Jefferson City, MO, United States | Member Since 2002
Only if you had your sense of humor surgically removed at an early age could you fail to appreciate Carl Hiaasen's Flush. It is Hiaasen at his best with a new character and a new set of problems.
For some reason, however, Hiaasen keeps bringing out of the woods some version of his scary old man character. In prior books it was the former governor turned environmental vigilante. In this case ... well.. listen to the book. If you've not read the other books, you won't be bothered by it, and if you've not read the other books, it won't strike you as odd. If you have read them, like me, you'll shrug and pass it off as a recurrent, if somewhat altered theme.
Hiaasen hates bullies, and this is one of those books where bullies get their comeuppance in the end. If you liked Tourist Season and Stormy Weather, you'll enjoy Flush. And if you have never heard these books... what are you waiting for?
I love Koontz's work, and I routinely give him two thumbs up on most anything he writes, because they are usually delightful. This one starts darker than some of his others, and sweeps to a conclusion faster than most of his work. The last couple of chapters of the book feel like he just got tired of writing this one, and it feels like a rushed effort. The story was still enjoyable, but the bad guy in the end was disappointing.
I am constantly amazed at how Koontz can take a really novel and facially ridiculous story line (shapeless monsters that crush people) and have you believing it by the time you're done with the book. But more important than the eventual winning over and suspension of disbelief is the themes he explores and the way in which it is always the triumph of the human spirit that wins out in the end of his books. This novel is one of his best, and was recommended by Audible based on past Koontz books. I am very glad I listened. The narrator is not as good as the narrator for the Odd Thomas novels, but still was very good.
The thing I liked best about this book is that it keeps you guessing. If you have read Koontz before you know he believes in creating some really strange and unusual bad guys. The bad guy -- actually a bad gal -- here is one of his more unique signatures. The relationships that develop and the over-the-top symbolism at first left me very much confused. Was Koontz trying to make this book easy for the not-too-bright, or was he just being heavy-handed with foreshadowing? Suffice it to say that in that way that is uniquely Koontz, he won't let you down. You're going to be misdirected, establish expectations, and be wondering what just happened while you're being thrust into another plot change with incredible speed and intensity. This kept me guessing past the last page. It's not exactly The Lady or the Tiger, but it is as close in modern fiction as you're likely to come. And I wouldn't be surprised to find Mr. Koontz recycling one of the characters here somewhere down the line. In short, get this book. It's an entertaining listen!
When the Virgil Flowers line of books started he was kind of an unwelcome diversion from the Davenport series. A spinoff that I was not entirely sure I was going to like. The series started slowly, but I've listened to every one of them, and I am liking them more and more. Eric Conger delivers a good reading performance, and I've come to the point that I like Flowers and know pretty much what he's going to do. He's his own man, and a very different man than Davenport. You can almost predict what Davenport will do; not so with Flowers whom Sandford keeps us guessing about most of the time. This is a good listen and worth you time and money.
I had to mark this one down because I did not much care for the ending, but overall it was a good listen. I think in many respects when I listen to a novel of this variety I am thinking that there will likely be a sequel. I am almost certain, however, that there won't be one here. I don't think this one is set up that way. It's an interesting premise and there were only a few things that made me go "hmmmm." Definitely worth a listen, but likely not to be your favorite book.
If you liked The Killer, you'll love the Enemy. It's a tight tale, with lots of twists and turns, and with some really excellent plotting. Set in Europe, it provides descriptions and settings in places that I can only hope of getting to someday. I have really enjoyed the series, and the highest compliment I can pay a writer is "WHERE IS BOOK 3?" And that's what I want to know: when will I get to read the next of Tom Wood's Victor stories.
When Tom Wood's "The Enemy" showed up as #2 in the series as a recommended read for me on Audible, I went back and bought The Killer and listened to it first. It was an exceptional novel, as good as Mark Greaney's "The Gray Man" but far less specific about the character's back story. It starts with a bang and keeps a fast pace through the entire novel. I could not wait to listen to this book all the way to the end. And as soon as I was done, I started on book 2. I hope this author gives us much more of Victor, the assassin in this series, because I have come to really enjoy his style of writing, and the cleverness of the character.
If you like the gray man, and you enjoy the richness that Greaney has brought to Tom Clancy's works, then you'll love this story. I am always pulling for the Gray Man, and this is one of the best Greaney's written.
As someone who has enjoyed the Odd Thomas line of books, I always consider a book featuring another character to be a deviation from and an unwelcome departure from that wonderful story arc. But in this book Dean Koontz delivers a tale of wonder, mystery, love, intrigue, and joy that is profoundly philosophical and thematically rich. It seems as though Koontz must have labored over this as an act of love, and you can feel his deep sense of humility, his kindness and gentleness, and his abiding belief that there is good in all of us, if we are but to discover it. Koontz does not scare me like Steven King. Reading his works makes me want to be a better man, and reminds me that we all fall short of the marks we set for ourselves in that pursuit.
It would do no good for me to describe the plot and substance of this book. It is something that you must discover for yourself. Like Intensity and the last of the Odd Thomas books, this has some disturbing descriptions in it, but it also leaves you with the feeling that Koontz is on to something. TS Elliott has always featured prominently in his works, and you can find the allegory in this work as well. The book is very well read, and the audio characterizations are exceptionally well done. Get this book and listen to it. You will not be sorry you did.
Lucas Davenport is an engaging character, and the police procedurals featuring his character are among the best. The only thing that has become a bit trite is the "feel" of the novels. They all feel about the same. This pervasive feel has even begun to infect some of Sandford's other work.
While I am sure the city of Minneapolis loves it that Davenport is "their character" it might be nice to freshen things up a bit with a trip out of state, a vacation, or something that takes Lucas out of his comfort zone, and makes him live on his wits and guile. But, hey, that's just me whispering into the mythical John Sandford's ear.
I enjoyed the book (although it clearly sets up a sequel). It also merges characters from Sandford's Kidd series. I liked that a lot too.
Other than needing a fresh coat of paint, this old house is still fun to dwell in.
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