This book added nothing to the series. The previous book, as-is, would have been a much better end to the series. It was poorly written in many places and felt rushed.
Made the book less of a reunion of all past favorite characters. It stretches credulity and weakens them all.
She has a lovely accent, and each character has a very distinctive voice.
In many of the books, Sookie is badly beaten or threatened with rape. I generally skip those parts on repeated listenings. This is one of the few books in the series where no one beats the crap out of the protagonist, or tortures her, or nearly rapes her.
Most important: always download Frederick Davidson narrations at top quality ("Enhanced")! He is the best of the best, and I hate to read people disappointed by his recordings. This makes a tremendous difference.
I am a die-hard LeCarre fan in the making; I've read/heard much of his catalogue. This story, compared to the Karla series, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, even The Secret Pilgrim, was plodding and unsatisfying, without brilliant tradecraft or tension. I learned about Russian ethnic infighting, but doubt I will listen to this title again. My favorite is still "Call for the Dead", which I listen to every few months. Advise you to get this one when I did, after you've had the best.
David Case also narrated as Frederick Davidson, Edward Raleigh, James Nelson, and Ian McKay. He is my favorite narrator, and every month when I get my credits, I look for something else of his. I'm glad another review recommended getting the highest-quality audio format, because it made a big difference, and I'll continue to use only it.
Beyond that, John LeCarre's Karla Trilogy are my favorite books. The story is so vast, filled with such rich and complex characters, that I get more out of it every time I listen. Read by Davidson, it's indescribably brilliant. For a patient listener with an interest in espionage, drama, and the human condition, I couldn't recommend it more highly.
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