I have read or I should say listened to most of Bryce Courtenay's novels - the last three in sequence of reading were "Four Fires", "Whitethorn" and most recently "Jessica". Courtenay's books are powerful, stimulating and at times quite funny. In "Whitethorn" and to a lesser extent, "Four Fires", good triumphs over evil. Not so in Jessica; evil prevails. "Jessica" rates up there with Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'urbervilles", but Hardy's heroine never encounters the depth of human depravity and corruption so endured by Jessica. Courtenay attacks racism head on, sometimes with ridicule, sometimes with humor and always vividly exposing the cruelity and inhumanity of the state departments, in this case, Education and Aboriginal Affairs. The Church also does not escape the biting criticism of the author's pen.
At the risk of being too negative, I point out that there is a strong bond created between Jessica and the aborginal, Mary, a bond that endures a lifetime. The two lawyers, one who is a drunkard and the other a young idealistic communist, are both endearing, intelligent and principled.
One other reviewer who did not have much good to say about "Jessica" claimed that the ending was "silly". I don't think so. Life happens sometimes that way.
One final note: what else can be said about Humphrey Bower. He is utterly amazing, so many characters brought to life by Mr. Bower.
I am a big fan of Dave Robicheaux and I thought that James Lee Burke couldn't surpass this series. I was wrong! The "Wayfaring Stranger" is brilliant, in fact one of the best if not the best book I have ever read or listened to. A excellent summary of this novel can be found on James Lee Burke.com. The description on this site "A sprawling thriller drenched with atmosphere and intrigue", however, does not do justice to the splendor of this book. The depth of the characters both good and evil, the vivid depiction of the world at that time, Burke's relentless attack on evil and evildoers and finally Will Patton's masterful narration will leave you spellbound and the tale of Rosita and Weldon and their love that would not, could not, die will stay with you for weeks to come.
This book stands tall among the classics!
I love Adrian's Sean Duffy. What a story about the Troubles of Northern Ireland and specifically the fascinating tale of John DeLorean's car manufacturing plant just outside of Belfast. Although the story takes place during the dark days of Northern Ireland,it abounds with tales of love and heartbreak as well as a good dose of Irish humor..
The book starts with a torso in a suitcase and from there it takes Duffy and his police mates McCrabbon (Crabby) and McBride on a hunt that leads them to an end no one, including the reader, expects.
I can't wait for Book3. This is McKinty at his best.
I mentioned in earlier reviews of the two Anne Emery novels how I had stumbled upon this author and started my series experience by listening to Book 5 and then going back to the beginning and reading #1. I am now on #3 after completing The Obit. I must admit that I am surprised that Audible listeners only gave this mystery a 3.8 rating. The story takes place in New York and once again Anne Emery spins a fascinating yarn which makes the listener want to keep going.
First of all I want to underline that Christian Rummel is utterly incredible here. I liked him in the other two books but in The Obit the accents of New York are quite cleverly and convincingly portrayed. Further there seems to be more important secondary characters so Rummel has to cover a wide range of voices.
The second point which i failed to state an earlier review is the humor, especially the Irish humor. Despite the story being about murder, the involvement of the IRA and Father's Burke's father being a murder suspect, there are many funny scenes, scenes when I actually laughed out loud.
I enjoyed this mystery and am presently enjoying The Barrington Street Blues (great title).
Well worth the credits
I fell upon Anne Emery when searching for a good audible book. I read her latest and enjoyed it so much I started back to Book 1. I enjoyed this book even more. Apart from being enthralled by the intricacies of this modern 'whodunit' I was quite fascinated by the development of the relationship between Father Burke and Monty Collins.
This is a solid mystery situated in Halifax, NS and it relies heavily on the Nova Scotian culture. Emery creates and develops strong secondary characters which makes the book that more interesting. Christian Rummel is excellent as he portrays all the people - men, women, Irish, American, Canadian as well as young boys and girls.
Certainly worth the credit.
Now on to the next Emery book is the series.
I hate to admit it but this is the first Anne Emery novel I've listened to or read and I live in Halifax. It's a delightful mystery well-performed by Christian Rummel. Emery has developed two fascinating main characters in Father Burke and Monty Collins and in this book and equally diabolical, nauseating, obnoxious character in TV show host, Pike Podges. A young woman is stabbed to death on the grounds of Father Burke's church and the journey to discover who committed the crime takes the reader through many exciting hills and valleys.
I must now go and check out another Emery book. It's well worth it.
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.
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