If I heard that phrase once, I heard it 50 times in this book. Based on the (mostly) glowing reviews, I really thought I was in for a treat- but it lost me about a third of the way through.
I want to give other's a true impression of what I got out of this book--even though I appear to me in the minority side of the isle so far.
Yes, it's a decent story with a lot of characters and situations- but it does seem the book would have been better if some of the situations were developed further, and given us a more in depth feel for the people. As some other's have said --I really never came to care about any of them.
Far from all of the characters being "strong southern men and women"- most of them were weak, cowardly, bullies, and liars. Secrets and personal motivations come out almost as afterthoughts.
The main character, Adam, is a decent person who wants to do the right thing, but he just didn't ring true to me. His love interest, Robin (a local cop) comes across as flighty and unstable. How many times was she going to lead Adam along to gain information from him for the police investigation --and then say "gee I'm sorry- but I'm a cop first. He forgives her, and then it goes on to happen again (much like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.)
One last thing- did anyone think they were listening to a poor imitation of Will Patton reading a James Lee Burke novel? At times I got the impression that Hart had tried to copy Burke's natural grasp of meaningful prose-- or may it was just me.
Hart is a relatively new author, and I admit this is the first book I have listened to by him. I'm not sure I will give another one a try or not--certainly a lot of people seem to enjoy him.
I don't remember the last time I enjoyed listening to a novel this much. I got drawn in as soon as the magistrate and his clerk got to Fount Royal to investigate and determine the fate of a woman accused of witchcraft. This was 1699, and it didn't take but a few loose accusations to condemn a woman to be burned at the stake. Unfortunately, mob mentality takes over too easily when there are a few people encouraging their fears.
It's not about the witch----this is a story about what happens when evil wins if good men do nothing. In this novel we have a very good man--the clerk Matthew Corbett who assists the magistrate Isaac Woodward. Is the beautiful Rachel a witch, or the target of nasty gossiping women? Or is there another reason she has become the focus for all the evil acts which threaten to bring down this new town? The author masterfully keeps us guessing until the end.
A complex story with suspects galore! Matthew in his quiet, soft spoken manner, goes about investigating on his own when the magistrate falls ill. He is steadfast in his determination, yet never lets anger or frustration interfere with his goal.
A small caution for the squeamish--there are some graphic bloody scenes and some explicit sexual language (including people and animals) -however, these types of acts probably are true to that period and as such - are not inappropriate.
- - - -and what is it about that voice of Edoardo Ballerini that makes it possible to listen for hours without ever tiring of it? Truly one of the best narrators on Audible.
If you can get past the poor choice of narrators --you will find a pretty decent story/mystery. I had to really concentrate on what was going on - and ignore the young and inappropriate voices for Lincoln and Amelia to get though this one. I agree with other reviewers that one narrator would probably have made this a more enjoyable listen.
One bullet is shot through the window of a hotel room in the Bahamas--three people are killed. Thus starts the mystery which includes a vast array of issues.
An aggressive ADA brings Lincoln and his team in to help with her investigation into possible government corruption and abuse of power. Had the people in the hotel deserved to be killed for crimes against the U.S.- - -or were there other unknown reasons? Who else might be responsible? These aren't the only targets, and in the aftermath and coverup, bodies start to pile up to wipe out any witnesses. Some of them meet their deaths in especially brutal ways from one of the "clean up" crew who is a superb cook and thinks about food most of the time. He copies recipes from the most classy restaurants and prepares the meals only for himself -and sometimes an unfortunate victim. He loves to use his extremely expensive carving knives (the same ones used in his fancy dinners) to torture his victims to obtain information before they are killed. This guy seemed a little over the top- cook and killer in one??? Sounds a bit like Hannibal Lecter -except he doesn't eat them.
There are some moral issues to sort out--when does the end justify the means when it comes to protection by the government? The reasons go back and forth, and the ending wraps up the question maybe a little too neatly for this reviewer.
Deaver has woven a good mystery and thrown in enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Just be aware that the narration could put you off--unless you can get past the first couple of hours--that's about how long it took me to just pay attention to the story.
. .Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. . "If there are any more beautiful or haunting first lines in English fiction, I haven't read them" --from Stephen King's Bag of Bones.
I agree. Those first lines by Daphne du Maurier bring a chill to my spine, while at the same time are somewhat comforting and familiar. I first read this story many years ago, but I think listening to it is the best way to experience the beautiful, dark feeling of the tragic mystery surrounding Manderley.
Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter meets a shy and reserved young woman while in Monte Carlo following the death of his first wife, Rebecca. He ends up marrying this woman, who is never called by her name throughout the novel, but who Maxim thinks has a beautiful name. It is one of the mysteries about the novel- the unnamed heroine.
When Maxim brings his new bride home, where she will see Manderley for the first time, and where they will make their lives, she is in awe. She can see hints of the mansion as they approach from below, through the forest on a winding road which is covered with tangled branches above their heads so thick that they block out the sun. Her first meeting with the evil and sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, lays the ominous future of what is to come. From the beginning, Mrs. Danvers is overbearing and manipulative, and it takes it's toll on the new Mrs. de Winter.
The mystery of how and why Rebecca died is woven throughout the novel, and the suspense slowly builds to the shocking conclusion. A wonderful classic I will return to from time to time and revisit Manderley again.
The narrator is wonderful. Anna Massey is the perfect choice to bring life to the prose of Daphne du Maurier.
The Prey series continues with another solid Lucas Davenport "mystery"--although it's not really a mystery as we know from the beginning who did it, what was done, and why they did it. The fun part is riding along with Lucas and the gang while they figure it out and get the culprits.
The author has lightened up on his gruesome, bloody, murder scenes which I remember so vividly in his early novels. However, the witty banter and close relationships shared by Lucas and his fellow detectives and cops are still a big part of his stories. These guys really seem to like their jobs, and truly like each other, which is part of their appeal.
This one is set on the political stage as Lucas is called in to find out if there are dirty tricks being played in a new Senate race. It starts out with allegations of pornography and develops into murder. This isn't the best John Sandford, but it did have enough intrigue and interesting characters to keep me listening. As with any series, there is a chance of becoming tired of the same type of storyline unless the author steps it up somehow, and I would like to see something new in his next one.
Recommended for any long time Davenport fans, as well as new readers. If you're new to this series, starting from the beginning will introduce you to family members and friends as they developed over the years, however, this is fine as a stand alone novel.
When you read this novel, it will become clear why my headline is written as it is.
NOS4A2 is a story you won't want to miss. Well written, with a fresh, compelling storyline. A chilling start, and then it slows a little, but that is just necessary for information gathering, and character building--which all comes together with dizzying speed. I literally could not stop listening - everytime I put the ipod down to do something else, I couldn't wait to get back to it.
At times I completely forgot I wasn't listening to a Stephen King novel, but I guess it is only normal that his son would have picked up some of his style over the years. Joe Hill is an excellent author, as shown by his many publications so far. This one is my favorite.
Charlie Manx is a really bad man of 100+ years old, who loves Christmas, and claims he has to "save" children from bad parents by kidnapping them and taking them to his Christmas Land to live. Unfortunately, most of the parents are killed or maimed in the process, unless they are saved to be used for "fun" games by the children in Christmas Land. One of the children who Manx kidnapped, escapes. Known as Vic (Victoria), she was a scrappy, tough kid who had a knack for "finding" things that were lost -in a way that even she didn't understand. Her gift becomes more clear to her as she grows into the strong and determined adult who fights the evil Manx to protect those she loves. It's hard to write a review without divulging too much information, but I haven't given anything away here, as this is all information you get quite quickly.
This is the first novel I've listened to narrated by Kate Mulgrew--and what a talent. She has a real grasp on what each character should sound like, and puts her heart and soul into it. I will definitely check out other works by her.
I feel lucky that so many King horror stories seem to primarily take place in my state of Colorado (Misery, The Shining, the Stand, etc) as does this one. I can picture where all the action takes place, as they are loosely based on actual locations or structures, which makes them deliciously creepy to read.
A special treat at the end of this novel is Joe Hill speaking about his writing, some favorite authors, and a little about growing up in the King household. Very interesting.
Not as perfect as his early stories---but what are you gonna do?
Davis Sedaris always makes me laugh----and this selection did too, even though overall it wasn't as good as some previous works. Once you hear his delivery a few times, and know what his story lines are like, you do expect a certain level of entertainment. He just didn't sound like he put all his effort into this one. Also, there is one duplicate story about the Kookaburra, but this is a shortened version, leaving out the part where he and his sister sing in bed.
I thought the music between sections was a little odd, and too long, so hope that changes in the future. However, his type of humor is such genius, and so unique, that I couldn't really fault him too much. I hope his next offering brings back the level of well thought out stories such as those in When You are Engulfed in Flames, which was probably his best.
The sequel to Gorky Park is really an interesting book, and deserves the high praise from most reviewers. I liked it through the slow first chapters, and then loved it through the main part of the story, but was so disappointed at the end.
Although the main plot centers around the death of a beautiful worker on the ship named Zina (was she murdered or did she commit suicide?) - there are many sub plots. As the only one on board who has any investigative experience, Arkady is pulled off the "slime line" to find out what happened. However, he has run into a former bad guy who he had previously helped put behind bars, and this part of the story didn't ring true to me. I just didn't buy the conclusion of what happened with him. I don't want to say more, as it would spoil the end, but I wonder if any other reviewers felt the same way?
Frank Muller does an excellent job of narrating, which made listening to the book a real joy.
This is a chilling account of how one nurse, Charlie Cullen, was able to get away with killing hundreds of patients while the medical system failed to do anything about it. If not for the bravery of some hospital staff who risked their jobs to get the information to authorities, this nurse would likely still be working the night shift today, and killing when the mood would strike.
Written in the style of In Cold Blood, the author lays out the details of Charlie Cullen's life. He was a very sad, lonely, and troubled person who had a horrific childhood. He attempted suicide many times, starting young in life. Eventually joining the Navy to escape his home life, he then went to nursing school. Upon graduating, it was easy to get jobs where he usually requested to work the night shifts. He started killing, not as any sympathetic reason for patient's who were suffering, but more to make himself feel better and relieve stress. As time went by, and it was so easy to inject IV bags with drugs such as insulin, or heart medication, he just kept doing it. At times he would simply inject several IV bags at one time, not knowing or caring which patient would be on the fatal end of his actions. He learned to "fit in" at the many different hospitals where he worked by being helpful and always available to take extra shifts.
Over approximately 16 years and nine different hospitals, deaths occurred during his shifts far above what was normal. Although he was suspected of causing the deaths, after a few attempts at investigating with failed results, he was either forced to quit, or just "let go" and usually given neutral references to get rid of him. It turns out, the hospitals did not want to lose their good standing (to say nothing of the lawsuits that would ensue), and so just passed the problem on to the next one. Each hospital in turn, did the very same thing.
The two detectives who eventually investigated and brought justice to the families who lost loved ones, should be rewarded, along with the one hospital employee who risked her job to do the right thing.
Very well written, this true story kept me listening for hours at a time. Although some of the details were difficult to hear, I think it is an important book, and everyone should be aware of what can happen in places we think of as safe-- where we all go for help and healing--hospitals!
This story provided a lot of chills and suspense, and I thought was very well done. I loved the narration of Rosalyn Landor, although her voices for the men could have been better.
Jillian Leigh, 22 years old and studying at Oxford, is called away to deal with the death of her uncle in a small town near Devonshire. Although reluctant, she has no choice but to take care of identifying his body and disposing of his belongings, as her parents are in Paris and unable, or unwilling, to do it.
When she arrives in the village of Rothewell, the coroner has already ruled her uncle's death an accident. He apparently fell off a cliff, but there really was no investigation into the death. As she gets to know his landlady and other town folks, she becomes more convinced that perhaps it wasn't an accident. Coincidentally, a Scotland Yard Inspector is also in town investigating, and when they meet, they work together to figure it out. There is some mild romance/sex between them, which wasn't really necessary for the story, but also wasn't overwhelming.
This story is set in post WWI England (1920's) and provides a vivid description of the countryside and town setting for that period.
Incorrect usage of terms at times was not enough to disrupt, and didn't bother me at all. I would recommend this one for a cold winter night, snuggled in bed with the lights on.
Maybe I know Jeffery Deaver's writing style too well, as I have read most of his books and kind of know what to expect. There is always a little "twist" or "slight of hand" to try and take you in one direction, when the actual perpetrator is someone you would not expect. However, it wasn't hard to figure out. The killer does use a unique method of covering his tracks- which I had not seen done before, and was really pretty brilliant.
However, this short story could have been more enjoyable if it were a little longer, allowing the drama to play out, and letting the characters become more fully developed. On the plus side, the narration was very good.
One problem right after the 1 hour mark, the audio portion has a glitch and some of the content is cut off --parts of sentences are lost. This goes on for about 10 minutes, however, whatever was said during that time probably didn't make much difference to the content or outcome.
***There is a nice preview of his new book coming out in June, which sounds pretty intriguing.
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