Book #15 in the series of 22 featuring Lucas Davenport, this was my first exposure to Lucas Davenport, having picked up the book on sale. He sounds like an interesting character, but the mystery doesn't really hold together well. A 50-year-old communist cell in northern Minnesota consisting of members of several clans but previously undiscovered in a region where historically Socialism had taken root? Unknown to the FBI? A grandson brainwashed by his kooky grandfather, apparently willing to do whatever it takes to further the cause? Structurally, you need to accept that an important character in the beginning and end but apparently incidental to the plot withheld the key to the case only to reveal crucial elements when Lucas was stuck. Nevertheless, I liked the internally incompletely resolved conclusion. Will the case reach full closure in connection with a later book in the series? The writing is good; I'd be willing to give another Sandford book a try if the story had an average rating of 4+ by others.
I'm glad that a previous reviewer (Adry) mentioned a background noise that sounds like another story or radio--too faint to be understood but loud enough to be distracting, especially during pauses in the reading. This is the first Audible book that I found to be technically flawed in this way.
I enjoy the Dortmunder series of comic mysteries. This is one of the more intricate plots and more complicated than most. Not that it is believable, but at least, within its own world, it kind of makes sense, which isn't to say it isn't full of surprise twists. It ends in a satisfying way, in which nearly every crook gets what he/she deserves. Needless to say, John Dortmunder is never going to make a huge financial killing, but he'll never be without his group of friends and admirers. The narrator, Michael Cramer, does an exceptional job giving individual voices to the characters and adds enormously to the pleasure of the story.
This is the only book by Shute that I have read besides the celebrated "On the Beach." The story was a mixed bag; the first part concerning Jean's capture and treatment at the hands of the Japanese in British Malaya is interesting and well-told. I found it easy to identify with the women prisoners and their children and admired their perseverance. The second part of the book concerns Jean's quest to find Joe, an Australian stringer whom she had come to know during their mutual imprisonment. Although there is some interesting history and geography, this part of the book drags along soporifically toward a predictable and idealized conclusion.
I don't understand why this novel remains so popular; the characters seem quite dated to me. I might even have given up finishing except for the marvelous narration by Robin Bailey, whose brings the characters to life through his imitation of their dialects, their gender, and style of speech.
I like the Lomax-Biggs duo. The plot is a bit of a stretch, but this is just "light reading" and, while it isn't likely to win any awards for great writing, the dialog is believable and often witty. There are several twists and turns that will keep you guessing, but the story moves right along. This is on a par with #2 in the series (Bloodthirsty) and better than the first (Rabbit Factory.) I look forward listening to the fourth. Tom Stechschulte does a terrific job giving voice to the many, varied characters, making it much more fun to listen to than to read.
I like Craig Johnson's series about Walt Longmire and have listened to 8 of them. This novella is a kind of "Christmas cheer". If you like the series and are familiar with Walt and his friends and family, you'll probably enjoy the book. There is no suspense at all, because the story is a flashback. Despite its attempt to build tension and excitement, it fails as a thriller, since the introduction in "present time" tells the reader how it is going to come out. The writing is as good as ever, and the narration by George Guidall is excellent, as usual. Thus, I rate it as just "ok", as if the author had to satisfy a contract without putting much effort into the story line.
I like Nate Heller and find this series interesting, but this particular story wanders about and is more historical fiction than a mystery. Given that Nate is a fictional character, the details of his experiences in WWII and in the hospital are kind of irrelevant. The role of the Outfit in both Chicago and Hollywood's history is detailed and, while I find it interesting, I never quite know how much is history and how much is fiction. (I find myself checking characters in the wikipedia in the hopes of figuring it out.) This is the finale of the Frank Nitti trilogy. The last chapter is an epilogue about what happened to the various gangsters subsequently. The writing is good and the performance excellent, so I'm not sorry I listened.
This is my first in the series about undersheriff Bill Gastner, of which this is #4. The story was just ok, although it is a good mystery. I didn't much care about the victim or her family; she seemed to be a spoiled brat who never grew up. I didn't much care who the killer was or why. I find Gastner's behavior in the face of danger (whether human or natural) implausibly reckless; he would not have lived to reach his present age. I might read another in the series but not soon.
This was my first in the series. Interesting protagonist in Detective Kathy Mallory. Intricate plot but am I to believe everyone in a family is a psychopath? I hadn't heard of Williams Syndrome before. Excellent narration by Barbara Rosenblatt, as usual.
Maybe I'm getting jaded but I'm afraid this follows the usual plot lines, written like a summer action thriller movie. Hallinan writes well, but the bad guys are pure evil, and the good guys are invincible. The narration is excellent, which helps. I've only read two in the Poke Rafferty series, but I think I've got all there is to get.
In the epilogue, the author refers the reader to the book "The Phoenix Program" by Douglas Valentine as a factual account. Critical reviews question that and refer to the more reliable "Stalking the Vietcong: Inside Operation Phoenix" by Stuart Herrington, which sounds like it is worth reading.
This was a flashback story, a welcome prequel to the rest in the series. Although #8, it should be called #0. It isn't my favorite in the series, but it was a well thought out glimpse into Moe Prager's college days and how he stumbled into becoming a cop. Being only a few years older than Moe, I found these reflections on life in the 1960's believable. There were so many twists and turns in the story that I have the feeling that I ought to reread it to get it all straight.
I listened to the audiobook. Somehow I didn't care for Andy Caploe's narration as much as in later books. I had the feeling he was trying too hard to lay a stronger Brooklyn accent on Moe than when he was older. Was it just me, or did anyone else have this reaction? Strange.
As usual, McEwan makes great use of language, however, this book is short on plot. He has about enough material for a novella, a story about half as long. The protagonist and narrator, Serena, is not stupid nor intellectually shallow, but she continually defines herself by whatever man she happens to have latched on to. The story goes through a succession of her lovers but focuses primarily on an author and poet. It is hard to understand why he loves her. I'm not saying there are not people like Serena, but I don't find their story or plight interesting. The story drags with long asides and excursions. I cannot say more without spoiling the plot, but I found the way in which the ending is handled really lame--a real cop-out by McEwan.
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