Phoenix, AZ USA | Member Since 2007
Somehow I started with just one of the books in the series but soon bought all of them back to back. FYI: This is the 13th in the series. Simon Prebble, as always, is a superb narrator - much better than Samuel Gillies, who narrates like he's performing "Hansel and Gretel" to 6 year olds!
No matter how hard you try, you will never guess who will be murdered and by whom. There are so many twists and turns and red herrings that the reader is always kept guessing. The Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is a tortured soul but a great detective. He suffers from World War I "shell shock" which is what we now recognize as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is manifested by a dead "imaginary friend" named Hamish McCloud. This adds an interesting component into how this detective acts and reacts. Hamish is to Rutledge what cocaine is to Sherlock Holmes - a dangerous nemesis that both helps and hampers. All of the books are pretty much the same plot but just different enough in locations, people, class distinctions, and twists to make each worth reading. My suggestion is to go on Google or Wikipedia to learn the order of the series and start with the first one. Each book fills in the gaps if you start somewhere in the middle but the continuity really helps. It would be nice if Audible.com would assign chronological order to books which contain a series or prequels and sequels. )I will post this same comment on all of the Ian Rutledge books that I've read.)
I actually enjoyed this book after a spate of recent true crime books which were absolutely awful. Even veteran crime writer Ann Rule has lost her "mojo" after decades of dominating this genre. In this book you get good writing, research and narration - the must-have "triple crown" in audiobooks. Well worth the price of admission.
Fans of Alison Weir knows that her historical nonfiction works are better than Cliff Notes. She checks, double-checks, and triple-checks her facts. This work is probably a winner in hard copy. However, the narrator totally ruined this for me. For some reason she uses all of these mostly male voices to emphasize at least one word or phrase in every single sentence. Sometimes there's 4 to 5 of these "dramatic flairs" in just one sentence. On top of not sounding very good in a male voice, she uses all sorts of accents , from British to Italian to Spanish - but, with the archaic prose of that era, she sounds like Hitler - punching each word out like people who send text messages in capital letters. This book should have been narrated by a man since most of the source material quoted is from male chroniclers. Narrators Charleton Griffin or Simon Vance or John Lee could have pulled this off successfully. All Maggie Mash did was "MAKE A MASH" from an otherwise great book. Her narration made it hard to follow the story line because her delivery is so discordant. Mash should have just read the book in her own voice which is pleasant and comprehensible. The book is a factual historical account, not a Shakespearian play! I had to stop listening after Part 1 of 3.
After being an Ane Rule fan for 30 years, I'm have repeatedly been dissatisfied by her recent "True Crime Files" collections. This book, like most in her 18 or 19 book series, is nothing more than a bunch of regurgitated, rehashed, uninteresting crimes from the 1960s and 1970s. All usually about low self-esteem women with no sense at all. WHO CARES?!? There are a kazillion felony crimes perpetrated in the past 20 years that Rule could use her previous outstanding research and insight (Scott Peterson, Sandra Smith, even OJ Simpson). Now all she's doing is proselytizing and preaching to a generation like us who is as savvy as she is about criminals. Before the advent of forensic shows on television, Anne Rule had this genre sewed up tight. But now, all of us are "armchair" Drs. Michael Badens and Henry Lees, blood splatter experts, document examiners, pathologists, and FBI phychological profilers. Rule claims in her bios to have been a former police officer. Yet my research shows that she couldn't even pass the eye test! EX-SQUEEZE ME?! My daughter is a cop with 10 years on the job and she never would have been accepted into the grueling 20 week training in police academy if she couldn't SEE! How could any rookie be issued a firearm with bad vision? Yet we've bought into her fake background for decades. She also claimed to have hung around the jail during summer breaks. Sounds like a "Badge Bunny" to me (a female who is attracted to male police officers, like gold-diggers after Lil Wayne or Justin Timberlake with 1% of the "baby mama payoff!). Since Ann Rule looks like an Oompah Loomp in drag , it's easy to see that she had to find some other avenue to insinuate herself into crime fighting. I have to give her props for choosing crime writing instead - she was the best in the game for a very long time. But these awful compilations are ruining her heretofore unprecedented hold in this genre. I've tried several of these collections but had to stop because I couldn't take her philosophying and her constant inserting herself in the stories like Ophra Winfrey does (You got lupus, suddenly Ophrah's got lupus; You were molested as a child, Oprah reveals thar she was molested also; You get trampled by a herd do buffalo.....I think you get my drift....) Rule is now in her late 70s and the quality of her recent mid-20th century "crime stories" being released in the 21st century shows how much out of touch she is with the real world. I keep buying Rule's books hoping that she will release one with her usual great writing and that it is an account of a crime which happened sooner than a half century ago. But, so far I've been disappointed repeatedly.
This is a well-researched, enlightening and entertaining account of the life of the 22nd (AND 24th) President. But it is horrible indictment on this country's political machinations and the unequal rights for women in the late 19th century. The fact that President Cleveland fathered a child out of wedlock is not nearly as shocking as his conduct after the fact. He tried to destroy the lives of a respected widow and the child of his body. His treatment and continued abuse he heaped on his "baby mama" was unconscionable even by our current and less stringent standards. It's sad to see that, at any time in the history of this nation, that a man guilty of rape, kidnapping, fraud, slander, liable, and lies could be elected to the highest office in the land. Here, Grover Cleveland is exposed as the sociopath that he was. Not only did he rape a woman before he won the White House, he married his 21 year-old ward when he was 48. The disturbing thing about the latter offense is that Cleveland had bounced the beautiful baby girl of his BFF on his sloppy fat knees and later lusted for her until she barely reached the age of consent. In the meantime, the politicians and this country's citizens brushed the rape under rug, labeling it "a consensual act perpetrated while a young man was sowing wild oats" (Grover was almost 40 years old at the time of the assault, a Sheriff, and respected lawyer - hardly a testosterone-fueled teenage). Nor did any find it inappropriate for a world leader to marry a young woman over whom he'd excercised a great deal of power and control since the day she wa born. His "courtship" began with extravagant gifts as soon as the girl was born and continued when he became her ward at age 11. (Ewww! Just thinking about it made me throw up in my mouth!!! 👎😧 He even held his wedding to his "PYT" (pretty young thing) in the White House!!! Fast forward 100 years or so when President William Clinton was damn near run out of that same venerable building over an admittedly consenting, albeit unattractive, female intern and a Havana cigar 😎. I don't get it. But YOU should get this book! It is highly informative and very entertaining considering the subject matter - The President if a the United States - is probably the most boring thing an author can choose. Unless it's a fictional character like Martin Sheen's role in "West Wing", most of our presidents are rather forgettable unless they got assassinated in office or were involved in a major sex scandal.
NOTE: The only thing that prevented me from giving this book 5-stars is after listening to well written book for 10 hours, it suddenly goes awry with an overly long uninteresting court case which seems to be "gavel to gavel" in boring testimony).
First, let me state that this is a book "best served abridged"! After sloshing through the first 2 parts, I gave up and discovered everything about this man in Wikipedia. Andrew Carnegie was part of history but not a very interesting one. He got stuck on one theme and just stayed there, refusing or unable to really grasp the world around him. He didn't marry or really date until his mother died when he was 50. He hated his father for being weak. Carnegie reminded me of a highly functional idiot savant whose "savant" was knowing how to make something out of nothing. I'm not mad at him for that. What is disturbing is that this man was a vocal abolitionist who hated slavery. Yet he basically enslaved his own people in his iron and steel mills. His drive came, not from an outstanding work ethic, but from being 5 feet tall - he decided at some point he could overcome his short stature by standing on his wallet! By the time he died, he could have been a power forward in the NBA!! Again, I ain't mad at him for conning over here from Scotland and becoming a stupid rich robber baron. What bothers me is that he was aware of the devastation that his mills did in Pennsylvania, yet his idea of "giving his money away to the less fortunate" was building libraries, concert halls, and universities. Tell me how that helped the disenfranchised whom worked 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week, with not breaks? Who had time to read a book or go to a symphony? Yet he fought down striking workers who only wanted to allowed to work a regular 8-hour day in grueling, hot, unsafe conditions. He felt that he had some kind of entitlement as he raped the country who gave him a chance. Carnegie's mills only hired African-Americans as strike breakers and our people had been here about 200 years before his family! I don't get this guy at all. At least Cornelius Vanderbilt and the rest of that era's industrialists made no excuses for the bad they did nor did they try to act like they were humanitarians. I can't give this book 1-star because it does have its moments. But save your money and look "Shorty" up in Wikipedia. Way too long with no skeletons in the closet.
I approached this book with much trepidation, thinking it was about an autistic teen that the reader would try -futilely - to understand along with the child's family, friends and healthcare professionals. Page after page of listening to the child shrieking aloud, while rocking back and forth, shutting out the rest of the world and simultaneously keeping his inner thoughts locked inside his allegedly disabled mind. But since the book title is also my favorite Sherlock Holmes quotation, I decided to buy it anyway. What an amazing surprise! This story is told from the first-person view of the teen who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, which is similar to autism. A teen who is a genius mathematician, able to think and reason better than most "normal" adults. He is locked away inside his own world almost by his own choosing, not having to deal with the gruesome repeated trauma of current affairs nor the angst which is part of our every day human existence. Overall, we ALL should be so lucky to able to escape into ourselves.
This is a rare literary masterpiece which should make any listener, with only .0000001% of the intelligence of the young man portrayed, a better person. Or at the very least, jump start you into stop wasting any more of your life by failing to appreciate your blessings. WE have choices - this young man's options were denied him in utero. Yet he laid out for himself amazing goals - goals that he will be sure to obtain through sheer determination and an unwavering belief in himself. Well worth the price!
NOTE: Many reviewers have complained about the profanity in this book, stating this story is not for children. If you believe that, then in 10 years, you could likely be one of the many parents "shocked" to discover that their teen has just shot up his middle school using YOUR guns. I'd rather share this book - curse words and all - with my children instead of having "Family Day" at a local shooting range. Profanity has never killed a child's peers, especially not when that child has been properly raised by his or parents, being taught right from wrong, and tempering discipline with love, support, and self-respect. The days of "The Waltons" or "Leave It To Beaver" disappeared 50 years ago. It's time for parents to step up. There's more to raising a child than "time outs"!!
I loved Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" about an autistic teen and his family. It was insightful and hard to put down. This book, however, is just a hot mess of too many people doing way too much, much of it immoral or just ridiculous! I couldn't finish it and was very disappointed.
The book is just awful! What could have been a compelling story of a father trying to save his son from a wrongful murder charge is just a mind-numbing amount of just whining and moaning over something which happens to the rest of us - especially poor minority males - every day. And this kid's father is a wealthy experienced Assistant District Attorney! This story reminds me of all the people who lost jobs, homes, retirement funds, etc. In what they term this recent "recession" - something that the other 99% of us have been living all of lives. Get a pack of Top Ramen, America, and "Welcome Aboard!" I can see why this book was on sale!
The description of this book states it contains the title story plus five others. The title even says "...And Other True Cases...." Yet the additional stories are not included. Very disappointing! 👎😡
I've read just about every true crime book by Ann Rule over the past decades. Always well-researched and interesting, Rule's books were worth reading over and over again. However her more recent compilations have fallen way below her high standards. Often rambling and repetitive, Rule's books are better abridged when purchased as audiobooks. While she goes into deep detail about info that millennium readers have learned from television crime shows (like DNA, lividiity, blood cast-off patterns, etc.), she leaves us in the dark on more obscure items or terms.
I noticed that this book had just 1 star from only one reader and no written reviews. I usually choose my books based on the ratings and reviews. Thinking the low recommendation was only an aberration, I bought the book anyway. WRONG MOVE!!! I can't even describe what a mess this book is. Just a bunch of comparatively minor unknown crimes, seemingly plucked from newspapers' page 4 Local section, these offerings are neither interesting or compelling. I stopped listening after the first 2 stories. You know you've been hoodwinked when a writer like Ann Rule publishes a simple unsolved possibly arson death and offers human spontaneous combustion as manner of death - and then it is only a MAYBE!!
I know Rule is in her late 70s and may not be as sharp as when she did the "Capote-'In Cold Blood'" immersion with serial killer Ted Bundy almost 30 years ago, but her editor, publisher and Audible.com should have realized that this book is no more than an unorganized throw-away - the kind of book one keeps on the toilet tank to read when there is absolutely nothing else to study except the active ingredients in Pine-Sol!!! 😡👎
Report Inappropriate Content