The frequent preposterous plot devices left me saying, "Oh, come on!" However, the book is very well narrated; Paul Michael's accents and character voices are very enjoyable.
I am not a Christian and avoid anything labeled as a Christian novel. However, I purchased Frank Peretti's "The Visitation" and downloaded it before discovering that it was of that genre. Having already bought it, I figured I'd give it a try fully expecting to be disappointed and quitting it early on.
I was wrong! This is a well-written and excellently read suspense novel. Not the edge-of-your-seat variety but nonetheless a truly interesting story. You don't need to believe in God and Satan to appreciate the mystery of "The Visitation". After all, I certainly don't believe in vampires, but I enjoyed "Dracula". And Peretti is not the least bit preachy. This is a good listen and I unreservedly recommend it.
Coben has written a solid, tense thriller and Brick provides his usual superb reading skills. However, Paul Copeland, the protagonist, is such a sanctimonious prig that I found my growing dislike for him to be detracting from the pleasure of the listen. By the finale, I admit, that he did bend a little, but it was too little and too late. He was a most unpleasant character. The problem is that he wasn't an anti-hero, and he certainly was no hero. He was just unlikeable.
Nonetheless, I was captured by the plot and by Brick's timing. I couldn't wait to get back to it; the Audible version of a page-turner. I recommend it for fans of suspense.
I generally prefer my audiobooks in their unabridged versions. This abridgement of "Isolation Ward' strongly reinforces my bias. A book is well abridged when one is unaware that it has been shortened. In this case, one is all too painfully aware of its abridged nature. It is a choppy and sloppy job. I wish I had opted for the unabridged version because the plot is interesting and the characters may well be, but you wouldn't know it from listening to this hack job.
This did keep me coming back for more in spite of the poor research, implausible plotting, and an unimaginative ending. Gardner gets a bit wrapped up in trying to induce twists and, like many wannabe suspense writers, she ends up ruining what could have been a really good yarn. There's just no way her detectives could be that dumb! For example, they're in Richmond, VA and they need an expert botanist. Unfortunately, the nearest government expert is two hours away. These dolts, supposedly an experienced detective and an FBI novitiate, don't think to check with the local university! There are far too many plot weaknesses like this to make the book really enjoyable. I'd recommend you look elsewhere for your thrills.
A wonderful bit of prose. My wife and I found this story to be heart warming and charming. It is reminiscent of Tom Bodet's "The End of the Road" or Andy Griffith's Mayberry. A thoroughly enjoyable small town story. Highly recommended!
One is not expecting great literature within this genre. However, as a fan of suspenseful thrillers, I do expect the author to build the suspense honestly, without resorting to the Hollywood style contrivances that Child finds necessary in this book. A good idea, and the science is okay, but the plotting is, at too many times, plodding. There are too many good thrillers to recommend this book.
Very objective description of the similarities and differences among the three monotheistic religions.
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