Kudos to McKinty for crafting another deeply interesting, informative novel populated with genuine characters who move through life just as emotionally flawed as the mere mortals who are reading about them. Gerard Doyle's narration is the perfect complement to a terrific story.
As I visited several family graves over Memorial Day, I couldn't help thinking about this charming book. I wondered what my deceased family members thought about the new neighbors they acquired throughout the last year! I don't know if it was the appeal of the innocence of youth, the history lessons, or just my desire to belief that we continue to exist even after death--I loved this book!
I thought my birthday came early when I found that McKinty's latest novel was available. I've listened to all four of his previous novels at least twice each and find his style riveting, combining keen observations of human nature with humor and spare, riveting prose. I was intrigued with his switch from main characters who are Irish to Cuban, but anticipated learning about Cuban culture while enjoying a great story. However, I think I'll have to order the print version of this book in order to make my way through it. The story line keeps drawing me back, but the narration is such a distraction! Instead of staying up all night to get to the end, I can only take this book in short spurts. It bothers me that a great female character is essentially ruined by clumsy, and at times condescending, narration.
If you think you need ham-handed instruction on the virtues of feminism, the perils of the internet, the dangers of text-messaging, the ravages of divorce, the consequences of bad parenting, the social cost of war, the plight of the homeless, and the tragedy of pedophilia and incest, this is the book for you!
As a big fan of JA Jance, I really wanted to like this book, but I found myself getting more and more irritated with this credibility-stretching soapbox. From the irrelevant details about each character's vehicle to the inclusion of seemingly every Dr. Phil-esqe social ill, the book comes off as a more of an extended sermon than a suspense novel.
I also think Jance would be better served sticking with her historically excellent law enforcement main characters rather than a citizen crime fighter. I'm not in law enforcement, but I cringed at the main character's penchant for investigating suspects and interviewing witnesses and criminals. I kept thinking that in real life, "Ali" (if she weren't killed or arrested first) would be a defense attorney's dream come true.
I also take issue with the dream-world of information made available to the main character simple by having a connection to the internet. Much of the details she finds but simply "surfing the net" in reality would require lots of legwork and legal authority.
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