I went into this one with my hopes unreasonably high. French's first book was just amazing and her follow ups have also been very good. She has a way with dialogue that makes me want to be part of the characters' lives.
This one made excellent use of current events and paints a compelling picture of Recession Ireland. If some of the characters are a bit more cliched than her in previous efforts, they are still more complex and interesting than the great majority of fictional players. If the ending isn't quite up to her other books, it's still well worth the ride to get there. I recommend it.
Michael Robotham is probably my favorite mystery writer of the era, and his books as a group are so well read on audio that I make a real effort to listen rather than read them. There has been a delay getting some of them in the US, and I'm just so glad they are finally available! (Note: I'm writing this review some time after listening to the book!)
MR is a master of creating an intolerable situation - in this case two girls held captive for years. His characters feel like real people, laid bare - no excuses, no whitewash, and as a reader I don't feel manipulated into rooting for an impossibly perfect character or hating someone who has nothing likeable about them.
I did find the ending slightly contrived, but that's usually the case with thriller. There weren't many real susprises if you've read a lot of mysteries written in the past 20 years or so. I won't go into details as this didn't detract from the listening experience, just be aware that the end is not the best part of this one!
This is a fairly typical offering from the author. It really grabbed me at the beginning, then maybe 20% in I couldn't listen for a day and when I got back to it for some reason was less captivating. That said, it moved forward with only a typical amount of belief suspension for the genre, plenty of sympathetic characters, plenty of action and a satisfying conclusion. It is a good example of a suspense thriller, it is NOT a mystery. If you've never encountered this author before, it's a very good introduction.
This book is aimed at fans of "true science" books, and follows the basic formula: Interesting anecdotes interspersed with challenging factoids, with bits of history mixed in and some personal sharing by the author. This is a very well written example of the genre, using clear language and telling me lots I didn't know before. It is smoothly read by Leyva, who correctly pronounces just about everything, easy to listen too without being intrusive.
Every decade has its twist on the various genres. This is very new-gen. I suspect it is better than I can appreciate in my older-than-I-feel 50's, but it's a nice insight into the future of horror! Or should that be fantasy? Or maybe comic suspense? I guess that's the whole point.
Quirky, yes. Suspenseful? Sort of. It's so over-the-top I never really worried about any of the characters, first because I could not relate to them and second because I never once thought of them as real people. That doesn't mean they weren't sympathetic, in their own way (think nephew you don't much like but have to be nice to cause your sister's their mom).
There are no cliches in this book, at least not yet. There are plenty of didn't-see-it-coming. I'm not sure if I'll read more from this author, but I sure won't rule it out!
As a vet, for me the premise of this book (MDs might have something to learn from vets and animal science? Really?) was one big "DUH!" Yet I listened all the way through and really enjoyed the book, learned quite a bit even if not the same things the author learned in the writing. I enjoy listening to what I think of as "True Science" books, and this book fits the category. It flows well from chapter to chapter and idea to idea, the reader managed most of the science words well and the author maintained a strong theme throughout. Strongly recommended for anyone in a medical field or who just likes comparative science.
Initially I wondered how Gawande would get a whole book out of this material. In fact, it is a short book and I found myself regretting that it was over! Riveting, fascinating, not at all dry or boring.
I can't remember how I stumbled onto this title, or for that mtter how I missed it for so long. It was published in 2003 but the audio produced in 2008. Unappreciated IMHO, this book is on a par with titles by Michael Robotham and Tana French, and that refers to characters, story and performance. The medical subject material is very well done (small wonder, turns out the author is a pathologist!) and I like how certain aspects of the suspense are left open-ended. I plan to work my way through the series in order, at least until I hit a clunker.
Mine downloaded in such a way that Part 2 was below Part 1 on the i-pod (and was labeled "Part 1." Anyway, I listened to Part 3 before Part 2 and TBH it didn't really matter. For those who don't like what earlier reviewers referred to as "too much backstory," you could probably skip Part 2 altogether.
I bought this book after being very impressed with Gardner's "Love Your More." I assume this was her first book. It has an awkward feel, as if rewritten a few too many times. That I could easily forgive. However, there are far too many lapses in timeline early on, poorly-researched medical scenes and suspended action. Normally I will give a bad book an hour before giving up on it, but that was difficult with this one. I'll give Gardner another chance, but will probably wait for her next rather than digging through the archives.
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