Not a thrilling thriller. The characters failed to engage my interest--I couldn't care about any of them. The narrator, while adequately capturing the Minnesota accent, detracted from the story. His voices for the female characters were especially grating, making them sound developmentally challenged. Most of the action sequences came off as ridiculously melodramatic, and the "romantic" passages were just cringe-inducing. Very amateurish.
It's hard to imagine a what even an excellent editor could for this book. The plot is ludicrous, the characters one dimensional, and the dialogue awful. The characters do and say things that no real person would in the given situations.
The sheer unbelievability of it. A former US Marshall involved in the Witness Protection Program, sitting on millions from an insurance settlement he won't touch for years, finally uses it to finance the relocation and new identities for people he finds worthy. Okay, maybe, but A US Marshall in the Witness Protection Program becomes disillusioned when one of his scumbag "clients" is relocated, his testimony against another scumbag pending, and commits not one, but three different crimes after relocation. The protagonist, Michael Venturi, suspecting the crook of two of the crimes, travels to check him out and catches him with evidence in his freezer and coincidentally in the middle of another, completely different kind of crime. Venturi is able to intervene, spectacularly and anonymously, so that the crook is caught for all three crimes. Venturi does something with the third crime's proceeds that is totally indefensible and unnecessary to the furtherance of the "plot." Of course, Witsec was so focused on using this guy's testimony against some organized crime figure that they didn't even care what else the witness was up to as long as he was able to testify. Suspecting that Venturi was involved in exposing the witness's post-relo fiendishl activities, his soulless government bosses basically drum him out of the Service. Never mind that two of the crimes are so egregious that no law enforcement officer, I don't care who else he is trying to nail, would ever allow them to be ignored or covered up just to preserve a witness's testimony. Why the third crime, anyway? The relocated witness was so evil this unrelated crime was unnecessary.
Anyway, our perfect hero quits and uses the MILLIONS he conveniently happens to have, untouched lawsuit proceeds (don't even ask), to relocate truly "deserving" folks, and the ridiculousness continues, branching out into threads that often go nowhere. Some of these lucky relos don't even have a especially good or believable reason to disappear (a rock star, weary of the inconveniences of his fame?--yeah, creating his new identity is worth going to jail for), and Venturi and his pals give no thought to collateral damage. Authorities waste time and money on investigations into the "deaths" and no one even mentions the fact that insurance companies will have to pay out millions of dollars to cover resulting claims. But, hey, that's just free money, isn't it? The dialogue is silly and inappropriate for a lot of the situations--joking and joshing when people start to die and Venturi and his co-conspirators are close to being exposed . The one-dimensional tough guy Latino military buddy has a roving eye and the truly annoying habit of repeating the word "Bro." Bad enough in print--try LISTENING to it over and over, as read by a truly bad narrator. "Bro, tell my wife I love her, bro" Followed by, "It's not your time. Your name isn't on that big blackboard in the sky." Edna, oh, Edna.
Minor, but illustrative point, I was irritated that former Marine Venturi didn't seem to know what an Osprey was--the plane/helicopter aircraft that his "bro" always wanted to fly. I knew what it was in the mid 90's, and I am a middle-aged female from corporate America.
Actually, I would say it was a perfect match for such a awful book.
Extreme disappointment. I listened to several of Buchanan's Britt Montero books and thought Buchanan was a very talented writer. The plot was so juvenile I suspect she must have let one of her teenage kids ghostwrite it.
I downloaded this book as soon as I finished Day by Day Armageddon. And like that oneI couldn't put it down. Most exciting book I have ever listened to. Not bogged down with a lot of sentimentality, which is a big turnoff for me. I think I may now be too spoiled to listen to anything else!
Although a 48 year-old fan of the Rolling Stones, I am struggling to get through this book. It is well-written, but perhaps would have been more appropriately titled "Musician." It includes a lot of detail on the music and musicians who inspired Richards which I, as a non-musician, find very dull. Were I reading the book in print it might be easier to get through those (by flipping pages), but it is hard to do when listening on an Ipod. I enjoyed Eric Clapton's biography, because, although it included his musical inspirations, their descriptions didn't go on and on. Clapton focused more on relationships, which I'd hoped would be the same with Richards. He comes across as very bright and artistically talented person, but I don't think I am part of the audience he's is writing for. True music lovers will get more out of this book than those like me, who find descriptions of musical notes, sounds, and styles to be as interesting as listening to a physics lecture. (No offense to my husband, the physics major.)
Until The Gate House Demille was one of the authors whose latest book I bought without reading a thing about it in advance. I read and enjoyed, though didn't love, The Gold Coast. Such a fan am I that I hung on through the entire 22 hours of the Audible version of the sequel waiting for something to happen. I was a third of the way through the book before I realized the reader was supposed to LIKE Janice Sutter, the adulterous, self-absorbed ex-wife from The Gold Coast. I couldn't detect one redeeming quality. I kept waiting for her to get whacked by that novel's dead mafioso's son. The reconciliation of Sutter and his wife was so ludicrous and unbelievable that I just knew she was going to die in some dramatic fashion. No such luck. I greatly appreciate sarcastic humor, but Sutter became very annoying very quickly, and the frequent sex romps just came off as unbelievable. Janice has got to be in her 50's by now, with kids pushing 30, yet you'd think she was 25 from the description of her perfect, slender body. Hey, I'm not saying it's impossible that these two were jumping each other every five minutes at their age and with her unsavory history, but, hey. Why DeMille needed to go on and on for 22+ hours on this crap I don't know. I mean, nothing happens. I really hope we never see these characters again and DeMille can get back to writing the thrillers he is so good at, but I will wait to buy till I read a few hundred reviews...
I have read all of Connelly's books and this one does not disappoint. The narrator's voice is a good fit for the book, though his inflection is poor. Not enough to detract from the impact of the story, fortunately. It is a legal thriller with lots of action.
I loved this book, but the plot of "Garnethill", the "prequel" of this one is referenced and "Exile" gives away some important elements of its predecessor. I downloaded "Garnethill" immediately after realizing it preceded "Exile," but I wish I'd listened to it first. I already know what will happen to some of the characters, but Mina's writing is so good and Katy Anderson's reading so phenomenal I am enjoying it anyway.
I listened to Mina's "Deception" first and was hooked on her plotting and character development, so I was thrilled to see she had more books out there. "Exile" is truly an example of an audio book benefiting from a skilled narrator, packing a bigger whollop than the print version. Anderson can switch Scots' to English accents with ease and do a child's voice that that makes you see the we'un. Scott Brick is a good narrator, but I am weary of his narrating 80% of the books I download or borrow from my library. Books by British authors read by British narrators are a breath of fresh air, and frankly, I think they have a wider range.
The main character, Maureen, is flawed and dealing with the aftermath of an ugly childhood as she tries to solve the murder of a woman she barely knew. Never does Mina allow her character to lapse into self-pitying Lifetime Channel Movie of the Week melodrama, an issue I have with a lot of woman authors. (I am a woman, by the way.) Gritty characters and locales, hairy situations, this murder mystery has them all. I am a huge fan of Ruth Rendell/BarbaraVine and P.D. James, and, just as I eagerly anticipate their next brilliant works, I will wait impatiently for the next Mina offering.
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