I love John Sandford's books. I especially like the ones featuring Virgil Flowers but I also enjoy the Lucas Davenport series (especially the ones written in the past 10 - 12 years). The problem with "Easy Prey" is that the plot is all over the place, the murderer isn't really introduced until the last 25 - 50 pages, the motivation is contrived (even for a genre novel) and then there are the WOMEN. One of them is Weather, who, imo, is an attractive character with flaws - in other words, realistic and appealing. Then there is a woman who is intrinsic to the plot and since Weather and Lucas are broken up why shouldn't he have a little fling? But the third woman is just added weight - she's boring and tiresome and I did not for a second buy into the attraction Lucas supposedly has for her. In short, I think there are way better Sandford books available on Audible (I give 5 stars to ALL the Virgil Flowers books) and I recommend choosing one of them and passing on “Easy Prey”.
I like Katherine Kellgren, I really do, but jeez enough with the Inspector Clouseau accent! I started out enjoying this light, comedic, mystery but half way through I was ready to throw my iPod out the window of my car.
* Mild spoiler alert* In addition to the ridiculous French accent I also started to get exasperated with the fact that Georgie’s societal position did not hold any weight with French law enforcement. It seems silly to criticize plot realism (or lack thereof) in this type of novel but really, not only is she the daughter of a duke, great granddaughter of Queen Victoria and on an errand for the current queen of England but she’s dating, or at least under the aegis of a rich French marquise. No way would any provincial detective arrest her. I’m willing to suspend belief for any mystery, let alone for this frothy series but there are limits. Apparently Rhys Bowen and Katherine Kellgren don’t think so.
I'm probably going to sound dumb for saying this but I wish I had known this was juvenile lit. I really enjoyed it - both the story and the narration - but I had no idea the intended audience was adolescents (or maybe younger?). I have asked Audible to clearly label the age category of their selections because this has happened to me a number of times now. That's what they do in libraries and I don't think it's asking too much.
Having said that, I do recommend this pick to just about everyone. I think children would probably thrill more to the central character's bucking of conventions. It reminded me of Pippi Longstocking in that respect. I remember loving her just because she was a kid who lived without any adult supervision (this was back in the day before latchkey kids had been "invented") and she also had tons of money. The adventures that Artemis experiences are creative and the narrator is spot on. Fun book.
This is the middle book in a trilogy that essentially is about the miscarriage of justice. The "whodunit" aspect of the book is good but Mina's ability to portray a culture, which I believe, is Scotland in the eighties or early nineties is outstanding. Mina never mentions the year in which the action takes place so the reader picks the era up from the politics and social behaviors she portrays. Since I’ve never been to Scotland I don’t know how faithful she is to the time and place, but if this book is accurate I would say that Scotland is about 30 years behind the U.S. when it comes to women’s status. This is one of the reason I love the main character, Paddy Meehan, who is a pushy, opinionated, witty and totally lovable female trying to make it in the solidly male field of journalism.
I thought the narrator did an excellent job – the dialogues were easy to follow which I guess must be an indication that the voices are varied. The narration never detracts from the story, which for me is the bottom line.
One criticism I have is that I don’t think there’s ever a good reason to abridge a 350-page book; it always negatively affects the storyline. I had already read all three books of this trilogy so it didn’t impact my enjoyment so much but I really don’t understand any benefits derived from abridgement. Invariably details are left out that help tie things up, especially in the mystery genre.
I do recommend reading or listening to all three books in the order they were written to avoid unnecessary confusion but I don’t think the sequence is mandatory for enjoyment of the stories. I actually read “The Dead Hour” first instead of “Field of Blood”.
I recommend this and all of Denise Mina’s books. I wish audible offered all her novels in the unabridged form.
Wow I can't believe this book has merited such high ratings. I had to stop listening to "Murder One" about an hour into it because I found the narration so annoying. Then I checked it out from the library and found it so suspenseful on the written page that I didn't want to put it down so I listened to it parts of it on my commute to work. My criticism of the audiobook is the narrator sounds ridiculous when he does female voices – like a man pretending to be a woman in a comedy sketch. Worse than that is all the black characters sound fresh from the plantation – even a highly educated man raised in a wealthy family in northern California.
The story however definitely held my interest so I would recommend reading rather than listening to this thriller.
I selected this book years ago on the strength of the overall rating and reviews and unlike other books selected for these reasons I was not disappointed in the least. I love the story and the narrators are excellent although at times Nakasone sounds a little stilted when I think she's going for stylized. At any rate that’s the reason I only gave the narration four stars. Honestly though, the narration is much better than some I’ve listened to.
George Martin has the talent to be an excellent fantasy novelist. He definitely has the cliffhanger thing down. The problem is that this is fantasy and as such should not be a completely nihilistic exercise. If just once and awhile he let one of the "good guys" win I would have happily given this audiobook 5 stars. So if you're okay with evil triumphing while the well-intentioned characters suffer unbelievably horrible torture and deprivation than this is the book for you.
Also it annoys me that Audible charges two credits.
Robert Crais is one of my favorite writers of detective fiction and LA Requiem is one of my favorite books of his. I love the Joe Pike character and this story gives some essential background on him that explains a lot about his temperament. The problem with this audio book is the narrator. He was so bad that at several points in the book I actually cringed at his portrayal of characters. I read a previous review that mentioned they heard a version of this book with Ron McLarty narrating and I heartily wish Audible had chosen that version.
I realize that Deanna Raybourn is not up there with Virginia Woolf but I love her Lady Jane Grey mysteries. I guess they are published by Harlequin but while they have a love story angle they are definitely not a poor woman's porno like some books in the romantic genre. Raybourn does a good plot, her characters are richly drawn and very appealing (or hateful as the case may be or the story calls for) and she has a witty, tongue in cheek style.
I'm amazed at the comments criticizing Ellen Archer. For me she strikes just the right note for these stories. I believe that at one time a different narrator was tried for one or two of this series but there must have been a big outcry because they redid them with Ellen Archer which I found a big relief. I would be very sad if they tried to replace her again.
I highly recommend this book - it was thrilling and well written. I have listened to at least two hundred audio books. My favorite audio book download ever is "Restless" by William Boyd. The books have different narrators and they're both excellent. I read a previous review of this book and I have to disagree that things were left hanging. I think Boyd did a very clever and realistic job of wrapping the plot pieces up.
I wish Audible would get "Brazzaville Beach" by this author.
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