Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
Probably not a good time for me to listen to this one -- with three friends/family members suffering end-stage diseases, it hit a little too close to home. I couldn't help seeing them, and all of us, in the pages of this flawed "thriller". (I suggest reader caution for anyone in similar circumstances. This one is too much for any of us anticipating loss.)
It didn't start well. It took me the first four hours to finally come to the conclusion that Dr. Alan Gregory was not going to make more than a walk-on performance. I'd picked this book specifically because I like the Gregory books -- I was looking forward to more chapters about Alan, Lauren, Sam Purdy and even Emily. None of that happened, so I was disappointed from the beginning.
Even after I'd adjusted to the fact that this was just going to be a run of the mill novel, I was grinding my teeth. Tell you what: keep count of the number of times the wealth of the people involved is stated, emphasized, referred to, then restated and restated again. Get someone to pay you a dollar for each "wealth" reference, and you could retire -- or hire someone to kill you, if you'd prefer. After all, who wants to continue living as a senior citizen? All the thrills in life are gone -- no more "heli" skiing, deep sea dives, nothing left to live for.
But here we have a protagonist who loves his family so much that in his dying days -- he's a dead duck, one way or another -- he engages in a cross-country search for his prodigal teenage son, a young man he never knew existed until a few months prior. Leaving his long suffering wife and biological child behind, he takes his lover along -- one of his intended killers. Wow, what a man, huh? What compassion!
Other than the fact that in the last half of the book he spends his time trying to outwit the killers he himself hired, there's not much thrill here, only depression. Each event -- driving on a road, eating a food -- he regards as his last, all the while carrying on about the upcoming loss of his family, even as he leaves them alone, time and time again.
I dunno -- I didn't like this book. Part of it is just me, I admit that. But another part is that I think it's a flawed concept, carried out by a marginally disgusting protagonist who keeps insisting that he's doing it all for his family, but clearly is doing nothing but satisfying himself. Feh. Next time? I'll be sure I'm getting a book that will continue the saga of Emily the Bouvier instead of an incredibly wealthy -- -- playboy weeping into his imported bottled water.
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