Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
Surely 2013's worst news for followers of the Alan Gregory series was that author Stephen White is pulling the plug. There's a couple more in the pipeline, but the 20th book will be the last.
I've loved this series. There hasn't been a bad book in the lot -- some have been marginally better, some not quite as satisfying, but every installment has delivered plenty of intriguing characters, fascinating stories, white knuckle moments and as always, any number of laugh out loud lines. As soon as I heard the series was ended, I began buying the audio versions of the books -- I've had, and have read, all the paper versions as they came out, but now I also wanted to enjoy the audio books, all of which are read by the incredible Dick Hill, one of the finest and most professional of the narrator crowd. You won't hear any mispronounced words or place names from Dick Hill! He's perfection personified.
All in all, 'Blinded' was a superb production. Before I 'met' Alan Gregory and his wife Lauren, I didn't know anything at all about Multiple Sclerosis -- thank Gd, I didn't know anything about it -- so I've always been fascinated by the details of this terrible disease, as Lauren's struggles with it ebb and flow. There's a lot of that in 'Blinded', as Lauren's 'brain mud' worsens and her condition takes its toll on the whole family. I love Emily the Bouvier, I love Sam Purdy -- love the Minnesota accent done just fine by Dick Hill, love Purdy's homespun wisdom, his forthright sense of justice and fair play. He plays a big part in this book, too. Dr. Diane Esteves, Gregory's partner, plays a lesser role, but she scores several of the belly laugh lines -- no spoiler, but a running joke throughout has to do with having an axe in the head. (You'll have to listen to it, you really will...)
And of course I love the wacky characters -- the clients who come to Dr. Gregory with their issues. There's plenty of those in this book, too. I noticed that a couple book reviewers said the story line was "predictable" -- but once again, I sure as heck didn't predict that ending. I suppose almost every book in a fictional detective series is predictable, in some sense -- you can predict that the main character will survive to fight another day. That said, I can't imagine that many people figured this one out in advance. But even if they had, in these books, it's the journey that's fun, not the arrival at the destination.
'Blinded' is a worthy entry in the Alan Gregory chronicles. I have no doubt that over the years, I'll listen to this one again and again.
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