I've enjoyed several of the Victor the Assassin series, but this was just plain bad writing. The author's idea of suspense consists mainly of having Victor keep dropping his gun. Moreover, the author had initiated several storyline threads in this over-long tale but mostly didn't wind them up. In the end, the author drifted off into the sunset while the Israeli killers went off to lick their wounds. Disappointing and Boring.
I didn't realize that this is more of a Horror book than a Mystery. Horror tends to have looser rules for what constitutes suspense. For example, every time the rookie cop got in a scrape, she dropped her gun, her phone, her flashlight, her knife, and virtually everything else she touched.
Then there's the detective who dropped a drinking glass, fell on it, and got cuts all over his body. I don't think you'd get that many cuts if you fell in a cement mixer full of broken glass.
In summary, there's a lot going on in this book, but most of the tension turns on stupidity and clumsiness. It didn't work for me.
This is a long saga about a person with terminal bad judgment having the bad luck to become a salesman and fall into a pharmaceutical scandal. At the end of the book, you realize the huge impact of luck on human events.
In this case the flawed salesman, Mark Duxbury, a person who smoked, drank, had emotional problems, and used general poor judgment, was ultimately responsible for his own failed quixotic quest. We the people are the unlucky ones, because it seems pretty clear if a better person had stumbled on the Johnson & Johnson Procrit scandal, many people's lives would have been saved.
The book suffers from another flaw. The author, in an apparent attempt to add color and interest, litters the book with similes (it spread like kelp on an artificial reef) and internal dialogues (he looked out the window and thought the weather reflected his prospects). I have a hard time believing the author was able to accurately discover minutia, such as whether Duxbury decided to pass up a cup of coffee when leaving an airport ten years earlier, so I found these bits of "color" distracting.
As the end of the day, you'll come away believing that Procrit is bad, Johnson & Johnson is bad, many doctors and lawyers are bad, and the author has an excuse for her incredible litany of Duxbury failures. I found the whole thing boring and disappointing.
Either you'll like Barry Eisler or you won't. His books have more scenery than action, but I like how they're woven.
The performance by Brian Nishii is clear but wooden. It's what I imagine a really good computer would sound like if it were programmed to turn written words into sound. Each word is clear, but the natural bunching of words into logical groups is lacking. That said, I had no trouble figuring it out.
What are the purposes of the law and what are its limits? These are the questions Bastiat raises, and his answers written in 1850 are as relevant as if they'd been written in 2012. I won't attempt to summarize his theories, except to say whether you're Republican or Democrat, your problem is less what laws you want to enact than whether they'll work if you manage to get your way.
The audio version is only slightly marred by the fact that the reader seems to have a speech impediment. Bastiat frequently uses the word "plunder" to describe misuse of the law, and in the audio version it sounds like "plunderer." Same with other words that end in "r." I even bought the print version just to see what he was saying.
This book is boring. It's supposed to be a thriller about global terrorism, but it's slow, slow, slow. I'm not sure whether this is a morality play about the evils of the U.S. government's anti-terrorism efforts or merely an artless tale. Either way, it's stultifying.
Slow and boring. It starts with two long, anecdotal tales of security people, when the only thing they contribute to the story is that they're two murder victims in what turns out to be six people that used to work together. What takes an hour to unfold in the audiobook should take 5 minutes. In fact, most of the background and characters in this story seems to be irrelevant.
Don't buy this audiobook. A good narrator can't salvage a weak story.
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