Atlanta, GA United States | Member Since 2010
I enjoyed the first book in this Kensey and Gennero series, "A Drink Before the War", so I was worried that the second book wouldn't live up to my high expectations. I was so wrong though. This book was just as original, suspenseful, scary as the first. Again, I was caught by surprise with the clever twists and turns. I was listening while driving in heavy traffic one day and had to turn it off because I was getting so anxious for the safety of the detectives I have grown to love over these two books. Don't start on this audio book until you have a large block of time for listening because it will be the only thing you think of until it is finished. Jonathan Davis is a wonderful narrator. I can imagine the characters so well with his interpretation.
After several hits and misses, I have discovered about a half-dozen Audible reviewers that I trust for enhancing my choices on the next mystery / legal / police procedural series to try. I am not sure I would have been drawn to Anne Emery's series without all of them raving about this audio-book. I owe these reviewers a great debt because this mystery story surprises you with its warmth and originality.
With this book you get a solid mystery, smart attorney, modern family life, lovely music, theology, eccentric characters, wit, Nova Scotia, and my favorite - Father Brennan Burke. I don't want to reveal much, because it is too much fun to discover as you listen. Instead, if you enjoy a thoughtful, sophisticated mystery series, trust my reviewers -- they know what they are talking about. Try this audio-book next.
I pre-ordered this book and started listening the day it arrived. I enjoy discovering a new Scandinavian author that has a clever story idea and lots of talent. The reviews looked good so I was expecting something on the level of Jussi Adler-Olsen or Camilla Lackberg.
The narration was unsettling to me from the start. Gubbins seems like a very capable narrator, but her voice and accent was annoying to me. I actually considered buying the Kindle version to get through the story. Despite the narration, I never got hooked into the story. Even though I knew before the book started that the serial killer would be revealed to the reader, I thought the police procedural would be interesting on how they would catch him. That never happened for me. I finally gave up after the 4th hour.
The second book in the Guido Guerrieri series holds up so well. Guerrieri's character is so well developed by the author. Carofiglio doesn't let a scene go by without Guerrieri doing or saying something that reinforces his values. I was hoping to get a sense of what living an ordinary life in Italy would be like, and this book delivers. I love it when Guerrieri's thoughts are part of the story -- they are so spot on for the circumstance. These are not legal thrillers. Instead, these cases are meant to correct a huge injustice. The Italian legal system is well described. Despite the fact that the narration is done without an Italian accent, Sean Barrett does an excellent job. Can't wait to listen to the next book.
The "Department Q" Series is back on track with this third book in the series. I loved the first book following the cases of a Danish "cold case" police unit. As sometimes happens, the second book did not hold up. Only for the great reviews did I decide to give it one more try, and I am thrilled that I did. The characters that Adler-Olsen has developed are so special to me. My favorites include the world-weary Detective Carl Morck, the brilliant and mysterious Assad, the quirky twins, Rose / Yrsa, and his paralyzed former police partner, Hardy. I couldn't wait to listen to any scene with those characters.
My only complaint is that the central mystery in each book is outrageous, yet the imagination and pacing of the story had me thinking about the book constantly. The message in the bottle that had to be deciphered was so well done. I can see why Adler-Olsen is such a best selling author around the world. Graeme Malcolm does a great job as narrator for this series.
I was excited to see this first book of the Lewis Trilogy because I had heard so much about these stories from the media and friends over the past few years. I listened in one sitting as the story was so interesting and the description of the Lewis Island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland was so poetic and atmospheric. The harsh landscape, wind and weather affects the residents tremendously. The younger population are looking to escape to anywhere off that island. The narrator did a fantastic job with the speed of the story and beautiful pronunciation of all the unique words.
I enjoyed this book a great deal, but have some reservations as far as recommending to others. You will find it to be a great story as long as you are OK with these parts of the book:
-- The story is very dark, almost crushing. Even now as I write this review, I am aware that my mood is so melancholy. I need to make sure my next listening choice is up-lifting.
-- The investigation of two similar murders, one in Edinburgh and one on Lewis Island, are somewhat incidental to the main story of detective Fin McLeod’s previous life on the island. Yet, in the end, that back-story allows for the many twists and turns and resolution to work. May is a genius writer at pulling several threads together to make sense.
-- Of the two May books I have read, I have found his books are so irresistible from the beginning up to the point where the resolution of the story is told. May has to use too many “just in time” revelations and coincidences to make the ending work. I hope that is not a trend for the rest of his books.
-- The description of the gugga hunt was a hard listen at times. Whew!
I will definitely plan to finish the trilogy, but need some time between each book. That is a good thing since the other two audio books are not available by Audible yet.
I was wary about starting this book because I didn’t think I could enjoy a story about Internal Affair type police procedurals. I should have known that Ian Rankin would do it right as I was delighted to find out that the story was an excellent listen from the very beginning. Just like Rankin’s best known series about John Rebus, Edinburgh’s Inspector Malcolm Fox of “The Complaints” is someone you will care about deeply before the book ends. Fox, like Rebus, will do the right thing and diligently follow every lead – no matter who will get hurt. The story starts with a “complaint” that Fox is requested to take by a special group concerning Det. Sgt. Jamie Breck. That complaint is soon followed by an investigation into the death of Fox’s sister’s partner – by Breck. Soon both events appear to be related.
I could not wait to hear each segment of the story and enjoyed the narration by Peter Forbes, including the Scottish brogue. I especially loved the scenes with his elderly father, abused sister and the accused Det. Sgt. Jamie Breck. Fox is the type of guy you wish were part of your family.
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.
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