Atlanta, GA United States | Member Since 2010
When I first read the summary of this new novel, I was so intrigued that I "pre-ordered" the book before reading the first review. I am so glad that I did because it is a dinner I will never forget. I got very caught up in the story right away despite the fact that during the entire first third of the story you don't even know why two brothers, Serge and Paul, and their wives, Babette and Claire, have come together at a restaurant to discuss some terrible subject that involves their children.
This story starts with the ritzy restaurant and includes all five courses from "Apertif" to "The Tip". Paul, the narrator, has many (even too many) long-winded and disdainful thoughts about everything from the menu, to the outfits of the wait staff, to his brother and his family and politics. As more information about Paul and his family comes out, you begin to realize in horrifying degrees that all is not as it seems. The middle of the story was somewhat tedious, but the ending is so strong and sickening. It is the ultimate story of what parents will do to protect their children, no matter what they have done.
I strongly recommend this book and can't wait until more people read it so that I can discuss it with someone. The narrator did an outstanding job. I am still hearing his voice in my head as I can't stop thinking of this story. Loved it!
If you read reviews of any of the other books in the Harry Hole series, you will notice that Jo Nesbo is held in the highest esteem from listeners of thriller / mystery audio books. There are parts of this 2nd book in the series that are not great, but I never wanted to stop listening and found parts of it enjoyable. Here are some of my thoughts regarding this book:
1) The story was written with very short chapters so that you sometimes got lost with the changing scenery and people. I had to listen to several sections over again. Nesbo's plots are always complex so you had to constantly concentrate while listening.
2) If you try to read the books in some sort of order, you will realize that Nesbo's writing improves dramatically after this 2nd book.I also enjoyed the first book, but it probably got lots of editing and re-work since he was a new author.
3) The narrator, John Lee, was not a great choice for this book. His voice for Harry was acceptable, but his accent and voice for every other character was so affected that it could drive you nuts.
In the end though, there was some interesting scenes and the descriptions of Thailand were good. Give Harry Hole and Jo Nesbo another try. My favorite is "The Snowman."
I enjoy the Wallender series by Mr. Mankell, but this one introduced a new lead character named Lindman. Overall, the audio book just wasn't interesting enough for 13+ hours. I actually dozed off a few times while listening to the book and didn't bother to go back to listen to what I missed. It ended up not mattering at all. There is a lot of repetition and scenes that go on and on with little information. Lindman, a visiting policeman, is interested in his former co-worker's murder. He is supposed to be helping the local detective, but doesn't tell the detective all the information he discovers. His justifications for holding back information are strange. Lots of coincidences happen and I see clues that the detectives ignore.
Unfortunately, the narration was only acceptable. It was more of a monotone reading instead of a performance. There was no change of voice for different characters, male or female. The strange choice of words appears to be a very bad translation of some parts of the book.
There was some interesting history about Sweden's participation in WWII. In the future, I will make sure my next choice of a Mankell book is from the Wallender series.
If you have someplace to go and need only a 45 minute listen, I would suggest that this audio-book is priced to buy, but not to use a credit. I listened during my commute this morning and found it well performed but not a full investigation by Harry Bosch. There is not much to figure out, it is just a good listen of how Harry solves the problem of getting a guilty criminal prosecuted on a 20+ year cold case when only DNA is available. Interesting, but forgettable.
If you are new to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, he is a wonderful detective character. I recommend reading the books in order.
I enjoyed this audio book immensely. It is a well-written view inside of the criminal legal system in Italy. The author, Gianrico Carofiglio, has set up this series as an exploration of impossible criminal legal cases managed by an lawyer that hates injustice. This series cannot be described as a thriller or police procedural. But still, it was fascinating and easy to follow. I especially loved that:
1) I got a real feel of an ordinary life in Italy. I didn't even notice that the trial didn't start until the latter part of the book.
2) The attorney, Guido Guerrieri, is written so brilliantly. He is deeply flawed, but I was often moved by his kindness and fight against injustice. His inner thoughts are spot on as well as very humorous. I look forward to getting to know Guerrieri better as I read more books in this series.
3) The narration by Sean Barrett is so good. He got me emotionally involved in the characters, especially the Senegalese client, Abbou. This series would lose some of its appeal with another narrator. Thankfully, Mr. Barrett continues the series as far as I can see.
If you enjoy legal stories (as in Grisham or Turow), give this book a try. I think you will be very pleased.
I love Scott Turow's books. I could not wait for this new book to come out and bought it the night before I left on a trip. Yet, this book just didn't grab me at the beginning or get any better. While the writing is superb, the plot was somewhat silly. I figured out the simplistic story early on and wasn't at all satisfied when I was correct. I just wanted this book to be better.
Where were the courtroom scenes? How about one character I wanted to hear more about? I will look forward to Mr. Turow's next book because he is allowed one less than good book since all his other books are so great.
This book was fun from the first chapter. Detective Cormoran Strike and his temporary secretary, Robin, are well developed with back stories that support how they act and think throughout the story. The mystery is interesting as the police have closed the case as a supermodel's suicide. Could it have been murder as her brother believes? The twists and clues will have you guessing until the end. I loved the story.
As you learn more about the "unlucky" Cormoran, you will find he is a reluctant British war hero with one leg. His parents provided little guidance or assistance, yet he has strong morals and values. I would buy any audio book that includes this wonderful character in the future.
Mysteries don't always have satisfactory endings. The ending to this mystery surprised me, but all the clues were there for me to figure it out myself. I was so satisfied with how the story ended for several of the characters. I am still smiling when I think back over this audio book. I hope J K. Rowling will continue with a series -- I would look forward to any book with Cormoran and Robin.
The narrator, Robert Glenister, did a fantastic job. His performance caused me to get so involved in listening that I had two occasions where I stayed on the train past my work stop. Mr. Glenister presented each character with a unique voice and many different British accents. I felt like it was a performance more than a narration. He kept the interest high even when some of the scenes got a little long and wordy. I wish there was a higher rating I could give to the narration of this book.
Have you ever been on a roll where you have listened to several wonderful books in a row, and you begin to believe that your luck of choosing the next great read won't end. I have been in book heaven this past several weeks only to have the "Law of Averages" hit me with this choice.
This was not the book for me. Yet, I completely understand why there is a large audience for this book with lots of ecstatic reviews from many credible sources.
PROs: The book is very well written by Lauren Beukes. The mood was ominous from the start. Kudos to the narrators -- they did a very good job.
-- The time travel was very interesting and not real hard to follow even though I normally like my books to have a higher than average believability ratio.
CONs: If you like your violent scenes described only to the point that the reader understands what happened, you will find these murders against women (torture really) hard to listen. The goriness is provided in the most graphic detail. I read lots of violent books, but the creepiness and gruesomeness of these murders were way beyond my tolerance level.
-- The killer's character was much more developed than the last remaining girl, Kirby. Kirby, whom I wanted to like, was so sarcastic in all her interactions that I began to dread her time on the page. The killer is described as charming, but all his interactions with people, especially the "shining girls", was not charming at all -- just very creepy.
I just could not get past the 5th hour of the book. For the audience this book was intended, I do think you should read some reviews by people who finished the book and were delighted with the experience. This might be a book that you will enjoy.
I have enjoyed several books by Steve Martin. I don't know why that would be surprising as he has a strong talent across so many genres. I enjoy Martin's comedy and banjo playing, too.
This book is more of a very interesting history lesson of the contemporary art scene in NYC between 1990's - to current day. The ups and downs of the art scene are fast and thrilling. However, if you are looking for story with a strong plot, this audio book may be disappointing to you -- I think it is more a morality tale. The story is told in the third person by a character that could be "Martin-like". I understand that Martin has been an art collector in the past and knows this subject very well.
The story revolves around Lacey Yeager and how she started as a lowly, but ambitious, Sotheby's employee to owning her own contemporary art gallery. The story is further enhanced by making "life in NYC" a part of the story. It is easy to dislike Lacey from the very beginning, but the narrator makes up for it as he is very likeable. The narrator gets involved in a mysterious event with Lacey that creates some suspense. In addition, there are lots of interesting characters and events throughout the story.
It is the education of the art world that captivated me about this book. It has only caused me to be more interested in learning more about the art world. Often, the book brought up "What makes art good?" I think that only makes art even more interesting to understand. Bravo to Steve Martin on a job well done.
To me, a great mystery series must have more than a whodunit. I need a good setting, plot, and characters. Craig Johnson is a wonderful writer that brings it all to this series with lots of wit and wisdom thrown in. I love Walt Longmire -- and Henry Standing Bear -- and Cady, Vic, Ruby, the Ferg and even the newest characters, Santiago "Sancho" Saizarbitoria and "Dog".
Just to give you an idea of why I love these characters:
1) Walt, a Vietnam veteran, graduated with an English Literature degree. You are surprised and thrilled to hear him sprouting Shakespeare throughout the story. He is a very capable Sheriff, equally tough and kind.
2) Henry, a Native American friend of Walt's from boyhood, is a former Vietnam Special Forces soldier. He speaks many Native American languages and has an education in Classical English. He owns the local bar and knows everyone. Henry says the most with the least amount of words.
3) Vic is Deputy Sheriff Victoria "Vic" Moretti with a Master's in Law Enforcement from PA. She is very competent, but constantly complaining with her favorite four letter "f" word.
4) Santiago is the newly hired deputy with a specialty in languages. He is fearless and well educated, but has much to learn from Longmire.
The story, set in the least populated county of Wyoming, involves mineral rights, Basque heritage and the previous Sheriff Lucien Connally. It was loaded with lots of suspicious people, motives and intense scenes. I was completely surprised at the final solution.
George Guidall did his usual fantastic job with every voice, accent and phrase. I loved everything about this story.
I am noticing that more and more mysteries seem to go with the "cold case" instead of current crime story. I find that most cold cases are enjoyable, as long as you realize that most of the action will be at the end of the book instead of a steady pacing of it throughout the book. That doesn't mean that "cold cases" are boring and slow, just different. In fact, the writer has to be so much more clever in offering clues that are found many years after the crime.
For this story, the clues are offered as a scavenger hunt made possible with matching the found relics at crime sites with internet searches. I enjoyed the race around France finding the next set of bones and clues as I enjoyed the actual mystery story. The only reason I rated the story 4 stars is that the final motive is less than satisfying.
The detective, Enzo Macleod, is actually a biologist teaching in Toulouse, France instead of pursuing a career in forensics in his Scottish homeland. Peter May did an excellent job of building Enzo's character throughout the book. However, Simon Vance was a master of bringing Enzo and all the other wonderful characters to life. How does Simon Vance do such distinctly different voices and accents for each character without a single glitch? Simon Vance even voices women so well without the high falsetto voice that so many other narrators do. Simon Vance kept my interest up as much as Peter May did for this audio book. Thanks for a fun experience with this audio book.
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