This was my first Elvis Cole and Joe Pike novel and it will probably be my last. Here is this ultra competent guy, Joe Pike that towards the end of the story apparently messes up so badly several people get killed. I say apparently because there is no explanation as to how it happened. It's as if the author wrote the ending first, couldn't figure out how to have Joe Pike screw up so badly, so he just left that part out.
If, unlike me, you can overlook this one major flaw the book is worth the credit and well paced with good character development.
Not sure where the author was trying to go? The synopsis left me expecting a Wall Street wizard who fights terrorism with his financial savvy. Instead the Wall Street wizard turns into Rambo with 50 lives … the plot ping pongs between high action with lots of inside detail (think Robert Ludlum) and an inspirational novel about the fight between good and evil as seen from a Christian’s viewpoint. Even more disappointing is the author’s style of telling you what happened (or what’s going to happen) then telling you the why and how it happened. For me and action/suspense/thriller should give you the crisis, then the resolution! Even with all this I would have given this at least a 4 before starting the second book. Great character development and the narration really flowed … I was surprised how hard it was to stop listening and how quickly the book seemed to end! The 2 rating comes because the author left you hanging so you need to read the next book(s) … normally fine but the second book (which I am now listening to) spends so much time on a word for word rehash of the plot from the first book I’ve literally screamed, “I already know that!” and the split between action and inspirational seems even bigger. I’m seriously considering not finishing the second book just so I won’t be tempted to get number 3, 4 … I have no idea how many books the author takes to resolve the plot and I couldn’t stand a rehash of 1, 2, 3 … - depending on how many there are! With the negatives I see in book 2 I’m having trouble trying to keep listening to the second book … a big surprise after the first book. The book certainly has a good rating so most people don’t have the same perspective as me … if the negatives I’ve highlighted are a problem to you; save your credits … if not then you’ll certainly enjoy this title.
This is the first Dismas Hardy book I’ve read, so I have no comparison with the other narrator – the narration seeming to be the biggest knock against this title. For me the narration was excellent; clear, concise and easily understood – with enough different inflections and intonations for each character making it easy to follow whose speaking. The best part for me was the fast pacing of the narration – too often I wish I could speed up a recording but not in this case.
The book had enough different characters, twists, turns and sub-plots to keep it interesting but not so many you got lost. I especially liked how the ending pulled all the pieces together into a very satisfying conclusion. If you are a Dismas Hardy fan – as I now am – I suspect you will enjoy the book. There is certainly enough of a sample to decide if the narrator works for you. . I felt both my time and credits were well spent with this title!
Excellent read! Contains all the elements of a top-notch Action/Suspense/Thriller; violence, sex, murder, greed, lust for power, intrigue, love, hate, compassion … The technology of the future may have changed but human nature hasn’t. The author has created a disturbing world in which a well crafted, fast paced story takes place.
The book does contain a lot of violence and sex, however I felt this wasn’t gratuitous in nature but used to add depth and texture to the characters.
There are enough twists, turns and surprises that I found it hard to stop listening.
Just about every piece of dialog is referenced with some equivalent of he said/she said; even when it's completely obvious who said what. For me this breaks up the flow of any dialog to the point of distraction.
The Characters, life/death situations and ultimate direction of the plot are written in a transparent, predictable way. Yet, after showing a Sherlock Holmes ability of deductive reasoning, the main character is some how completely surprised by who many of the bad guys are, potential life/death situations, and the ultimate direction of the plot. The main character had to come across a written explanation of just what was going on before he clued in. At this point (about 2/3 through the book) I stopped listening; no longer having enough interest to deal with the he said/she said writing style.
Again and again the characters make glaring mistakes that keep them one step behind ... believing there is a leak of inside info and taking no steps to plug it; the inability to trace a fax message to it's source; failing to keep watch on a location because they believed one of the bad guys was out of the picture; these are just a few examples from the multitude of blunders. . The final straw for me was using patrol cars to stake out the known location of a terrorist (which was obviously spotted by the terrorist). Give me a break! At this point I stopped listening (probably less than 45 minutes from the end.
If you are just looking for a fast-paced action book; don't mind some obvious ineptitude along with little to no development of the characters; you might like this book. It did keep me listening almost to the end.
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