Thomas Perry, the creator of the Jane Whitfield series pulls a switch, and with another stolid character...Grizzled Ex Cop with gimmicky crosses to bear...has to find a someone he helped disappear. Mayhem ensues. Body count rises, reader is taken on a road trip along California's Highway 101. Nice scenery.
Now the problem: if you are Tantor Media, and you are having an actor narrate a book which takes place in California, with important sequences taking place in Los Angeles, would it be too much to ask the actor to at least learn how to pronounce place names which have made it into the general lexicon. Streets like La Cienega and Sepulveda are mentioned on TV all the time. In a pinch, I understand Los Angeles has actors who do good narrations and know how to pronounce local street names.
And yeah...Simi Valley is not pronounced SEMI.
Problems like this occur thruout the reading, and detract from...er...the authenticity of the mileu Perry spent a lot of time creating. Because...yeah...he is an LA writer.
Fans of Carol O'Connell's outstanding Mallory series will rejoice at the return of Kathy Mallory and her friends in this extended journey into crime, punishment...and into the past along the fabled "Mother Road" Route 66.
"It winds from Chicago to LA..." and Mallory is part of a grisy road trip where among the roadside attractions are the graves of murdered children, a band of searching parents.....and a serial killer. But past and present merge into this caravan of tears....and more often than not Mallory's quest is a detour into her own past, a myriad of dead ends....and an unexpected revelation at the end of the road.
O'Connell is such a wonderful writer, the reader will hang on for the twists and turns on this road trip which moves faster than the VW with a Porsche engine Kathy so ably steers in dark terriory.
Richard North Patterson, who has transcended the legal-thriller genre a few books ago has created a novel which explains how the appeals process in death penalty cases has become a stylized dance of arbitrary rules where political expediency trumps justice, fairness and truth. In telling the story of a last minute appeal of a retarded, and probably innocent man facing execution we are taken step by step through a grinding, mindnumbing and depressing process which exposes, in explicit terms, some very troubling truths about the death penalty today.
Patterson, in using a fictional case, has made a baroque and irrational system accessible to those open to be challenged on their assumptions about "activist courts" "coddled criminals" and other cleverly framed phrases which cloud the truth about a justice system which metes out the ultimate punishment without much concern for guilt or innocence.
This is not a fun book. However, it is an important book for those who truly want to understand an important issue, and how it defines us as a people. And Patterson does provide an excellent road map, for those with the courage and character, to proceed down that road.
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