As has become a typical dark counterpart to Coben's vastly entertaining Myron Bolitar series, every book that I can think of since then has involved heart-wrenching kidnapping or people missing--children, adults, whoever. This is no different, only more so.
However, he writes through a female persona this time, cop Kat. And, he does a good job. She is self-depricating and wise-cracking, and canny. Funny how he subtly evokes the Bolitar series with the Windsor Lockhorn building where Kat and her friend have a safe place to meet.
Good listen, but SO tired of the kidnapping/missing theme. Why the obsession? There are so many other interesting mysteries and capers.
The entire book is composed of graphically detailed modern day application of medieval torture instruments. It is a story of a sicko needing the most gruesome forms of torture in history to become sexually aroused. The author seems to have become consumed by the methods of the Inquisition and other heinous forms of desiccating a human. Yes, there is the search for the "gay murderer" by a sexually confused profiler; but it is less about the "mystery", and much, much, much more about the detailed descriptions of torture. Not a great substitute for character development and a good mystery. I am unlikely to wade through this author's work again.
The missing wife and child, a la Harlan Coben, the humorously wisecracking detective, a la Nelson DeMille, narrated by Scott Brick--this author has it all!
I had never heard of Michael Koryta, but I am definitely a new fan. I longed for the return of Coben's Myron Bollitar, with his witty repartee and DeMille's fabulously articulate wisecracking protagonists, but my wait is over. This book is well-written, well crafted, humorous, has a great plot, and depth of characters. It even has a "surprise" twist at the end. What more could you want?
It takes a lot for me to put an author in the same class as Nelson DeMille, but this guy's got it. You end up really knowing the characters, and it never gets slow. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who wants mystery taken to the next level.
At first, I thought the dialogue of this book was a joke, a farce--in no way serious. Then the references to everything from the 40s to the 90s gave me chronological vertigo. Put all together, it was just vertigo.
It says the book was published in 1992. Maybe republished, but the stilted Gatsby-era dialogue and numerous references were waaay before the 90s--maybe the 40s? This author was born in 1920, and the book bears all the hallmarks of someone writing of the 1930s or 40s, with some updated "things" randomly thrown in.
I can assure you that even an Ivy Leaguer would not speak with such a foppish vocabulary and expressions, even in the 90s. The 30s, 40s...maybe, while wearing a raccoon coat. This preposterous vocabulary had Archy referred to often as a "lad"or "buster", talk was "blather" or "drivel", he said something "diddled" him, bad guys were "villains", "nefarious types", "fiends" and "no-goodnicks", people "decried" things, women were "upholstered", men had a "Barrymore profile", and he wore a "boater" hat. There were no contractions in the diction; everything was "I am" or "you (or one) will", etc. All songs and television shows were of 50ish vintage. Frank Sinatra was king.
Thrown in to try to "update" the chronology were a Lexus (referred to once), a cell phone (referred to once or twice), a Miata, and not much else. The songs he liked and heard were 40s songs, the computer he referred to was a 70s computer, and everyone was greeted as "old man" or "old boy", with whom he would have a "spot of lunch". His favorite expression, annoyingly, was "one never knows, do one?". Furthermore, being an Irish dandy, he liberally used Yiddish words and expressions, adding confusion to confusion.
The sad thing was that if this were truthfully presented as a period piece, it could have been charming, if not mind-blowing. But the careless "updating", while maintaining the archaic dialogue and vocabulary made it a linguistic folly. It literally kept me reeling, not being able to place the action in time or space.
As to the plot, if you could possibly get over the ridiculous dialogue and lack of a place in chronology, it was weak and forgettable.
Thankfully, it didn't cost me a credit, and I won't be staggering through this author's time, space and vocabulary continuum again. This was so not written in the 90s (at least not by anyone who had been outside of his house in half a century), and I feel cheated that they would think anyone could believe it was!
While a powerful comparison of politics, civil rights and life in the South to a Korean prisoner of war camp, this book becomes one long nightmare. I haven't quite finished it yet, but the prolonged, painfully detailed, and seemingly endless descriptions of the brutality in the camp--down to the constant descriptions of the defecations, starvation, and bloody, bone-crunching horrors was just too much. Most of us have been alive long enough to have heard the gruesome details of such imprisonment, but having it constantly thrown at the reader, gory detail after gory detail for so very much of the book, was not necessary to use it as the metaphor it was.
Will Patton was great in his narration, but the vile nightmares of unimaginable cruelty totally dominated this book, and I never would have chosen it if I knew i would have to share every brutal moment of those continual nightmares.
I imagine it is much like an abused child who goes on to become an abuser. He went through the gutters of humanity in war, only to seek out the gutters of humanity in politics--particularly southern racist politics. And his remedy seemed to be self sedation via alcohol and $3 Mexican whores". I'm hoping an enlightenment will evolve, but so far, the author seems determined to keep us in the gutter with the prisoners.
The approach of comparing the cruelty and inhumanity of racism with the cruelty and inhumanity of war is compelling--but enough is enough. I'm on the fence about this author; and this will make me take a step back for awhile.
Connolly does it again, with Mickey Haller pulling off impossible courtroom wins. Although it could be tedious, it isn't, and seemingly dry courtroom tales become tantalizing under Connolly's expert pen. However, while it is a bit of a peeve for me that, with many other books, the significance of the title either is too difficult to decipher, or does not reveal itself until the end. In "Gods" it is constantly, CONSTANTLY repeated over and over throughout the book. In my opinion, it's the book's one flaw. We get it! It is an elusive and elegant phrase, but terribly overused. Great read, other than that!
I pre-ordered this because it claimed to be a new story from Lee Child. I thought any Reacher story, even a short one would be worth it. I'm not sure where I heard the entire story of his youth as a Marine brat, but I heard it before--probably as part of a full book. This is NOT a "New" story, and isn't even worth the couple of dollars it cost, because it is not new. Any Reacher fan will have heard it before. Since I don't buy books anywhere but Audible, I know I heard it here, and a while ago. Bad way to get you to pay for what you have already heard/read. Yes, it is a good story of the precocious Reacher, but been there done that. Redundant.
It is hard to go wrong with a Silva novel. His intensity, correlation with history, and continuing story line make most listens compelling. I didn't realize that I had missed this one in the lineage of his books, and found it wanting. Not because of the story line, but because of the annoying narration.
I have come to know the characters as familiar, as Silva does such an excellent job in fleshing them out. However, when this narrator pronounces their names entirely differently, it is unsettling. It is hard for me to grasp how such an accomplished writer as Silva could momentarily forget the correct past tenses of most verbs ("spring, sprang, sprung", etc.), so I have to believe it was the narrator who furnished the tense most comfortable, even if incorrect, to him. He also put the emphasis on wrong words in the story, completely changing the meaning of many sentences. Somehow, Gabriel wasn't Gabriel when voiced by this narrator.
But, for everyone who loves Silva books, it is still a necessary listen, even though occasionally a grating one. Good story, bad narration and characterization.
I didn't expect to like this book at all, and would not have gotten it if it weren't on sale. For one thing, the subject matter of an abused OCD whom no one believes is unpleasant if not haunting. Then, when I started listening, I was sure I didn't like the female narrator, Karen Cass, who sounded like a brainless wonder with a British accent.
In fact, I was haunted, until I finished it. It was an incredible story, perfectly narrated by Cass, who managed to show innocence, vulnerability, reason and strength somehow all the time. In spite of it being the most frightening thriller I had read in a long time, I could not stop listening. Cass's "dumb blond" voice didn't annoy; rather it became the only voice of reason in the story. And, she was stronger than I would have thought possible--stronger than I would have been under her circumstances.
But the real heroine was the author, Elizabeth Haynes, of whom I have never heard, but will certainly look into. She didn't "tell" the story, she literally placed the reader or listener in the situation. I found myself holding my breath when Cathy did, and felt myself wanting by comparison. It truly was haunting--I have had nightmares ever since starting it--but wouldn't have stopped listening for the world. There were no unnecessarily gruesome descriptions of anything, they just happened. I have read and listened to way too many novels that depended on the drawn-out gratuitious violence in horrific and continuous detail. This was more compelling because you felt it all.
It really makes a case for not dismissing the fears of people who seem to fear all the time. The fact that they display OCD symptoms does not make the performance of the checking and double-checking wrong or misguided. It may be that they have a reason to be fearful and simply can't depend on someone else to protect them--or believe them. The quirk has a root, and the root may have merit.
The story's switching from the dark past (2004) to the "present" (2008) was a bit confusing and even annoying at first. But the parallels soon became evident, as did the necessity of this type of very effective presentation.
A truly must-read, even for the feint at heart. It is a magnificent story of the triumph of the human spirit and one's ability to dispel "ghosts" literally without any help or support other than her own sense of reason and conviction.
The lovable fastidious thief just misses the mark in this book, but the richness in literary references makes it worthwhile. The book ends like an Agatha Christie mystery, with all characters gathered in the same room and our hero pointing out the guilty person. However, unlike Christie, he had an unfair advantage, and the clues were not really there or believable. The "Thief's Guide" series is much more enjoyable.
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