The author obviously did a lot of research about the gangster era in the Midwest in the 1930's, and cleverly weaves P.I. Nate Heller into a succession of actual characters and historical events. The gangsters in the story, Frank Nitti, John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, the Barker brothers, Alvin Karpis, really existed and did the things related, as well as the federal agents Cowley & Purvis. Other characters, the Lady in Red, Anna Sage, and Dillinger's girl Polly Hamilton, were certainly at the Biograph Theatre shootout. Other colorful characters are Nate's friends, prizefighter Barney Ross and stripper Sally Rand. The author works Nate into this milieu in a very natural way. Nate espouses a theory about the demise of John Dillinger that has been put forth by author Jay Robert Nash, "The Dillinger Dossier," which is further elaborated on in the epilogue.
The narration by Dan Jay Miller was very good but not exceptional. I felt his attempts to portray female voices were not always appropriate, especially that of Sally Rand.
Regardless of the history, it is very well-written and engaging, offering a different type of mystery. I look forward to reading others in the series.
This is my first book involving Kate Shugak but I didn't have the feeling that I missed much. The prose is good but not exceptional, and the narration is acceptable but flat. The trouble is that I like mysteries more than thrillers, and this book has very little mystery. In my lexicon, a mystery is a story in which the villain(s) are not apparent, at least, not until very late in the story. A thriller is a story in which there is a great deal of action surrounding the protagonist, who either is in great danger or at a loss about how to track down the bad guys. A thriller can also be a mystery, but often the protagonist (and the reader) knows who the villains are very early on, and the tension is in the chase.
Since this is my first in the series, I don't know the author's intent, but I knew who the villains were and what they were up to long before Kate or her paramour and sponsor Jack Morgan did. There is a bit of a mystery about what happened to a couple of sailors, but, since we never encounter them, we don't really much care except in the abstract. Much of what Jack digs up late in the book could have been uncovered much earlier with only a little more research. I couldn't understand why Kate, who is neither a cop nor a detective, is willing to take such enormous risks, volunteer to experience such physical trauma, and still go back for more. There is the suggestion that she was partly motivated by the money, but that seems rather far-fetched, given her choice of lifestyle. Further, Jack seems to be essentially indifferent to both her physical suffering and the danger in which he placed her. He didn't have her back, and Kate had no way to call in the cavalry if things got out of hand--all very strange for a couple supposedly in love. Thus, I am left with mixed feelings about this book, but I'll probably read the next in the series, which is highly acclaimed by other readers.
Interesting story of an American Jewish woman, Julia Jarmond, living in Paris for 25 years and seemingly happily married to a non-Jewish Frenchman. A journalist working for an English language magazine, she becomes obsessed with the story of the round-up of Jews at Vel' d'Hiv in 1942. In particular, she discovers that a girl named Sarah Starzynski was among the group and that, after the war, it had never been determined just what had happened to her. This is a mystery she is determined to resolve if possible, and this plot is intertwined with Julia's internal struggles to come to terms with her heritage and, as it turns out, her husband's attitude toward her and her efforts. These two issues become intertwined more and more as the book develops, and although there was too much jumping back and forth in time in the beginning, eventually the book settles down. The prose isn't lyrical, but it does get the message across. There is too much "telling" and not enough "showing", and you need to have a high tolerance for this, as I do.
The book is enlivened by the narrator, who gives distinct voices and accents to each character, a very diverse and challenging collection. It's always difficult to read about the Holocaust, and I had not been familiar with the Vel' d'Hiv or these aspects of the French Nazi's. It's a book that I am glad to have "read."
This purports to be a police procedural, but the story is plodding and boring. Bosch's new partner Soto is an interesting character, but she's a bit fast and loose with her service revolver.
With Titus Welliver playing Harry Bosch in Amazon.com's new series, you'd think he'd be a more invested reader. Instead he reads in a monotone and only differentiates characters minimally. I was very disappointed. I wonder whether I will like Welliver any better in the online series.
I really enjoyed this one. It is a mystery with enough clues to allow the reader to guess the villain without being terribly disappointed by the ending. I've read most of the books in the Dismas Hardy series, and this is one of the more believable, action-packed stories, with substantial character development of Amy Wu and others besides the usual insights and foibles of Hardy and Glitsky.
Hardy & Glitsky age throughout the series so this would not be the best place to start. I recommend going back at least to book 3, Hard Evidence.
This is a work of historical fiction about a relatively minor episode in the history of New Guinea, although it does provide a glimpse of what German colonialism was like in 1906. I've read all McKinty's mysteries, and this novel is quite different. Although I thought his prose was often as fine as usual, the story itself isn't all that exciting. Some of the characters were interesting, although I couldn't tell how much of their personalities were figments of McKinty's imagination. I love listening to Gerard Doyle, so between his narration and McKinty's writing, I found the book enjoyable. Thankfully, it wasn't too long.
It's rated 4.4 currently, so it's clear this book appeals to many people. I don't understand why. Maybe some young adults would be more sympathetic, but I think more likely, they would just roll their eyes.
First of all, the story was out of the 40's and 50's. Had it been written then, maybe it would have been novel. By now, it's old hat. I don't think it spoils anything to say that the story of a young, introverted, white girl falling for a perfect black boy has been done before and better.Secondly, it dragged on interminably, flashbacks by the white woman, present time by the black woman, who somehow was enchanted with the old lady's life. I listened for 2.5 hours before asking myself why I was wasting my time. I read a few spoilers on GR to see if the plot developed as I anticipated, and I was right. I wasn't going to get anything more out of this book, so I quit.
I might be willing to give them another try, but Lorna Raver's portrayal of Isabelle drove me nuts. Bahni Turpin was ok.
As a morality tale, it's ok, but do we need another superficial rendition of this theme?
I don't understand the high ratings that this has received. I know lots of people foreswear writing negative reviews--look at the most liked review by Alexandria Milton. It is fair but negative.
This is a great mystery story. Although there are enough hints to anticipate the big surprise, it didn't detract from wanting to find out who and why! Readers new to the series are likely to get bored with all the details of the Hardy and Glitsky families, but if, as I do, I find their relationships and histories interesting and realistic, you won't mind. Further, the characters age and change, so it is best to read most of this series in sequence.
Colacci does his usual excellent work as narrator. Highly recommended.
I enjoy the whimsical series about career criminal Dortmunder and his doing right by attempting wrongdoing. This is one of the most amusing of his capers, and his ability to escape from tight spots is seriously challenged. I found the narrator pleasant to listen to.
I like Camilleri's mysteries about Inspector Montalbano but this is a fun read, it is below average for this series. Who the villain is isn't too hard to figure out, although his precise motivation remains hidden for a long time. Grover Gardner performs his usual high quality narration.
This is the first of Berenson's novels I've read. If you like the sort of thrillers in which the only suspense is how the (super)hero will defeat his adversaries, then you probably will enjoy Night Ranger. I prefer stories with mystery in addition to adventure in which the identity of the villain and other adversaries isn't known. It was clear from the outset that Wells would somehow succeed; it is only a question of how. In this case, the high-tech superiority of the USA combines with Wells's cleverness and fighting skills to overwhelm relatively primitive, youthful Somalian militia. It is sort of believable but not at all surprising. The narrator George Guidall is one of my favorites.
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