Since I want to spend my credits wisely, I always read reviews and listen to the sample before I purchase a title. I did the same thing before selecting this title but it turned out to be a stinker anyway. The execution doesn't live up to the promise of the premise (not intended as a pun, but there you have it). The heroine is shrill and whiny. That's the way the narrator has portrayed her, but I think his interpretation is faithful since almost everything she says is insipid. I don't care for any of the characters and I am four hours into this thing.
The writing is competent but not inspired. There is a lot of telling without showing, which is the hallmark of workmanlike writing. Certainly, there are times when telling is perfectly appropriate and advances the story. However, this novel relies entirely on telling and tedious conversation, making it read like a bad police procedural.
I have fallen asleep every time I try to listen to this book. To summarize...... s n o r e.................
Sometimes I wonder if I have read the same book that was recommended by reviewers. Reviews of this book include the words, "intriguing," "page-turner," "awesome," "exciting," and "creepy." While not exactly a snore, this book is hardly "intriguing." The plot is simple and predictable and does not warrant a length of 10 hours and 24 minutes. It's like an interminable Nancy Drew mystery with some sadomasochism thrown in for good measure.
I've been willing to suspend disbelief for a little over an hour, but I just can't do it anymore. The scene: a tenement fire. The PLAYERS: the crowd, firefighters, and a green newspaper reporter. The SETUP: The reporter tells a firefighter that there is a little girl trapped on the fourth floor. The fireman replies that it's too late to rescue her; he states, "It's too risky." The ACTION: the intrepid reporter shows those firefighters a thing or two as he scales the heights, unaided, and rescues the girl. Our hero! Perhaps this ploy would have worked in the early days of the "moving pictures," with a naive and thunderstruck audience, but it doesn't cut the mustard today. AND, it's insulting to all the men and women firefighters who save lives every day and risk their own in doing so.
This is the first time I have listened to or read a book by this author and it will probably be the last. I found the premise intriguing and the beginning is interesting, but the book goes on and on and on. There is a lot of nit-picky detail and repetition that I found distracted me from the story. A good editor would have cut the book by at least 25% and made it a more cogent read.
Dick Hill fans may stay with it because of his masterful reading--I know, I know, there are Dick Hill non-fans out there, but I find that I enjoy listening to him. He has a fine baritone and has the ability to differentiate characters through the use of accents and cultural coloration. As far as I'm concerned, he IS Kurt Wallander.
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