PURLEAR, NC, United States
I was entranced by the first half of this audiobook. This was despite the characters inside this selection; outside of Hunter; were thinly drawn. Unfortunately the story collapsed under the weight of plot contrivances in the second part of this work. In the true nature of the romance writer the romance moves at the glacial pace that reflected an earlier era rather than the hook-up culture of the modern era.
In the end I can't recommend this selection. A.J. Quinn is a talented writer. However she needs to speed up the storyline if she is going to make a successful transition from Romance writer to the Mystery/ Thriller genre.
A story about a sociopath who steals a small fortune in, of all things, stamps. Travis begins his investigation and a woman working in the shop is killed. McGee then meets her father-in-law Major General Samuel Horace Lawson who is one of the best characters in this book and provides for an upbeat chapter. One of the weaknesses of a few of the lesser McGee novels is MacDonald's attempts to substitute plot twists for a solid story. This one does so in several places and McGee's poor choice in selecting a girlfriend in this novel doesn't do much to strengthen the story. One of the low points of the middle books in the series is the increasing presence of McGee's friend Meyer without a suitable role for him in them. Unlike the better works in which he's featured i.e. Pale Gray for Guilt or Dress her in Indigo Meyer seems to lack a real role in the narrative. Maybe this story would have been smoother had his part in it either been diminished or defined in a better way. Finally the ending of this one in which a woman from a previous book serves herself up to McGee on a platter to him. It's a regular theme of MacDonald's that good women sacrifice for men. This particular woman does, even though her reason for doing is unclear. All in all this is one of the 2 or 3 weakest of the 21 McGee mysteries.
This is an highly inventive and enjoyable way to look at biblical literature. While humorous and irreverent it is also respectful and actually more informative than you would think. I'm recommending this one as both entertainment and a tutorial.
Spenser's on campus in 1973 when one investigation leads to his being involved in a bogus murder charge against a coed as her only advocate and protector. The introductory novel of the series was a breath of fresh air at the time, and this one stands up as an excellent example of Spenser's best. It's also the one pre Susan Spenser novel and that alone would elevate it. This one however stands on it's own; the portrait of Terri's wealthy parents is the snapshot of the era. As are the professor and Terri's wannabe badass boyfriend. It's not a Spenser that's recognizable to those more familiar with his later works socially as he has sex with a mother and daughter in less than 24 hours. Iris Milford is another great character and it's interesting to watch Spenser and Quirk stand toe-to-toe ready to go. Even with a subpar narrator this one is a five star listen.
This is a foreshadowing of the next two Spenser novels Valediction and A Catskill Eagle. The politician Meade Alexander will soon be Spenser and Susan will be Ronny; the drunk slutty woman who likes "granny sex" though as far s we know Susan does limit her mistake to one man. As with Spenser; Meade's loyalty to his lady knows no bounds; he'll go to any lengths and compromise any or all of his values to protect her. Though in my less than humble opinion, it's difficult to understand why in either case. Susan is already stretching the boundaries of Spenser's tolerance and it isn't hard to discern that this doesn't bode well for the future of their relationship.
There are some nice touches to this story; the confrontation with the muscle in Springfield; the Globe reporter Cosgrove. Finally the teenager at the granny party "shaking her head at the bogusness of it all" are all nice touches.
In retrospect a great deal of my rating it 4 stars goes back to the mid 80's when I first read it in print form. I was living in Boston at the time and I'd just discovered Spenser; some nice memories there. This is a quick listen and there are some snatches of humor that I enjoyed; if you're new to Robert Parker and want to give Spenser a shot; don't start with this one. Most of the Spenser mysteries up to this point are superior to this one.
Sentimental, but deeply so. This is not just the easy overly sweet sentimentality of some of my other selections in the last month. August and the boys, even Wes are all three dimensional characters with strengths and weaknesses. They seem to be more people than a overly idealized product of the author's imagination.
There was also the circular nature of the two summers; eight years apart, and how much the two resemble each other only a rotation has occurred over time in the roles they all play. Wes is a highly flawed man; he's an alcoholic with a tenuous sense of parental responsibility. His limitations make the difference between him August all too apparent to his sons and seeing it reflected in their feelings and actions leave him unable to accept the relationship between the interloper and his sons. Though he's flawed he's not evil; just a little too cavalier, a little too careless when it comes to being a parent.
Sometimes it seems that I'm a stamp tramp (a How I Met Your Mother reference) and I occasionally give five stars a bit too easily but if I could, I'd give this one six stars. This selection has led me to check out other CRH audios and I'll get another one soon. I hope that at some point the author picks up the narrative again with a story that features Henry and/ or Seth. Don't miss this one.
This is one of the selections I acquiesced to during June's end of the month sale. I didn't expect to enjoy the listening experience; as the headline would suggest I was pleasantly surprised by this mystery/ romance. It is in fact a romance with a slightly more than casual nod to mystery.
Kennedy O'Brien returns from Afghanistan to find her husband in bed with a woman closer to her daughter's age than her own. She starts a detective agency with her two best friends Lorelei and Paige attempting to save women from the experiences they'd had with the men in their lives. She also works occasionally as a bounty hunter going after fugitives who've skipped out on their bond provided by her father's bail bonds business. She's runs into her husband's best friend Griffin Crawford at a fugitive's front door he's just taken a job as a bounty hunter with the same company.
Sparks fly as the attraction between them is strong as is the antipathy; because what the hell it's a romance and couples always begin that way in a romance novel. The interplay between them is sharp and humorous and the language used Kennedy and her family is highly reminiscent of an army barracks.
While it's true that most of the book's characters have at most two dimensions this is a nice little story that I'm glad I was talked into purchasing. Warning; there will not be very many surprises in this book; it's a pretty typical romance novel, but an enjoyable one.
This time the sister in the spotlight is Libby. Having been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend when his ex-wife returns to Pine River. So she attacks his pickup with a golf club when she finds out that the two of them were schtuping each other while she was watching their kids. Then there is the little matter of the restraining order that Ryan slapped her with after the destruction of all the glass in his truck. An RO that doesn't seem to mean too much to Libby; given that she violates it on a regular basis. Deputy Sam Martin seems to be quite intent on seeing her through this difficult time. The fact that he has a major thing for Libby seems to be apparent to everyone but her. I'll stop with the overall plot right there to avoid spoiling the ending for anyone. Though given that this was a romance novel we already know the ending.
There is one point that I want to jump up on my soapbox about. Libby's attitude towards Ryan's children is understandable on an emotional level but as far as behavior goes I found it to be self serving and irresponsible. I understand the pull that she's feeling I've been there and felt the pain that comes from giving up someone that you love and who loves you. There are times that you actually do feel as though someone ripped out a couple of your vital organs without the benefit of anesthetic. The bottom line is that the feelings of the adult aren't what matters in this situation; it what's best for the child that's important. Her need to hang on to them is merely a way to make the inevitable end of said relationship a longer more difficult one. This factor lowered the enjoyment I took from the book and lowered the rating I gave it as well.
Penny is a young Mennonite girl sent to summer camp for a week by her parents. She's convinced her friend Gina to come along with her and it's a huge surprise for them both. No swimming, not even baths, showers, or water to wash clothes. As they deal with the boredom of a religious camp circa 1980; Gina is faced with raging hormones and Penny with the memories of her last day in Guatemala. This story is a sweet look at the a slice of a young girl's life as she tries to deal with culture shock, her memories, and the pain of becoming an adult.
This is a mediocre work at best. The characters in most cases lack two dimensions; much less three. The narrator doesn't help the effort any with a delivery flatter than Kansas. The lead characters are just as flat and the erstwhile protagonist is a blur. If this selection finds it's way into the sale bin or as a daily deal you might want to take the chance and give it a shot. I found this one a total dud and a work lacking any reason for recommendation.
There is a great deal of good, solid, caring, sweet, intelligent, informative, deeply personal wisdom in this book of lists. Unfortunately I think that the best format for this information is not audio, but print. Perhaps for those who are either young or fortunate enough to have working memories this audiobook might work for you. If you're a girl from 16 to 25; particularly one with sexual identity issues then you should probably get it if just for the reinforcement it provides. Still I am of the opinion that even with a great memory; lists are better absorbed through the written word.
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