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 !
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.....
Few writers can capture the spirit of the second world war , describe characters and atmosphere like Alan Furst. However at times -and this happens too often in this book- he lets the story plot wander without direction, gets lost in useless details (three minutes to describe the content of the library of a minor character without any relevance in the actual development of events) and goes on and on without getting anywhere. My hearth bleeds , but this time, no matter how much i usually like his books , i have to give him a rating of two stars.
I know am biased : i am firmly convinced that Lawrence Block's Matthew series lays on the the top of the thrillers stories of the past 30 years . I've read all the books in "real time" (i.e. when they were first published) and now i've the pleasure to discover them in an audio format. The books have not aged a bit as Matt Scudder's stories provide what one expects from a great thriller : an intriguing and tense plot, engaging characters , great atmosphere and a tension that builds up as you turn the pages . They are well written , captivating and make you feel a great empathy with the lonely hero , Matt Scudder.
Do not miss it !
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