I feel duped by Patterson again. I don't like it when he co-authors a book. However. I am a fan of this series and interested in the characters. This installment of the Women's Murder Club is just a bit past okay. The story plot is kind of bland. I did not care about any of the characters. There is no depth to the characters. Favorites like Jacobi are just thrown in to make an appearance. The story lacks the substance and "pow" of previous stories. The murderer was revealed too early. Would like more details about the main characters and what is going on with them. Their old personalities in the previous stories were more interesting. Why the change? The police officer, Lindsay seems to have lost her edge. She used to be more assertative. Can't believe the way she handled the sitiuation with Joe and his friend. I wanted the friend to be confronted by someone! The friend's actions were inappropriate. What happened to Brady's wife? A two sentence conversation with Yuki and nothing later? I had to rewind several times due to "zoning" out while listening. The story just did not hold my interest. The narrator was alright. The original narrator was better with different character voices which added excitement and drama. Unfortunately, I am hooked. I like the characters and will undoubtedly purchase the next book in this series because I will want to know about Lindsay's baby, Claire's baby, and who gets married next.
It took me many miles and months to get through this book. It was difficult to connect to or even care about the characters. The story line did not hold my interest and I tried to like it. The narrator is among my favorites, however he could not help this story. At different times the relationship between the brothers was too cutesy and lacking of trust. The romance was gratuitous. No meaning. Perhaps this one tried too hard to be a thriller.
I, too, am a Alex Cross fan and thought that this would be a good story. Instead, it seems as if Christmas is a "back drop" to a couple of crime situtations that would have happened anytime. One suspects that these were two story ideas in development and that this Merry Christmas Alex Cross was a good way to get rid of them and at the same time make a story deadline. The short stories lacked character development and involved senseless killing or attempts. While the hostage situation was somewhat interesting, it was difficult to connect to the victims and the perpetrator. Some parts of the storyline are unrealistic and inplausible such as Bree going to the hostage situation and then being allowed to return home. Also, a terrorist mother who watches her own children being tortured telling them to be brave? Not any mother could be that strong or crazy. As usual Alex's grandmother was a bit over the top with her bossiness and demanding attitude. Sitting in a chair like she is a queen? In addition, there is a a new "addition" to the Cross family. Where did this little girl come from? If she was introduced in the last story I missed her because I did not read the story due to poor reviews. The reviews were misleading for this one. Narrators were above average and did a good job with the material.
This is a good story that I will think about for a very long time. I liked the story because it is fast moving. I listen to my audios while driving so I could hardly wait to get back into the car and take a trip. The format was very effective, to hear the story from one of the main character's viewpoint made me feel like I was part of the story. Am I the only one who thought of the Dave Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series when listening to this story? I had to check to see if Andy and Laurie from that series had married and had a child. Grover Gardner is the narrator for that series so it was easy for me to make that connection. If you know and like that series, you will certainly appreciate Defending Jacob. I loved Grover Gardner's narration of this story. His reading clearly conveys the emotions of the characters. I feel the pain of the characters when he reads. do not want to say too much as it may be a spoiler alert. Just know that it has an expected ending!!
I miss Terah and Myron! While I have enjoyed most of Cobin's books, Stay Close was slow and painfully boring to me. It might have been Scott Brick's reading and interpretation. His cadence was irritating. Also when he read to illustrate intensity it was nauseating. In addition, the plot line was weak and trite. A familiar story about the underworld--senseless murder and tortures, crazed murderers, old strippers/hookers, and dirty cops. It was difficult to keep up with some of the characters because of their similar suburban names and aliases--Barbie and Ken--give me a break. Could not find any reason to care about any of the characters. The dialogue between characters was redundant and made it difficult to maintain sustained interest. Again, I think that the pace of the narrator's reading was so slow that it was easy to lose interest. Would find myself thinking about other stuff and not listening. It has taken me weeks to get through this one. It was definitely a struggle to finish. I only did so because getting a refund was not an option. This was a disappointment after the Bolitar stories.
Exciting background for this story is the 2012 Olympic games in London. I wish that the date had been further in the future though. Such dreadful foreboding of terror, murder, unprotected athletes, and technology used for evil purposes is frightening. The evil characters have all had abusive and tragic childhoods. To exact revenge for the leader who believes that his Olympic glory was stolen in Spain, the 2012 summer olympics and its athletes are targeted.
Please do listen to a sample before purchasing this audible book. I almost did not finish the story because it took awhile to adjust to the British English accent of the narrator. If you do not like the British English, then I recommend that you read the printed version. I had to stop and re-start so that I could get in to the story. Once you get used to the narrator's accent, it does add a touch of international flare to the story. However, I really could not stand how he interpreted the children's voices...especially Lukey.
Where was the owner of Private? I don't think that he had more than five sentences in this entire story.
It is difficult to feel an emotional attachment to any of the characters. Perhaps it is because there is not enough depth provided. There are also many characters, such as the cab driver and news reporter, who act as bridges or are used to move the story line along. The stories or backgrounds of the characters are not worthy of empathy or sympathy. The personal challenges presented are so formula-like. The lesbian aspect was gratuitious and added nothing to the story. It was as though the authors thought by "throwing" in an aspect (murder of wealthy people, lesbian relationships, kidnapping, terrorism, child-abuse and rape, child neglect, mythology references, torture, etc.) that it would really grab the reader/listener.
For example, family relationships are odd, strained and flawed somewhat in this story. The evil characters are referred to as sisters and brother. It takes awhile to determine the true relationship. The main character's family is truly flawed. He prefers working rather than being with his twin son and daughter, although he loves them due to being part of their deceased mother. All we learned about the "hero's" children, twins, is that their mother died in child birth. The twins have run off several nannys due to their badness, but we do not know exactly what is bad, just that the children are bad and not potty trained at 3 years of age. It is also impossible to believe that two children misbehave to the point that no nanny service in London could find someone to watch them. Thus,one of the "bad guys" in the story is hired as a nanny due to the father's desparation to dump the kids on someone so that he could focus on his job!! What happens to the children is predictable. A nut does not fall far from the tree it is said. The father does not have a loving relationship with his own mother. As a result his mother does not have a close relationship with her grandchildren. The aunt(sister of the deceased mother) of the children "resents" them and has not seen or met the twins yet.
Unfortunately, while I tried to really like this story, it is another mediocre collaboration with the Patterson name attached. It would be interesting to what percentage of the story is contributed by Mr. Patterson or if he is just a mentor to aspiring authors. Entertaining,yes, but not very good.
In agreement with another reviewer, the narration of this story was stiff compared to other narrators. It takes a lot of patience to finish this story. However, the material was only of average quality. While a trite premise and familar story about a cop, a prostitue, an angry teen-ager, and a slew of bad cops the story had potential. The use of initials or acronyms was ridiculously over-done. I suppose the author wanted to impress the listener/reader with his knowledge of police lingo. He under-estimated the intellect of the reader as this technique distracted from the credibility or realism (although this is fiction) of the story. The main character did an exceptional job of tempering his zeal for an old flame and using sometimes, common sense. It is unclear at the end of the story, what happened to the old flame. It was difficult to like any of the characters or care what happened to them. This story is a good one to listen to when doing yard work or house work.
I am a fan of SB, but this one was mediocre...entertaining, but not a have to listen/read. I found myself wandering and missing part of the story, only to not miss much. The story contains several subplots that intertwine with the main plot. The deaf woman is interesting, but her son is sickening. Jack, who appers out of nowhere and has a mysterious background, is the superhero who saves the day. This story has several murders including some shocking ones that are unexpected. Seems like it is the same storyline just in a different part of the country and with accents. I am not sure if it was the narration or the story forumula of which I am tiring. There is always a prominent female character, a child(or one on the way), and 2-3 male characters. Some are extremely evil and while there is at least one with a dubious background. There is always someone on the run...blah, blah, Perhaps I need a break from SB.
Love Dick Hill! His impersonations of female voices crack me up. Good story, great narrator. Perfect ending!
Four stars due to Mr. Slezak's performance. He did the best that he could with weak material. Of course this is fiction. The premises of this story is so silly and unbelievable. It is very difficult to like any of the main characters or feel sorry for them. They are protrayed as selfish rich people who will do anything to get what they want. It is difficult to believe that a former professional athlete would be so financially destitute, conceited, and lazy that he would perform stud services for a couple of millionaires. He does this not only for the money, but actually believes that the couple wants his genetic features in their child! Give me a break. In addition, it is incredulous that a self respecting, competent, highly intelligent business woman would be motivated by guilt to have sexual intercourse with a strange man, with her husband's permission, in order to make a baby. What man who truly loves his wife would ask her to do this for him? Adding to the ridiculous plot is mental illness, a dirty cop and the mob. There is no doubt that some listeners were disturbed by the sex scenes. References to "the act" are minimal and not graphic. Actually, this entire story is disturbing and insulting. Save your money and your credits.
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