I downloaded this book after I'd already read it, so I can't comment on the narration.
This is an excellent mystery/police procedural/thriller/whodunit. A little of each, in just the right proportions. Clever plot twists, revolving selection of whodunit options - I was way off base pretty much along the way. Worth the time.
I've read or listened to several books in this series and have enjoyed them. I like the Whitefield character, and the story lines are entertaining.
That said, this one's a bit too long and drawn out. Jane manages to travel cross country repeatedly, seemingly oblivious to the time required to undertake this travel. She knows lowlifes wherever she goes and travels as easily among this crowd as she does as the wife of a doctor in Buffalo. I keep mumbling to myself, "yeah, right." Money seems not to be a problem - sure, it's explained, but still - and no obstacle is too big or small. Need to get a spot in a retirement community in a day. No prob. Need a furnished apartment overlooking the house of some lowlife she needs to keep an eye on. Sure thing. Need to enlist the help of a friend to undertake dangerous actions? When do we start? You get the idea.
Entertaining, in the long run, but you really have to suspend your disbelief.
I wasn't going to write a review until I read one of the one-star reviews. Clearly that reviewer and I read different books (though, to be fair, I'm only about 2/3 through it at the moment).
This has to be one of King's most ambitious novels yet - part yarn, part mystery, part character study, part supernatural, part horror (complete with burning pumpkins), part political commentary. In short, something for everyone, and, while you may feel it drags at times - after all, it's almost 35 hours - you won't be bored.
I've been particularly struck by the political commentary component, and I'd like to think that even the most conservative of readers will be taken aback by the very obvious political power grab that King has his Conservative (capital C) antagonist take when the town of Chester's Mill is cut off from the rest of the world by the dome. For those with something of an open mind, there are lessons to be learned (lessons others have learned, perhaps, in elementary school, but better late than never).
One reviewer has been critical of the narrator's accents. I think we can cut Raul Esparza a bit of a break. There are probably hundreds of "speaking roles," and keeping them all straight, and distinctive, has to be an incredible challenge. That said, he really does capture the New England accents well (one sign, for this New England resident at least, is that my blood curdles when I hear some of them). Some accents are a bit out of whack, including the primary protagonist, but, again, I'm happy to cut Mr. Esparza a break.
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