What started out as an engrossing story about a black ops type bad guy killing cops and civilians ended up so anti-climatically that I swore off this author forever. It was like the publisher decided the book was getting too long, so the last couple of chapters that described specifically the personality and motivations of the evildoer were chopped off. Too much in-depth description of trivia also bloated this mediocre police procedural.
I happened coincidentally to download this audio just before the Kennedy Assassination, so it was a very timely read/listen. Littell is a master of the LeCarre-type spycraft novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed Scott Brick's delivery of the dialogue amongst the various characters. The plot is crisp, with excellent character development, but I was hoping for a more satisfactory ending to the various intrigues than the one Littell delivers. Just the same, a worthwhile purchase.
This is one of the most enjoyable thrillers I've listened to in the past couple of years. A PTSD veteran with his life in shambles redeems himself to his family and the best friend he failed, all while defending himself against one of the most vicious mobsters you'll ever encounter in a novel. Even with the dire, often depressing plot, Hurwitz manages to inject some humor (a bacon-eating vegetarian) and a poignant scene in a hospital ward, where severely sick children are trick-or-treating the other inpatients on Halloween. Scott Brick, who rightfully labels himself a "performer" rather than a "reader," is at the top of his game.
I purchased this book after listening to "K.I.A." by the same author, which was terrific. However, "One Drop of Blood" has almost no plot line, although there are a few interesting science lessons about forensic anthropology, and has a "surprise" ending that is predictable about halfway through the novel. What bothered me most however was the nearly constant bickering between the two main characters, made worse by the reader's tendency to make them sound like characters out of South Park. This is apparently Holland's first published novel, and it's surprising to see how much his writing improved with the later (and much better narrated) "K.I.A."
(Spoiler warning). I was drawn to this novel after listening to Littell's The Company and a couple of other novels of lesser renown. Initially, I was intrigued by the "story within a story" plot lines: the last days of the patriot Nathan Hale, as told by a modern descendent, "The Weeder" of the CIA, who himself has discovered a plot to nuke an Iranian city by rogue government agents, who want to kill him for his discovery. All of the mystery and suspense of the latter story line is revealed to be as bogus as the imagined narrative of Hale's capture and execution, both stories a product of the main character's psychosis. I felt incredibly cheated by this revelation.
This book had me laughing practically every minute of listening. Hiassen's characters, as usual, are over the top. A roadkill-eating ex-governor, a hitman/mortgage broker with a weed whacker for a prothesis, and a Lindsay Lohan style airhead who lip syncs her hit records, just to name a few. I found the interaction between Chemo and Cherry Pye to be especially funny: he jolts her with a cattle prod whenever she uses any words he finds annoying, such as "totally" and "awesome." Stephen Hoye, the reader, does an excellent job with the various voices, especially Janet Bunterman, the airhead's enabling mother. Yes, he does mispronounce some of the place names (Mo-have rather than Mo-havee), but I completely disagree with those critics who complain about Hoye's narration.
An interesting plot, believable dialogue
Narrator is ok
Uninteresting people saying uninteresting things to each other, endlessly.
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