I read this book 20 years ago, and it opened my eyes to the allusion of history as truth. Ever since, I have been doubtful that the Shakespearian view of Richard III had much merit. And while the storyline is pedantic and kind of slow moving, Derek Jacobi's inflections, varied accents, and characterizations pumped real life into the plot. I laughed out loud at some of the exchanges between characters, because he made them so entertaining. Altogether, an audio experience worth the purchase.
There are a bunch of things I loved about this book. In my world, that doesn't happen unless the characters are fully developed (their behavior "rings true"), the story is original and unpredictable, the dialogue is rich and honest, and the narrator is skilled. All of that is true here. Best of all, I live in Tucson, AZ where a great deal of this novel is set, and this author has made the culture and feel of Tucson an integral part of the story. Tucson and the southwest are not just a setting here -- they are a central character in the author's tale. I have to admit that I almost did not buy this book because of reviews that called it "grim and hate filled". I didn't get that at all -- in fact, I found myself laughing out loud at some of the exchanges between the main character (Rodeo) and his best friend. The author's characters are not one dimensional sketches -- I felt like I knew these people. Please -- buy the book, so CB McKenzie will write more, and I can hear more about Rodeo Grace Garnet.
I have been looking for a new series, and may have found it with William Kent Krueger's first Cork O'Connor book. The story is strong, and the prose terse and quiet in their descriptions of the Native American culture, and the narrator does an excellent job. But the thing that sold me was the characters -- they emerge fully formed, complex and interesting. I never expect that in a first book. I am off to purchase book #2 now....
If you like the Joanna Brady series, this book is pretty satisfying. It has all the family stresses combined with Joanna's struggles with being female and running the department. One of the reasons I like this series so much, is it is set in Southern Arizona where I live. So the places mentioned and used in the story are familiar -- I've been to most of them. That's why C.J. Critt's mispronouncing "Ft Hauchucha" as "Fort Wah-HACK-A" instead of "Fort Wah-CHOO-Ka" throughout the book bothered me so much. I tried really hard not to wince everytime she said it, but couldn't shake it...
This is one of the best "first in a series" books I have read in a long time. The plot, involving the murder of a young girl, and the subplot (the disappearance of two children years before) is set against the backdrop of a murder squad and the rich texture of Ireland. Characters are fully developed, complex, surprising, and Steven Crossley's narration is flawless. I finished this book 10 minutes ago, and am writing a quick review so I can purchase, download, and start book 2. Kudos to Tana French!!
I really liked the first book in this series, and was looking forward to this one. While the characters, small western town setting, narrator and writing is good, the charm of the first book was missing for me.The last third of the novel has characters traveling through a nightmare of trash tunnels in what can only be described as a hoarder's Taj Mahal. While I understand the Vietnam reference, and the skill with which this is presented, I thought the the story line was buried by the author's drive to show us the bravery, skills, trauma, and horror experienced by US soldiers who served as "tunnel rats" in Vietnam. It is an important topic, but completely overpowered the plot for me. Frankly, it was all a bit too unbelievable and claustrophobic, and I just wanted the book to end. BUT, I am not giving up on this series. The first was so good, and the characters are so strong, I plan to purchase the next in the series hoping this one is the exception.
I suppose I have Longmire on the brain because I have just finished that series (and it was worth every second). Just as in Longmire, I fell in love with these characters pretty quickly, as well as the small town constable's interactions with people he has known all of his life. The relationship between grandpa and Top is charming, and reminiscent of "To Kill a Mockingbird", partly because some of the narrative is told from Top's side, and partly because they're so damned likeable. The author does a nice job of evoking and integrating the tempo, issues, music and views of the early 1960s, and the insidious effects serving in the Vietnam conflict had on the lives of the young men sent there, and the small towns where they returned after they served. The mystery is a good one, with twists and turns, and false starts that mislead the listener. This was altogether worth the read, and I will be buying the next in the series.
I am sorry that this last book in the series is the first I have read. It has all the elements of a good mystery - twists and turns, interesting characters, and it is well paced. But the standout feature is Mr. Cannell's iconic used of words and language to describe characters and situations. The only other mystery author I have read who could make me laugh out loud with delight at their turn of a phrase was Dashiell Hammett ("A bullet kissed the door jam by my cheek."). The narration is perfect, and this book is worth the listen. Loved it.
A woman is missing and her husband reports it to the police. She could be dead, or she could have run away. It's all first person narrative. First her view, then his, then hers, then his, to the end. Sometimes the same events told from different perspectives, sometimes the story continued from a different perspective. And as the plot unravels, first he is guilty, then not, then he is, then he's not.... it twirls and turns a dozen times.And (this is a tribute to the writer), I hated BOTH of them. To recap what one of the characters says in the book, these two are the most screwed up people ever, and they deserve each other.
The book is well written, and well presented. It certainly held my attention. I don't want a sequel. I didn't like either of them enough to hear any more about them.
I decided to buy this because I have enjoyed reading a couple of Robert Parker's books, and I really enjoyed the Jesse Stone TV movies. And while the story was certainly ok, and the dialogue had the same dryly sarcastic wit I enjoyed in the movies, I found the narrator's singsong cadence, pacing and overall performance annoying and distracting. My pet peeve is that he would go directly from one scene to another without a pause or breath, so the listener (me) got lost a lot. I managed to make it to the end of the book, but I won't be buying any more books narrated by Robert Forster...
I have just finished Dan Brown's newest book, Inferno, and can't tell you it was worth the time I spent slogging through it. The best I can say is that Paul Michael does a good job narrating this sad, formulaic, trip down the same road traveled in Brown's prior books. This time Robert Langdon wakes up in hospital with amnesia, meets a beautiful woman-with-whom-he-does-not-get-involved, immediately witnesses a murder, and goes on the run with her to escape from people trying to kill him while he pursues the symbolism in Dante's Inferno to save the world from a deadly virus created by a madman. The reader is treated to the same "lectures about things the world has not understood" -- this time about Dante, Florence, vector viruses, and overpopulation of the world. Brown's writing style is sloppy, and (remarkably) Robert Langdon remains under-developed and again appears as a "I have no life or personality" character who is marginally affected by the remarkable situations and events in the plot. I recommend you skip this one...
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