If you are considering trying your first Val McDermid audiobook, choose The Distant Echo--the narration is far better. Indeed The Distant Echo is one of the very best audiobooks I've ever heard.
Not that this book is poorly ready, just that the style is a bit flat, compared to the lively Scottish brogue used to read McDermid's other novel.
I also found the characters in this novel a bit flat compared to what I know McDermid can do based on her other novels. Perhaps the problem is the abridgment--I was periodically left with the impression that I was getting the facts, the plot line but not really gaining enough insight into the motivations of the characters. I suspect an unabridged version would have "read" better.
The narration was horrible. Jack Morgan sounded like an Indian attempting to speak with a Texas accent. Very annoying.
Picked a better narrator. And I could have done with a little less frequent descriptions of squalid locations.
I couldn't agree more with the comments about how distracting the narrator is. His pseudo-Southern accent and poor volume modulation eventually drove me to rebuy this book in the Kindle version, on which the remainder of this review is based.
The Devil's Punchbowl is more of a summer read ("beach book"), long on plot and relatively short on character development, than are the two previous Penn Cage novels. This is especially true if you haven't already been introduced to Penn Cage, his family, and his love interest, Caitlin Masters. The plot stands on its own, but I didn't think the book gave the same insights into character motivation that The Quiet Game did.
If this is your first Penn Cage novel, I'd suggest you choose The Quiet Game instead.
The character development in The Quiet Game is top notch and the plot revolves around a Houston DA who returns to his childhood home in Natchez, MS and gets involved in solving a civil rights murder that took place in 1968. The combination of compelling characters, deep insight into the Southern mentality, and a fascinating plot made for a superb book. The second Penn Cage novel, Turning Angel, was almost equally good.
The Devil's Punchbowl, on the other hand, stretched the limits of credulity somewhat (plot involves international gambling ring) and has less local color that the two previous books in the series. And the graphic descriptions of dog fights and the way fighting dogs are mistreated are quite unpleasant. To be fair, the dog fight theme is integral to the story line, not merely gratuitous. But if this sort of thing bothers you, you might think twice. In fact, had this not been a novel written by one of my favorite authors, I probably would never have read past the first dog fight scene.
I was very disappointed in this book, especially since I have come to expect thrilling mysteries with many twists and turns of plot from Jeffrey Deaver.
The story line was highly predictable, there was little or no mystery, no real forensics, and, while there was action, the action fell flat most of the time. Definitely NOT up to Deaver's usual standards. All in all it was boring, terminally boring.
Yet another great Harry Bosch novel. I loved it--it was well worth the wait for it to be released!
The plot is predictable, the pace glacial, the narrator boring and pedantic and the ending obvious halfway through the book. In short there is nothing to recommend this book.
Indeed, this is one of the few cases when I think I would probably have preferred the abridged version--at least I would have been bored for a shorter time and the pace might have seemed a tad less glacial.
I LOVED Paranoia--and a number of other Finder novels I have read. Company Man, on the other hand, is definitely NOT Paranoia.
While the character development is fair enough, the plot isn't sufficiently compelling for a 6 hour audiobook, much less a 12 hour one. In fact, the plot was dreadfully predictable from the very outset. Not one of Finder's better novels by any means.
I enjoyed this book a lot, although some of the plot twists seemed a bit contrived (I'm not sure exactly why the struck me this way, but they did) and the villain was revealed a bit too early.
All in all, this is a good first novel and I look forward to more books from Mo Hayder. In fact, I hope he makes Jack Caffery into a the hero of a new series of mysteries.
Another great Kellerman novel--fascinating plot, excellent character development, a psychological masterpiece. Although I thought I would, I didn't even miss Alex Delaware, who was mentioned only in passing once or twice but never actually appeared in this novel.
Hopefully, we will see more of Petra Conner, Eric Stoll and, yes, Isaac Gomez! They are as captivating a team as Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware.
I decided to buy this book because I had been pleasantly surprised by James Patterson's Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas.
While it wasn't as good as Suzanne's Diary (which had more of a surprise at the end) and although it was perhaps a bit melodramatic, I enjoyed this book quite a lot.
I finished this book in 2-3 days (unabridged version) because it was so hard to put down. While I agree the ending was a tad abrupt, it was still believable.
And I had no issues whatsoever with the narrator--the story line was engrossing enough that I never once noticed the narrator's deep breathing and think he did a good job moving the story forward.
I hope we will see more fiction by Christopher Whitcomb on Audible.
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