If a friend was looking for a quick, easy read without any plot or character challenge, this would be an option.
Beautiful Mystery ranks high on my list of favorite reads/listens of the past two years.
Beautiful Mystery left me breathless with surprise. I've read a number of Inspector Gamach stories. Louise Penny likes to pace her stories with great detail that pulls the reader though the details of most of the main characters lives. Though the Inspector is the dominating force of the series, it is the supporting characters that drive the plot. Beautiful Mystery is no exception.
In this case the Deputy (sorry, I don't have his name at the moment, I am away from the book right now) and the workings of his inner life serve to create enormous empathy towards him. The Deputy's confusion and moments of clarity create conflict and confusion for all involved.
I believe that this is a book to be savored. Louise Penny is an author who insists that the reader appreciate the nuances of life. the reader who insists on a quick jolt of excitement and drama may become frustrated. This can lead to moments where the book seems to drag. One might ask, "do I really need that much detail?". However, when the book draws to a close (with a truly stunning end), most will appreciate the time the spent with each character.
Like millions of others, I enjoy following a character through their trials and tribulations. Therefore execution and delivery on continuing story line actually begins to feel personally important to enjoyment. When that doesn't happen, it is a let down.At this point in the series' cycle, Ms. Reichs writing could use some fresh perspective. Tempe is clearly a bit depressed. While she and her handsome on and off beau, Ryan, travel to the beyond of Yellow Knife, their respective lives seem to lack purpose and direction. They meander through the plot solving crimes, but not enjoying themselves very much.Most of us hope that our own lives have meaning. The series risks losing its appeal, when characters whom we follow seem to have become lost in their own life. The books fails to deliver the sufficient dramatic tension to entice the reader forward. Why bother wondering what will happen with Tempe and Ryan and Co. when they don't seem they are all that interested themselves?
I would have thrown in a plot device that might force Tempe to make important life decisions. This could provide inspiration for the books to take on a new direction. For example, transfer Tempe to...England (or other British Empire colony, e.g. Hong Kong) for a year of research, introduce some new characters, make Ryan jealous, give the book new scenery and direction.
Ms. Edmond always does a great job. Beautiful voice and great tempo.
Despite this, I still greatly admire Ms. Reichs and know that she has the chops to continue delivering in the future.
Despite or perhaps because of the sometimes overlong descriptive passages, I felt compelled to listen to all three books of the current McCammon series. Mister Slaughter is designed to close the New York chapter of Matthew Corbet's detective career, put his pending love life (but not his sex life) on hold and launch him into new territory, emotionally, socially and professionally.Mister Slaughter continues the series' creepy fascination with lusty, violent and faceless sex as well as the detailed descriptions of the infliction and receipt of pain and suffering. As a reviewer of the first book notes, this is not a series you want children, including teenagers, to over hear while you might thrill in the sordid details.
I might actually compare this book to MacBeth. Flowing descriptive phrasing, the character's desire to understand himself through violence and conflict (absent the obsession with a mother figure) serve to keep the reader engaged through McCammon's internal dialogue and occasionally over-wrought prose.
Sky Walker, the Native American whose sad life poignantly reflects the past two hundred and fifty years of destruction of the North American Indians was beautifully interpreted by Edoardo Ballerini.
The book is best heard over a few days, but not too many. There are a lot of characters, many twists and turns all of which require some time to absorb.
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