Say Hello to the characters you will come to love. Enjoying the character development as the books proceed adds immeasurably to the enjoyment. Read the series in order if at all possible. You won't regret it. And it is Impossible to believe that one woman provides all the narration. I honestly forget I'm not listening to multiple people!
Confusing. Frustrating. Anticlimactic.
Yes, but please, please, please -- don't make this the first book you read of the In Death series. I'm afraid that if you read this one first, it could discourage you from taking the great ride of reading this series from start to finish.
I am a big fan of this series and I have rarely been disappointed. In this book, however, the story drags, the central murder just doesn't make much sense (I know, sometime it's just senseless, but it's hard to buy the motivations here), the trajectory of the murderer's storyline doesn't make much sense, and the motivations for many of the others involved are convoluted and incomplete and seem to be disconnected from their lives before this book.
It's a rare thing for Robb, but this murder case seems very contrived to me.
Also, I found it disappointing that potentially great scenes that could have existed around the vid premiere simply never happened. Oh, the embarrassment of Eve we could have witnessed, the groupies hanging on Roarke, Peabody and McNab charming the paparazzi. Mavis breaking into improptu music vid trilling and inciting a riot. Leonardo raptly murmuring, "Isn't she precious?" Sigh. The author has a habit of doing this (anyone wish we'd gotten more about Eve's and Roarke's wedding?!?) but it's infuriating. But, of course, I remain a loyal reader. Maybe I need abuse counseling . . .
Perhaps in print this book flows better, but I found it suprisingly confusing. So many new characters with so many new names questioned more than once, several accountants here, several real estate types there, here's three partners, there's two partners, here's a judge, there's a date, an ex, another ex, another . . . You get the point. Poor Susan, what a narrating challenge. Who can differentiate that many people in a coherent manner? By the time Roarke finally named the person he suspected, I swear I honestly had no idea who that was. I'd totally lost track. An accountant? An investor? Who? Which one? Why?
Let me emphasize. THIS IS AN EXCEPTION. Even with these issues, it's a good book. It's just not up to the normal high standard of this series.
Fantastic as always. For the recurring characters, it takes literally one word and you can identify who is speaking. She is tremendous!
A scene near the beginning involving notification of death and one near the end with Dallas and Roarke.
The recent books have been so good . . . maybe that's part of why this one seems disappointing in comparison.
With most series, it doesn't affect the enjoyment of the books much if you read them in order or not. With the In Death series, it does. Although you certainly can read any book as a stand-alone, you usually get more out of any specific book if you've read several of the previous books in the series. More than most, this series intertwines and builds in significant ways over the course of the books.
For this book, I'd suggest reading "New York to Dallas" at the very least -- or that book won't be as enjoyable if you read it later. (Possibly also Reunion in Death first, before New York to Dallas, but before you read Reunion . . . ). I strongly recommend reading this series in order. Most books are great and even the few that fall a bit short of the normal standard of excellence invariably advance character development.
Ericksen is amazing as the narrator of this series. More than 15 often-recurring characters (plus another set of occasional ones) are clearly delineated. I am constantly astounded at how I can recognize which character is speaking within one or two words. The consistency across this volume of books is incredible. I don't know what salary you're making, Susan, but you're worth it. Ask for a raise!
Not necessarily better, but certainly no worse either.
The intro grabbed my attention and the relationship between the 4 sisters of circumstance held promise that was fulfilled in this book and, I trust, in 3 more focusing on the remaining "sisters." And the male lead was pretty much irresistible.
I enjoyed her interpretations and characterizations.
Honor Before Blood
It was pretty unbelievable than family members could be so oblivious and ignorant to blame the lead character for the sins of the father. Willful blindness only goes so far. Many of these interactions in the book just didn't ring as true as Garwood's writing normally does.
The two lead detective's characters are well-drawn. I want to know more about them and another couple, which is a good sign. What I didn't like was, first, that excessive description at places had me drifting off as the murderer rhapsodized about unnecessary and distracting details. Second, it is annoying that you have to buy the sequel to finish the story that was the purported primary focus of the book. (Having not read the sequel, I can't be sure the story finishes there either, but you get the point.) I'm fine with series and trilogies, but this approach is pretty deceptive.
This is in the vein of Karen Rose or Karin Slaughter, but not quite up to that standard.
A female narrator, given that it seemed most of the dialogue was women. Of course, perhaps I dozed through parts . . .
So Many Killers, Such a Small Town, Who'd Have Thought?
True fans of the series. I've found the series OK, but not as compelling as Stuart's other books.
Um. From dissipated jerk to noble suitor in record-breaking speed.
Cutting isn't the issue -- what's needed is addition. Like justification. Evolution of character.
I don't think this chapter (that's about how long it is) would be worth half the price.
Yes on Karen Rose. I wouldn't look for books by Gavin, but then there's very few narrators I'd look for and consider a book solely because of the narrator (e.g., Susan Ericksen; Scott Brick).
Wendie Malick clone (actress on Just Shoot Me, Hot in Cleveland, etc.) I swear I thought Wendie was the narrator at times -- especially the (too) many times the narrator had a very sarcastic tone. Is it just me? I found this very distracting at times.
Yes. But it wasn't up to Karen Rose's normal level. It went on too long before getting to the puzzle-solving.
Just about every supposedly responsible police and DA employee is either evil, complicit or seemingly stupid. The central male character's big secret? Does the States' Attorney office not do background checks for security clearance? All these cops are being blackmailed and terrorized into doing heinous things but no one breaks? How many times are you nearly killed before you get the heck out of Dodge until things cool down? Nope, let's walk around with a Kevlar vest despite the sharpshooter who no doubt is capable of nailing you in the head. I've lost my spouse and child, nearly lost my other child, and folks still can get access to my home to terrorize us more? Especially when about 5 attempts have been made on a best friend's life and I'm working to solve the case? Huh?
Yes. With series after a couple years I often go back and listen to a set in a row, catching things I missed - or forgot.
Flashbacks made it harder to follow than usual - plus it seems there could have been fewer flashbacks with more of the story told contiguously. Plus, it seem Slaughter gets more and more hostile to Christianity. Her villains VERY often have a twisted superficially religious motive. Somehow, her Chistians bear absolutely no resemblance to anyone I know. It's getting close to the point I won't buy the books.
The narrator was strong and differentiated characters well.
Holes, holes, holes. Perhaps this is intentional with some -- allowing them to be filled by the next book (i.e., the last chapter, etc.) But some things were left untold perhaps because it just wouldn't make sense if details were given -- hey, let the reader supply his/her best guess. Trying to avoid spoilers here . . . . How did a major party manage to leave the scene? Who did the ultimate murder? There's the obvious assumption, but was it every really stated directly (maybe I dozed off.) Do you believe Will Trent would be so passive in researching his own past not to find some of the deceptions? Or, wouldn't Ang have discovered this at some point? Inheritance laws?
Confusing, but Intriguing
Great Intro catches attention
Yes. Given the inherently ambiguous nature of the first scene as well as later scenes, the narrator is hampered a bit by the necessity of disguised exactly who is involved. She can't make it clear who is thinking or speaking in some scenes, so there is intentional ambiguity.
Victim, Murderer, Avenging Angel -- or All of the Above?
Oh, yes. I seldom listen to audiobooks more than once, but I've listed to the In Death series twice -- in order! Why? It's fascinating to roll back the clock and revisit the steps in character development. I find nuances in earlier books that resonate with the knowledge of what comes later in the characters' experiences.
I LIKE the fact that this book is a change of pace. My one criticism of the In Death series is that sometimes the story and pacing is a bit too formulaic (if you're reading them one after the other in order). This one is a break from the darkness of some of the more recent books.
I never fail to marvel at Susan Ericksen's incredible ability to craft amazingly distinct and unique characters -- inflection, pace of speech, accent, tone, volume. Usually one word is enough to identify the character. And there are a LOT of recurring characteris in the In Death series, making it quite a challenge to give them distinct voices that encapsulate their personalities.
The lighthearted scenes at the party and the accompanying repartee made me laugh. The interplay between Eve & Rourke nearly always makes me smile. . .
This shouldn't be the first In Death book you read, because it just won't be as meaningful. At the very least, read Origin in Death before this one.
Interesting first chapter leading to a surprising "reveal" a few chapters later, followed by interesting twists and turns. Intriguing characters and a story that was strong except for a bit anticlimactic ending. I'll buy more from this author. And the narrator -- fantastic job! Great with male & female characters and different accents. Well worth the time.
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