This is a very entertaining mix of the mystery and fantasy genres, and translates well to audio format.
The most memorable moment comes when the protagonist, Thomas Abbey, realizes that the small town of Galen, Missouri, is not as it appears. The plot, which had been developing in an apparently predictable course, as Abbey struggles to write his first book, the biography of his favorite childhood author, suddenly takes on unexpected
This is the first of Edoardo Ballerini's performances I have heard. I was deeply impressed. None of his characters are annoying, they are all clearly identified as he read his way along. It reminded me of an old radio play more than listening to someone read a book out loud.
The story is entertaining, but not very sophisticated. Pople have the stock reactions of so many fantasy novels: They receive bad news by getting angry at the messenger; they spend pages telling each other there's no time to waste; and men need to be violent to each other to maintain their self respect. An editor could have helped.
There are fun moments, as when a character comes to meet an alien race and dubs their repreentatives "Uncle" and "Aunty."
I seriously checked to see if the narration was some sort of AI experiment. The cadence and emphasis is not quite human. "She ran her hands over her face" is renderedd "She ran, her hands over her face." And thousand of more odd line readings. Voices and accents are okay. It was in the paragrpahs of that the odd, inhuman rhythm sometimes became distracting.
I am blown away by this book. This is the third "Dublin Murder Squad" novel. The first, In The Woods, is an intense and wild ride. The next, The Likeness, is sort of difficult to take but well-built and intriguing, This one is the payoff. It may be the best audiobook I have ever listened to.
The way the plot unfolds is like taking a walk and rounding the corner to show you a new panorama. You forget it's a book. I have a hard time picking just one of these moments.
The narrator is a talented actor and his line reading is perfect. Every character has such a distinct sound you don't need to wait for the author to identity him or her. This is one of those books that pulls you in so completely that you can't do much else while listening.
Peter Berkrot's acting skills add more to this book than the print version can deliver. I don't "hear" characters' voices when I read. Berkrot gives everyone a distinctive voice, and reads brilliantly. Absolutely perfect. I was completely captivated.
This reminded me a little of "Land of Laughs," where there is a very straight narrative going on that's just a little tongue-in-cheek. "The Last Policeman" has a nice, light touch and is lots of fun to listen to. Ben Winters has avoided the irritating aspects of the police genre, while having fun with many of the conventions - In some respects, this reminded me of Ed McBain, only set in Concord, NH, as the world starts to end. In other respects, it reminded me of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
It was a minor scene, but when Detective Henry Palace sends a message to his old girlfriend via the barrista at a pirate Starbucks, that was classic. You'll see why when you hear it.
I expect I will listen again. The pace of the action is great, and the twists are so unexpected that I spent most of the first listen just following the thread. McKinty has created a couple of really great characters, and this merits a second listen so I can pay closer attention to them.
I found the main character, Michael Forsyth, very interesting. The author took more time drawing Michael in a convincing way than most mystery/thriller heroes. Michael is full of contradictions, but his actions are completely believable. There was never a time I said "Oh, come on." Everything that happened, everything he did, was exactly what a real Michael would have done.
Doyle has a bunch of good characters. His voice is very versatile. Michael is so much the dominant character of the novel that I have to choose him.
It was hard to take breaks. I found myself listening into the night.
Yes, I think the reader brings the characters to life more than I would be able to in my head. I often feel that a good audio book with a gifted reader is more like a radio play than a novel. This book is no exception. The reading makes it feel very alive and immediate.
The killer was revealed in a very interesting manner, felt three-dimensional and believable. I thought that character was the best in the book, next to the ongoing unraveling of Kurt Wallander, who is a bit of a crumpled mess by this point in the series.
A man out jogging at night in preparation for some sort of orienteering event stumbles on the corpse of a victim. It was told well, quite exciting.
Mankell's work is not translated into English very fluidly. It messes up the story a bit, I think. For example, "It was 6 a.m. in the morning" and similar clunky phrases recur and distract.
The Last Coyote is a brilliant mystery with many twists and turns, but as weird as it was, I never found myself saying "Oh, come on." Connelly makes you want to believe the story and keeps you rooting for his hero, Harry Bosch, even as the whole world around Bosch is ready to turn its back. The reader has an incredible range of voices that also do not sound forced or exaggerated. It kept me on my iPod for hours after I was done with my day's driving.
Bosch is the center of the story, of course. But the supporting cast is full of interesting "cameos."
Dick Hill has an extraordinarily versatile voice. I have listened to his other Connelly interpretations and think he hands in consistently strong performances. I have to admit, it was listening to the Bosch stories, rather then reading them, that made me realize what a good ear for dialogue the author has. Credit goes to Mr. Hill for this.
One troubled loner after another.
If you are not sure whether to get into the 18 or 19 Harry Bosch books, this is a good one to start with. Listen to Last Coyote and Trunk Music, then start at the first book, Black Echo.
This is a really exciting crime novel. I think the audio format was especially good for this book. The plot jumps around in time a bit. Chapter one happens before the next several chapters, and so on. Listening, instead of reading, heightened the sense of suspense.
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