I think I swore off listening to Battles after a previous read, but somehow ended up listening to this anyway. I wish I could edit this book: it's really not a bad story, but Battles gets hung up at least once a chapter on parsing minutiae, with a lot of dialogue about obvious things, a lot of explication of un-spectacular activity, much in the name of verisimilitude but more a delight in naming weapons and lovingly recording all the intricacies of using them. All in all it's an engaging-enough story, but could have been streamlined to good effect.
Following a several-year time gap, this follow-up begins asking some of the logical questions ignored in the first, High Concept episode. It's still good fun, though I found the Family Values motif a bit overdone and over-agendized. The ending shows the story is by no means complete, but I'm satisfied enough with the examination of the concept that I won't feel desperate for the next one, just as I won't regret reading this one.
This book was fun. Some good forensics, interesting characters, lots of info on prehistoric Manhattan, corruption in the ranks, gruesome carnage. Not the run-of-the-mill good guys vs bad guys book: this author has some interesting things to say and has wrapped it up in a package whose central premise seems a bit weak but ultimately makes some kind of sense, and en route goes to some cool places.
I enjoyed this book . . . in spots. The setting is interesting, the plot is interesting, the characters have a lot going on. The author, though, tells the story in a convoluted way that obscures many of the better qualities of the tale in favor of creating ambiguity and conflict . . . not conflict between characters so much as between versions of the truth. Much of this is realistic, created by the setting and the difficulty of communication, but much of it is a storyteller's conceit, creating confusion and delaying its resolution to pad the narrative and frustrate the reader, along the lines of a television series in its tenth year, when the writers have run out of ideas and the narrative turns mostly meta.
So it's a good book, but it requires some active listening to keep the plot lines disentangled, and walks the thin line of asking too many times if the effort is worth it.
I've read some of King's Sherlock Holmes titles and enjoyed them. She's a good writer . . . but in this case, not such a great story-teller. King anatomizes everything, and many of the details are compelling and make the story real and bring characters to life. Unfortunately, much of this reads like running in place: although there is a story arc, it's a very long flat arc, with the rising action and denouement occurring in the last few pages and for the most part off-stage. The lovingly-rendered world and the few characters and the pleasant prose kept me listening, but despite heavy foreshadowing and ominous flashbacks, the story never really got going: an endless series of quotidian events eventually erupted in a flurry of action (again, largely off-stage), making for a generally unsatisfying listen. The abrupt shift from Sedona to England about 2/3 of the way through seemed more a desperation move to salvage the narrative than a logical or necessary narrative maneuver, rendering the immensely long introduction a real waste of time (and I was never convinced King had ever been to Sedona or driven a Volkswagen van, either). The novel set out to be about religious zealotry and fatal conflicts with ham-fisted authorities, but was really about a woman who had lost her daughter . . . either one would have been fine, but it ended up being satisfactory at neither.
The narrator seemed perfect to portray the protagonist. It's an uncommon stroy with some well-drawn characters. The reader's voice and approach to the material are excellent. The story veers a bit in the second half, but eventually the author seems to get a handle on the material (the Daniel Boone interlude had me wondering how such a well-crafted book could take such a wrong turn) and all goes well again. I'll be looking at more books by this author.
I hope I haven't listened to all of these, because I keep wanting more. It's good to space these Nesbo books out a bit, though: it's not a world to live in more than once a year, maybe. James Lee Burke is similar: good, but best not to stay immersed in too long.
I've read every Chandler story and novel several times, and looked into every Chandler reboot I could find. This one hits all the right notes. Someone complained about the narrator, but I thought it was just fine. Not a Humphrey Bogart imitation, but a good straightforward read of a well-wrought book.
This book exceeded my expectations on every level. Not only an adept prequel to an old favorite, but also the beginning of a new series in its own right. Do more of these . . .
I've liked Finder books in the past, but only finished this one to see if he could rescue it. It's a flimsy pretext with obvious reversals filtered through stock conflicts with the daughter and girlfriend. For the most part the scenes are barely sketched in, more like notes than a novel. In the second half Finder seems to be paying more attention to setting, but spends most of his time on a skiing scenario that reveals he evidently doesn't ski.
This sounds like an early attempt at a potboiler or something written in haste to fulfill a contract. A better narrator wouldn't have been able to salvage much more from the bad writing, but this narrator didn't do it any favors.
Not your typical series development. A pretty good story, but premised on some highly unlikely scenarios and alliances. The damsel-in-distress makes for a good page-turner, though, although the ditzy damsel is both hard to take and hard to believe: Mr. Box doesn't so much strain credulity as simply fail to acknowledge it.
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