Jeffrey Archer writes with the experience of one who has been "inside". His accounts are credible even to one who has worked in court and jail.
It's fun to pick out similarities and differences between the British and American legal systems. I myself read for fun, and fun is what I found throughout A Prisoner of Birth, unabridged. Highly recommended reading.
I believe this story is meant for adolescents. Audible should make mention of this. Adults will likely spot foreshadowing and subtleties which reveal the plot, thus spoiling the adventure. But for kids it is exciting and I would offer four stars in that category.
The humorous passages are hilarious, Dr. Gerritsen's imagination covers even more ground in this novel, and you won't guess the resolution as all the parts come together thoughtfully. I only regret that I did not "read" this novel in order of publication.
Sadly, I find that when the narrator attempted to interpret dialogues between two voices, if one or both of them were male, she became confused. The accent or intonation of one of the voices overlapped onto the other. But happily, Ms. Gerritsen has written an excellent novel.
If you are not in a hurry when you listen then you can enjoy each character. Although the plot is intensely gripping the story is not a downer.
There are commercials inside the story: cigarette brands, brands of sodas, even plastic bag brands. A work that one purchases should not contain advertisements!
I had never read King. Yes, really. Based upon this novel, I must say that I do not enjoy his style. "It came as no surprise to her...", "She was not surprised to learn that...", are interspersed from beginning to end.
The writing is painfully detailed as to the characters' actions. Mundane actions which turn out to be of no consequence in the novel. I find no pleasure in that.
I do not intend to invest in other works by Mr. King.
Ms. Hart begins writing very well, with rhythm and good style. But near the middle or just beyond the plot becomes weak. A bottlenecking of details through to the resolution did not satisfy this reader.
Psychologist David M. Buss offers "logical" reasons for murder based upon the evolution of man. He states that today we are still driven by impulses which were useful to the survival of our species millions of years ago. The author uses the gene-centered view of evolution (Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene", 1976) to say that the genes of our ancestors who murdered are the ones which made it through the eons and live in us today.
Perhaps these theories have validity. Nevertheless, it is this reviewer's opinion that this is an oversimplification of complex behavior. One is hard pressed to believe that the widely differing circumstances surrounding murders can somehow all be explained in this narrow context.
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