How can I say that a book was a disappointment when it kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish?...Well, there you go. I guess I was expecting more from the author of Ghost Writer -- which I thought was almost flawless. The Fear Index, while clever, had holes. One of the worst ones was that I figured out who the villain was way before the characters did -- so then you are just waiting for them to 'catch up.' Still, like I said, it kept me on the edge of my seat -- and the reader was excellent, so I would still recommend it.
While seemingly on the road to recovery ("Believing the Lie" is definitely an improvement from the depressed, morose Lindley on his endless walk after the death of his wife), Elizabeth George is still not where she was with her earlier novels. She is such an incredible writer (and Davina Porter is such an incredible reader) that you will be drawn in despite that by the brilliant descriptions, plot twists, and characters...but, ultimately, you will be disappointed - both with the story and with the characters' behavior! If the explanation for the mystery (a tad unbelievable) is what George makes it out to be, then our inspectors messed up catastrophically, destroying people's lives in their stubborn perseverance to redeem themselves as 'sleuths.' Once they realize this, they don't even seem that contrite. One can almost hear them say "Oops," as they go on about their lives, leaving the victims of their sleuthing behind.
The good thing is that "Believing the Lie" is definitely an improvement over the last few George novels. Maybe the next one will be back to her old standards!
I am glad I read the author's second book ("The Strangler") before reading this one. Otherwise, I might have never gone past this book. While not horrible, it did meander at times. I disagree with some of the other reviewers who say that the ending was totally unpredictable. In fact, part of my problem is that I did not find it unpredictable enough. Nor did I care enough about the protagonist to care that much what happened to him: "Oh, yeah, right. Whatever." (The author also dismisses some loose ends without much thought.)
As far as the narration, I again disagree with some of the other reviewers (who hated him). I found the reader quite good EXCEPT when he attempted to imitate the Boston accent, making some of the characters (especially the female DA) sound like Elmer Fudd. I happen to live in Boston (not a native) and, trust me, even those with Boston accents don't sound like that.
All that said, I did not hate the book. Again, his second one is much better -- so I might have to go ahead and read his recent released third.
There seemed to be absolutely no attempt by the writers to create a cohesive story. It just jumps from scene to scene, with characters paired at random (it seems). Perhaps it all comes together brilliantly at the end. I will miss that. I was utterly bored.
Clever psychological thriller where two master logicians try to outwit each other. Brilliantly written so as to make every character somehow believable -- and brilliantly read. The reader makes you feel that you are in the room, making the hair on the back of your neck stand at the right moments.
A story that was even remotely plausible. The character meanders through his days and comes across clues to a crime that happened three years earlier totally by accident. It is absurd and only bearable because the reader is absolutely terrific. He makes it 'sound' like there's a mystery...The mystery, of course, is what did those other reviewers listen to? I can't believe it was the same book I downloaded.
No. But it certainly has turned me off this author. First and last book by him I will be listening to anytime soon.
The reader is pretty good, which lures you into thinking there might be something actually here. The writing, though, is extremely poor. (I kept editing sentences in my head, which is bad.) You never really care about the characters. And the plot!!! What can I say? She gives it a twist at the end which was totally unjustified by anything that came before -- I guess in a desperate attempt to make ti seem like there had been a plot to begin with. (When I realized, with ten minutes to go, that this was "it," I had to make myself listen to the end simply because it felt silly to not finish it when I had gone that far. In the last two minutes, there IS a new twist -- out of nowhere again, just to set the scene for the sequel. No thank you!!!) I am surprised this wasn't produced by Brilliance Audio.
I love this kind of fantasy when written for adults -- and this one certainly is. I loved 90% of it. As I approached the end,however, I kept wondering how the wonderful story was going to come to an end. WELL, it doesn't -- and I felt cheated. I am all for series, but when they are well done each book comes to some sort of conclusion. (The second BOOK builds on the first BOOK's semi-complete story.) This one does not. The plot progresses, of course -- and I loved the characters and Ms. Harkness' writing, not to mention Jennifer Ikeda's reading -- but it does not 'conclude' in any way. I will give it two stars for now and perhaps update the rating when she finishes writing the next two parts of this one book. (I will probably wait for her to write the third one, though, before I buy the second.)
You certainly leave the United States with this book. I am not convinced that you go to a place that is "real," of course, but the trip is nevertheless entertaining. Much wit, crazy happenings -- and a lovable scoundrel of a hero to root for. What my high school Spanish teacher would have called a "picaresque novel."
The story is great, if you like Anthony Trollope -- and I love him. The announcer is great, if you like Simon Vance (and how can you not?). But, of all the audio books I have listened to over the years (hundreds), this is one of the worst productions. I was surprised that it was Blackstone Audio, which is one I generally trust. The sound engineer must have been asleep. Every so ofter, there is an edit where Simon Vance obviously re-read a line or two -- but there is absolutely no attempt to match the pitch, the tone, the level. It can be very disruptive.
I have to disagree with the other reviewers. I loved listening to this story as read by the author. I thought he gave every irony the perfect tone. In fact, this is the first Dexter book I've read/listened to (I am a fan of the TV series) and am a tad scared of listening to others not read by him.
As for the story: funny, macabre. Perfect Dexter!
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