Well-researched hybrid of historical fiction and murder mystery with a dash of Indiana Jones-style archeology thrown in. Characters are well-developed and interesting. A particular plus is the wonderful narration. This book is better experienced on audio than in text.
This novel has been called the greatest Norwegian mystery novel ever written. I certainly thought it was marvelous. The parallel story that takes place during WWII is expertly interwoven with the main story line. The opening events during the visit of President Clinton provide a nice contrast with the closing. Mr. Sachs was a wonderful actor, a fabulous narrator, and truly the voice of Harry Hole. I will miss him.
... But not great either. Syndrome E is a passable thriller. The characters are sufficiently well-developed and the narrative is satisfactorily engaging. The science, however, is thin and stretches credulity well past the breaking point-- a serious shortcoming for a techno thriller.
I agree with the reviewer who found Electra's loss of composure out of character. I must strongly disagree with the reviewer who preferred the Crossley narration of another Leon novel. Narrators, like actors, must be cast with great care. A miscalculation can ruin the performance. Such is the case with Leon's Brunetti novels. Colacci's command of the accent and the voice he gives to the recurring characters is brilliant.
Steven Crossley is a fine performer. His narrations of Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog and, appropriately, Jerome's Three Men in a Boat were inspired. However, there is no sense of the Venetian setting in Crossley's narration of Willful Behavior and the mispronunciations (see prior reviews) are a bit ear-grating to listeners of this series. These problems may be down to the direction. However that may be, this listener is of the strong opinion that Colacci is the (far) more preferable narrator for the Brunetti series.
I enjoy Indridason's top-notch detective series. Perhaps that fact added to my sense of disappointment with Operation Napoleon. It is about as stale a thriller as can be. The characters are, without exception, one-dimensional and formulaic. The plot is the same old end-of-WWII conspiracy material that's been rehashed hundreds of time.
Prior titles in this series were read by David Colacci. Steven Crossley is a good reader, but not for this series. Strongly suggest listening to the sample before purchasing.
This book will satisfy your craving for the inside story of many of the iconic programs presented by the legendary broadcaster. What I found particularly interesting were the unexpected anecdotes: How snooker may well owe its popularity to Attenborough. General Montgomery's tales of Churchill urinating in the Rhine. Attenborough directing the Queen's New Year message. Etc. Great stuff!!
This is a fun mystery. Not Tope's finest work, the story nevertheless held my interest and the mystery kept me guessing. Like most of this author's mysteries, the main themes running through the novel center on family and interpersonal relationships. In this book Ms. Tope looks at how moments of careless passion can guide events and bring about tragedy immediately and for decades down the line. Given these strong thematic elements, I must respectfully disagree with another reviewer who found (what I thought to be fairly tame) sexual references superfluous. In this book a moment's unguarded passion whether sexual or angry can have profound and unintended consequences: the frivolity of a sex toy party is contrasted with a young doctor foregoing a medical career to stay home with her children. In another case a new police officer slaps a small child -- a potentially career ending act. Worth a listen!
The sex and profanity give a gritty edge to the book. IMHO the novel could not withstand the excision. If you prefer a G-rated version may I commend the fast forward button to you?
This novel is told from the first person narrative perspective by a female character. Consequently Paul Boehmer is an odd choice for reader. I don't have any problem with Mr. Boehmer. He is a fine reader. But his male voice is a hard sell as a female narrator -- so much so that it is hard for the listener to avoid the distraction. Earlier books in the series were read by Jennifer Van Dyck.
It's a quality Benedict novel. Maybe better to wait for the paperback though.
Hill is simply amazing. Each novel in this series is an adventure in shifting perspective and innovative technique yet the characters remain as comfortable as a well-loved pair of Nike trainers. I hope Mr. Hill lives - and writes - forever!
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