If you must choose one in this series, choose this one. Preston and Child have really hit their stride by this novel. Characters are well-developed, they have mastered the art of foreshadowing, and the narrator is pitch-perfect. I've almost forgotten I listened to him read Atlas Shrugged (skip that one). Of course, at the end, you'll want to rush into the next one, but it's a delicious temptation you will want to give into. Just don't finish in the early morning hours, unless you have a 24-hour bookstore, or can download the next from Audible immediately. Heck, just do it near the end. Then you'll be a fan, and you'll be reading them all.
Mr. Simsion manages to capture the behaviors, thoughts and dilemmas of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders perfectly, without demeaning or exalting. The book is funny, but does not make fun of the main character, Don. He has problems dealing with other people and life, yet he has achieved a high level of success in his life. He has a small group of loyal friends, an above-average job, yet he does many of the things that people within the Spectrum do: he is overly rigid, scheduled and precise. He is aware of his oddities, yet unable to "fit in," despite his awareness of them. Yet, when the opportunity arises, he is eventually able to overcome his rigidness and open himself up to change. His friends and colleagues are caring and understanding, yet have their own flaws, making for a completely heartwarming, yet realistic story. Thank you, Mr. Simsion, for a wonderful few hours of reading.
I liked this narrator better than the one that read the 1st 2. And they removed that echo-ey thing when people thought that was a little odd.
The Audible order for series is not quite right: this is listed as #3, but I think there's another before this, because they keep referring to a dig in Utah.
There is an odd thing where occasionally a sentence or 2 is repeated. Was the narration read to have commercials inserted?
My only criticism with the writing is the some adjectives are over-used and some character types are too stereotyped. You know who is going to die because they are the morally bankrupt characters.
I'm not a big fan of murder mysteries, but the setting tempted me, and I'm so glad I was drawn in. Instead of gory details of corpses and murder scenes, the novel was set in a rich and detailed place, full of characters that were multidimensional and powerful. No stereotypical all-bad or all-good characters. Deep and thoughtful character development, and attention to detail of place transported me to a place where I had never been in real life. Louise Penny is a masterful writer, and Ralph Cosham an excellent narrator, one of those readers that is so seamless that you lose yourself in the text and forget someone's reading to you. Highly recommend!
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