The narrator was fine. And I've heard that Jance's later books are better. This one felt very much like a first novel, but one that never made it out of the desk drawer.
Not succumb to every single tired hard-boiled-detective cliche ever known (except the one where the detective is street-smart and intelligent) and and make the characters at least half-way plausible.
The partner Peters, I suppose ...
All of them. By all reports, Jance should have started with her second novel.
Others have written that Jance's other novels are better. Perhaps if I see one in a $4.95 sale, I'll see if that's true. Otherwise, I'll take a pass.
Maybe, although there are so many great books yet to be read/heard that I almost never give books a second listen. But it's certainly one of the books that I would return to if I did.
Unlike some of the other reviewers I've read, I enjoyed the book more and more as it moved onto the Australian continent. I also enjoyed the trial scenes, the pub scenes, the assorted low-lifes (most of the book's characters), the corrupt constables, the officious judges and unctuous lawyers, and, of course, the cameo appearance of Charles Dickens, Mr. Courtenay's literary forebear and creator of Fagin in Oliver Twist, the first fictional embodiment of the real-life Ikey Solomon, who also has a starring role in this novel.
He's truly the perfect narrator for this book. Great characterizations and reading throughout.
Sperm Whale Sally, although not if I had to pick up the check! She seemed like a woman of infinite good humor who could spin a good yarn or two herself.
I almost gave up on this book a few times near the beginning because of what seemed to me at the time to be gratuitous hardship and cruelty inflicted upon the female protagonist, Mary "Abacus." But I'm glad I stuck with the story. I'll be listening to the next book in the trilogy next.
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