I have read or listened to every Stephanie Plum novel. I loved the first 5, and have tolerated them since. The problem isn't the narration - its the story. Stephanie hasn't evolved in years, her inability to decide between Ranger and Morelli is old and tired. She is no more competent as a bounty hunter, her friendship with Lula, as well as Lula herself, have failed to add any depth to her stories. Really disappointed, done and over her.
The narration was an outstanding feature of this story. MTB revels in the psychopathy that is Jacko Vance. He lingers over the details of Vance's crimes like Hannibal Lector reading his favorite story. Yet, he has very distinct and realistic characterizations of Carol and Tony. Intricate psychological police procedural brought to life - VMD's interpretation of Jacko's sociopathy is frighteningly real.
I liked Jacko Vance. He was such a complete illustration of a sociopath, reveling in his power and his duplicity. He had such complete confidence in himself and his ability to manipulate people. I also enjoy the evolution of the relationship between Tony and Carol. She is intelligent and ambitious, yet the author avoids the usual, tired traps of making her do stupid things because of her connection with Tony. They are able to focus on work, and take the reader through the intricacies of evidence vs theory, etc. with an attention to detail that doesn't bog the reader down, and keeps the story moving.
Because of the intricacy of the plots, it can be a bit rough going at the beginning of the story, but stick with it - These books are a wonderfully entertaining series.
Unexpected! The woman, Michaela, has antisocial personality disorder. This story is told from her perspective.
When the true nature of her relationship with her brother David was revealed. Although she has a personality disorder (and probably some kind of developmental disorder on the autism spectrum), Her brother is the true madman. One can sense it from the story, but just wait......
At first, I found her abrasive and flat - then I realized that was Micki's character. Perlman actually develops a broad range of characters, from the perfect mother, the gruff father, to her insane brother. She is excellent at creating a whole character with her voice. The more I listened, the more I appreciated her characterization of Micki.
There is a moment in the book where she realizes that at times, her difference from others allows her to see truth more clearly. I don't want to spoil the story by going into detail, but it has to do with the cat that she let run out of the apartment. I was horrified, yet understood her plight, realizing that she was different, and unless she wanted to prolong suffering, others were going to see her difference and be horrified at what they were witnessing.
Greenberg IS Peter Decker, and Rina - I didn't care so much for his characterization of Gabe and Yasmin. They sounded juvenile and whiny most of the time. I don't know that that is necessarily Greenberg's fault, it could be the way the characters were written.
I think that Kellerman did a great job with Gabe's character, who was a contradiction of maturity and full-blown male adolescence.
Yasmin's fear that she was going to be raped was heart wrenching. The bewilderment she experienced at somehow becoming a target of a group that she was unaware of, and it could cost her her life, made her fear surreal.
There wasn't much of Rina Decker in this book, not necessarily a bad thing, but I missed her insights. I was not a fan of the fairly graphic sexual encounters with Gabe and Yasmin, who has to be the whiniest teenager I've ever met, and I've raised my own!
Perhaps Patricia Cornwell's style holds more appeal for new fans. I miss the excitement and intensity of her earliest works, such as "All That Remains", "Postmortem", or "Cruel and Unusual". In these books, her characters evolved and had dimension, passion. Very different from Bone Bed.
I love the genre, with its blend of police procedure and medical technology.
I would have cut the conflict between Kay and Benton - its gotten predictable and they get through it, and it just adds to the frustration of trying to find something to like about her books. I would also resolve and never mention again the conflict between Benton and Marino. Lucy and Marino have become one dimensional in their messed up lives, and add to the bitter, dour flavor of Cornwell's books.
I found this narrator to be pedantic and melodramatic, envisioning her pacing dramatically with her hand to her forehead as she carefully enunciated words like she was reading to idiots. I realize this is harsh, but it was awful. I may not be done with the genre, but I am done with Patricia Cornwell
The book lingers on the graphic sexual violence, trying to illustrate how depraved these killers are, but I felt it was unnecessary to put so much detail into the book. Since most of the readers are not serial killers, a little bit goes a long way toward making the point. And if a reader is a serial killer in a prison somewhere, this is like pornography to them. I wish the book would have focused more on how Tony and his family, through the relationships they had established with the SKs, helped families of the missing, and how it helped Tony realize his goals of having a useful life.
I was stunned that his parents would let their child write to serial killers, let alone become so involved with so many. I found it interesting that the SKs were still so manipulative even behind bars, after all those years. I understand that Tony was initially so interested because he was afraid that he was potentially a serial killer, and over time he realized that in spite of his brain injuries he would never evolve into a killer.
There was no "scene" which was my favorite, but I am glad I finished the book because Tony finds something useful to do with his bizarre relationships with these deeply disturbing people
It has actually put me off reading mysteries with sexual violence in them.
Reich's Dr. Brennan is evolving into a more balanced character, with a stable, realistic personal life as well as an exceptional professional life. Over the years, Brennan has sacrificed a lot, and its nice that Reichs doesn't sully the grittiness of her character by giving her a fantasy-quality personal life. Emond does an excellent job, bringing shape to Brennan's colleagues without overshadowing the story. The forensic details bring the tragic aspects of this story to life, although I found it difficult to like any of the characters. Until the story expands to include other dimensions, it was difficult to listen to, yet I had to know what happened......
The story opens with dead babies - its a visceral blow that had me almost holding my breath as they hunt for the woman they believe is responsible. Horrible as that is, its just the tip of the iceberg
I could have done without all of the details of diamond mining. Way too much information, and it didn't add to the story.
The women's murder club series continues to portray strong female characters dealing with personal and professional ambitions, but not at the expense of the intensity of the story. Lindsay and her cohorts struggle with balancing professional boundaries with friendships as well as the whole marriage-kids-career triad. The story itself is intense and eery, and took a twist I didn't see coming.
The moment that they saw the arrangement for the first time was pivotal to the rest of the story. Don't want to give away the story, so that's all I'm gonna say:)
I didn't care for January LaVoy's performance at all. Her accents were weak and inconsistent at best. Having listened to a number of the women's murder club stories by Carolyn McCormick, I developed an expectation of her voice and performance as the expression of Lindsay Boxer, etc. LaVoy is a weak substitute.
Each character was well developed. In the triangle of the BCA, the thieves, and the killers, I was drawn in by the story of their lives. The naivety of the thieves was their downfall.
Loved the last line of the story. That's all I'm gonna say. The most intense part of the story was Letty's role in the end of the line for the killers.
I did not care for Ferrone's narration. His differentiation consisted of nasal whining for other adults, or higher pitched whining for women. I listened in spite of him, not because of him. Would rather read the next Sanford novel than listen to him again.
This story deals with the themes of child abduction and rape, not for the faint of heart. In Gardner's telling of the story, I could feel the shock and horror of the little boys, without getting too many graphic details. Likewise, the narration of Dinchara is a cold insight into the obliteration of the human soul. I found the information about spiders very interesting, but if you're squeamish, maybe not....I felt great empathy for Kimberly Quincy's struggle with redefining herself as a mother-to-be rather than an agent who lived for the job. I got impatient with her continually overtaxing herself and putting herself in danger. The story is so intense that her issues were a distraction to me. I don't usually care for stories with multiple narrators, but it really works for the story here. Lee is excellent at developing her characters with subtlety and depth. Hoppe was able to pull a little empathy for the boy who survives to become predator, conveying the hopelessness of his life and how removed he is from normal human existence. I don't know that I will listen to this book again, the subject matter is very difficult.
This is the story of a young woman who is certain she is going to be murdered on January 21. She is isolated, emotionally flat, yet Kirsten Potter had me rooting for her to make it to the end of the book. DeeDee Warren is a little softer, a little more human in her new role as mother. She has more dimension and believability, and shows some of her own vulnerability as a daughter who never meets her parents' expectations. These glimpses of her personal life do not detract from the intensity with which Charlie counts down to the 21st, nor the complicated path of the investigation that unexpectedly weaves into DeeDee's pursuit of someone who is killing pedophiles. Kirsten Potter does another amazing job bringing the whole cast to life, giving them the feel of living, breathing, multidimensional characters. And when you think you know how it's going to end, Lisa Gardner throws in one last "gotcha" that I truly did not see coming. Excellent listen!
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