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".
I hate giving bad reviews but I spent a credit on this turkey based on some of the positive reviews I read, and then felt misled. I was bored from start to finish, and the only light at the end of the tunnel was the promise of a kick-ass reveal in the end. Well, that most certainly didn't happen. I'd have bought any number of explanations...except the one given. But honestly, I'd mostly checked-out by then anyway.
In addition to a protagonist who I felt was never fully fleshed-out and therefore, unsympathetic, the storyline plodded along at the pace of paint drying. The writing was just average; not good enough to be inspired nor bad enough to be amateurish.
Regarding the narrator, he did a decent job given what he had to work with, so I can't fault him.
I love Gregg Hurwitz's books anyway but his writing just keeps getting better all the time. "Don't Look Back" is the ultimate, spine-tingling cat-and-mouse story, and will keep you glued to the pages. The protagonist is an unlikely heroine but proves her mettle when severely tested, and the bad guy, who is evil incarnate, is relentless. That's all of the storyline you're going to get from me...I wouldn't want to spoil a second of this adventure for anyone.
I devoured this book the first time through because I couldn't wait to find out how it ended, so I'm actually re-reading it already, this time savoring every delicious detail. "Don't Look Back" is definitely my favorite book on this summer's reading list.
Coming off a high after reading The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer, I had great expectations for "Dead Even". Alas, it was a big disappointment. New ADA Sara Tate, her job in peril from announced budget cuts, steals a case earmarked for a senior, highly-respected ADA in hopes of gaining attention and job security. Her husband, a defense attorney, winds up on the opposite side of the case when he is forced to represent the defendant and ordered to win the case by nefarious principals who threaten to kill his wife if he loses. Sara, in turn, is approached by her own thug, a "sunken-cheeked" man, who issues a similar threat, proposing to kill her husband if SHE loses the case. Uh-huh. And, of course, in order to protect the other, neither spouse reveals their respective threats to each other, setting up one debacle after another.
There are a number of things wrong with this book, starting with the fact that neither one of the protagonists are especially sympathetic or likable characters. They never felt "real" to me, they made incredibly dumb decisions for highly-educated people, and in the end, I wasn't invested in whether they triumphed or not. That's a huge problem to overcome. And the end of the story unraveled rather than unfolded. Everyone - protagonists and antagonists alike - started making ridiculous speeches and bone-headed moves (reminded me of the line of some movie: "If you're gonna talk, talk; if you're gonna shoot, shoot!"), and I didn't buy a second of it. The last hour was fairly excruciating but somehow, I slogged through it.
This book will undoubtedly appeal to some, and to you, I say I'm happy for you. But it didn't work at all for me. Especially from such a talented author as Brad Meltzer. Scott Brick does his best, as always, with the performance. I just wonder if he was as bored during the reading of it as I was with the listening.
I just loved this book, period, and Scott Brick's performance was, as always, perfection. The storyline, with two brothers as the protagonists, a cast of questionable characters whose motives you're never entirely sure of until the end, and some goosebump-inducing villains who relentlessly chase our heroes, The Millionaires is pure edge-of-your-seat fun! This novel has it all...excellent character development, unique plot with the requisite twists-and-turns you'd expect from a great thriller, and wonderfully smart and witty dialogue.
I loved the relationship between the brothers, and Meltzer does an excellent job of making their relationship seem authentic and engaging. They aren't really the kind of guys you'd expect to conspire to stealing $3 million dollars but given the unique circumstances behind the money, it hardly even seems like a "crime" in this case. In fact, as one of the peripheral characters points out, there's only two kinds of "perfect" crimes: 1. One in which the criminal dies; or 2. One in which no one even knows a crime has been committed. The brothers are banking on the latter. But, of course, as these things have a way of doing, it goes awry right out of the gate. The action is fast-paced, relentless, and you won't want to put it down.
As far as the performance, Scott Brick is one of my most favorite narrators, and he was the perfect choice for this smart, sexy novel. He's got fantastic material to work with here, and doesn't disappoint.
If you waste a credit on "Tell Me You're Sorry", you'll be sorry alright. I plodded through 3 hrs of this turkey, hating nearly every minute of it, before I finally pulled the plug. This hot mess will have you saying, "God, this is awwwful!" every 5 mins. or so. The story, the performance, the everything about this, is boredom personified.
I wish I could find a silver lining, something positive to say, but honestly, I couldn't possibly care less who killed whom, let alone the why of it. And the narration...gah! It was like adding insult to injury. This guy can't do character voices, period. Everyone ends up sounding snobbish with only slight variations, even when they're supposed to be sympathetic. His performance was as ghastly as the author's work so, I suppose, in a horrible twist of fate, they were perfect for each other.
There are too many great novels out there to waste your time or money on this tripe. I don't know if this author has other works to his credit or not, as you couldn't pay me to try another one of his creations, but this one is simply awful.
I really enjoy Gillian Flynn's writing, and this is no exception. She creates characters who are deeply flawed and relatable, and her storylines are riveting and unique. This is a whodunit, and while the action isn't fast-paced, she does a great job of moving the plot so that it captures and retains your attention. The narrator gives a superb performance, creating distinct voices for each character that makes them easily recognizable.
I loved The Shining and couldn't imagine how Stephen King could come up with an equally awesome sequel, but awesome it is! This novel is full of fun surprises and S-curves, and I had a blast from start to finish. Will Patton does a terrific job, in my opinion, performing all of the various characters and conveying the appropriate mood for each scene.
If you like suspense - and even if you've never read The Shining - I highly recommend Doctor Sleep.
In short, this book didn't work for me on a number of fronts. It began with promise but went to hell about one-quarter of the way through, until I lost interest entirely. It didn't scare me, although that would have been nice. On the contrary, it bored me. I couldn't become invested in any of the main characters, the storyline belched and finally stalled-out, and the techno-noise inserted randomly in places invariably startled and annoyed me every time.
It's apparent to me that the author has the talent to construct a good novel....but this isn't it.
I'm definitely going to be demanding my credit back for this mind-numbing turkey. I'll keep this brief. The storyline started on a high note but took a nosedive and kept tumbling. The narrator had little to work with, that's true, but was still horrible. Stephen King's books are among some of my favorites, but NOT this one! That he's responsible for this monstrosity is unbelievable. And finally, if I ever again hear the phrase, "Only this and nothing more", I'll probably lose my s*@t!
This is Book 4 in the Dublin Murder Squad series, and in my opinion, the absolute best of the lot. But if you've not read books 1-3 (and you really should just because they're so wonderful), no worries. As it's not a continuing saga in the traditional sense, you won't be at all lost or confused not having read any that came before. In fact, you could start with Book 4, then read Book 2 or 1 or 3, in no particular order, each being an entirely separate and unique storyline independent of each other.
While as I said, the others were wonderful, Broken Harbor is truly something special. It starts out strong, then continues to build all the way through, never faltering, never slowing. The storyline is unique and inspired. It was maddening to have to put it down for awhile when real life intruded! The writing is masterful, and the scenes are heartbreakingly vivid and tender. The characters are superbly developed and given flesh, each with their own talents and frailties, secrets and aspirations.
If you've never had the pleasure of reading Tana French before, you're in for quite a treat. And if I were you, I'd start with Broken Harbor. But then again, I always start every meal with dessert!
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