Maybe. Die-hard Connelly/Bosch fans will enjoy this, but it was lacking a bit in suspense and excitement. Maybe it was the narrator - he was fine, but he really just read the book out loud without a lot of emphasis on characters and individual voices.
In previous Bosch novels, tension builds as Bosch gradually pulls together the evidence and the truth starts to take shape. Here, the mystery wasn't very complex, and each of Harry's steps in the case seemed more like tedious obstacles on the way to a foregone conclusion.
There was a little character development between Bosch and his daughter Maddie, but nothing earth-shaking. An even smaller arc with Hannah, Bosch's ladyfriend from The Drop. Some very minor departmental politics that barely even register when compared to Bosch's old nemesis, Irvin Irving. In all, this was good, but didn't quite live up to my excitement for a new Bosch novel.
Absolutely! Everything else of his I've read/listened to, I've really enjoyed.
It would be hard to find a more perfect voice for Bosch than Len Cariou, who read several earlier entries in this series. The narrator was okay, but didn't knock my socks off.
Maybe. I have a feeling if they ever tried to make these books into movies I'd hate them. Still, I liked "The Lincoln Lawyer," based on another Connelly novel, so who knows?
I didn't think it was possible for this book to live up to its hype, but it did. It might have even surpassed it. Does it contain a host of romance novel tropes and dated stereotypes? Of course, but I'm glad I didn't let that stop me from reading/listening.
The Marquess of Dain was unloved by his remote parents and so naturally, he decided to spend the rest of his life in a constant self-destructive orgy of drink, prostitutes, and gambling, among other things. Jessica Trent is a beautiful and virtuous young woman with no fortune, living by her wits and trying to rescue her idiot brother from Dain's malevolent influence. Generally I'm tired of rakes being reformed by the magic of a good woman's love, but thanks to Loretta Chase's intelligent, light, tripping prose, this plot actually ends up making sense. It was delightful. And amazing.
One of the reasons it works is that Jessica is the best romance novel heroine of all time. She actually behaves like a rational human being, who happens to be fabulously self-confident and mature and spectacularly awesome.
Dain, of course, has to overcome his demons, and in the process he spends a lot of time brooding and being kind of oblivious to Jessica's greatness. It totally doesn't matter; I had so much faith in Jessica to bring him around, and he had enough self-awareness to see how his issues were destroying his life and he really wanted to overcome them. Also: unlike some "classic" romance heroes, he does nothing without Jessica's explicit, enthusiastic consent.
I also loved the secondary characters, and actually wished there were more of them - especially Jessica's grandmother. Also, the narrator was amazing!
I've mostly enjoyed this series - there is definitely a formula at work here, but it results in a good, light story with attention to historical detail. However: I flat-out HATE Daniel Sullivan, the main character's love interest, and I'm quickly losing respect for Molly as she seems to be oblivious to his unrelenting sexism. Also, Daniel and Molly keep having this conversation:
Molly: I need you to use your police skills to find out X.
Daniel: I will not, because I disapprove of your pursuit of your career, and also I think you are a hysterical female and no crime has actually occurred, you just think there is one because you are so fantasy-prone.
Molly: But (however many) people have died, and someone tried to kill me!
Daniel: Then your work is too dangerous and I forbid you to pursue it. Also, you're just imagining things.
Molly: I've also been receiving threatening letters/been poisoned/been locked in a trunk and thrown in the river, etc.
Daniel: Your delicate ladybrain is just overwrought (pats hand patronizingly). When we are married, you will not have to think anymore, you will just do what I say. Won't that be easier? Also, stop pursuing this dangerous career, which is full of terrible danger, even though you have imagined all this danger.
Adding to his terribleness, Daniel hates Molly's friends and actively works to keep her away from them, is embarrassed by her whenever he is with any of his friends or colleagues, and frequently mentions how once they are married, she will be too busy doing laundry and raising babies to do anything outside the home, in a "joking-not joking" kind of way. At the beginning of the series, there was some nice romantic tension between these two, but at this point I think the best thing that could happen would be for Daniel to die and for Molly to run off with Sid and Gus to start some sort of lesbian commune for artists and detectives.
I have recently finished this entire series, and I pretty much loved the whole thing. These are deftly written, a lot of fun, and I honestly think they were made to be read by Katherine Kellgren. I don't think I'd have enjoyed them half so much without her narration. Are the stories a little contrived, a little formulaic after a while? Sure. But the characters are charming, the prose effortless, and the mysteries compelling enough to carry the whole thing off.
I thought these might be a little too cute for me, but they're actually reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works from the 1930s, to which they consciously pay homage. Bowen's books come by their high ratings honestly, so go ahead and give it a chance.
This is such a original, compelling, and flat-out freaky story. All the elements of a classic haunting story are here: something terrible in the woods, a tragic and violent historical event (or series of events), a teenager and her innocent young sister left alone in a spooky farmhouse out past the edge of town, unexplained deaths...but McMahon has assembled all these familiar elements into an unsettling, dark story that is fresh and unpredictable.
The story unfolds in two time periods: 1908, in the pages of Sarah Shea Harrison's diary and descriptions of events from the points of view of other characters, and in the present day. This is a twisty, complex story, but the pace builds and the spookiness escalates as the reader/listener and the protagonists gradually piece together the clues and start to figure out what's really going on.
I stupidly started listening to this while I was alone in the house for the weekend, and the spooky atmosphere definitely had me steering clear of the basement and double-checking the closet doors - but at the same time, I couldn't stop listening!
This is a really beautiful story, but be warned: it's almost impossible to stop listening, and even though the narrator warns you in advance about how terrible everything will be, it's still worse than you expect somehow. The ending is pretty hopeful, all things considered, but I still finished this book in tears and had to go off by myself for a while.
This story is fascinating and suspenseful, and I enjoyed it, but the end left me feeling a little unsatisfied. The plot resolves about 3/4 of the way through, but it takes a while to realize, "Oh, that's it then." The last quarter feels like another major revelation should occur - instead, things simply wind down and the book ends.
This is still a good read, with well-drawn characters, a compelling plot, and lovely writing. Happy I took a chance on this.
Wonderful story, characters, writing and narration. So happy I finally took a chance on this one! This book actually made me wish my commute were longer!
I had just listened to, and really enjoyed, both "The Gold Coast" and "The Gate House," and was in the mood for another long listen in the same vein. I was attracted to this title because I like detective novels, pirates, and murder mysteries - this promised all three.
The mystery was satisfyingly twisty, but I would have enjoyed it more if the procedural part of the plot had moved along a bit more quickly and if the main character had been less of an ass.
I like an irreverent hero, but John Corey's nonstop chest-thumping macho sarcasm and lame sex jokes got old fast. If I had read this book as a paperback, I might have skimmed over some of the pointless banter and not been quite so bothered by it - but having it narrated really underscored the character's annoying mannerisms. I kept reminding myself that this might be an accurate take on the internal monologue of a NYC cop 16 years ago - even so, it was irritating. I tried to believe Corey when he said he manufactured some of his stupid jokes and slow-witted remarks to throw his enemies off, but his internal monologue seems more "perverted inappropriate uncle" than "wily genius" to me.
The final chase/confrontation scene takes hours to unfold. I listen to books while I walk my dogs, and I was very frustrated when, after a couple days and hours of dog walks, I was still waiting for the denouement.
Others may find Corey less exhausting than I did, and there is a solid story under all the incredibly long descriptions of antagonistic interviews and scenes of pursuit. I've heard that the Corey series improves in successive volumes, so I'd suggest picking this one up during one of Audible's "First of a Series" sales, or maybe starting with one of the later installments.
I love Michael Connelly, have read everything he's written, and, for the most part, enjoyed it. "The Gods of Guilt" was a real disappointment.
The story is complex and, if this were up to the standard of Connelly's previous work, I think it would be satisfying - but the detail, the characters, the driving suspense that I expected were all absent here. This came off as a straight-to-screenplay outline for the next "Lincoln Lawyer" movie, which, extrapolating from the afterword, is exactly what it is.
Still, it's a Connelly novel and wasn't awful. Peter Giles is a solid narrator, if not terribly nuanced. If you like Connelly and have enjoyed prior installments in this series, it might be worth a credit.
Many other reviewers have remarked that "Folly" is like two entirely separate books, or that the plot somehow got out of hand along the way. To me, this felt like a wonderful cohesive adventure, but I can also see how this story could seem disjointed.
We begin with a series of charming letters exchanged by two lonely strangers who clearly form a connection - and then, with very little explanation, that connection is abruptly and cruelly severed.
Years pass, and the two are thrown together by circumstance. Folie, the heroine, is likeable and relatable - practical, levelheaded, optimistic and intelligent. When we finally meet Robert...he's basically completely bonkers and is THE WORST. But I LOVED this part of the book because it was a terrific homage to the gothic novel- think Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester and you'll get the idea.
I enjoy Laura Kinsale's plots for the most part; this one was complex and compelling; there are many mysteries here: the obvious questions about what has happened to Robert, who did it and why, but also the many complexities of his and Folie's relationship that get puzzled out along the way.
There were some steamy scenes and most of these were actually unpleasant - on purpose.
They advance the plot, tell us something about the characters, and contribute meaningfully to the story. The heroine is long-suffering and incredibly forgiving, but I found that very believable - we see just enough of Robert's underlying qualities to know that she is not just being a doormat when she puts up with his nonsense.
Having read some lukewarm reviews, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. It wasn't quite as good as "Flowers from the Storm" or "Prince of Midnight," but it was still very, very good. Worth a credit!
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