When dealing with a series there seems to be a point in which the author seems to be phoning it in and the series just degrades. I see no evidence of this happening yet in the James Lee Burke series, the writing is still beautiful, the action exciting and the description of the people and places of South Louisiana good enough to make you feel like you just paid a visit to the place. I am excited to start my next installment in the series and my hope is that it is just as good as this one was.
I am sure this book has the worst ending, or non-ending of any book I have ever listened to. The story moves along weaving a tale of supernatural events sloooooowly linking together people, and just when it seems the action may, kinda, sorta, maybe start and some answers to questions dealing with the cult, why they want the girl, what do the "little people" say to them, what the alternate world is - why are some able to move between them, ect, ect ---- the story just ends.
Let me put it this way, if this book was a restaurant review of a place you were interested in eating at it would be like this; This restaurant has tables, chairs a very clean bathroom, wait staff that are attentive and food that is brought out on plates, some of the food is served in bowels.
That would be it, but it would take 35 hours to say it.
Deon Meyer is a decent writer, and I like the fact that his books focus on a different person in the police department from one book to the next, yet still involve most of the subsequent co-workers in the storyline. The protagonist in this story carries the angst of loosing his wife in a murder while she was on the job, also as a police officer. As he tries to pull his life together he works out the clues to a tough case and faces a new and difficult boss. All of this with the backdrop of South African politics and culture. The book is fine, not great. It seems it takes a lot of lines of text to get from place to place in this book, nothing much happens for long stretches during which we are bludgeoned with the introspection of the main character. The ending as a bit of change up and so I will not spoil it here but it is worth the slog to get there.
If you like the genre, or are a Meyer fan go ahead with this one, but the story tends to be fairly grey for long stretches.
Recommended with caution
I like the Preston / Child team and tend to give them good reviews. This tends to be one of their flat spots. The book has moments, and the premise of peering into life below the city of New York, in all the abandon tunnels is fascinating. The fabrication and ultimate revelation of the monsters and their weakness was just to pat. Every time some thrilling moment was about to box the good guys in, some revelation released them from any real trouble. There was attempts to make the monsters appear to have the upper hand but it was never convincing and you always knew how things were going to end.
Far to predictable for a recommendation
Good narration though.
James Lee Burke is a stupendous talent. The story that is woven amid the carnage of New Orleans after Katrina is one of the best of its kind. The story is superbly crafted, developed on many layers, each character full and complete and so much more than window dressing - the plot twists and confuses and just when you thought a person was as disreputable as one could be they rise from the ashes and offer some thin strand of human conscience.
I love the amazing characters that Burke is able to bring to life in his books, and the villein, in this case plural are built from some creepy fabric and with the amazing narration by Patton come to life in a way that is very disturbing.
The whole series is highly recommended, but as the series goes on it only seems to get better, just the opposite as many others jump a shark at some point and loose me, not this one.
The opening scenes describing the carnage after Katrina are worth the price of admission, just amazing literature.
Very highly recommended.
I like this series, although I still have yet to figure out the order of the books (thanks Audible) the main character is someone you like very much, he is an honorable fellow and dogged in his mission. The people the author develops as characters are fun and well done and the dialog is first rate. There are books out there with more action and some with a preference for a high body count may find this series a little boring, I think the plot development is so well done and the people involved so fun to read about that it overcomes any lack of action. If you like classic whodunnit novels you will like this series of books.
This is a good series, there are a lot of books in it so I do not write a review of them all, but on this occasion I have to point out that this is a stand out. The story is beautifully developed, the ending brought to an exciting conclusion and the language and description of events fabulous. I do have to add a bit to the narrator controversy, although I find Patton adequate, he butchers Cletus Purcell's voice, - but it does not take the audio out of the first rate category - it is just that he is not as good as the other prominent narrator for that character. There are times in this story when you have to find a way to keep the audio rolling, it is just so well written and compelling that there are simply not good places to pause. The villein is extremely well built and seems to have the upper hand although you are not sure who his surrounding cast is, there are great moments of suspense and surprise twists in the story.
This book is cookie cutter, if you listen to the first half hour and stop it, then write on a piece of paper what you think the ending will be - you will be right, as a matter of fact unless this is the first book you have ever read, nothing happens in this story that is not predictable. I ended up listening to the whole thing thinking that something had to happen to take it out of the mould, but it never did, it just plods along like a high school writing project.
better use of your time out there, not recommended.
**ATTENTION ALL MEN** This book may sound like an adventure story from the description, it is not, it is a mushy love story, this book is a literary chick flick. Now we all know that sometimes we have to let the women in our lives pick the movie, and we sit through a movie we would not have picked in a million years, yes and if we admit it, we even like said movie, but more important, we like to see the partner we are with happy, and if she is touched by the sappy story, then we get caught up in it too - nothing wrong with that. If you are picking a book to listen to with your wife or girlfriend on a long trip or something then this would be a good pick. If you are going to be driving your pick-up to the range, or work and it is going to be you and this book - think long and hard about this pick.
Back to the actual story, it moves at a snails pace, has a number of twists and turns and as much as I would like to say they are surprises mostly they are as predictable as the ending. Nothing much happens in this book you cannot see coming a mile off. The description of conditions and what the couple have to do to get out of their situation is not bad, the author has some familiarity with outdoor pursuits and can write about them with a degree of skill, but since this is mostly a love story not much of the actual book is about that stuff. The ending is drawn out and makes an attempt to be deep, I was just glad it was over and it did not work on me, maybe it will for you.
As far as a recommendation goes, I would refer you to the first paragraph, I would not consider this a top pick by any stretch, if you are looking for a mushy love story with some outdoor survival in the mix - a pretty narrow field - this would be a pick for you. If you are looking for a book about outdoor survival - not recommended.
I have really enjoyed Deon Meyer's previous stories, and am surprised I have to ding this one. I never really got the plot line in this story, the main character one I liked, just did not do things a person with his background would have done, I never got the whole motive of the story. Even the ending left me flat, and I wanted to like this book, it just did not happen. The storyline was weak, the events were not believable, and the story was just hard to follow, there was to much attempt by the author to build excitement by throwing twist and turns into the plot to the point were nothing seemed to be built on any foundation and the main character was just out there driving around and getting nowhere and for no reason.
Hope the next Meyer story is back to form, I would recommend you skip this one.
I love the way James Lee Burke writes, and I love the characters in his stories, Cletus Purcell has to be one of the great literary personalities of all time. The setting it enthralling as ever, but the foe in this story is just a little to much of a ghost and Dave R. is just walking into too many traps set for him in this one without seeing the writing on the wall. All of that said, I still liked the book, enjoyed Cletus having a prominent role and enjoyed the various characters and how they were developed. I really love the narration in this series and really do not understand the controversy, it is first rate as far as I am concerned. All things considered I am looking forward to the next in the series as even a flat spot in this collection is better than the best works by most authors.
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