Highland Park, IL, United States | Member Since 2011
I read several series continuously and Crais' is one of my top five.
Just effortless storytelling.
James Daniels is the only believable voice of Elvis and Joe.
One of the best in the Prey series. Subtle yet compelling and with a suspenseful plot. Richard Ferrone is a forceful and very listenable narrator.
McGee is a conflicted but essentially moral man and his rage at what happened to his friend is very nearly palpable. It infuses the book with a tension it wouldn't have if the protagonist had been a disaffected third party investigator.
Another thing is the realness of the plot. As someone quite familiar with criminal activity, I am always struck that the action in this book follows the law of unintended consequences that we often see in street crimes. Other authors (Elmore Leonard and John Sandford come immediately to mind) use the technique in contemporary fiction but MacDonald did it first and does it best.
When a reader cares about the characters, he cares about what happens to them. MacDonald creates characters so real that each one of them could walk off the page and sit down on the next bar stool. We care, of course, about McGee's knight on a spavined steed but we also care about his friends, particularly Tush Bannon. How could you read the early description of the man and not see a decent guy? What happens to him is tragic...and thus the essence of the plot. We want to see justice.
The scene where McGee cons a description of what happened to his friend Tush out of an unwitting phone repairman.
I have also always been moved by McGee's simplified visualization of life and death. I don't want to spoil it for the uninitiated but, suffice to say, I read it the first time when I was about 12 and it's stuck with me for nearly fifty years.
The story is lifeless, wandering and has a predictable outcome.
Handed it off to someone else to write. The last two Jesse's by Parker, and the last two TV adaptations by Brandman (and Selleck, as co-writer, co-producer) have lacked the energy and the interest of those that began the series. In Killing the Blues, Jesse wanders through without any passion whatsoever. The action is dull and formulaic and Brandman's effort to bring the books into the same setting as the TV show (Jesse moves to that house on the bay) is useless housekeeping.
I like his wry style. Others have complained that he doesn't give each character a separate voice but he actually does. It's subtle but enough for me. Cracked me up to hear him doing a Cialis commercial the day after I finished the book.
Disappointment. If the rest of the series is like this, I won't stick with it.
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