The reviews on this book are a mixed bag...and each is right in their own way. Prichard does a lackluster job of general narration, yet his dialog scenes are quite good. The story is very slow to develop, yet there are spots of fast and interesting developments. This book is not for you if you need fast, punchy action with crisp dialog. However if you are a fan of well crafted intrigue with political twists and turns -- then indeed you'll enjoy this book. If I weren't such a big fan of the Ryan series overall I probably would have given even fewer ratings stars.
This is a wonderful, fascinating series by Anne Perry. The earlier books narrated by the incomparable Davina Porter are an absolute treat to listen to. Michael Page does ok, but does suffer by comparison. The intrigue of most of these stories comes from the dramas that exist w/in upper class English society in the late 1800's. For some reason this book deviated from that sure fire formula and left me disappointed. However Charlotte and Thomas can become like old friends if you read/listen to these books in sequence -- and it's really hard to come down too hard on old friends. If you're interested in this book, your best bet is to start at the beginning of this series and get to know these interesting and complex characters as they grow and change.
Having read most of these books over the years as well as watched those that were made into movies, I didn't think it would matter if I listened to the books out of order. That was a mistake on my part. I just listened to the last two books out of sequence. Not a major problem but it certainly did take some of the suspense out of the story line.
Lou Diamond Phillips is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING as the narrator. If you only want to listen to a couple of these books, definitely check out his two.
What I have discovered is that I'm becoming addicted to the uber story line, the characters' personal stories, and their unusual approach to what it takes to be the "good guys." At this point my plan is to go back and start listening from the beginning and in sequence this time. Good thing that I've only listened to about a 1/3 of them so far.
#1 I love Scott Brick. Once again he brought insight, introspection and intrigue to his reading.
#2 I'm intrigued by cold war USA/USSR spy novels. This one did a good job of providing real historical information about that part of our history. (Although some of it doesn't always make you proud of our part in that story.)
#3 Nelson DeMille is a terrific story writer/teller. But not so much this time. The story trundled along until the end. Then it finally picked up its tempo and capture of the reader's (and/or listener's) attention. Too long with too many bouts of tedium.
I truly wanted to love this novel ... just couldn't quite get there.
From all the rave reviews, I thought this would be an all-timer audio book...it wasn't. I'm a die hard Stephen King fan. His writing and story telling held true to his well established reputation. But the book was somewhat slow at times (dare I even say tedious) and the narrator didn't have the dynamics to move it forward through those spots. Yes, there definitely is tension, suspense and an endearing love story -- but no umphhh, no panash, and none of the shoot you straight out of your chair twists that we love with King.
However as the story progresses and the characters grow, the book starts to get a hold on the reader/listener. By the end I was hanging on for dear life and wanting a great ending. King did deliver that.
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