I'd been waiting for a new Dismas Hardy novel from John Lescroart for too long a time, and when I saw this one available here on Audible.com, I jumped right on it. All I can say is it was a big let down. Only mildly entertaining. Unresolved plot elements. Weak and/or unlikeable characters (even my old time favorites). Brittany was a shallow, empty-headed bimbo till the end. And Tony... this jerk was a totally unnecessary distraction. I fail to see the purpose of his undeveloped character. I know he was a hit man, but was he really an ex-cop? Does it matter? Abe and Dismas were thin self-interested shadows of their former selves. I still don't know who killed Jessup. The reader is to believe it was probably/possibly the sex-trade guy and the county supervisor, but that red herring went nowhere. Thank goodness David Colacci was reading; otherwise this would have been a big "zero". This was not one of Lescroart's best efforts. Felt more like an outline of a possible novel.
I advise anyone who really cares to read this book on the printed page where it won't be polluted by Dick Hill's intrusive and cloying narration. I tried to listen, but a giving up because I can't bear another minute of Hill.
This book would have been much more enjoyable if two of its characters had been eliminated, or at least minimized or viewed differently by the protagonist. The adoration of his cheesy, shallow, bimbo wife Gina, and of his beloved "city", San Diego, were a little hard for me to take. I call San Diego a character because the author used it as such in the book. Come on, SD may be big for a small town, but that's really all it is. There is a blandness to the book's setting that I don't feel when I read books based in LA, SF, NY, or other major cities. And Gina - she should have been dumped her in the beginning of the book. Robbie's constant attempts at pleasing her with expensive trinkets made him look like a fool. Actually, there seemed to be too much babble throughout the book about expensive toys. I don't think I'll read anything more by TJ Parker.
The book was well performed by the excellent narrator, David Colacci.
This book comes across more like a Harlequin Romance than a crime/mystery novel.
A little too affected,,, too cute for my tastes.
I'm only a short way into it, but I'm desperately looking for a real-life/live character. Everyone in the book is just too cartoonish, stereo-typed... characters, not people.
Too many brand names and designer labels.
And I'm not convinced the coffee information comes from anything other than book research.
Don't think I'll be reading anything else in the series.
Three stars is a little generous, but two would be too low.
Really enjoyed this one. It was a great listen. I've read some other Lashner books, but have stuck to paper versions since Marked Man is the only Lashner book Audible offers that is read by Richard Rohan. I sampled the other books on Audible, but couldn't get with any of the other narrators.
I have listened to this one more than once and it never fails to entertain. Good humor, good story; an off-beat, and good mystery. I recommend it.
Enjoyed the humor in this one. Good characters, interesting story. I kind of felt this was more of a Danny Boyle mystery than a John Ceepak tale, but that's really not a good or bad thing. I found the book similar in style and mood to other crime novels set in his region of the country, I was somewhat reminded of William Lashner's "Marked Man". Interesting... one reviewer complained about the author's "political sniping" If there was any of this going on, it was mild (and somewhat refreshing) and there were very few instances of it anyway. I can always enjoy a little poke at the right. If the author was truly political, he's have crucified Donald Trump. I'll read more by this author as long as the same narrator does the reading.
I almost stopped listening before the end of this silly, unbelievable exercise full of cookie-cutter characters and poorly strung together clichés. I'm glad I only paid a buck of so for this sample of Gardner's work. I'll know better than wasting a credit or any money on anything else she has written. It read like a very bad TV show from the past. Like she gathered together a hat-full of plot elements and ideas, picked out a few, and pieced them together in an attempt to form a unified whole.
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...but much better when Dick Hill is not the narrator. It would be great if Len Cariou would re-read all the books that were read by Hill.
Typical Pynchon. Complex, darkly funny, intelligent, wonderful prose... Can't say how happy I am that this book WASN'T read by Dick Hill.
I see that he reads "Against The Day", and for that reason I will not buy that one.
For me, Hill's irritating voice and inability to keep his own interpretation of the books he reads out of his narrations is reason enough not to buy.
This book was a more than a little over-the-top. I don't believe for one minute that any police agency would go to such lengths to solve a simple case of murder. The under cover thing was just not believable on many levels. In fact the entire book (plot and characters) made it difficult to suspend any sort of disbelief. I really didn't like or care about any of the characters in this book. It wasn't horrible, though. That's why I tried a second Tana French book - "Broken Harbor". I got it because of the stellar reviews and found it to be one of the worst mystery/crime novels I've ever read. What a mistake and waste of money.If "Likeness" was over-the-top, Harbor was in outer space. And... all but one, or maybe two of the characters were absolutely detestable - especially the protagonist. I'm through with Tana French - I think she's overrated and not really that skilled as a writer. As dark as she tries to be, her stories and introspective characters end up being laughable at best.
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