Need a light read to entertain you for a few hours? You do do much worse than this short, entertaining view into the dangerous, scandalous and adventurous life of Phryne Fisher. Phryne must be the cause of many grey hairs and sleepless nights for her parents, but I would love to tag along on her next impulsive journey.
If you long for books where the chaste, demure woman and righteous man prevail, this one is not for you. If you think a story should be edifying and have a moral, this book may not be your cup of tea. But if you think a heroine can have fun while sinning and still be able to do the right thing, albeit with verve and style, Phryne may belong in your pantheon of favorite leading characters.
I doubt any of the narrator's accents are accurate, but she keeps the book moving right along with a great pace and plenty of personality.
This is my first Kerry Greenwood novel and will not be my last.
The primary character in this volume is Stefan Lindman, a self absorbed policeman who acts as though the laws of the land do not apply to him. The story is complicated and entwined, as are most Mankell books. The characters are complicated and opaque, as are people in real life. The story here has depth, mystery and layers of understanding. It invokes the consequences of our personal histories and the histories of cultures. I should love this book, but I simply like it.
This book is better than the average detective novel out in the wild, but not as good as my favorite Mankell novels. Maybe it that is from my ill-suited affection for Kurt Wallander, the socially inept detective of many of Mankell's novels. Maybe it is because I felt actual dislike for Stefan Lindman who is careless with those who love him and irrational in his obsession with death caused by the tongue cancer detected early in the novel. Maybe it is because he gets to take months off work for this same tongue cancer when he is perfectly capable of going about his normal life (why, oh why did Mankell select such a ridiculous malady?).
The narration is good and appropriate to the book. I probably prefer Dick Hill's narration (for several other Mankell novels) but that could simply be from familiarity.
This story includes most of my favorite characters from the Brunetti series but places them in a completely new environment - a military school. While Guido always fights red tape and needless delay, here they are his primary opponents. I do not feel you get as much Venetian ambiance in this edition as it is primarily focused on the society and culture of the military and the school. David Colacci, as always, does a fine job narrating but did not pull me into the story as much in Uniform Justice as he does with other books in the series.
If you are new to Inspector Brunetti, I would not recommend starting with this book. Try the first in the series, Acqua Alta (unfortunately not available at Audible) or one of the fine later installments: The Girl of His Dreams, Through a Glass Darkly or Drawing Conclusions. Be sure to pick one narrated by Colacci - he is by far the best for this series.
Others have mentioned the selection of Caroline Lee for this book. Her voice is nice and easy to listen too, but her accent constantly grated on my ear as she doe not do a credible upper class Englishwoman (or Englishman or American). Her version of Deborah almost incited me to violence upon my iPod. I would listen to her on a different book, though.
I would not, however, listen to another book by Kate Morton. This was my first and it was torture to get through this one. It is NOT Downton Abbey or Upstairs, Downstairs. It is a pale copy written by someone who apparently has done no research on the time period or lifestyles of the British upper-class during the 1910s and 1920s. Her characters are silly and unbelievable. The anachronisms abound, almost laughable. Who is complaining about those new fangled automobiles 20 years after they take over city street? In what world is the maid conveniently dusting the THE SAME ROOM where her masters are entertaining or sharing secrets? Spying, surely, but not dusting. Where does a man who marries into a family become master of the manor house and estate even though he is not the heir to the title? (who is for that matter, as is never discussed again? that is who would be living in the house). I could continue, but I want to purge this idiotic book from my mind.
This is an interesting, but not particularly enlightening, book. Ambrose obviously idolizes McGovern. While I admire and am thankful for the sacrifices of the servicemen of WWII, the fact is that they were not all universally selfless and exemplary human beings. There were cowards, cheats, and evil men even in the Army Air Force. You will get no hint of that in this book - everyone was an unmitigated hero, every decision by leadership was fair and wise, no crewmember made foolish and deadly mistakes.
At no point do any of the claims of former pilots or crew get the scrutiny a true work of research would have required. The 60 year old memories of the brave servicemen often ring more of apocrypha than truth - a bit of flak piercing a map right at the home base of the crew comes to mind.
There is a mention in passing about the high causalities from frostbite aboard the bombers, but no criticism or discussion of the political decisions that ignored the risk to the young men who lived with the dangerous and frightening situation daily. Ball gunners were subject to horrendously uncomfortable working conditions but did not have a particularly high success rate in protecting their planes, according to other, less awestruck, authors.
Ambrose did us a service by giving us the story of a single crew. This is the type of book that humanizes war and we all need to understand that it is men, women, sisters, fathers, sons and wives who fight and die in wars.
The narrator was competent and for a different book would probably be excellent. But he conveys none of the youthful enthusiasm of the airmen then, nor the wistful recollections of the same men today. He presents the book in a straightforward and direct style that is not in keeping with the writing.
The author seems to have been under an irresistible urge to get this published in the midst of Bernard Madoff scandal. The half of the book devoted to that particular exhibition of greed is full of suggestion and innuendo but little substantial fact. It was written before charges were settled or investigative information publically disclosed. Needless to say, years later it reads like a newspaper story of the time, not a considered review of the final outcome. I did not find this major section of the book to be illuminating or even-handed.
The rest of the book, however, was what I was hoping for. While certainly not inclusive of all financial frauds, it was illustrative of the kind of frauds that can be successfully implemented. Anyone who thinks they can spot a "great investment opportunity" ought to read through the sad experiences of the past.
There was a distracting onslaught of case numbers and websites, which can be quickly skimmed in a paper book but grated on my ear in audio form. The author seemed to be under the misapprehension that anonymous bloggers have as much credibility as respected journalists.
The narrator was not a good choice for this book. He mispronounced company and individual names - demonstrating a lack of familiarity with the financial world.
I would love to find a good book that delivers what this volume advertises – a history of fraud and greed throughout history.
Donna Leon's Venetian police procedurals have long been on my favorites list and I would read anything that stars Guido Brunetti.
This edition is a bit of a change as much of the story does not occur in Venice - as many would guess from the introductory road accident. It also visits some very unpleasant issues - something which does not become clear until late in the book. Unlike most in this series, the squeamish index shoots to the top in one scene - be forewarned if violent sex bothers you (not graphic but violent).
But it does feature my favorite cast of characters and give a glimpse into the everyday life of a Venetian family (Venetian, mind you, not Italian).
David Colacci is a fabulous narrator for this series - he IS Guido Brunetti to my ears.
I would not recommend this as a first read in the series - but if you are already addicted, this should keep you satisfied.
I love Henning Mankell's work and expected to love this novel, even though it is not a mystery nor does it cast the same characters as I know from the Wallander books.
But right from the first, I found this a difficult read. The characters are not in the least appealing and selfishness and petty grudges get tiresome after awhile. Not all grudges are petty, however, and the ones that aren't, make me like these people even less. There is an amazing streak of recklessness that runs through all of the major players. Some of them have paid a high price for mistakes in the past, but they certainly have not learned from those mistakes.
If I were to meet any of the major characters out in the real world, I would watch them with morbid fascination for a bit, then have to turn away in disgust. Sadly, the book continued long after my fascination ended.
I will continue to read any Mankell books that I find as he is a marvelous writer, but I hope I do not come across any more failed doctors or terrible mothers in the process, or at least any like those in this book.
The narrator did a fine job and was credible as the aging, dissolute protagonist.
This is absolutely my favorite mystery series and David Colacci is a wonderful narrator who captures the essence of my beloved Commissario Brunetti.
In this installment, he is not satisfied with the result from the medical inspector and continues the investigation on his own. The plot itself is pure Brunetti and nothing startling arises from any of the colorful series characters. I often wish I were an American version of Signorina Elettra with her style, charm and ability to get things done.
What I especially enjoyed about this book is a bit more intimate view of the Brunetti family. We always get a glimpse of his beautiful, rich and decidedly down-to-earth wife and two articulate and well-spoken teenage children, but this time I was tremendously drawn to the whole family. I would love to sit down to one of the family dinners dinners and just listen to their humorous, thoughtful banter.
Perhaps I like this series because I love Venice and its embrace of the past. But the stories and the characters keep me coming back.
This predictable story with emotionally stunted characters was a great disappointment. I hoped to like it as I know the Oregon coast well, but the locale plays a minimal role in the story. The "mystery" is transparent and relies on far fetched circumstances to reach resolution.
The two primary characters are frustratingly immature. Their romance is utterly unbelievable. Hannah is selfish, bossy, prissy and obsessed with what other people think. Rafe is the troubled grandson of the local rake who fell for Hannah 8 years ago after a chance encounter. My sister once described someone she met as being so shallow, she could walk through their soul and never get her ankles wet. I think she was talking about Hannah and Rafe.
Grandpa Mitchell's usual exclamation is "well shoot and damn." If you find that a likely expression for a salty old rogue, you may find this book credible.
Honestly, except for a couple of brief, laughable sex scenes, I would guess this was written for young adults. Poorly written for young adults. I have not read any Harlequin Romances, but this book is exactly what I would expect from that publisher.
The narrator was OK, but unfortunately did not have much to work with.
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