Agree with others that the secondary story of Michelle's family was distracting and a waste of time. Without it the book's length would probably be a 1/3 shorter and not worth the listen. Even the primary storyline dragged on. There were too many points along the way where the author comes up with a solution to a problem that is unrealistic. Reminds me of one of his previous books with these characters where during a gun battle the two bullets from the villain and Shawn miraculously collided, thereby preventing injury. Sigh.
Definitely not of of Baldacci's better reads; not even close.
I'm sorry but when you buy an audio book the narration always factors into the enjoyment of the story. A Harry Dresden book just isn't the same without the guy who gave the characters their voices. I thought the story/plot was okay but it would have been great to have Marsters back. It got to the point where I had to listen to some of "Changes" just to hear the comforting narration I've come to expect from Dresden.
If Book 14 is released without Marsters I'll be checking it out at the library instead of wasting an Audible credit on it.
This was not one of James Lee Burke's best Dave Robicheaux novels. The ending was abrupt. It sounded like Mr. Burke got tired of writing and just quit! It definitely needed an epilog. I do hope this is not his last Robicheaux novel.
The story line is okay but what a lousy ending. I won't give anything away by saying there's no closure to this book and what little ending there is made me scroll back because I thought I had accidentally missed a couple hours of listening. At the very least there should have been an epilogue but one second you're listening to the story and the next the author says "The End". What a waste.
I've listened to other Baldacci novels but this is by far the worse. Halfway through I just wanted this thing to end. As others have commented the plot was weak and predictable, the characters are annoying, narration made it worse and the cliches never ended. I couldn't believe the number of times the main characters got themselves out of life and death situation via completely unrealistic and stupid methods. It got to the point where I was hoping the main characters would die to prevent any type of sequel.
This wasn't my first Baldacci novel but it'll be my last. The quality of his writing has declined to the point where he's just dialing in the books for a quick buck.
I fail to understand the average customer ratings for the Jack Reacher books. The series is one of the worst I've read and Die Trying just perpetuates the problem. The narrator's voice is annoying to the point where you just want to turn off the book and take a break from the "whining" of the female characters. The supernatural abilities of Reacher to bring the story to a conclusion are just too hokey and unrealistic.
This was my 3rd and last attempt at a Lee Child/Jack Reacher novel. Upon finishing "Echo Burning" I didn't think I could find something with an ending so absurd but lo and behold this entire book fit the mold. As a previous reviewer mentions the method that the killer uses is so improbable that that the author must believe you're an idiot to buy into it. What makes this even worse is that you quickly realize what it is but you hope throughout the rest of the book that you're wrong because it would be such a stupid approach for the storyline.
I enjoy a mystery where you have to use the given clues to determine the killer but in this case the author deliberately withholds information because once you figure out the killing method early into the book then the identity of the murderer is blown (of course you keep hoping it's a mistake because otherwise it would be too absurd to believe).
And finally the narration is grating at best. Like other Reacher books by the same narrator, the voices of the female characters are whiny and so "nasally" that it's annoying to listen to them. I'd seriously consider hiring a woman to handle the voices of the female characters in these books.
With that being said this was my last Lee Child novel. The plots are too hokey and the characters are too annoying to waste listening time on. It's depressing knowing I've burned up 12 hours of my life that I'll never get back.
I usually don't have a problem with getting through a book but this was tough. The Carmen character was so annoying that it was difficult to just listen to her and the narration made things work. Dick Hill's impersonation of female characters really grates on you. Both Carmen and her daughter always come across as whining and weak. Within a few hours of listening to their voices you really just want to turn off the book to end the misery.
OH. MY. GOD. This book was WAY too long! I'm guessing DeMille must have been paid by the word to publish it. This could easily have been written in half the length without sacrificing any of the storyline, character development, etc.
The narration made it worse. I'm normally a Scott Brick fan but not with this one. For lack of a better description he massively over-acted the reading. It got to the point where I wouldn't have minded if the main character was killed halfway through the book to at least put an end to the drama and listening to his words.
By the time you get to the ending you're expecting a massive surprise or shock to the storyline but it's not even close. The ending is dull and anti-climactic.
If you're interested in Up Country then find an abridged version. Otherwise you'll be "up" all year trying to finish it.
Absolutely gripping story. One of James Lee Burke's best books. Mark Hammer IS Dave Robicheaux. He has an uncanny way of interpreting and projecting the characters of each book so that the listener is totally immersed. James Lee Burke's descriptions of sights, sounds, feelings and smells brings the listener into the scene. Both James Lee Burke and Mark Hammer are incredibly talented people.
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