan in 1984 I would have been thrilled with this story.
While the 1984 case informs us about Ryan during the current investigation and how his past affects him, Cassie and other characters I can't help but think it could have been weaved into the story in a much better way.
Instead we end up with 1984 over our heads the whole time, alternately sympathizing and hating Rob Ryan and, for me, listening to everything with "When do I find out what happened in '84" running through my mind.
This left me wanting to burn my copy once I heard "The End". It also left me yelling at the stereo of my car "That's it"?! Not very satisfying when you use your commuting hours in order to relax with a good book.
Ultimately I believe Tana Franch could be an intriguing author but I'm hesitant to give her another try after being so thoroughly disappointed by this book's ending.
I did learn one important thing though. ALWAYS read the reviews before spending your credits. So, for that, thank you Ms. French.
I ended up really liking this book. It started out with a bang with the main characters on Holiday and I liked the way the author resolved the character conflicts and brought them back together where it all began.
My one complaint is that there is a big portion in the middle that drags the book down a little, keeping me from giving it the full five stars. While, intellectually, I understanded the need for the character development it does slow down the narrative a bit too much for my taste. Ultimately, though, I felt this was a very good outing for the author.
In regards to the narration I enjoyed the difference in characterization but felt that it did come across at times as a dry reading instead of a narrative performance. This was particularly the case for me in the middle of the book so it may have something to do with how I felt about the book's content in that section.
This book left me feeling a bit out of sorts actually. I thought the first part of the book was really good. The various twists and turns in the relationship between Cory and Tristan really drew me in and the possibility of what Blanco was up to was an interesting hook as it made me wonder where the story was going.
However, after the showdown at Cory's art showing I felt it lost something in the writing. It was almost like the author had spent all the time building up to the showdown that they weren't sure how to finish the book, leading the writing to become sluggish and sort of all over the place after that climax. Almost like the story peaked too early and lost the dramatic punch 2/3rds of the way through.
Even so, I did enjoy the beginning of the book and the ending, while it left a bit to be desired, held together enough that I could get through it. However, with the way the book finished I'm not sure I'd give the author another chance.
I've tried listening to this book twice before but I couldn't get past the first chapter. However, I decided to give it one more shot and I'm glad I did. Once I got past the somewhat slow beginning and the story got going I was engrossed. This book was a surprise in the best possible way. Simon Vance was fantastic as the Narrator as well. This was a great book, all around.
I've listened to 4 out of the 5 books Christopher Rice has written and while they are all good this is, by far, my favorite. As with most of Rice's books the beginning was a bit confusing but still grabbed my interest from the first chapter.
Stephen was a very compelling protagonist for me and I was saddened when I realized that the story was drawing towards a conclusion. This is a book I will listen to again and again I'm sure. A terrific first outing for someone who has become one of my very favorite writers.
I'm afraid I have to agree with most of the reviews already written. After six books with Laural Merlington I was actually looking forward to Claudia Black and a new voice for the Merry Gentry series.
However, aside from the nice Irish lilt she managed I thought her narration was very lacking. As others have mention she did not have much, if any, difference in voice between characters.
Also her reading kept reminding me of the computer in War Games. Too monotonous and dry by far.
I am happy to see Laural Merlington has returned for Divine Misdemeanors.
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