Last week I finished my first Robert Crais' novel, his newest book "Suspect", which if you are a dog lover is a must read! I was so pleasantly surprised that I chose L.A. Requiem for my next "listen". I rarely rate a book 5 stars, but I had to with this one because I was so completely blown away. Until now Michael Connelly has been my favorite author in this genre, I think now Crais is number 1, especially after the most recent Connelly disappointment. Crais delivers mystery, excitement and intrigue woven into a fast paced compelling story brought to life by well developed and believable characters and which reads like an Oscar worthy screen play.
Ron McLarty proves to be a versatile and talented audio performer who in my opinion rates second only to George Guidall. Overall this is one of my favorite books and I would highly recommend it to those who are fans of this genre. I am looking forward to my next Robert Crais book. My only complaint is that nearly all of them are less than 10 hours long.
I just had to put my two cents in and agree with most of the reviewers here that the "reader" totally ruined the book. I could not even finish the book, in fact I'm about 1 hr. into the story and went on line just now to find another book.
McConnohie does not perform the book, he reads the book. His cadence and tone remind me of the old WWII recruitment movies. He has one voice for every character including the narration, its easy to just tune it out like background noise because his presentation is so annoying.
It was so difficult to follow the story that I'm not sure how to critique the book. Harry Bosch is my favorite character of any I have come to know and I have read/listened to all of his stories. I want to finish the book but it is just too painful. I honestly feel that to be fair to Michael Connelly and his fans, the publisher should re-record this book with either Len Carriou or maybe George Guidal performing the book, or actually anyone would be better than this guy.
I was a bit disappointed in this book. The author set a super high standard in his first book "Power Down", which I thought to be one of the best books of this genre ever written. There is an interview between Governor Mitt Romney and Ben Coes at the end of the book, and Mr. Romney stated something that I have also noticed in many spy/military action thrillers, which is that many authors don't bother to do their homework and they make allot of "little mistakes" (Romney) and he goes on to praise Mr. Coes for being diligent in getting the minor facts straight which allows the listener to "suspend disbelief" when asked to accept something major in the story that might be borderline believable. Power Down was an outstanding example of that kind of discipline. I said to myself at the time that the real test will be if the author can continue to meet the standards he has set when his publisher is after him to produce....and do it now!....Well, unfortunately, I feel that Mr. Coes failed somewhat in that respect.
One of the "little things" that was so blatant in this book that just bugged me throughout the entire book was the authors reference to the muzzle or barrel of a gun as being a "Nozzle"! The definition of nozzle is a device designed to control the flow of FLUID! What are they killing each other with? Water guns? Maybe that's being picky, but it only took me about three seconds to Google that little common sense fact, surely the author or the publisher should have caught that if they weren't is such a big hurry to get to print. There were several other "big mistakes" that in my opinion made the story just a little too unbelievable....especially expecting the listener to believe that the United States of America would actually do what is done in the ending without major international repercussions.
That being said I still gave the book an overall four stars, and a large part of that was because of the outstanding job of the audio performer, David de Vries. Although I can't say that I would place the tone of the readers voice as being in my top 5 favorites (George Guidall comes to mind) I have to say he was especially good with Indian accents and did a decent job with Australian and Israeli accents as well. In the end I would have to say that overall I enjoyed the book, and I will probably get the third book in the series, which hopefully will be written with a little more of the intellectual discipline of the first.
Generally I am not a big fan of this genre, but with all the good reviews I thought I would give it a try and am really glad I did. I just finished the third book in the series and can't wait for the next one! Of course the listener must be willing to suspend disbelief as is true with all books of this type, however Hearne at least supplies a thread of logic to the"unbelievable" and always answers the questions which pop into a listener's mind when he asks you to suspend disbelief. In addition, the author writes with a great sense of humor and is adept at creating well developed three dimensional characters, some questionable and some very likable such as Oberon who is my favorite, as well as some very wicked and malevolent ones who sufficiently challenge the talents of the main character of the book. On top of all this, Luke Daniels does an outstanding job of audio performance with his polished accents and his amusing rendition of Oberon. My only complaint is that the books are just too darn short!
I had listened to one other Lee Child novel and found it to be just OK, but I saw this book on sale and thought I would give it a try. Well, I guess I will have to chalk it up to one more regrettable decision.
The whole premise of the story was totally unbelievable. A beautiful woman picks up a hitch hiker, and within a few minutes decides she trusts him enough to ask him to kill her husband, and within a few hours wants to sleep with him. The hitchhiker is hired by the beautiful woman's inlaws to work as a ranch hand and within one day he is telling the boss what to do.....and the boss does it! Oooh....he's a real bad dude, that one. Give me a break! The story was so over the top and boring that I can't believe I even finished it. I just figured with that many people giving it four stars it had to get better...but unfortunately it never did. Most of the 13 hours plus was nothing but empty and boring dialog that was obviously just written as filler since the plot was so shallow the book could have been a five hour read easily.
The action scenes were typical tough/smart guy beating up the clumsy bad guys. Childs does do a good job with the action scenes, but it was still glaringly apparent that this book was written just to meet a publishing contract. Although Dick Hill is one of my favorite audio performers, I would have to agree with some of the other reviewers that in this case, his female voices were rather whiny and annoying.
In summary then......Don't Waste your Time and Money on this one.
Like the Trail of Tears and Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, this is a little known story that needs to be heard by more Americans. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genre and the author does a good job telling this story from the perspective of a boy who becomes a man/warrior on the 1,200 mile journey of some 800 men women and children forced to flee their homes with over 1,000 U.S. Calvary troops in pursuit.
Though the author touches on the enormous physical suffering of these people during those months of forced travel, I think he could have done more through character development to search into the minds and hearts of the individual characters, that would have expressed the torturous agony of having one's home and entire way of life stolen by a government that repeatedly lied and broke promises in order to manipulate a fundamentally peaceful population of Native Americans.
I have read a few history books on the subject and found that the author was generally accurate on most accounts. In fact I found the epilogue to be one of the most intriguing parts of the book as he gave me some added knowledge as to what happened to the 100 or so people who escaped being captured on that tragic day.
I only have one nit picky complaint about the reader and that is his repeated mispronunciation of the work Lapwai (putting the accent on the 1st syllable instead of the second). All in all I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Nez Perce band or in Native American studies in general.
Another Solid Work from an exceptional author. In fact Connelly is my favorite mystery/thriller author and this book did not disappoint.
Though a few of of the negative reviews have some validity in that there was need for suspension of disbelief in a few minor areas, the bulk of the story presented "real world" logic, and was consistent throughout the plot. As usual there was plenty of suspense filled action, without going overboard, and it was easy to feel affinity for the main characters whether you had already read the Poet or not.
The reader was just "ok". I missed Dick Hill who has read most of his Harry Bosch novels. Although with Dick Hill reading, it would have been hard to distinguish McEvoy from Bosch as he is the voice of Harry Bosch for me and the two characters are actually very similar. Though the reader wasn't bad, his voice was too young for the main character and he basically had only two distinguishable voices...I would recommend the producers find a new reader for the next Connelly novel.
Before buying this book read Sarah's review (January 29th) and Bruce's review (January 24th) and believe them.....they pretty much say it all. Unfortunately I bought the book before their reviews or I might have saved my credit.
I bought this book because I'm a dog lover....but it was so boring and overdone I couldn't even get through the second download. Based on what others have said about the ending, I'm glad I moved on.
If you want a good story from the point of view of a dog read "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein.....great book with much food for thought. To me "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" was mostly just fluff.
It's true that the story is slow to develop, with there being some difficulty keeping all the characters straight, but in the end, a small price to pay for the excitement, intrigue and suspense that takes off in the second half of the book. The author is very good at describing people, places and events and he develops the characters in such a way as to make you feel like you really know and care about them.
The reader also did a very good job. My only criticism is that his heavy British accent made me keep thinking that the book took place in England instead of Sweden, but that did little to detract from the story.
I save five star ratings for Exceptional books only....this one just barely missed a five star rating solely because the story took so long to develop.
A previous reviewer mentioned that this was the first book in a trilogy. I would definately buy another book from this author. I would love to be able to follow these characters into another adventure. Unfortunately however, I also read somewhere that the author had recently passed away. Does anyone know if the other books were ever written.....and if so, when audible might have them available??
I have been reading many negative comments about Dick Hill as a narrator and one reviewer even said that if the book had been read by Scott Brick it would have been better. Personally I avoid books read by Scott Brick. To me he is to audible books what William Shatner is to acting. On the contrary, Dick Hill is one of my favorite readers. I became accustom to his voice with many of the Harry Bosch novels by Michael Conneley. In my opinion he was a definite plus for this book.
That said, I also rate the book four stars on it's own merits. It was interesting, believable and action packed. A good spy novel if you like that genre. I highly recommend it
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