The story may be OK, but the narrator is the worst I've heard and completely interfered with my listening. Listen I did from start to finish, but never could stop hearing the poor imitation of male voices, of a NY accent, of "evil" voices - really bad. I've listened to close to 1,000 books on Audible and this narrator is the first one I've panned completely; she spoiled any enjoyment I might have had in the book. I do like the heroine Mallory (or have in the past). I thought Carol O'Connel's "Judas Child" was extraordinary. So it's this book and this narrator I didn't like at all. There have been other narrators I didn't like much on Audible, but I could forget about as I listened to the tale - not so with this one. I'm not sure what's in the sample, but definitely listen to that before you buy.
I've read a number of the Daniel Silva books and at time I've found them somewhat formulaic (same elements etc.) but this one had more - and really held my attention. Perhaps it was the inclusion of a recruited American highly educated woman into the Israeli service, her training, and her level headedness, the "newly discovered" Van Gogh and it's owner's (also a woman) eventually decision to loan it to Gabriel - anyway - a good story, well constructed, well narrated, with characters I really cared about, and bits of jewish history (art stolen or hidden during WWII from or by Jewish families in Germany) that added a drama and a context.
I've read some books of Brad Thor's I've really liked and a few I've really disliked - After I listened to "Path of the Assassin," I vowed no more by Brad Thor - but then In noticed I'd already downloaded State of the Union. What's different? The narrators do make a difference. I really like George Guidall. While this one was a little too "cold war", it had an authenticity and plausibility to it liked. "Path of the Assassin" was full of stereotypes. I didn't like it at all. What to do - well last night I downloaded another of Brad Thor's Scott Harvath books - read by George Guidall. And I'll see. I'm a big fan of Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp, but only if they're read by George Guidall, so I won't go for the ones with "the other narrator." and sadly Flynn died last June so there won't be any more. I George Guidall in the W.E.B. Griffin Presidential Agent Series. There are other narrator's I like, but in the "series" books like Brad Thor's - I think a narrator makes a big difference.
I really really like George Guidall as a narrator and the combination of his voice and intonations with Alex Berenson makes me very happy for as long as the book lasts. This book (The Night Ranger) situated in Africa (Kenya and Somalia) perhaps isn't as good as his books on the Middle East - but more than good enough and gives a credible feel for life in Africa, the warlords, the instability etc.
AND much much less black than the later books when Harry gets more and more depressed and eventually ... well. You'll see if you get into the series. John Lee is great, the characters are fun and diverse. (When I say fun, it's a murder investigation so it's not a light book), but I liked many of them and Harry Hole showed sides that eventually disappear.
Increasingly I find the narrator has a HUGE impact on how I relate to a book or a series. Dick Hill and George Guidall are excellent and I've become hooked on Alex Berenson's John Welles series and Griffin's Presidential Agent novels. The stories themselves are good, characters (lead) likable and human with good detail. Because the W.E.B. Griffin ones need to be read in order, there is always a part where the book has perhaps a chapter filling in the reader with things they might not know (if they haven't read it in series). I'm not sure how much this will bother me or not as the Presidential Agent ones continue - but Charlie Castillo is a very likable "guy" and enough details are provided in the retelling to add flesh to the "bones" of his history. I do think that Dick Hill is an important reason I've liked the series so much so far. But really good and I'd recommend others who've liked Berenson and Vince Flynn (with reader Guidall),
And yet - an enjoyable listen. I was frustrated in part because some things were SO predictable that it spoiled the story. But there is enough detail about Poland the the cruelties of Germany and Russia. AND insights into various immigrants groups and blue blood Americans. So overall I rate it as OK, but not more so. I can't give it a 2.5 stars, so I settled on 3.
Reader (who isn't my favorite) was masterful and had a full menu of voices, accents etc. He's pretty good. But book is really bad. I liked the Lions of Lucerne but hated this one. I don't know if it was the character of Meg or the plot or a large number of contrivances, or perhaps all of these - but I actually laughed at times, and said "oh yes, of course." Really bad.
Buy it and read. There are no more left. It's by far NOT the best, but it's got Courtenay's mind for detail and knowledge of parts of Asia and his skill in building the plot. I'll miss him and Humphrey Bower, although the latter still lives.. I've now read everything by Courtenay (there was one I didn't as I didn't like the narrator, or I might have but given up).
I almost stopped ⅓ through, then ⅔ through - and then I hit the last ⅓ and it's incredible. Very strong.
I had downloaded this book sometime ago. I have a feeling it must have been a special sale. I did listen to the whole thing but didn't like it at all. The story goes back and forth between a present and a past. The lead character, Anna Pigeon (who is in many of Barr's books - a NPS ranger) is related to the characters in the past. The past takes place at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in an outpost prison where some conspirators or sympathizers are kept. The present is in a NPS garrison park. Flashing back and forth between the past and this present with evil afoot, "someone" drugging NPS rangers with LSD in the water so they think they are going mad, the same someone involved in human smuggling operations - well, it's melodramatic and not very well written.
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