This is one of the best if not the best mystery I have listened to. The combination of offbeat eccentric heroes and heroines and totally believable and extremely evil criminals is masterful. The plot is immaculate and the narration superb!
While there are many good insights in this book and the characters are well developed, it is overwritten, overlong and overwrought. I began wondering if the author was a novelist or a mathematician trying to workout every imaginable permutation of plot twists and cliches and then got so exhausted he gave up on putting it all together. One is left wondering if the book was supposed to be an allegory for the futility of getting justice, or was just the set up for the next book in the series.
The best thing about this book is the performance of Michael Beck. He was amazing. If I had been reading the text version, I doubt if I would have finished it. Grisham underestimates the intelligence of his readers and his characters. All the clues necessary to solve whatever mystery there is are given in the very beginning of the book. There is no suspense!
The characters seem to have totally forgotten the history of race relations the deep South. This is even more puzzling given the fact that the main character in the 1988 setting is under threat from the KKK. The book is also ridiculously politically correct. The N word is never used, not even by the racists.
This is one of the very few books I stopped listening to. There is no one in the book to like and the plot is absurd! The main character's situation just kept getting worse and more horrific. There are no redeeming features in the first 2 hours of listening.
This addition to the series advances the story of Harry Hole significantly. It is cleverly plotted and magnificently narrated. However Mr. Nesbo has fallen in love with bait and switch tactics in his writing. By the end of the book most readers will probably no longer take the bait. However it is still a great book!
This was a bit long and tedious at times. The best part of the story may be the epilogue where the author redeems herself. I say this because I found myself constantly wondering throughout the story how the author could have such phenomenal insight into human nature, but still get one of the central events and central characters so wrong. All I can say is that I suspect the author wanted the reader to ask that question and wait for the answer which comes in the epilogue.
Although obviously an action story, much of Child's writing seems like poetry. He is a master at taking commonplace things and places and making them into things of beauty. The description of the diner's griddle in the all night eatery is an example of this.
The reader also gains further insight into Reacher's motivations and character. However, the story feels more contrived than usual and too often defies logic. The ending left me scratching my head.
I have listened to all the Robicheaux novels and this won wore a little thick. The book could have been shrunk by deleting much of the over the top philosophizing. Also, one cannot help but think that it is time for Dave and Clete to get their heads shrunk.
Will Patton does his usual job, but even his performance seemed a bit too much in this book.
This was overall an entertaining book, but will not bear the scrutiny of those who like their stories to be logical. There are definite plot similarities to the Maltese Falcon, but the lead character "Shake" is no Sam Spade and the lead heavy, Dick Moby, is no Kaspar Gutman. On the other hand the femme fatale, Gina, would have done Dashiell Hammett proud.
This book turns detective fiction upside down. The detectives are mere mortals, while the villains are the strongest characters. The author exposes the inner thoughts of all the characters. In a deliciously cynical way these thoughts reveal many of the characters to be sailing on the same ship...The Ship of Fools.
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