When I read the description of this novel, I wondered if it would hold my interest. What tipped the scales to buy it was Victor Slezak. I thoroughly enjoy his story telling. He reminds me of Humphrey Bower of Bryce Courtenay fame.
Smash Cut is a fast paced novel with the central evil character as real and well-defined as those of James Lee Burke. I also like the way Sandra Brown paints the background, the small, insignificant details of life often omitted in other books. Not surprising, there are many surprises as is the norm with Brown.
I also believe the inclusion of the dog, Maggie, was a brilliant stroke. The movie motif was quite creative.
This is well worth downloading.
I stumbled upon this marvelous series by Patrick Taylor who depicts life in Ballybuckleboo a village in County Down in the 1960's. The two main likable characters are Dr. Barry Laverty, a recent graduate who is spending his first real job as an assistant to the sightly irascible but genuinely kind-hearted Dr. Fingal O'Reilly. They share the office practice in this rural setting and as they serve as country doctors they also nurture a budding friendship. Both men live in the same residence which also acts as their surgery and they are "looked after" by a delightful, witty middle age housekeeper, "Kinky" Kincaid.
If you want to get in the Christmas spirit, this is a dependable way of doing it - reading "An Irish Country Christmas". But don't miss the other books in the series; they are well worth the listen.
Speaking of listening, John Keating is an absolutely splendid narrator.He brings all the characters to life, no easy task with the wide ranging Irish accents,and transports the listener smack in the middle of Ballybuckleboo.
I have never listened to a novel for the second time just after hearing it. I did with "A Serpent's Tooth". There are many reasons I like this new Walt Longmire book; here are five of them:
1. Sheriff Walt, his under-Sheriff,Vic Moretto, and his close friend, Henry are back in full force
2. The plot has numerous unexpected twists and turns with quite a surprise ending.
3. Johnson's wit is abundant.
4. The novel begins with the Sheriff's patient conversation with a charming old lady talking about angels who fix up her house and visit her daily and grows into a complex story that involves corrupt corporations, a polygamy-practicing fundamentalist Mormon sect, an old man who believes he is a 200 year old historical figure, Mexican oil criminals and murder too close to work.
5. Finally, George Guidall is superb .
Listening to Will Patton read "Light of the World" is like sipping a glass of chateauneuf du pape. You want to savor every moment and take your time doing it. I like James Lee Burke; I believe he is the best modern mystery writer. And Will Patton makes the characters and story come alive. I ordered this book a day before my monthly credit come through solely because I could not wait 24 hours for another Burke installment.
After surviving the events told in "Creole Belle", Dave, his wife Molly and daughter Alafair join Clete and his daughter Gretchen to look for some R&R at their old friend, Albert's house in Montana. Not surprisingly, instead of enjoying some days in the Montana countryside, they confront evil, evil personified in the satanic character of Asa Surette, one of the most vile characters, if not the most vile in JLB's or any other writer's novels.
JLB creates page turners and unlike other contemporary mystery writers he writes in the most hauntingly beautiful style. Listening to Will Patton read "Light of the World" (interesting title) is an engrossing spiritual experience.
If you haven't read James Lee Burke, it may be helpful to get :Creole Belle" first. However, they are stand alone novels and not a sequel as such, but it may help your understanding of the events especially Gretchen who first appears in "Creole Belle".
I have listened to many Reginald Hill novels and this is one of the most complex. At least it is the most complex of the Dalziel and Pascoe series.Stories within stories, "Death's Jest-Book" keeps the reader riveted to his/her headset not sure what is going to happen next. Pascoe is obsessed with ex-con now academic Franny Roote (how's that for a name), "Weildie" struggles with his concern (love) for a male prostitute police informer, DC Bowler finds a new girl of his dreams with dreadful consequences, Then add to this maelstrom crooked lawyers, strange investigative journalists and sexy women and you begin to sense the nature and depth of this book. I didn't read the prequel "Dialogues of the Dead" but from what other commentators say, it helps the reader understand and appreciate 'Jest-Book'. However, I still found this one of Hill's best books. Shaun Dooley also does a marvelous job transforming the myriad of characters to life.
In the rich tradition of Steinback's Grapes of Wrath comes this novel by one of my favorite writers. However, this is not a detective story. No Dave and Clete. no Billy Bob. It is a coming of age novel of a young man,Perry James, in a Kentucky mining town in the mid-twentieth century. To the Bright and Shining Sun (interesting title), in true Burke manner, vividly portrays the life of poverty and despair amid the fighting and violence between the coal industry owners and unions. The story is not black and white - the unions are as ineffectual as the owners are corrupt and amoral. It is about one young man's attempt to dig himself out of the cycle of deprivation and to revenge his father's death.
One other point: although Will Patton is my favorite Burke narrator, Tom Stechschulte does an admirable job bringing this gritty story to life.
This story does not take place in Three Pines but deep in the secluded woods of Quebec in the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. The novel covers only a few days and is confined almost exclusively to the monastery. The real villain here is not the murderer but Gamache's boss who ranks high among the evil characters of English fiction. The strong relationship between Jean-Guy and Gamache is tested and the Chief Inspector's patience and real love for Jean-Guy are evident.
I enjoy the "Three Pines" novels but I also welcomed the break to a different world. One warning - this may not be a good place to start reading Louise Penny. Her continual references to the gun battle (see "Bury the Dead") may be confusing especially in an audio book if you do not know the whole story.
Finally I hope Ralph Cosham continues to narrate Louise Penny's books. He does a terrific job.
Now I can't wait for the sequel to this story. There must be one!
Before I review the novel, let me write something about Jack Hawkins. I don't know how many people check the "sample" audio before they decide to purchase a book, but in this case don't be fooled by the short sample. It reflects nothing of the magnificent voices of Jack Hawkins. I know the term has been used many times, but he truly brings the Cornwell characters to life. I wish he had narrated all the author's books.
"1356" despite its blood and gore, is an incredible story with Thomas of Hookton, a leader of a group of mercenary archers, "the Hellequin" as its central character. This book culminates in the Battle of Poitiers, a rather unknown English victory is the 100 years war. But it is more than a tale of war; it is a tale of love between husband and wife (Thomas and Genevieve), a tale of hate between the Count of Labrouillade, a disgusting specimen of a man and his wife who sensibly runs off with another man, and it is a tale of a demonic priest, an ambitious cardinal and other corrupted and corruptible churchmen. It is also a quest story, this time for the sword that St Peter used to cut off the ear of an enemy. In fact, for those following Cornwell's quest novels, this is the fifth.
I highly recommend this book/
I enjoyed "Safe House" and especially liked Simon Vance. To help with the setting I downloaded a map of the Isle of Man and had it at my elbow as I listened to the story. Rob Hale is an unlikely hero, a plumber and a serious cyclist (Isle of Man is the home of TT motorcycle races). Like the TT races, the story is full of dramatic twists and turns; the book keeps you guessing. For this reason you have to be quite attentive listening to this audio book; scenes change and a few times I had to hit the rewind button. I should add that this does not mean it is a superficial tale; Ewan through Vance's voice paints a very detailed picture of the surroundings, the characters and the events.
This is my first Chris Ewan and I will check out his offering offerings.
Towards the end of the epilogue Bryce Courtenay, aware that this is his last novel, says he hopes he will be remembered as a "damn good story-teller". That he is and so he will be remembered. "Jack of Diamonds" starts in Toronto and takes us to Las Vegas, New York, London and finally back to the copper mines in Northern Africa mentioned in Courtenay's earlier novels and where the author himself worked as a "grizzly" when he was 17 years old. His hero is Jack Spayd who grew up in Cabbage Town, Toronto who climbs out of his poverty thanks to his mother's support, good black friends, the love of his life, Bridget and his exceptional talent as a jazz musician and an elite poker player, the latter which almost costed him his life on several occasions.
This novel reminds me in some ways of "Whitehorn" and I enjoyed it immensely although I found it difficult to realize that this was BC's last novel.
Humphrey Bower is one of my favorite narrators. What a terrific job he does as a Canadian from Toronto. I could never see anyone else doing Bryce Courtenay's books. Bower brings all the characters to life.
This is another must-read.
So sad to know that this wonderful Australian author has produced his final book.
After being introduced to "The Bat" I went on a Jo Nesbo quest and read the rest of the Harry Hole books on Audible. "The Leopard" is the sequel to the "Snowman". I enjoyed the depth of the story, the intricacies of the plot and the powerful characters. Even the bad guys are "good". These two books are very similar although they stand alone. I must admit that I was concerned after reading Sean Barrett's "The Bat" I thought I would be disappointed with Robin Sachs, but I wasn't.
However, I have three negative points about "The Leopard": (a) Nesbo doesn't tie all the loose ends and I can only assume another sequel is forthcoming. (b) Another commentator pointed this out - one has to be very careful listening to the story because the Norwegian names are strange to the North American ear and you can get distracted. (c) I pointed out earlier that I enjoyed the humor in "The Bat". There are a couple of funny lines in "the Leopard" but the essential humor in the face of human atrocity is missing.
In the end though well worth the money.
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