With no prior knowledge of this author or narrator, the story sounded like it could be interesting, I was hoping it didn't wallow in self pity. Well, there were times I laughed hard enough to get the hiccups. A few times I was wheezing and speechless. Some characters were a bit short on, well, character. But it was very funny, the way things are when they hit so near the mark. If you want a Summer Read, even in the depths of winter, get this one!
After starting this book, I stopped to check on the original publication date because it seemed so "dated". Some things, like the jargon, were almost 30's or 40's, except not really. It turns out it was published in the 1960's, but some of the terms would have been laughable even then.
The story POV is a bit odd, it took a while to adjust to it. He is a "bad guy." A villain. I suppose he is supposed to be more acceptable because he doesn't kill people unless it's necessary. But he decides who dies based on his own criteria and that seems to be whether or not he'll get caught for it. He is a cold calculating killer any time he thinks it's convenient. Oh, he is no James Bond, I wouldn't say he has style, I would put him more in the category of "The Bad Seed." There is no conscience, apparently never had one.
The scariest thing is probably that his decisions are odd. The author has written him as a machine, not much of a character really. In fact, in some ways he's an idiot. OK, let's say a moron with calculating abilities base on experience participating in crimes.
I have read some of the other Reacher books, but this one is my favorite...so far. This one seemed more balanced, fleshed out, than most of the others. If you read Reacher novels for blood and guts, you'll find this one has more about the story and the characters than usual. That's what makes a classic. I think this one is going to last.
Maybe I'm just getting better about "suspending disbelief" that there could be anyone as unreal as Reacher, but I think the author made him more real in this one than in the others. He was more human and less a cipher.
So were the other characters. I've lived in west Texas, and I've met some of these people, and the climate. You really can tell when a storm is building, even if it takes a couple of days to get there, and you can especially smell the rain before it hits. It's the most amazing scent!
Dick Hill was an ideal narrator for this story. A lot of male narrators have a difficult time doing women's, and especially children's voices, with out making me snicker, but not here. The female and child's voices were indicated quite clearly without trying to imitate them. That's all it needed, it was easy to follow and tell who was talking. It was an excellent performance. He is a great narrator, and never strays into a sing-song cadence as some do.
I've read a lot of the Hamish Macbeth books, even seen the British TV series, and this one is one of the best I've read. There was little that could be called "typical" about it. There were several surprises along the way. I can't tell you about them, that would spoil it! How about letting you know that every body gets what's coming to them, but in most uncommon ways!
It's awful when they chop out parts of story because they don't thin you need to know. How could they possibly make that decision for us? The parts of the story that are there are great, the lyricism is there, the crime solving, but I won't know what I missed until I go find the whole book and read the parts that are missing.
Combine a tense and suspenseful plot with characters to whom you get very attached and add a good dollop of humor and you have a great read! This makes my Summer Reading list, but I'll re-read it all year. It's a wonderfully confusing mix with Laurie framed for murder and Andy coming to the rescue and Tara never doubting either of them for a moment.
There are so many plot twists and odd characters popping in and out, I got completely lost a few times. There are some important points in this story, about absolute power and how it corrupts, absolutely. That said, it's a good story with a lot of excitement and intrigue.
It' s too bad the unabridged version is not available. Not being from anywhere near New Jersey, I can't verify the accuracy of the accent, but the narrator does a wonderful job of taking me there and giving life to the characters. These stories are both funny and intensely serious. This one gets you right on the edge of your seat, and then gives you a laugh. The stories are completely serious and are no joke, but the main character's sense of humor and manner are wonderful relief from the tension. He does take the serious seriously, but it is balanced with his self-deprecating sense of humor. He exasperates judges and mystifies the press.
He and his dog Tara go through life walking each other and watching every basketball game on TV. There is a love interest in and around his life and they make an incomplete triangle. You'll have to read it ti figure that one out!
All of these Beau Beaumont books are good, this is one of the even better ones. It's good to see an injustice turned around. It gets complicated, which is good, it makes you think. It's satisfying, and that is Very Good!
No really, spare me this kind of book. That sounds mean, but I can't think of any redeeming qualities. Well. . . , it isn't porn, that's good. I hope the writer tries some thing different.
What a ride this was! I've listened to it twice so far, and even knowing where it's going I felt the tension. There is something about the style that seems undeveloped, like someone's first book, you don't expect to be taken by surprise. I don't know if the technological things done in this were possible, but they sure made a great story. Don't take that wrong, this is not a gadgety story, there are just some tools that help the plot along, like the baby monitor.
You do have to suspend disbelief, but it's worth it. A great brute of a guy walks through a small house with the whole family in it and isn't noticed, and isn't concerned about being noticed. That was a stretch. Beyond a stretch, but I forgave even that one.
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