I am about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the book and still waiting to hear about the "secret plot" to capture Capone. What I've heard about instead is a bunch of history and numerous profiles about various gangsters in the 20s and 30s. That's interesting, nonetheless, but not why I got this book. I got this book based upon the title, and I have yet to hear anything about it... just a TON of background information that seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the so-called "secret plot" the book is supposed to be about. The narrator, Dick Hill, is great, by the way.
I purchased this one accidentally. I meant to get Hard Time which is narrated by Jean Smart. When I fired this one up the other day, I was in for a shock. Sandra Burr, who unfortunately seems to have narrated quite a few V.I. Warshawski audiobooks (which means I'm going to miss out on a lot of them), makes Vic sound like a wide-eyed little girl, or a Stepford Wife. The edge, the wit, and the tough as nails femininity is completely absent. She makes Vic sound like she's on mood stabilizers, and the mood of the story is ruined. When V.I. gets into a heated discussion with one of the other characters, she "shoots back" with a retort, but she could have been talking about how nice sunny days are when the sky is blue. Yes, it's that bad. Unless you're really hard up for a V.I. Warshawski novel, I suggest you skip this and pick up the ones by Jean Smart. Smart nails Vic perfectly.
(*Reposting this as some of my reviews seem to have been disassociated from my Audible account.)
This is one of those V.I. Warshawski stories that kept me right on the edge of my seat. I listened to this while commuting to and from work over a period of a few weeks. I found myself white knuckling the steering wheel during the really tense parts... and occasionally taking the long way home just to listen to more. V.I. goes through hell in this one, and takes her closest confidants with her. There is little Lotty in this one, but when she does show, the scenes are packed with emotion that seizes your heart. We are treated to quite a bit of Mr. Contreras and Peppy and Mitch, though. Jean Smart does the best narration of the V.I. novels, in my opinion, with Susan Ericksen falling a close second.
For those who are passingly familiar with the V.I. timeline, this is book 9, and the book in which she meets Morrell.
(*Reposting this as some of my reviews seem to have been disassociated with my Audible account).
I was eagerly anticipating this next entry in the series as I enjoyed the previous four books. As an aside, I think books 3 and 4 are probably the best in the series. Books 1 and 2 were good stories, but the prose was a little weak and needed some polish, and the effort they put toward that end is readily apparent in 3 and 4.
I'm not sure what the heck happened to them for book 5.
Don't get me wrong, it's a decent enough story. I mean, I've heard/read worse. It was nice to revisit Kate, Curran, Derrick, etc. But were the poorly written "erotica" scenes really necessary? Anyone who's read any of the previous books would have noticed how much these scenes stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean, absolutely jarring. I'm no prude and I do own some well-written erotica as part of my collection of books. It's just that it really had no place in this book. It was enough to make me cringe, honestly. Far from adding to the story, it just took away from it instead.
To me, one of the strengths of these books is that the writers didn't need to resort to that in previous volumes. There was enough sexual tension there to make a reader smile without having to be beat over the head with it.
I hope for book 6 (if there is one) that they don't do this again. They were in the process of building a really wonderful series and then they threw rocks through their own windows.
There was enough potential in Magic Bites (Book 1) to get me to try this one. Glad I did! The narrator, characters, and story have grown on me, and about halfway through this book, there was a wild turn for the better in the series. Seems the authors have both gotten better in their writing and have gotten a better editor. The prose is more polished. All the technicalities aside, the characters are really starting to come alive. Toss in a dash of old Celtic mythology, and you've got a great story. If you like urban fantasy that's not ruined by the overwrought romance that plagues so many other novels in the genre, give the Kate Daniels series a try. Oh, sure, there's DEFINITELY something brewing between Kate and Curran... but what it is we just don't know quite yet, it's not overwrought, and it doesn't detract from the story. Enjoy!
While the writing itself is quite obviously amateurish (not bad, just unpolished), the world created here is rather original to me and that's what's driven me to try book 2 in the series. I'm hoping that the more they write, the better their prose will become. It's a credit to the authors that they've created a world that blends the supernatural with the real world, and have done it in an intriguing way. I still don't know WHY some things happen, or WHY some things are the way they are, but that's ok. I much prefer learning about the world as the story goes on rather than having it all explained to me in minute detail. That's the strength of this book. If you can get past the sometimes eye-rolling turn of phrase or monotonous setting description (on this wall there was a painting, on the wall over to the right, that had a crack, was a bookcase, to the left of that.. etc), then I think this is an entertaining listen for anyone into supernatural or fantasy. There's a little bit of romance, but not a whole ton which is good. Every time there's too much, it's a sure sign of a poor story. Thankfully, the authors haven't made that mistake, at least with this first book.
Understand, I really like Kathy Bates as an actress. But as a narrator? Not so much. She's got Vic's attitude down ok, and the few times that Lotty shows up in the story she does quite well, but when it comes to the men's voices, Kathy strikes out. They sound comical and really do detract from the story. At some points, they all start to sound the same. Also, since this is an abridged tale, you're missing out on a lot of what makes a Sara Paretsky book good. The details are what makes a book a good book. If you enjoy V.I. Warshawski novels, I recommend something unabridged narrated by Jean Smart or Susan Ericksen.
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