Trade publications and "professional" reviewers say this is the best book in the series. I'm not sure because there absolutely are no bad installments in the Joe Pickett story. This is the kind of book I try to listen to as slowly as possible, but it never works. In spite of the negative light Box paints the EPA and the federal government in general, the politics are never heavy handled or preachy. I'll listen to this again.
I haven't like the narration from the start. Initially I was put off by the fact that Dotrice first can't begin to carry off a female voice and makes the numerous younger characters sound many, many years older. In fact everyone sounds like they are at least 60 years old. He uses what sounds like a mixture of British, Scotch, Welsh, and Irish accents with no apparent affect and as other reviewers have stated he often pronounces characters names differently. And in this book he does not always (ever?) use the same character "voices" he used in the previous books.
That being said while moderately annoying and perhaps less than might be expected of someone we have to listen to for a couple hundred hours, this is a distraction and not a game breaker. It is a good story but I doubt I could have ever read it as opposed to listening to it. The many characters and fairly numerous subplots are much easier to follow when you can listen to the books one after another and are much more manageable over all than say those in that unreadable mess of a epic The Wheel of Time.
Starting book 5 today which is the bottom line.
I thinks the Justified is one of the best ever TV dramas, right there with HBO series like Deadwood. If you have watched the TV series you may be disappointed in this book's portrayal of Raylan. Perhaps the story may disappoint too, but at least you come away with good background on the shooting that sent Raylan back to KY. The book's Raylan has almost none of the qualities and characteristics of his counterpart except his skill with a handgun and has more of an accent than Tim Olyphant uses. I like Leonard and I enjoyed the book, but like to get a little longer story for my credits. I plan to listen to the rest also to see how Leonard develops Raylan.
Story - average for all, below average Cole/Pike. Narrator - bad, sounds a lot like Dick Hill, his Cajun is strained and just wrong at times, his Joe Pike is way off. Not sure if authors are part of the process to choose narrators, but Cole's quirky personality which comes through with all other narrators in the series is completely lost here. Sounds as dry as a procedural. Don't waste your credits.
Burke's proselytizing grows a tad weary since he hammers it home at every opportunity and after, what is it 19 books, I am growing a little tired of Dave and long for more Hackberry Holland.
While King is no all-star narrator he really isn't that bad and does not detract very much at all from this audio book. I listened to the first four as a set up (3rd? time at least) and that was not necessary but it did let me stockpile some credits. This does not add much to Roland's story, but sheds some light. The story and the story within have connections that do not seem forced - some don't like the connections but I think within the other works that connect and the King as character later in the Tower series that the add a lot to the story(ies). Not sure if I'll finish them all again - hate to lose Oy again.
Can't miss with Joe and Elvis, good narrator but you'd think an author would pick one reader and stick with them. One of the best of the series.
All three Hack Holland novels are great, but you get a lot of perspective on Hack and others in this book if you start with Lay Down My Sword and Shield. Dave Robicheaux novels don't require this, but I advise you read the Hack novels in order.
This is one of my favorite series, just hope Box and come closer to an output like Sandford has in Prey books. Listen to them all, none disappoint in the least. It would be good to listen to them in order, but doesn't hurt not to. Also try the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson and Hackberry Holland by the great James Lee Burke - all of which appeal to me as the mains are my age.
Agent P's story should have stopped with Still Life With Crows. He is not propagandist that one can really care about. He evidently can't be killed and in this book goes from a difficult recovery hampering him physically to seemingly back to full powers in a matter of a chapter or two. Preston and Child's books have fallen far and I have read them all. Don't bother with this. Don't care for the narrator either. If you want this type of thriller go try some Robert Crais.
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