Lisa Gardner is one of the best at putting the mystery into mysteries. Too many authors in the genre have their characters stumbling through the book unable to discern the most obvious of crimes. In this particular selection there are more surprises than many mystery novels have. I haven't been too impressed by the character development in most of Gardner's novels but she knows how to write a crime story. This appears to be a story that would make an excellent full length book.
Another bizarre story that seemed to have no point, no plot, no continuity. It does however have a protagonist that was impossible for me to relate to or care about. Add to that some scenes that are close to stomach turning and the writing skill of Mink Choi is wasted. This could have been a better effort with less of the flashes of scenes that constitute each chapter reminiscent of books or movies in the 1970's that attempted to be edgy and artsy. This is the type of daring story that the hippie professor in those books or movies would have have praised highly; then bedded the author. In my case it served only to make me wonder if the trend is making a comeback and if so; why?
Charlie is dead set on going to Hollywood to enter a talent contest as well as see her old high school boyfriend; now a freshman at UCLA. Since her parents feel certain she's not to be trusted her younger sister is sent along to provide a responsible voice. Well Charlie isn't the type to listen to that type of voice; particularly if it emanates from her goody two shoes little sister. In addition they are to make a stop in Texas to visit their maternal grandparents on their ranch.
This becomes a time for closeness to grow between the sisters; but also a complication for Charlie's plan when both girls find romance with ranch hands during their short stay. When they reach California things do not go at all as planned for Charlie on the personal front and ironically furthers the strengthening of the relationship between the two sisters. Charlie and her girls do the show and Charlie demonstrates that she definitely has serious talent.
This was a good story about siblings, parental pressure, and the difficulties that teenagers face in transitioning to adulthood in today's economic climate. The only questionable thing about the story are the parental attitudes exhibited by Charlie and Lucy's parents.
They seem to be at least one generation if not removed from the parents I've known for the past twenty years; more like their parents or grandparents generation. Still it's a minor point and the most part this was an excellent book on teen girls. Plus the intransigence of the girl's father gave me licence to continually remind my daughter how good she had it. This one came close to earning five stars from me; enjoy it.
Tempe Brennan heads to the Everglades and is drafted into service when human bones are found inside a dead python. This is a short novella; less than three hours and it keeps the story moving quickly; unlike many of the Bones series works which become mired in detail and make interest difficult to maintain. The events which lead up to the climatic scene strain credulity to some extent but so do a great many selections in this genre. Given the minimal cost of this audiobook it's an excellent choice.
Rachel Dratch is not surprisingly, really funny in this autobiographical work as she takes us through her life and her career as an entertainer. Her misfit youth and the poor choices she invariably makes in choosing men that evidently began in the eighth grade. She takes us through her years as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, then the years she spent learning her craft working with the Second City comedy troupe. She covers her auditions for SNL and finally getting on the classic late night show as a cast member on the third try. Like most successful comics she has the ability to turn her pain into humor. She's able to describe some painful situations in a way that come off as humorous; though at times there is pain in her voice that belies the light touch she attempts to use throughout the book. An easy way to pass five hours; a pleasant and humorous listen.
This is the fourth installment of the Raine Stockton dog mysteries. This one finds Raine starting over in a number of ways. She's finalizing her second divorce from Buck who's the new sheriff due to her uncle's heart attack. she's improving and rebuilding her dog training and kennel facilities and a there's new man in her life; even though they're not dating, really.
However a heavy rain prevents the foundation from being poured and her Golden Cisco digs up a human bone. The investigation leads to solving one very old murder, and the answer to a mass grave found in a nearby county. Plus no dogs were hurt in the writing of this book or in this audio.
My biggest problem with this selection is that it is by far the shortest audible selection I've ever used a credit to purchase. Still I don't regret using this credit to purchase this one; it's an easy satisfying listen. Even if you don't love dogs.
In the opening scene we have a lawyer answering their cell phone in court; while trying a case in court; nuff said.
After listening to Shame On You and finding it a light, fluffy humorous tongue in cheek take on the private detective genre i purchased the next two works in the series. This work of fluffy female fiction started out in the same vein but then veered off way past parody and into caricature. Caricature is certainly an excellent definition of both Paige's mother and Matt's father; too broadly defined for even a network sitcom or a Hallmark Channel movie. As was Paige's ex Andy; a whiny narcissistic excuse for a man completely lacking in testosterone.
The action scenes were once more, caricatures that played way too broadly. A mafia hit man being assaulted by a couple of old ladies with pocketbooks and canes; well sure. Not to mention Paige's mother becoming a gun happy vigilante. Then Paige is elbowed twice in the ribs and kicked in the stomach by the above mentioned hit man and thirty seconds later she is being given a "crushing" hug by Matt; not even a squeak of pain emerges from her.
There is a limit to how much belief can be suspended in the written or audio format. Those are types of scenes that can be only be conveyed effectively in a visual medium. Perhaps it was too short a time between the time I listened to the first and second book. Maybe this one aims too often for the easy laugh the scene which requires little imagination to write. For whatever reason this one fell far short of the first book in the series.
Though I've read or listened to the entire Alan Gregory series since I've never been very fond of the protagonist, or especially his wife. The fact that Sam played a larger role in this audio was a definite positive. Some of the details of Sam's life; his divorce from his wife Sherri and his relationship with his son Simon were poignant without being maudlin. The stirrings of his new relationship with Carmen rang true for me; reminiscent of relationships that have begun in the workplace. I also greatly enjoyed his travelogue focused on thanksgiving meals; as a longtime reader/listener it was so apropos of Sam that food was the centerpiece.
This book begins when a former client of Alan's Gibbs Storey shows up to tell someone that her husband is a killer. Gibbs is the type of beautiful woman that makes other beautiful women feel faded and fat so naturally Alan is immediately pulled into the middle of it. He enlists Sam's aid, and since Sam is currently on suspension and needs the money he takes it on. As per usual Alan is a whiny wienie who's condescended to by pretty much everyone else in the book. His wife Lauren Crowder's role in this one is thankfully brief and Diane is usual snarky self; as is indicated when it's revealed that her nickname for Gibbs is "The Dancing Queen" ABBA's 1970's hit.
All in all this is one of my favorite books in the Alan Gregory series.
After listening to Take Me With You by this author, perhaps my expectations were a little too high. This was a really good listening experience but I found way too much repetition in this book. Not too mention that I found nothing at all compelling about the flashback sequences that occurred prior to the sisters taking it on the run.
I found Jen extremely likable; as for Carly, it took me most of the book to get Carly. For much of the book I found that her single minded pursuit of her terribly unrealistic goal unable to get behind. The irony of her believing that she was protecting her sister by taking them back to her deceased mother's ex-boyfriend showed her level of single mindedness along with a high level of immaturity. The author's American Indian tribal creation was a nice twist to this YA novel and all of the characters from the tribe were likable without becoming caricatures instead of characters. Carly's great travel adventure leading to the book's climax was an excellent addition to the narrative.
I'm hoping that since this book was a 2013 release and Take Me With You was 2014 it indicates an upward curve in the quality of her work. This was a very nice audio; a solid 3.9 to 4.1 and I can recommend it with a few reservations but it's not Take Me With You.
Reading the critiques I'd hoped there would be a little more to this book than the average romance; a relationship of a man and a woman; searching for and finding the partner that is their destiny; the one. That portion of this audiobook was pretty good as far as that went. There were very few portions of the narrative in which I didn't like both Adam and Zoey. Though I have to say that they both seemed to have been transported fifty years ahead in time. Perhaps it's just me and the people that I know but these two have been less sexually active than everyone I know personally. I appreciated the setting and I learned several things about Hawaii that I hadn't known. The Rodriguez family is great, and though they are presented as paragons of goodness they feel realistic.
I felt as though there were some huge holes in the story and just as with many books of this type the plot was lacking. The saving grace of this book as well as this genre is that the author(s) created a lot of very likable characters; as well as a few intentionally unlikable ones.
This is an enjoyable listen if you're doing something else at the time and have the luxury of splitting your concentration or if it's part of a compromise with a feminine companion it's pretty good listen.
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