Indiana, USA | Member Since 2012
Dark Places is a fascinating story but not a fun read. The book takes pity on no one, least of all it's readers. This truly is the stuff of nightmares, one sadistic chapter bleeding over into the next. Although a work of fiction, Ms. Flynn's unflinching wordsmanship embues it with the realism of a true-crime whodunit. The saving grace, for me at least, was that I could repeat the mantra, "It's only make-believe" when the scenes became a little too intense for my sensitive nature.
Although I covet Ms. Flynn's talent, I wouldn't take it at any price if it meant having to live in her head (ditto Stephen King). Dark Places is not just an aptly-named novel, but probably an apt description of the author's warped imaginings. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stopped at "Gone Girl" and skipped this one entirely. And yet, as incongruous as it seems, I wholeheartedly recommend "Dark Places", just as I recommended "Gone Girl". The reason is simple: Despite the fact that they were dark and foreboding, that certain scenes will likely haunt me for a very long time, and that I can honestly say that I don't miss the characters (no, not a single one!), I am forced to admit that I thought they were riveting from start to finish. So, while I didn't like this book, I did love it.
And now, I'm going to run, not walk, to my bookshelf and find my copy of "Little Women" or "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" and try to subdue some of the ghosts from "Dark Places".
Coben is one of my favorite authors. I've read and re-read most because I enjoyed them so much, getting lost in his wonderful stories and captivated by his characters. This started out like so many other Coben gems, strong and riveting right out of the gate. But it all started getting convoluted mid-way and by the end, the bad guys (and there were many of them) were ensnared in a complicated web that I no longer cared very much about. You see, most of the baddies were people we either never got to know at all, or were only vague shadows hanging out in the outer peripheries of the plot. Unlike most Coben villains, they didn't make the flesh crawl because they were strangers to the reader. And that was the fatal flaw in this story. I cared about a few of the characters but only slightly.
If you're a Coben fan, as I am, probably nothing I say will dissuade you from spending a credit or even real money on this book. Heck, Scott Brick is narrating so it's worth the price of admission, right?. But I thought it only right to prepare you for the inevitable disappointment. Even Coben, master of the thriller genre, is entitled to an occasional blunder, right? Well, this is it.
I'm a Stephen King fan, but this one didn't work for me. As someone who numbers many of his books as some of my top 50 favs (ie, Desperation, The Stand), I couldn't imagine how I missed this earlier book so I bought it, and was so excited. Over 21 hrs. with one of my favorite authors, and to top it off, HE narrates...how wonderful! To my dismay, it wasn't wonderful. And it came to me a couple of hours into it how I'd missed it in the first place. I'd tried to read it years ago and finally gave up out of boredom. It doesn't go anywhere forever, and when it finally does get moving, it's not worth the journey.
As for the narration, if you can stand 21-1/2 hrs. of Stephen King's congested adenoids ("please" comes out puhl-neeze, for example) AND mediocre story, then you're more patient than I, and more power to you. Personally, I'd rather have the 21 hrs. back of my life I gave up for this book.
...and yet, you won't want it to end, either. This book, like most Gregg Hurwitz' books, grabs you by the throat, raises the hairs on the back of your neck, and you'll love every second of it. The plot is original, characters fascinating and multifaceted, and the action constant.
If you're a fan, as I am, of thrillers and suspense, Gregg Hurwitz will spoil you for just about every other author of this genre. The Survivor, The Crime Writer, and They're Watching are also top-notch thrillers by this author, and I highly recommend all of them.
This is one of the worst literary experiences I've had in a very long time, thankfully. The plot plodded along, seldom advancing, and never capturing my interest. The character dialogue was unbelievable, disingenuous, and dull as paint drying. I've have happily settled for killing them all off in the first one-tenth of the book, adding a period, and ending my misery. Instead, out of an unfortunate streak of masochism, I forced myself to finish this thing, and believe me, it never got any better.
The narration was perfect for this catastrophe; in other words, it was also horrible. It was stilted, the accents were extremely odd, and she sounded as completely bored as I was, which was probably true.
I've never written such a brutal assassination of a novel before, but this book deserves it. If you're looking for a riveting thriller, something you can't bear to put down, look elsewhere. This book misses the mark by a mile.
Although the storyline is unique, expertly written, and narrated to perfection, I almost quit one-third of the way through. Some of the scenes are so heartbreaking, and I was carrying a lump around in my throat even while away from the book. But I stayed with it...and I'm so grateful. The courage and quiet strength of the victim/heroine, the fleshed-out cast of characters, and the ensuing investigation with all of it's surprising twists and turns will have you yearning for the next page, then the page after that. I was forced to put this down a dozen times while reading, and found myself thinking about it whenever I was away.
This isn't a light-hearted romp, and it will definitely pull at your heartstrings (unless you haven't any). But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the journey is so worth it, I promise.
Gregg Hurwitz is one of my most favorite authors...but even he is capable of a lemon every now and then, and this is his lemon. I'm so grateful that my love affair with him started with They're Watching and not with The Program because I'd never have given any of his other books a shot. That would have been tragic, which is also an apt word to describe The Program. Halfway through it, I finally put an end to my suffering and moved on to something else. Sorry, Gregg, but this book isn't worthy of you.
As a rabid Molly Harper fan, I'd like to think I'd know her style of writing anywhere, and thus find the similarities between her and Lucy March too striking to be dismissed. Regardless, whether this author is a figment of Molly Harper's imaginings or not, this book is 'magically' delicious!
The setting of Nodaway Falls and Crazy Cousin Betty's Waffle House, with it's whimsical (and supposedly magical) blue tiled square set into the linoleum, is a perfect backdrop for this tale of a 28-yr old woman who's tired of waiting for her life to start. She has a plan, but then Davina Granville enters her life and things get complicated. She discovers that she has hidden magical gifts, such as the ability to turn inanimate objects into woodland creatures, sort of.
This story will have you laughing and tugging at your heartstrings - but mostly laughing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am hopeful that the author has plans to turn it into a series. I would love the chance to spend more time with these delightful characters and their continuing misadventures.
It just doesn't get any better than Gone Girl! The story is mesmerizing, and the narration is on the mark. I can't imagine not loving this book. You won't be sorry you invested the credit, I promise!
Some books come across better in print; this may be one of them. The narration was the equivalency of the proverbial nails on a chalkboard and was a constant annoyance. It actually made me irritable to have that voice rasping in my brain non-stop for a couple of hours. I would have endured it, however, if the story had been in the least captivating, but it missed the mark for me, as well. It became a tangle of names and uninteresting subplots, and I couldn't keep my mind from wandering off. Perhaps it was a self-defense mechanism.
Yikes, this was awful. To be completely fair, I'll admit I only gave this turkey one hour's listen, but it was all I could stand. It was like nails on a chalkboard...the story AND the narration. I just couldn't take it anymore. Life's too short to be wasted on fodder like this!
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