This is the 2nd book in the Psychic Eye Series by Victoria Laurie, and I'm not sure I'll read any more of them. Her main character, Abby, just makes silly decision after silly decision, and it gets really difficult to suspend disbelief enough to go along with most of them. For example, and there are some minor spoilers here, if your boyfriend is an FBI agent, and his best friend is a local cop, wouldn't you tell one or both of them, if you were being threatened by the mob??? And not veiled threats, either. They sent someone to her house to poison her dog and someone to wreck her car and frame her for the accident. But, no. She tells no one about any of this. She originally got into this mess because she agreed to help her friend Kendall do readings at a wedding after the original psychic backed out. During the wedding, they realized it was a mob wedding, so they got their stuff and ran. Really, that's your solution when you realize you're mixed up with the mob? Take their money and run? Brilliant. How shocking that they wanted their money back and got her mixed up into the rest of this mess.
The narration was ok. Some of it was the narrator (I got tired of hearing drop the final "r"s from words - mirror became mirra, terror became terra, etc.), and some of it was the story. The story is in 1st person; we're in Abby's head. We know if she's telling a lie. We don't need that "liar, liar, pants on fire" when she tells a lie. We know. It's constant, especially when the mob is after you and you're determined to keep it from the cops and FBI agents in your life. It set my teeth on edge every time I heard it. I can understand it when someone tells Abby a lie, and her intuition tells her they're lying, but we do NOT need it every time Abby tells one. There are a lot of repetitive phrases, and I think you notice them more when you're listening to the book. "Liar, liar, pants on fire" and "left side, feeling heavy", "right side, light and airy" over and over.
I also can't understand what was happening with Dutch, the FBI agent, and his new partner. Apparently the new (female) partner is extremely hot, so Abby gets drunk at lunch (from one glass of wine) and proceeds to act like a high schooler who just found her boyfriend eating lunch with the head cheerleader. Not only does she come across as immature and ridiculous, she makes Dutch look stupid, too, in front of a new partner who's also his superior. Abby acts like this every time the partner is even mentioned in conversation. Yes, she's able to psychically find out that the partner does want Dutch, but so what? She also knows Dutch doesn't want her, so where's the dilemma? And instead of telling Dutch how all of this makes her feel, she stamps her foot and says "she started it!" and pouts. I didn't love the way Dutch acted sometimes, I thought he was bullying Abby a lot of the time, but I can't really be on her side, either.
There was also a huge plot hole that bugged the crap out of me, and was never resolved. Spoiler - when Abby and Milo are watching the video of the attack on Cat, they see Cat on the phone talking to Abby, then Cat being attacked, then Cat being rescued. Completely ignoring the fact that her attacker spoke to her before he attacked her, without his mask, while she was on the phone with Abby. Abby heard Cat speaking to him "Oh, it's 11:15. Golly, Abby, men in this city sure are gorgeous", but he's not on the video of the attack. Why? Because Abby would have recognized him and ended that whole story line immediately. So instead, that whole part of the event is just ignored. I can't stand stuff like that.
I don't know if I'll keep going with this series or not. I might give it one more, because I like the concept, but if it's the same, I probably wouldn't go beyond that.
Third entry in the Dresden Files series. I cannot recommend highly enough listening to this series. James Marsters does an amazing job with the narration. I liked this book, definitely better than the previous one, Fool Moon. One thing I would warn people about, if they're reading these books in order, Michael is just sort of dumped into the story on the first page, with no explanation of who he is or where he came from or why he's running around with Harry. I haven't read the rest of the books yet, so I don't know if we get any of that later, but I spent quite a while on Amazon, and jim-butcher.com trying to figure out if I missed a book or a short story or something. I hadn't. He's just thrown in there.
Ghosts, demons, ghosts of demons, vampires, wizards, psychics - this book has a little bit of everything. I've been a little burned out on paranormal books recently, and this series is really helping me get over it. I couldn't stop listening to this. I listened to it in the car, at work, around the house, while working out... If I'd been reading it, I would have tried to stay up finishing it in one night, but since I was listening, I ended up getting it doled out in a few days. When I wasn't listening, I found myself trying to figure out when I could next squeeze it in. To be fair, that has as much to do with James Marsters' performance as the book itself. James is absolutely perfect as the narrator of this series.
Harry and Michael are trying to figure out what or who is tormenting ghosts, and why. As it usually does in Harry Dresden's Chicago, the answer to that question leads to more questions and everything spirals out of control quickly. From what I understand of the series, this book is where it really takes off, and after listening to it, I would agree with that. While the first 2 books in the series seemed more like world-building and setup than anything else, this book really gets us into Harry's head. I don't always like what I see there, and I think he makes a lot of bad decisions that result in harm to himself and those around him, but I'm hoping he ends up being the type of character who learns from it. His supporting cast is great - I love Bob. How do you not love a spirit who lives in a skull and is paid in romance novels?
I highly recommend this series. And even though the first 2 books are more setup than meat, I would still suggest starting at the beginning. A lot of what happens here is a direct result of some of what Harry does in the first 2 novels.
This book was ok for me all the way around. The premise was interesting - a woman approaches Detective DD Warren, explaining that she's going to be murdered in a few days, and she wants DD to have all the information she needs to find her killer. The woman, Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant, believes this because her two best friends were murdered the same day, one year apart. That day is fast approaching.
As interesting as it was, that part of the story didn't quite live up to the hype for me. I thought Warren spent too much time trying her best to discredit Charlene, and not enough actually trying to figure out who was trying to kill her. And there were so, so many side plots. Enough that I was having trouble keeping up with who was who and who belonged to which side plot. There was a string of murders she was trying to solve, a child molestation side plot, internet predators, DD's own life as a new mother trying to balance home and work, and another one involving DD trying to get through a visit from her parents; it was a lot for one novel. The narration went back and forth between Charlene's first person chapters and DD's third person. There were occasionally very short chapters which were some sort of instruction in how to kill a person and get away with it, presumably by Charlene's would-be killer.
Kristin Potter did a fine job with the narration. There wasn't anything stand-out about it, either positive or negative. I would certainly not shy away from anything else she narrates.
Harry Dresden is Chicago's only professional wizard. He's broke, barely able to make ends meet, about to evicted from his apartment for not paying rent. Apparently there's not much call in Chicago for a professional wizard. He makes extra money by helping the SI department of the Chicago PD. SI (Special Investigations) is headed by Lt. Karen Murphy, the only cop so far to hold that postion for more than a few weeks.
The relationship between Harry and Karen does drive me a little bit crazy. They've worked together in the past, before this book begins, she knows he's a wizard, she deliberately calls on him when she has a case she thinks may be supernatural in nature, and yet neither of them trust the other at all. She's constantly questioning and ignoring what he tells her, he's always deciding not to give her key information as he runs around playing super-cop on his own.
I really like this series. I'm listening to the fourth book now and I fully intend to keep going. I've read a lot of reviews from people who were put off by James Marsters' performance - the breathing and swallowing, etc. Since James is a human being, he has to do those things. If anyone is to blame for it, it would be the sound editors. But I like it. It always seems to add to whatever is happening to Harry. Harry sighs, James sighs. Harry's been running, James is breathing a little heavier. I don't see it as a problem. I admit to being slightly biased because I love James Marsters, but I'm put off by crappy narration as much as the next person. There are many series I've switched to reading instead of listening to because I couldn't deal with the narrators.
If you like your fantasy to involve a sarcastic, broke, down on his luck wizard, definitely give Harry Dresden a go. The cast of side characters is fun, too. There's Mister, Harry's cat, Bob, the spririt that lives in a skull in Harry's lab and can be bribed with romance novels, Susan Rodriguez, the reporter for the only supernatural newspaper in Chicago, who's constantly trying to get Harry to give her a sccop. There's a lot to like in these novels, and I can't wait to see what's next.
Detective Pete Decker finds a little girl on patrol one night, and in his quest to find out who she is and who she belongs to, uncovers a grisly quadruple murder scene.
This is a tough review to write. The overall mystery involving the little girl and the murders was good, and the only real reason I kept listening. But, and this is a big one for me, Pete Decker is a pig. He's verbally abusive to his fiancee on several occasions, and treats her like she's a little girl. "You only talk to other men if I'm with you" "You can't handle my car, take the Jeep instead, it's easier to drive" and to another detective "Don't talk like that in front of my woman. She's too good to hear that language". It was ridiculous and really hard to read. Well, hear. There were a lot of characters portrayed as really backwoods, and the n-word was sprinkled liberally throughout the story, making me cringe every time I heard it. I understand that people who think and talk like that exist, but not in my world. It's not something I hear a lot.
The way women are treated in general in this book is bothersome. Even Decker's partner, Detective Marge Dunn, is referred to as "little lady" constantly, and told to wait in the car while Decker does the dirty work, or pointedly ignored while "the men are talking". There are several references to "those women's libbers" as well. I'm trying really hard to put this in the context of when it was written, but it was published in 1990. And while I have no doubt this attitude was still present at the time, I don't recall it being quite as blatant as it is here.
(Side thought - The time the book was set was a little confusing to me. It was published in 1990 - is it set there, as well? It seemed to me that it was; there were beepers and pay phones, but also rotary phones at the station. If that's the case, given the fact that the Pete/Rina series is still being published, are all the books set in the early 90s? Or are they present day? Do Pete and Rina age in real time, or do they stay about where they are in this book while the world around them changes? I guess I won't know unless I keep reading, but Pete was born in 1950, so he'd be in his early 60s in 2013. That seems well past the standard 20 or 25 years most cops put in. But if Kellerman keeps him in his 40s, that would change a lot of the dynamic, since Pete's experiences in Vietnam had a huge impact in making him who he is, as they did everyone involved. And his caveman attitude would have to undergo some major changes in order for him to fit in in 2013.)
Pete's one saving grace to me is that by the end of the book, he seemed to realize that he has some anger issues and is a pig at times, and he seemed to want to make a genuine effort to change. That's the one reason I'll read at least one more in this series. I'll at least give him a chance to redeem himself.
The narration of this book was somewhat off-putting. Enough that I'll probably just read any more in this series, not listen to them, at least not if they're narrated by Mitch Greenberg. His reading of the main characters was fine, but all of the male side characters sounded like Rodney Dangerfield. Every one of them. Some times a straight Rodney, sometimes a hillbilly Rodney, sometimes a southern Rodney, but all of them sounded like Rodney. And there were several bizarre musical breaks in the audio. I have no idea what was happening with those. They weren't between chapters or scenes, or parts, and they weren't consistent. Suddenly I'd just be listening to 30-45 seconds of weird music, then back to the story.
Overall, I listened to this as fast as I could because I wanted to get through it and find out the answer to the murder mystery, but not because I was enjoying my listening experience. I'd recommend it only to people who really want to read this series, though.
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