Mystery/detective thrillers are my "go-to" genre. What makes Smoke Screen a good read is the seamless interweaving of plot with rich and fully realized characters. This was my first Sandra Brown listen (a suggestion from a friend) but she is now on my favorite author list. I'm already on my second Brown title and will continue till I have read or listened to every title on the Brown list.
A cleverly constructed future based detective series. With so many writers tackling this genre right now, it's hard to believe someone could come up with (and support with intelligent writing) a novel idea about life on this planet after everything's gone haywire. I also love the 12 step issues/challenges as a backdrop. I've never seen or read this topic integrated into a story line or series quite like this or so well. Honors bestowed upon the author and, also, to the narrator, who has--after this second listen (Clean came first)--landed a place on my Best of Narrator's list.
PS--I never like to give away plot-points in my write-ups as discovery is half the fun, so suffice it to say, if noir-ish detective thrillers mixed with futuristic drama falls under your list of likes, give this a try. I'm already looking forward to the next one in the series.
A blend of science fiction, political underdealings, and go get 'em action with just a hint of romance to soften it all. Sounds odd, right... like a hodgepodge? Some how Jonathan Maberry makes it all work. Really smart writing on all levels.
If you're new to Maberry's Joe Ledger series you can jump into the deep end with this one just fine. The writing and Porter's reading are just that good. Once you do that, you'll just want to go back to Book One anyway (Patient Zero) where I became a fan, and work your way forward. If you're currently a Joe Ledger fan, I'm preaching to the choir. You should be downloading already!
Though this is one of my favorite genres, I skipped over this title for months. Something about the zombie image and the publisher's summary kept me from downloading it. Then, just a week ago, I read several of the reader's reviews and that was that... especially the one that said 'don't let the plot description dissuade you.' I give my thanks to that reviewer. I downloaded it and from the first sentence went on a none stop listening thrill ride.
Now, I'm not going to write anything about the plot. It's simple: if you like intelligently written action/political thrillers with searing characters, this is the novel for you. I gasped, shuddered, laughed out loud and held my breath...over and over until the very last word was uttered. My only thought at the end was "Please Sir, I want some more."
Addendum--I am now and will always be a Ray Porter fan. The narrator can make or break an audible novel. Porter not only embodies the qualities of the hero, but does the same, seamlessly, with every single character in the book! The accents and dialects are spot on and the women, actually sound like women. His reading is perfection and I hope he doesn't change one iota or try to improve on what doesn't need improving.
If you like the genre, you'll love the listen.
Now pardon me. I'm on to The Dragon Factory: Book 2 in the Joe Ledger series.
Hope not, but this book, second in what I read is to be a trilogy, doesn't bode well for the Michael Monroe series. The initial premise is okay, (involves cult life and those sections in the cult are fine) but it seems that's all there is--a decent premise and a lukewarm attempt at threading it into a story as thrilling as the Informationist had been. Anything outside of the central plot felt contrived and was ultimately boring. The main characters--all of whom I grew to like in the first one were just irritating in this one. I forced myself to listen to the very end out of respect for the first novel (The Informationist) that was so far superior.
I happened upon the Back Dagger novels by accident and had to go back and start from Novel One and work my way through. I love that J.R.Ward went outside the box and played with the whole how vampires exist sort of thing--creating their alternative world and way of life and weaving that into the realm of life among humans. It's pretty cool and while I sometimes cringe at the fact that everyone speaks in that same short hand, tough mannered way (including the women) that seems a small issue as I glean so much enjoyment from the individual stories of the Brothers and their mates (their back stories, etc.), how they're brought together, the complex relationships and the bonds that are formed. I'm coming to the end of Lover Avenged right now and I'm almost preening with excitement, because I've already guessed what the major plot-line of the next one is going to be. Lucky me that I don't have to wait and can jump right in as soon as The End sounds on my dvr. P.S. Jim Frangione is a perfect choice for these novels. He's not the best when it comes to accents and dialects, but mostly his performances are superb. It takes a special talent to indicate the opposite sex without sounding a little odd. He's one of the readers that does it without--it appears--effort. He was a great find for the Brotherhood novels.
I was aware of the Butcher's Boy for many years before allowing myself to be pulled in by the fact that this was an Edgar Award winning novel by a first time published author (pretty sure my facts are correct--or close enough to count as correct). Anyway, I was hooked after page one and by the end was pretty darn sure I'd read the last word on the Butcher's Boy. I mean, who can keep a series going about a non-feeling, clinical-like, loner hit-man? Well, evidently, Thomas Perry can and did. When Sleeping Dogs came out I was in literary-thriller heaven and counted myself lucky that Perry managed a second book on the B Boy. However, last week, I sumbled upon The Informant while browsing. I couldn't hit the select button fast enough. I've been listending to it every spare chance I get and for a third time I am not dissapointed. Neither Perry, nor the Butcher's Boy series has lost a step. If you're familiar with the series, you know what to expect. If you're not, but you like mystery-thrillers, start with the Butcher's Boy first, Sleeping Dogs next and then The Informant. I give this series my highest recommendation. Oh--and I rarely comment on the readers/actors, but Michael Kramer is perfect for this series and this character. You go boy!
If you like this genre, you'll love this book and the people who pepper it. Great characters, excellent plotting. Listened during bike rides, speed walks, drives to work and any chance I got. Give me more, please.
With my pinchent for dark thrilliers and multilayered detective series, I was in need of a break, although I didn't want to stray too far from the genre I love. Leave it to Psmith was just what the literary doctor ordered; a bit of whimsy, a lot of British dry humor,a caper in the making with wonderful characters to round it all out. Not sure if it's for every taste, but I don't think I've ever chuckled out loud so many times during my afternoon bike rides. Wonderful respite from worldly stress and the fact that one pretty soon realizes how things HAVE to turn out, it doesn't make getting there any less enjoyable.
While browsing titles, I stumbled across Louise Penny and the Three Pines/Inspector Gamache novels. I was looking for something that was intriguing, but fresh. Decided to give Penny a try after reading a few of the summaries. Lucky for me. This series provides all of the mystery essentials, but is infused with an unusally great sense of fun. Three Pines is peopled with wonderfully drawn complex characters; even the best people in this hidden away village have their dark moments. In The Cruelest Month, Penny wraps up the insidious story within the stories that was introduced in the first of the series and threaded through the second, even as the wise and skillful Inspector is on the job ferreting out murderers. Cosham, as the reader, is top notch! Well done all.
Crais doesn't disappoint. I was a bit worried, after his last work, that he was losing his edge, but there was no need. He's raised the bar on himself. I love the plotting (replete with switchbacks) as well as the bond between Pike and Cole and the relationships they have independent of each other. I could go on, but I'd just be gushing. Whether a Pike fan, a Cole fan or simply a detective mysery fan, The Sentry is a great listen. I once again find myself in the "can't wait for the next one" mode.
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