Koontz has always built dept into his books. This one had all of the tensions of that depth, yet only briefly (all too!) explored them. A good book which could have been so much more.
Okay, let me say I have liked Connelly since his days with the Times. I have liked Harry, was amazed with the Poet, but Haller is so real as an LA criminal attorney I was hooked with the first in the series. Nevertheless, the key to this novel is having a protagonist that you feel a bit uneasy with his ethics (which was not really true with the first two), as well as having a defendant that you really get to distrust to the point of almost disliking. Add to that a contemporary social ill which should have set up the good guy/bad guy dichotomy (and yet never really does in black and white terms). So the imminent reality Connelly sets is kind of like riding the rapids in an inner tube--fun and exciting but never a moment when you can get ignore that next curve.
WOW, this book was great! Mystery, southern culture, and a reader who charms you to death. What more could be required or even wanted. I loved Gods of Alabama, but this carries even further. If you want a book that entertains and makes you wonder wher it is going next, grab this title. You will not be disappointed.
Now I will admit, this book sat on my iPod for more than 6 months. But once I got into it, wow! I could kid that it has everything people seem to want, should you watch the entertainment media (while cynical I believe an evening viewing would prove me true). But this has so many twists that you can't help but start to reflect on your own values and presumptions. And if a book of fiction can provoke that, what more can be asked of a novel.
If you believe that there has been a dangerous turn over the years away from news and toward the scandalous, but still love mysteries, this book is, or should be, a prime choice for you.
Patterson has come full circle and I, for one, enjoyed his revisiting political campaigns. The first book I ever encountered by Patterson was "Private Screening" which once and for all set me on the road for all of his books. While his circumstances, put in a "real world" are far too hopeful to ever happen, Patterson so deftly establishes the imminent reality (as I borrow from Barthes), the reality is the text. So, to any Richard North Patterson fans, political aficionados, or those who simply enjoy a multi-level and tightly plotted book, this book will be a must.
Okay, I'll admit it. I hated living in the South and was happy to get away. But as I was reading and lsitening to this, I could smell the humidity, hear the bugs, and see the high school kids. Boy, does Jackson have the environment right! Great story, colorful in detail and scary how close to living down South it is. Get it before the rest of the family starts calling.
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