Better drawn characters and less trite plot twist. The only mystery here is how the main character can be so emotionally limp and insipid yet, we are to believe she started and successfully runs her own business after surviving a distressing childhood. I don't think so. She constantly lies, refuses to get a lawyer and as a successful, business woman couldn't figure out that maybe this might not be the best tack to take? I kept wishing she'd get bumped off. Women like this do NOT start and successfully run a business - this is fantasy and not a very good one. Save your money/credit.
I'll probably be shy of Sandra Brown books for a while. Might try another one at the library for free or get another one on sale, but I will be a little wary of spending a credit on her.
I'm never sure when the characters annoy me whether it is due in part to the narrator or not. Sometimes their voice is an issue but I can usually hear through that. I think wasting a better narrator on this would be a travesty.
I'd rewrite the main characters and eliminate a lot of the redundant meetings awkwardly used to move the plot along. If you can't make the reader feel the least bit of sympathy for the wimpy "savvy business" woman who supposedly owns, operates, started "French Silk" why would you even care about what happens in the rest of the book?
It's a good thing I got this on sale!
If you like Dave Barry's style as a columnist or if you have read his earlier novel BIG TROUBLE then this listen should be a good fit. Dave is the narrator and reads it straight, which actually sets up the laughs wonderfully. He doesn't do different voices for the characters but I don't think that in this instance it matters. I don't do voices in my head when I read a book but I still enjoy the story. And while a polished performance by an experienced actor often enhances a listening experience, a straight read by the author usually gets the point he's trying to make, across to the listener/reader. In this case, I laughed - a lot. Dave Barry's style is similar to Carl Hiaasen; although Mr. Barry's tales are not as long or as involved. Maybe it's something in the water in Florida? Anyway, I will listen to this one again and recommend it to anyone that wants an injection of good-natured silliness that results from the all too human foibles of the less than stellar characters in the general vicinity of greater Miami.
This is a very disturbing read (okay, listen). The title sums it up, it brings you to a dark corner where there is seemingly no escape. I prefer mysteries to thrillers but a well written thriller is almost as enjoyable as a good mystery. I just found this unrelentingly harrowing and wouldn't recommend it to my friends. This might be a spoiler but the story goes back and forth between the actual domestic violence and terrorism perpetrated against the main character by her lover and four years later, as she tries to regain her mental well being that he stole from her. Both of these situations are unenviable and as far as I'm concerned an exercise in how much depressive reading (listening) a person can take - I figure I could've taken about half of what is served up here. It still would've gotten to where it was eventually going and I would've been released from it's oppressiveness that much sooner.
While the story is very well written, I found that most of the time I was getting lost in the dark words and soulful language of the narrator/book and not the story. I found the main character too reflective and without a lot of sympathetic traits to be likeable, at least to me, He was pitiable but not so interesting that I would like to read anymore about him. So, while the story itself did stir some emotions within me, the slow pace and plodding realizations of the main character did nothing except make me want the story to be over and done with, much like my association with most of the characters, all of whom seemed gloomy and morose. Were the 1950's really like that or is this just an Irish thing? I was glad this story finally ended and a little surprised to see that this was book 1 in a series. I might pick up book 2 if I could download it for free at the library. That way, if it continues down the same dark, foreboding path I can shut it off, delete it from my player and not worry about a wasted credit.
In summary, read this if you enjoy doing penance, wearing a sackcloth and weeping in your beverage of choice, for all the sad, literary characters you can think of, otherwise you might want to steer clear of this one.
Okay, I am capable of suspending my disbelief and enjoy a mindless thriller. But this one is just so cliched it actually pains me to read any further. If you like a read wherein the hero leaves a wake of dead witnesses behind and he knows it but he just can't stop "because that's the kind of guy I am, I just keep coming - arghh" without regard to reason, then by all means buy this book.
If you get frustrated when the hero is stubborn and incapable of actually catching this completely stacked deck of bad guys because, yeah, well, they are that much smarter than everyone because that's the way they are written and maybe, just maybe, the readers would be better off if the bad guys caught up with our hero, killed him and put us all out of our misery by ending this story sooner rather than later, (taking a breath...) then don't waste your time or money on this book.
Spoiler alert: I'm 2 hours from the end and can't take it anymore. The author just killed off a fellow officer on the police force, some poor throw away character who was sitting at home minding his own business watching "24" with his son. He is sent to meet our hero at our hero's home. Throw away guy arrives there ahead of our hero, lets himself in and is standing inside at the front window when our hero pulls into the driveway. Hero phones throw away guy to let him know he's just arrived and is coming in. I guess this guy is even dumber than our hero and needs the heads up. If you can't guess what happens next you haven't been paying attention. I have, but apparently our hero hasn't, which is why he sent this poor schnook there in the first place. Yeah - a bomb goes off and blows the throw away character up because it was supposed to be our lucky but dumb hero. Shocker.
I'm done. Oh, I will fast forward to the end to see who is left standing but not because I care about our hero. I hope he dies. For my money back (and thankfully I got this on sale so it didn't cost too much), I'd pull the plug on him myself. I just want to see how the author manages to wrap up this fiasco.
I just started reading this series and so far have enjoyed the author, narrator and characters very much. This entry in the series just aggravated me from the very start - enough so that I am writing this review as a warning to others. When it finally moved from the incredulously ridiculous "crimes" of the lead character's wife, a supposedly mature, educated, responsible, sane, mother of two, who is also a college professor married to a Commissario of police and then to an actual "crime" (murder) it improved, but not fast enough to rescue it. While I may be 100% in sympathy with her stand on the issue that spurs on her bizarre behavior, I cannot condone it. This was so off putting that I almost didn't finish the book. I guess you can't "hit them all out of the park" so this particular entry should be thrown out of a window and into a trash can, preferably an open window, so as not to cause any glass breakage.
This starts out with the lead character's wife on a moral quest, trying to make a vague point about a serious situation. After being apprehended and reprieved the first time and with a few days' time to mull over the actual consequences of her actions, she decides to leave her children alone, asleep, late at night, and go off to commit the same crime AGAIN. No sympathy or respect for a any woman who would do that. Sorry - the author lost me here.
There is a murder in there eventually but, wait for it, SHE feels responsible for that too.
A man may not find this as insulting and offensive as I did but wait, she insults men too. How lame to hear her complain to her "sane" husband that only a woman can react this way to this social issue and understand how she feels. Really? How arrogant for her to put that in print. What...only a woman can experience deeply felt emotions and use it as a good excuse for bad behavior.
I hope she gets over herself and returns to her "normal" behavior in the next book. Or I'll write another bad review and won't buy anymore in this series.
I've been reading this series from the very beginning, eagerly anticipating the next installment but lately I haven't been laughing as much as usual. Maybe the stories are getting predictable and formulaic, maybe I'm tired of the same old conflicts (Ranger vs Morelli) maybe Stephanie needs someone new in her life, maybe that would help her make up her mind about something - anything! Maybe it's just me but this one left me flat until the last third of the book. Usually Lula gets guffaws from me throughout the read but not this time. Can't fault the narrator, she does a very creditable job with the characters voices as always. No, I'm going to place the blame on the story and me, the reader. Maybe I've outgrown Stephanie Plum. Maybe she should grow up, if only just a little bit, sometimes a little more maturity on her part would reap a whole new barrel of laughs for all of us.
I'd recommend it to someone who is new to the series but I'd be somewhat less than glowing in my endorsement to a veteran reader of the series. I suppose in long running series they all can't be golden; this one needs polishing up.
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