As much as I wanted to like this (I do generally really like hard-boiled police and detective books), I finally could not stand what seemed like stupid and gratuitously graffic sex scenes. This is not a case of me being unwilling to hear bad news (that women have often been used just as props, objects of male sexual fantasy etc.) but...it just became unbelievable.
While the performance and world building are good, the exuberant sexism finally wore me down. When our protagonist, the ghost of a car thief, asserts that prostitution will always be *necessary* "as long as women withhold sex" and the ghost of a nun who ran a shelter for battered sex-workers for 30 years, agrees with his analysis of *the* cause of prostitution, I ground my teeth, sighed and deleted the book.
It's one thing for our ignorant, young former car thief to hold, well, ignorant opinions. And he does. Hold many. However, often those same opinions are challenged by the behaviors or conversations of characters whom we respect and our young car thief thinks again. The crude sexist opinions he spouts about women, relationships with women, what women are good for, etc. seem to be impervious to other information. The lecture about prostitution was simply the last straw.
This is probably just about me - but after a few hours of listening to fabulous narration, I just could not *take* the aggressive and hate-filled interactions between characters or directed towards the protagonist. It simply was not worth it.
I think the writer holds some promise and others may find this grim world tolerable. Not for me.
This book rises well above the usual examples of the genre: historical fiction. The details of daily life in London have the feel of authenticity especially when delivered by the ever excellent Simon Vance. I did finally give up about 4 hours from the end because I just could not take any more "laying of pipe" - exposition - even when delivered by Vance. Should Mr. Holsinger continue to write fiction it is my hope his skills will grow beyond the traps of the neophyte.
I love Elmore Leonard. I've read most of his non-westerns. I also usually like George Guidall (He is excellent in the Walt Longmire books. Also liked his narration of the "hot kid" series from Leonard). However here he is just, well, boring and annoying. He is not, imho, the right narrator for Leonard's urban novels. If only with the incomparable Frank Muller had recorded *everything* Leonard wrote.
Martin Cruz Smith at the top of his game and the incomparable Frank Muller: what could be better. ( Muller is, IMHO, the greatest narrator. If you can find it listen to his performances of anything by le Carre', especially the "Smiley" cycle. And get his performance of "Motherless Brooklyn"; he is perfection.) The story of Renko, disgraced Moscow investigator working on the "slime line" of a Russian fish trawler is wonderfully claustrophobic and yet expansive. I can't recommend this book enough.
I was very taken with the first two titles in this series. However, I have gotten progressively less interested. Don't really know why other than it being sort of the same story over and over. The narration is, as usual with Ms. Entwistle, perfection.
As much as I love the Prey series, this is not one of my favorites. If I could give it 3 & 1/2 stars I would.
The graphic sexual brutality inflicted on Andy Minette, the adult victim, was very hard for me to listen to. I ended up fast-forwarding through much of it. This is not so much a criticism as a heads-up.
I have read and listened to all the books in the series and am now working my way from beginning to end; so you can see I am a fan.
I felt as though I were attending a lecture. I purchased the book based on a recommendation from a friend who was reading a print version. So, perhaps the hard copy would have worked better for me. I just found the book and naration stiff and dreary without being exciting or particularly interesting.
I've hung in there for about 5 chapters. I really wanted to like this book. I tend to enjoy humorous crime fiction. I just got bored and found myself being reluctant to turn the book back on.
The primary problem is characters which are entirely 2 dimensional. That may asking a lot of a book such as this or it may be that as Garbenstein wrote more he got better. Jeff Woodman's naration was fine.
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