I have listened to and greatly enjoyed several Harlan Coben books but his latest will be my last. What a disappointment! The plot is ridiculously fantastic. The big catch phrase is "Dead is dead." How enlightening. I couldn't work up an interest in let alone empathy for any of the characters, all of whom said and did odd things. If you happen to be in AA, this might be a good gift for the rest of your group - anti-alcohol and pro-forgiveness are two themes, which actually might not have been bad had they not been handled in such a heavy handed manner.
This was a real contrast to the last three books I listened to, Lion by Nelson DeMille, Innocent by Scott Turow and Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, all of which were excellent. I should add that the narrator of this book - while I don't envy what she had to work with - did nothing to improve on the written word.
Overall, a waste of several hours of listening time.
A better narrator might have helped the incredibly ridiculous story. More likable characters and a more believable plot might have also helped - although I really felt this book was irredeemable.
Created characters that I cared about. None of these people seemed real or likable to me. The main character seems to bumble her way to a big story.
This book was set in Boston, yet not one character had a Boston accent. In fact, it was hard to tell one from the other because they all sounded essentially the same.
Disappointment would be the primary feeling. The author is apparently an award-winning television journalist and may be a great reporter but it would take a large sum of money to get me to read/listen to another one of her books.
I never felt this book had any focus or purpose. The lead character had integrity, I guess, because she wouldn't sleep with the cop she really liked because it would have violated her journalistic ethics and put her job at risk. But other than being ethical, she does not seem exceptional in any other way. Likewise, each of the other characters seem to have their own problems that kept me from caring about them. This may just a matter of taste, but I found this whole experience unfortunate. This is one of the few Audible books that I have not liked at least a little bit.
The amazing thing was that, at the end, best-selling author Lee Child interviewed the author and told her how great he thought the book was. The interview was more interesting than the book but it sounded like it was recorded on a bus based on the amount of extraneous background sounds.
The Beatles sang: "Come on, if you please, I got no time for trivialities." If you've got no time for trivialities, I strongly suggest you skip this banal, uninspiring account of a third-rate ambassador and his slutty daughter in 1930s Berlin. Erik Larson can be praised for Devil in the White City, and Stephen Hoye somehow managed to sound engaged in this documentation of dinner parties and other unimportant events. By the end of the book (after the part about happy horses, the byproduct of which would be happy horse-hockey, I guess), it begins to dawn on the main characters that Hitler is somewhat of a homicidal monster, but most of the book makes these folks look naive in the extreme. Perhaps you can forgive them because, after all, they didn't much like the Jews anyway. My rating was 2 stars because 1 1/2 wasn't an option.
This is one great book you won't regret reading or ever forget. The writing is first class and the narration brings each character to life. Don't miss this.
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