This is one of the early Matt Scudder's stories. You can tell that Lawrence Block is still working on Matt's character , but the story runs smooth with a terrific description of the New York "ambiance" . Definitively a good reading !
Matthew Scudder’ s books are not the typical detective story where a detective -the good guy- solves a mystery of a murder and gets the bad guy behind the bars and where suspense, violence and intensity are the basic ingredients of the plot. There is a bit (at times a lot) of all this in Scudder’s stories, but there is much more. Scudder is continuously in a soul-searching mode, engaged in a journey towards redemption from his demons (alcohol, bad memories, life failures). He does all this without rhetoric or drama; he is a man with a natural sense of self-reflection combined with a self-deprecating sense of humour. He is also smart, though when needed and a great at reading people behaviours.
In this particular book Scudder is asked to help solve the mystery of the death of a prosperous lawyer; a presumed killer is caught by the police, but …. Other more personal events cross Matt’s journey toward the truth and allow different levels of reflection, which the standards detective books do not usually do.
New York provides a fantastic background to the story and Joe Barret is as good as it gets.
The book is off to a great start : the reader is immediately taken into the suspense of what appears to be a very captivating story where personal passions, politics and mistery are intermingled and the main characters seem like the pieces of a grand chess game that is played in Cairo, Budapest, Washington....But little by little the readers' excitment fades away : too many characters , too many useless details and too many levels of a story too complicated . Steinhauer knows how to write : his characters are credible and you can smell the scent of Cairo when it talks about the city , but , by losing focus,he fails to maintain the right tension and the sense of purpose and loses the reader attention. By the end of the book i was no longer engaged ...and was glad it was finished.
This is the best book to-date of Don Winslow. On the background of the establishement of the first drug cartels in Mexico, Winslow moves his characters in a complex , but well laid out , story plot. Violence, deceit, love and betrayal characterise the story with a strong tension between good and evil.The book is engaging, full of emotions and addictive. Do not miss it !
The book covers most of the life of Nedra and Ivri, a middle-class suburban couple with two children. They go through life withouth true values, intimacy and any deep sense of realities. There are hopes (no true passions) and rather trivial dreams (traveling to Europe, glamour , wealth, the sexy secretary..) ; their life fades away and ends almost like a candle that has burned out in the dark. Beautifully written, but unengaging , sad and,at times , almost boring.
A number of great reviews pushed me to buy and read (or rather to "listen to") this book . What a disappointment ! The story moves along stereotypes : "our" guys are all good, corageous smart & fighting for a better world (except a couple of top CIA bureaucrats) ; "theirs" guys (the Russians) are so unbelievably stupid, mean and corrupt (except those of are willing to betray their country). Modern Russia is like URSS (the Evil Empire) , if not worse. The reader does not develop empathy for the main characters as they are lacking depth and originality ; the plot moves fast , but gets boring after a while.
On surface it sounds and looks like a Le Carré cold war novel , but it is only a pale imitation. Stay away !!
This is the darkest Matt Scudder's book of the serie so far : sex for sale, snuff films and an evil killer . New York provides a fantastic background to the story and a number of convincing and engaging characters (Elaine , Tj) accompany Matt Scudder in his journey towards the truth. Joe Barret is as good as it gets.
Another great book : Audible should make available the whole serie.
James Salter's writing is beautiful, elegant and delicate at the same time and gives you plenty of emotions . The life of the main characters is presented in a series of pictures at different times of his existence , without an excessively structured and logic connection.
We are the privileged witness of his hopes, emotions, deceptions ; we feel with him thorough 60+ years. A great book, plenty of joy and sadness, which reminds us that great literature can be great fun.
As a fervent reader of the Ian Fleming books in my early years , I have been deeply disappointed by the various attempts of different writers to re-create James Bond. This time is different. If anything , the best I can say about this book is that , at times, it really sounds like the real thing. The worse is that James Bond - as a character- comes through as a bit "depassė" with his snobbish and macho attitude and belongs to a world ( Cold War) forever gone...In any case this is good entertainment and I would certainly go for an additional " Bond by Boyd" book..
I've always considered Mike Haller the byproduct of a diversification strategy where Bosh is the 'core business' ( and the best of all) , while books centered around other characters have the objective to sort of "give a break" to Mike Connelly and let him write without having to consistently reinvent great Bosh stories. This book sets for me a new paradigm; the character of Haller is now maturing , taking a shape and role that stand out on their own ( who cares anymore if he is Bosh half-brother ?). The story plot is as good as it gets, the different characters -including the recurring cast around Mike Haller- engaging and forceful and the reader/listener is hooked to the book from the very beginning.
The Gods of guilt is a great book and makes me - for the first time- look forward to the next Haller story....
I am an avid reader of the Bernie Gunther saga ( by Philip Kerr) which takes mostly place in the pre-war Nazi Germany. Same atmosphere , same background as in Zoo Station, but all this is depicted with a brilliance that David Downing sadly lacks. While Philip Kerr can leverage on this extremely dramatic environment to add intensity and force to the story plot, Downing writes a mousy story set out in a depressing background.
Looking forward the next Bernie's book.....
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