The best crime novel I've listened to in a long, long time. I had to rewind the end twice to be sure I heard right! It was a shocker! In this novel, Harry Hole is every bit the tortured detective with a heart of gold and penchant for self torment. The other characters are also deeply layered. Jo Nesbo eloquently illustrates the thinnest strands of the human heart that seem to tether us to one fate or another. A bad decision, an impulse, such tiny things can have such an effect on our lives. The twists are frequent, and don't fall into the typical cliches that poison so much crime fiction. In retrospect, I could have predicted some of the plot reversals, but an unconscious sense of optimism blinded me to what should have been obvious. The end result was a book that was very tense- when the traps were sprung, I gasped! Listening to the heartbreak that Harry has, and also brings to others, was at times stomach churning.
I love Robin Sachs elegant, tough and exhausted portrayal of the guy whose live is defined by his failures. Infinitely listenable.
From the first sentence to the last, this book is a masterpiece. It's fascinating, perfectly paced, gorgeously written, and was a pleasure to listen to. After the book was finished, I contemplated for several days the depth of genius Rushdie must possess. It is a perfect novel- an enchanting spell that takes a while to wake from. Amazing!
Maybe this book lost a lot in translation. I could not identify with the characters, and found the story line to be contrived, over the top and melodramic. It lost the sense of suspense with so many cliche characters and predictable plot twists. I read the book 'Alex' by the same author; that book suffered from many of the same flaws. The ending of Alex salvaged the book somewhat, but 'Irene' kept getting worse. The ending was sufficiently stupid, and didn't tie together the sloppy storyline or unbelievable characters. Overall, a real disappointment.
After listening for several hours to the author speak about why charisma is important, and list examples of people who are known for their charisma, the book goes from dull to ridiculous. One of the tricks to "mastering charisma" is to close your eyes and imagine all your stresses, worries and responsibilities lifted off of your shoulders by a higher power. If you actually feel better after this ludicrous exercise, you might like this book. It is not for people who value self respect. It is long on exercises designed to wish away your anxiety and sadly short on practical tips. These type of self help books are a dime a dozen, and the majority of the book is the author talking about how successful her method is. What that method actually is, and how to employ this method remained a mystery. Try "The Like Switch" instead. That book is utterly practical, pragmatic and full of completely reasonable advice that is easy to apply to your daily life.
Actually, amazingly, Scott Brick would be an upgrade! Joe Pike is like Dirty Harry- a super badass whose patience with lowlife criminals came to an end several decades ago. Ron McLarty perfected the tough guy in LA Requim. So imagine a Dirty Harry movie with Clint Eastwood being replaced by Keanu Reeves circa 1990- Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure-!! Luke Daniels sounds like a teenage surfer boy who is being forced to read his report on the Mayflower in front of the class. High pitched, monotone, very little pause betweem sentences- worst of all-kind of dumb. I can't believe how many narrators this series has used! It ruins the whole book- I found it to be so grating, I couldn't get through the first hour. If this is your first Robert Crais book, it might very well be your last! That is a shame because he is a great writer. His characters are engrossing and the plots are suspenseful. Go for LA Requim instead, and make sure to press the preview button before purchasing any more titles in the series.
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