Raleigh, NC, United States | Member Since 2009
I was so disappointed by the opening of this book I could go no further. Writers are told that the first scene of a novel should capture the reader, make them feel as though they are in the hands of a master who will take them on a wonderful journey.
The writing in the opening is amateurish, characterization and dialog poor. The author tries awkwardly to give us time, place, backstory. Do the following excerpts sound to YOU like what a realistic seasoned detective is thinking and saying at a murder scene? Or does it sound more like Jake, the new boy-detective, the master of cliches and dumb thoughts?
He recognized television. Radio. That kid from the paper. How did they get here that fast?
Too bad I can’t call Jane. She’d love this.
What does Jane always say? It bleeds, it leads. At least her stories aren’t like that.
The EMT’s scrambling out of the doors. No need for them to hurry, Jake thought. She’d been dead for at least three hours. Just like the other woman.
And, REALLY, can you "hear" this exchange among crime reporters at a murder scene?
“One a couple a weeks ago, one today, that’s two.” "Is two murders serial?” “Both by water. Both by Bridges...That’s serial. We’re going with that. Maybe… The River Killer.’
“We are, too. The Bridge Killer.”
The description is pretty well written. But if I'm going to spend hours of my time listening to a novel, I expect good writing. I gave two stars for the story because I had to rate it. Actually I have no idea.
If you're thinking of buying this one, listen to the sample. My own fault, buying this loser. Should have listened to the sample. Got caught up in the reviews. When will I learn?
Purple prose ("she felt his tremendous masculine form on top of her"), overwriting, redundant words ("murky gloom"--is there a bright gloom?), cliches ("she fought him with all of her might"), stupid anachronisms ("I'll scream my guts out"). It was all silly, stupid adolescent melodrama. By the second chapter I was ready to throw up.
The protagonist had no credibility. The book starts as a female race car driver--supposedly intent, dedicated and determined to succeed from a young age--is tearing around turns at over 200 miles an hour, setting track records. While she should be listening to her engine and the sound of her transmission, figuring out how to take the next turn even faster, her heart pounding at her dangerous maneuvers, instead our airhead protagonist is laid back, thinking about her life, her boyfriend, joking amiably over her headphone. I don't THINK so! A race car driver is an athlete. A professional. This is the most important thing she has ever done in her life, for God's sake. And, our protag also has time, during her record-setting maneuvers, to look up at the stands and observe what is going on. PUH-LEASE!
The narrator made the whole thing even worse with her "tee-hee-hee" voice. She used a high-pitched girly narration to comment on the feel of the track and the turns, for example---sounding more like she was oohing over her latest nail polish than an athlete commenting on conditions.
Despite the initial nearly fatal attack on our protag, when the lady next takes the track, no one even seems to pay any attention to the possibility that she may be being targeted so no one pays any attention to the fact that her pills went missing and are found mysteriously. No. Everyone ignores this. Although our protag has already taken pills from a different bottle (and so ignores the newly recovered pills), her mentor takes them. GUESS WHAT HAPPENS FOLKS!!
I didn't get much further than this. It was just too dumb, dumb, dumb.
I couldn't finish this book. I became tired early on of this nebbish kvetching---which he does continually throughout the book. My reaction to the protagonist's annoying internal thoughts (which was what most of the book was) was like nails on a chalk board. I wanted to tell him to just shut up and get on with it. Also I didn't find the humor all that funny and the romance wasn't very romantic. It was actually rather sad. About half-way through I gave up and quit. I gather most people liked this book which I don't understand. Maybe if you listen to the sample you can tell whether you find the protagonist off-putting.
A different protagonist. Andy Carpenter is a loser-type: a self-deprecating, wise-ass attorney who reminds me something of Harlen Cobin's Myron Bolitar except with less ego. I think I used to like him but hadn't read any novels about him for years. Now I find him tedious.
The girlfriend investigator.
The mystery is okay. The narrator was good.
I like a well written historical romance, particularly historical romantic suspense, but so often the things that keep the couple apart are so contrived you can't even pretend to believe them. And, the women are often so weak-willed and like every other romance heroine, rejecting the man at first but in time just wanting to be dominated by the love interest. In this book the heroine is smart, strong, possesses all kinds of skills to keep her and others alive. The man and woman are spies on opposite sides so the problems of them getting together are believable. The suspense is high. And the heroine remains strong and brave to the end. And her love interest, strong himself, loves her for her strength and bravery. I hope Audible gets other books by this author! Very exciting, romantic and sexy.
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