In general I do like Simon Vance. But since I've heard--more than once--all the Aubrey-Maturin novels with the, ahem, other reader, I expect I'm really quite prejudiced.
This is NOT the John Ceepak series at all. It is a thriller. Our hero is a famous FBI agent.
Maybe the readers should not be all that tired, after all this seems to be the first of a series, so the main characters, including the hero's child, have to survive till the next book.
But there are vast numbers of bad guys to conquer, two different groups of Russian Mafia.
As usual with Grabenstein's books, the audio is very good, (although I don't know how good the Russian accent is--distinctive here), enough difference in voices to separate the characters.
I seem to recall that Bowen had a little trouble getting a very wealthy man integrated into the stories. This time it it pretty well works.
Not sure as well what the Metis accent really sounds like--the narrator's voice and the one I had in my head when reading the first couple of books are different. But I've no idea which--if either--of us is correct.
But the book is fun--Dupree gets involved with a movie company--at least partly because there was a Metis fiddler on the Lewis and Clark expedition--the Cruzatte in the title. Maria is one of Dupree's daughters--and the one who both drags Dupree into the situation and then becomes much more involved herself.
After a previous movie company, to put it politely, put everyone in the county's back up, after most of the land on the river is sold to outsiders,after some rabid environmentalists LOUDLY voice their opinion that all white humans, even those whose family has been there for well over a century, be evicted so that buffalo can be reintroduced in something like their previous numbers--people start being killed on the river. A couple of FBI agents say that since Maria is already at the film location, Dupree can easily fit in without arousing the killers.
There are a bear and a dog who manage to steal scenes, and one of Dupree's granddaughters, a truly precocious 7-year old, who has an encounter with one of the FBI agents so funny that I had to pull my car over to the side of the road and not crash for laughing so hard.
Which makes me very happy.
I think having a kid invade Stephanie's life has helped a whole lot. So she's having to relate to more than how hot Ranger is.
I've tried to read Zora Neale Hurston before, gotten ten pages in thinking "wow, she really can write" then put the book down and never picked it up again.
In audio I was drawn in and listened happily to the end.
I think this happens a lot to me, that with the voice in my mind I could read other Hurston (or any of a dozen other authors) cheerfully.
Part one is a bit of a mess--the book on paper might be better if it has charts and tables and time-lines.
Even so, it's fascinating to see how the view from the British Navy and the view from the East India Company differ (especially if you're a fan of the Aubrey/Maturin series--more on that later). Important issues include flogging, starting, and a big thing that made the Indiamen miserable at fighting--impressing hands into Navy ships. They hadn't a prayer of getting let alone keeping enough trained people to fight and sail at the same time.
The second part covers the same events as O'Brian's Mauritius Command.
And we find out how much liberty he's taken with the facts. Rather of a lot. But the details of the main battle seemed pretty much the same.
But I've certainly enjoyed her in audio.
And this was a good one.
No artificial scary parts, for instance.
Mind you I don't mind getting a lecture on how skeletons age along the way.
That I must have read more than four times over the years.
It's kind of odd to hear it in a voice that is not the one I've heard in my head all these years.
But the audio reminded me why love the book, and I heard things I'd never noticed before.
So I may try some more old favorites as a result.
Wonderful. Narrator does a fine job. And Grandin is extremely interesting.
I've referred people to the book five or six times since I finished it. And may have to buy a print copy so I can find bits in a hurry.
Over-long safety checklists are very high on Grandin's list of stupid things. What needs to be accomplished--she asks. Concentrate on that, not on 30 things that might or might not lead to that end. Especially if concentrating on the 30 make you lose sight of what you really want.
Only a little of which is attributable to the reading. I said.
The literary hook is Greek tragedy. Which works remarkably well.
The guy did a good job of plotting, and by the way his hero has a conscience.
So I'm not dis-recommending it. Just warning you that you will be frequently annoyed if you listen to this too soon after reading or, especially, listening to a Spenser novel.
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