From the first 10 minutes of Into the Woods, I have been hooked by Tana French's cop stories set in a Dublin Murder Squad. Each narrator has been perfect for the first person narration and Stephen Hogan may be the best yet as Mike "Scorcher" Kennedy. As with her previous 3 novels, the murder investigation is interesting and the clues are elusive but the real story is the heart and mind of one of the detectives.
As a rookie 20 years before this case, Kennedy received his nicknamebecause of his habit of congratulating himself out loud with a gesture similar to a soccer scorer. He now has the highest solve rate in the squad and the ego to go with it. Basically a loner, he doesn't have a regular partner, choosing instead to "mentor" whichever newbie detective is assigned to him. This allows him to pontificate about following the rules and doing things by the book according to Kennedy.
Scorcher is given a high-profile murder to investigate set in Brian's Town, formerly known as the Broken Harbor of the title. His mentee is Richie Curran, so new he doesn't even own a tie or the decent clothes that Kennedy demands for his sidekicks. The murder is pretty horrific: a father and his 2 kids are murderered and the wife/mother is terribly wounded. (As a side note: I might have stopped listening at the description of the murder scene but Tana French focuses on the cops, not the victims. This made the murder of children much more bearable for me.) The clues are very interesting and tantalising, especially a thread about an unknown animal living within the victim's house's walls. More interesting, is how Scorcher comes to understand that the rules that have always been his only friends so very easily become his nemeses.
I really enjoyed this book and would have given it 5 stars but the ending left me a little dissatisfied. I thought Richie was thrown under the bus too easily. Without giving away the ending, all I can say is that I don't want the next book to be about Quigley or O'Kelly. Readers who have read the other 3 books will understand that they are the only ones left for the next book.
If you enjoy John Sanford's detective Davenport "Prey" series, you don't want to miss this one. It takes you back to his very first case when he catapulted from street cop to detective. We also meet Davenport's sidekick Del for the first time too.
Like all of Sandord's stories, the mystery is not as interesting as the characters. This book starts in modern day Minnesota when the bodies of 2 girls are found buried under a block of houses as they are demolished. It turns out the bodies are 2 sisters called the Jones girls, who went missing and were pursumed dead in the 1980s. Davenport recalls his days as a street cop who was allowed to put on detective's threads to pursue leads on the original case. We see how his thought process developed in the early stages of the investigation and how he eventually lost the threads of the case.
Then the book reverts back to the present and becomes a more ordinary Davenport "Prey" story, decent but not as interesting.
Richard Ferrone does a great job as a reader, and kept my interest by his ability to inject the right amount of drama.
If so, you will love Gone Girl. This book is well worth the 18 hours of listening time.
I started listening to this book and had to tell all the book lovers I know that I had found the next great read. Here was a book that told an interesting story through two completely different points of view. I told people that it was a fascinating study in marriage and the reasons that it is so hard to maintain a relationship between two intelligent people. In many ways, it is a scathing comedy of manners about modern relationships. It is also skewers our modern preoccupation with true crime and shows like "Nancy Grace".
Then as the twists kept turning, I realized this really is a mystery afterall with just enough clues to make me belieive that everyone could be guilty. Now I was listening to find out if any of my theories were plausible. I kept thinking that if it twisted that much from my first impressions, then another big twist was going to come.
More twists do come and few of my theories were right. The only reason I didn't give the story 5 stars is that the ending, though horrible enough to give you nightmares, didn't satisfy me the way the rest of the book did.
The two readers do an excellent job, especially Julia Whalen. I am not sure I would have enjoyed the book as much without their interpretation of the characters.
Who knew that half of a magician duo could be this funny, raw, shocking and fun?
Penn Jillette's reading of his own book wrings out every bit of humor, pathos and irreverence from a series of essays grouped by the 10 Commandments. The essays are filled with clippings of Jillette's own life that are often heart-wrenching even though I was often laughing so hard, I had to rewind to hear some bits again. I have to say, sometimes the memories also caused me to squirm a little because his emotions are so raw and the language can be pretty harsh.
Of course this book will offend and shock many people who are not already athiest, but I am hopeful that some open-minded beleivers give it a try. It may open some minds or it may make your faith even stronger -who knows. I certainly did not agree with everything he has opinions about, but I sure enjoyed hearing his take on American life from religion to politics to child-rearing.
I was definitely did not want the book to end and now I waiting for the sequel (if there is one) to hear Penn Jillette's take on othere aspects of life.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys light mysteries and particularly if they listen while they drive. You don't have to have listened to the first book, but I think you will have missed out on the build-up of the characters. It is the characters that make it so funny. Although the situation here is amusing too. Lady Georgiana has to chaperone a Bavarian princess who is the Royal Pain of the title.
The most memorable moment for me was when the Princess's love interest was stabbed upstairs while Georgie was downstairs. A nasty bit of business that made the book more serious for several chapters.
Frankly, I am not sure that I would sit down and read any of these books - it is Katherine Kellgren's performance that makes them enjoyable for me. She brings out every bit of comedy there is by
These are light hearted mysteries for entertainment purposes.
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