I am a long time fan of Myron Bolitar and company. I even went so far, years ago before the series went HUGE, to email Harlan Coben a "fan letter" (I still have the reply saved in my account) and I'm on his email newsletter.
With all that as a background, I am sorry to say that this installment was disappointing--a first for any Coben books.
I expect to give up a hold on reality whenever reading mysteries but Coben is requiring too much in this one. The additional international political plotting is just ludicrous and seems to be thrown on at the last minute. I have never been a fan of this particular girlfriend (Terese) and, frankly, her whiney behavior in this installment reminds me why--"Myron, Myron, oh please help me." Whatever.
The reader is not bad; however, I have read AND listened to every other book in the series (hence, long time fan) and Weber's voices for Win and Esperanza are by far the worst and that doesn't help an already weak book.
Skip this and go to the older Bolitar's or some of Coben's stand alones.
Like all Bolitar fans, I eagerly await his next novel. I'm hoping better luck next time.
First, and quickly, about the new narrator. Like everyone, I was shocked when there was a change. However, I found the narration to be well done. The major difference is that the old Harry was kind of sad while the newer one seems more confused. Considering he has just died in this book, I think it works well.
I lucked into the Dresden Files by mistake. Now, I calendar the release date for each new installment. "Ghost Story" carries on the excellent story telling of Jim Butcher.
As odd as it sounds, with Harry being dead, this book is a little less dark than some of the recent ones. We discover, as does Harry, how the other side sees our world. And it is, at times, funny in a way that only the Dresden Files can do "funny as dead". The characters are the same but there is a shift in who takes the lead with Butters and Molly (and a couple of new ones) having significant roles.
I don't do synopsis of a book because you can get that anywhere and because I don't like spoilers.
As a ghost, Harry has to contend with not being able to be seen or heard, an inability to touch or be touch, and the usual evil-ness that seems to inhabit the areas near him. Because the characters have changed, even in the 6-month-book-world of "Ghost Story", the series MUST be read in order to get full enjoyment.
And, as always, Butcher ends with a cliffhanger, not a cheesy old Saturday serial one, but one that lets him segue into the next book.
There is so much that can be said about the Dresden Files, but only one thing matters. You need to read them.
I have NEVER complained about a reader--especially if the book is good. Unfortunately, Gabra Zackman's reading ruined what was already a not-very-good-book. Her characterizations are horrible (her accents deserve minus stars alone) and it is often impossible to tell which character (and, sometimes, if the character is a male or female) is speaking. For the first time in the 30+ years I have been listening to audiobooks, I will make a note of a reader to totally avoid.
Of course, the fact that the book wasn't very good doesn't help: our heroine's sister's lousy husband is murdered; our heroine's sister is accused; other dirt about lousy husband comes out; other people killed; sex in kitchen; killer caught; everyone lives happily ever after. And, during this cliche novel, we get a stereotypical Jewish mother and a lead female straight out of the 1950's screwball comedy--she's strong enough to live alone, write mysteries, and have a nice 401k, but can't stand up to her sister, her mother, or even her 18 month old nephew. Glad I got this one on sale because won't be buying another.
Stay away and use your credits or cash more wisely.
This is a typical, Crewel World mystery--ever growing regular characters, not particularly strong one-time only characters (including the killer) and really interesting information on needlework.
Only complaint? Don't like the reader. Not really sure why. It's mainly her voice for Betsy (our hero)--it's flat and low and not very interesting.
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