If you have not read Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance yet--be warned-- there may be spoilers in this review. I don't think Two graves is a stand alone book, as there is a lot of back story in the first two books of this trilogy. You're lucky in a way, as you won't have to wait for each new book in this trilogy. You can go right to the next installment without so much as taking time to wave your fist in the air and say a few unpleasant words about the cliff hangers most of us have endured. So please- do yourself a favor and read those first.
Two Graves starts out where Cold Vengeance left us. Judson Esterhhazy (Helen's brother) has agreed to arrange to bring Helen back to Pendergast. Unfortunately, "The Covenant" has been tipped off, and an ambush ensues. Before Helen and Pendergast get to enjoy each other's company for more than a few minutes, Helen is once again kidnapped, Judson and Pendergast are both shot, and the only thing Pendergast has left to go on is a partial license plate number from the vehicle that whisked Helen away.
Pendergast is nothing if not persistent--not much stands in his way as he pursues those who abducted his wife, and when it comes to Helen, he doesn't much care who gets hurt in the process. Unfortunately, his efforts don't give him as much satisfaction as he was hoping for in the end--in one way much sadness, but then new information and people who come into his life who will help ease the pain.
This book is about so much more, however. At least three different story lines are woven into the novel back and forth, but so seamlessly that it amazingly all makes perfect sense. Cory Swanson is briefly back in the picture to steal some secret Nazi documents, give them to Pendergast, and then she is off into a completely different story line about her own life, where she finally meets her father and solves a crime. We also find out much more about Constance, wherein her past is finally revealed to us- with explanations about her age, her family, her baby, and how she came to be in her current situation.
Most shocking of all, though, is the information that comes to Pendergast as he helps D'Agosta with a serial murder case. What he learns makes him re-examine everything he thought he knew about his life with Helen and takes him deep into the forests of South America. He learns about the secret Nazi experiments that went on generations ago, and have continued to the present- affecting Pendergast in a very personal way.
Overall, a very enjoyable book. The only part I could say anything negative about is the extremely long (I thought) fight which went on and on with the Nazi's. I thought they could have cut it about in half.
The book leaves us with a lot to think about for the future--however NOT a cliff hanger.
One last thing--maybe the most important- Rene Auberjonois is superb. He is the best voice for Pendergast and also makes the other characters come to life as individuals. So glad he is the one who narrated this trilogy.
I really like this series. Great character development, witty and well written.
This book starts out with a gripping storyline that made me want to listen straight through. However, about 3/4 into it, the chase scenes started. Everybody wanted to get Marco for a potential reward, and he seemingly had no place to hide. There were different groups hunting him around every corner of the city, and his escapes were nothing less than remarkable. These chase and escape episodes I thought were really overdone and I got tired of them to the point of using the fast-forward button through some.
The underlying story is very intriguing and I enjoyed the book overall. Of course the narration is first rate--Graeme Malcolm is perfect for this series.
Louise Penny knows how to transport us physically as well as mentally to places we have never been before. She is uniquely in touch with the human soul and all the anger, joy, angst, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, and love and support that we can imagine.
A very different story than her previous novels, this one is free from the tension and battles surrounding Gamache and others who were determined to ruin his life. It is a more peaceful novel in many ways, but still held my attention completely.
This story answers the questions about what happens with Peter and Clara Morrow. It starts in Three Pines with Clara confiding in Inspector Gamache, who is now retired and living in Three Pines with his wife, Reine-Marie. They take us on a journey with the help of a few other Three Pines residents through some of the earlier years of Peter's life. Art, of course, takes the stage front and center as layers are peeled back to expose the players and motives to bring us to the present. After finishing, and all was revealed, I went back to re-listen to some chapters, as I wanted to see what clues I might have missed. This is masterful storytelling!
The consistent voice of Ralph Cosham through all 10 books is just wonderful. He is the perfect narrator for this series.
Note to those who have not read any of this series--this book will not stand alone, It is the culmination of many previous books, and would probably not make much sense at all if you are not familiar with the characters. A fantastic series, it is well worth starting from the beginning and listening straight through to this one.
This novel grabs from the beginning and doesn't let go. I think it is the best of this series so far, with In The Woods being my second favorite. Tana French definitely has the gift of knowing how to build suspense.
Great storyline with a murder scene which is like a jigsaw puzzle. Three members of this loving, happy family are dead with no signs of a break-in and no murder weapons. The remaining family member is hanging onto life by a thread. The house is kept in pristine condition-- except for those unsightly holes in the walls everywhere and baby monitors set up in odd places.
The only issue I have is the ending was too long and drawn out and perhaps a little implausible. It would have been a complete 5 star rating if the ending had been wrapped up a little tighter.
Long time fan of the Harry Hole series, I know this author can really write. His stand alone novels are always just as good--and this one kept me listening straight through.
The desire for revenge can be powerful and all consuming, which is the case here. The son is determined to make sure other's pay for what they have done, and he overcomes a damaging drug addiction to do so. I also liked the narrator - his voice did not distract me and that is always a good thing.
Who knew the world of writing and publishing could be so savage?
This second novel in the series kept me engaged from the beginning. Detective Cormoran Strike takes on a missing person case of quirky author, Owen Quine. His wife, Leonora, is sure he has just gone off to a writer's conference or to be by himself, and just wants him to come home (it's been 11 days, after all.) As it turns out, his latest novel, Bombyx Mori, had been finished right before he disappeared, and it apparently was a "tell all" containing damaging information about a lot of people.
Strike will come to know the complex and pretentious lives of several members in the publishing industry, all of whom could have motives for doing away with the unlikeable author. With his smart and pretty sidekick, Robin, they sort through each possible lead, even as someone is threatening Strike's life.
As for the argument of listening to novels over reading them, this book is an excellent example. Robert Glenister is brilliant as the narrator. He brings each character to life, male or female, and has perfect pacing. When he coughed and wheezed his way through the chain smoking agent, I felt myself needing to take a deep breath.
I hope Rowling/Galbraith will keep this series going, as I suspect it it will only get better. Cormoran and Robin make a great team, and are beginning to know each other more personally. We care about them, faults and all. Bringing in their family members and love interests makes them more believable as characters. When Cormoran and his self-involved fiancé ("she lies the way other women breathe") call it quits, we find ourselves hoping it is ended for good.
In reviewing the book I asked myself 3 questions:
1. Did I want to keep listening straight through? Yes
2. Was it a well-done mystery with enough suspense and surprises? Yes
3.. Did I enjoy the narrator--Yes.
One last note - to the squeamish - some may need strong control over their "gag reflex" at times, but this is a small part of the novel.
Several reviews have noted a disappointment with this Corbett novel, # 5 in the series. I, too, felt there was something just "not right" with this one, but didn't know what. There are a couple of big differences between the first four and this one:
1. Very short- just about 8 hours. McCammon has filled his previous novels with rich atmospheric detail, and a lengthy build-up to get to the main event. The River of Souls felt very abrupt- he jumps right into the story with both feet--the entire novel seemed rushed and unsatisfying at times.
2. The narration seemed much more direct and "in your face" - that is the only way I can think of it, as Ballerini is usually more soft spoken in these novels--while still getting his point across.
Other than that, I did enjoy the story, but not as much as the previous four. I didn't really care that much about the murder victim, as that character lasted about 10 minutes. Also, Matthew didn't meet with much resistance in his investigation, where normally he would have.
This one leaves a giant cliff hanger at the end, which maybe was the hook to keep us interested in # 6. I am in too deep to quit now, and will definitely get the next one, however, I really hope the author returns to the flavor of the first two in the series, which I felt were the best.
Every now and then King gives us a story that is free of vampires, ghosts, and monsters --this is one of them. Think Shawshank Redemption. If you expect a typical horror novel--this is not it.
A retired detective (Ret Det) slogs through his days with his Lazy-boy, afternoon tv with "Judge J" and "Dr. P" being his only goals in life. Contemplating his situation, he often holds his revolver while watching these mind benders, and has just about come to a decision- when he is pulled back from the brink by a letter that sparks new meaning and adventure to his life. One of his last cases was never solved, and he now gets the opportunity to do something about it.
This smartly crafted story of "catch me if you can" is edge of the seat suspense at it's best. As it developed, I become more engaged in the outcome, and cheered all the way for the (Ret Det) and his two unlikely helpers. King has a way of making any situation seem plausible, and any person becomes a hero in his ability to raise them to a level of action they never knew they had. I really cared about what happened to them.
This was not the most intricate plot ever thought of, but that isn't necessary for the story to grab you and not let go. Watching the detective and the "perk" try to outwit each other was worth the price of admission.
One last note--Will Patton was exactly the right voice for these characters. Well Done!
Thanks to Audible for making these available!
Absolutely one of the best historical fiction series I've read. Each installment is new, fresh, and still completely engaging! This is the 4th in the series, and another is coming out soon. My only issue is they keep getting shorter (the first was around 30 hours, and the next one is around 8. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm thinking it may be the closing novel for this series, and how I will miss listening to the adventures of Matthew Corbett, "professional problem solver.'
The right narrator can make listening to books much more enjoyable than reading- and in this instance it is as if Edoardo Ballerini was destined to read this series. He IS Matthew Corbett, and I never get tired of that velvet voice!
In this novel Matthew meets the evil Professor Fell, in a way that wasn't what I expected. There are also some new characters introduced that I think will carry over into the 5th novel-- perhaps a female "professional problem solver" to work with? We will have to wait and see.
If you have not listened to the series, I think you must start with the first one and listen to each - in order - for the full enjoyment of Mr. Corbett and his world.
What happened to the old Douglas Preston who could be relied upon to turn out interesting and compelling novels written for adults? Not that his prior Wyman Ford books were that well-done, but this one really fell apart. In my opinion, his best work is with co-author Lincoln Child.
This novel starts out with promise--and made me want to read more. It is all about "The Kraken Project" and the great experiment in space with AI- HOWEVER, the remaining 95% of the story has nothing to do with "The Kraken Project." Very misleading title.
The entire book reads like a very YA story to me, as there is a lot of teenage type interaction between a boy and his robot, and very tame dialogue throughout. Nothing wrong with that--if that is what you are looking for.
Also, Scott Sower's narration didn't work for this book-- however, I don't think any narrator could really have made it better. The writing is just not very good.
When trying out a new author, there is always a risk of wasting time and credits, and getting very annoyed. Not with this one!
It was an enjoyable listen from the beginning--the narrator has a great voice and really brings on the creepiness when needed. About 3/4 of the way through, I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out who the killer was, and how it all tied together. I put the iPod down and left if for a few hours thinking "well I've solved this one"
NOT EVEN CLOSE!
If you are looking for a good mystery that keeps you guessing until the end-this is it. I now will try other books by this author, and hope they are just as well written as this one.
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