Because I like her previous books so much, I was afraid this one might be a disappointment. It's not.
The author can reach right into your guts and twist everything into knots. Her stories are about love, connection, joy, sacrifice, sadness, and betrayal, all cloaked in mystery. Reading her books are like unwrapping a package, layer after layer, not knowing what you will find, yet never being disappointed.
This one is a bit different for King. Not as much horror, more police procedural. But he does it better than most. Just enough of that twist that makes you shudder...and with King you never know if all the good guys will still be standing in the end. Chances are they won't.
Will Patton is my favorite narrator. I could listen to him read the phone book. So, this gave me flashes of James Lee Burke. I half expected Dave Robicheaux to show up in the story.
For this one, I had the headphones on for 14 hours straight -- almost! Finished in 2 days. I couldn't stop.
All I know is that I chose this book based on the summary. It's supposed to be about a trial. I think it was called "the greatest fictional trial of the century".
Problem is, I'm 4 hours into the book and....no trial yet. Not even a hint. So far, all I've heard are the life stories of two characters, tedious bit by tedious bit. If I wanted to read a biography (fictional or not) I'd buy a biography.
And worse, neither character is even likeable. There's not much about character, thoughts, or values. It's more like a list of first he did this, then he did that, next he moved here, then he moved his family there. Enough already.
I give up.
I am a Harry Hole fan, so I expected a good story. This was so much more.
Built on the same format--police, criminals, an evil plot--but unexpected twists and turns with every page. Then the story became more about the people than the plot. Nesbo doesn't write 3-dimensional characters; he takes them even further.
You will never guess the ending!
This is my second try at this book. The first time, I got bored after an hour or two. Thought I'd give it another shot.
This time, I got 4 hours in, but I can't take it anymore. I love a good mystery, but this author is cheating. The fun is trying to deduce who's the bad guy. The author doesn't use his wits to deceive the reader. He just leaves out information. Like a secret meeting, where he doesn't identify a single character. Everyone is "he" and "she" and "a second man" with no identifying thoughts even.
On top of that, a whole town where not one person picks up the phone and rats out the bad guy because eleven years ago they "agreed to keep a secret"? Really??
Too bad. It could've been a really great book. The plot was almost but not quite there. If only the author had a more devious mind.
Although I normally like this writer very much, this story left me frustrated.
In 35 hours of narration, he couldn't manage to solve the mystery or round up the bad guys or draw a conclusion in most of the story lines.
It's like he hit the 35 hour mark and said that's a wrap. It would be bad if it was a normal length book, but after 35 hours invested the reader deserves an ending. Not just a stopping.
(and to add...I didn't think the narrator was bad. But then, I don't much like Dick Hill and a cannot stand Scott Brick.)
...smart character. There weren't many in this. The main characters were so stupid I had an incredible urge to shake some sense into them both.
I only listened to half the book and gave up. That tells you how tedious it was. I never give up on a book.
The narrator, however, was excellent. Most likely why I stuck for an extra couple of hours.
Margolin might mature into a very good writer one day. He has a great imagination and the ability to weave a good plot. Dialogue and character development can't be faulted.
His failures are subtle but brings the book from a good read to just something to burn time on an airplane.
He needs a good editor. Someone who can tell him when something's not working. A couple of places in the book, I winced. Nope. That won't work. If I can see that, why can't the writer? To be a good read, the author has to be at least a bit smarter than the reader.
He needs to stop writing from every character's point of view. I realize it's a popular concept, but you can't let your hero get lost in the mix. More from the hero, less from minor characters.
I like Harlen Coben. Some of his books are great. Some are stinkers. This one isn't great.
Scott Brick does his usual over-dramatic performance. I can tolerate that for good dialogue. This dialogue is just awkward. With Brick, it moves into painful.
It's a good plot, but the reasoning and action is poorly thought-out. The main character, a college professor, evidently doesn't have the reasoning skills of an 8 year old. I can't remember how many involuntary "D-oh!"s escaped while listening.
Save this purchase for the bargain shelf of a used book store.
...from this author. Interesting, engaging, and a bit like reading about your grandmother's secret life.
I'm not an animal person. If you are, this is a must-listen book. Even for us non-animal people, it's a great read.
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