The story is a typical Lehane story and that is a very positive statement. BUT, when someone lives in the area where the story is supposed to be placed and the pronunciation is profoundly wrong, it's something of a turnoff. For example there is an amusement park in southern NH whose name is Canobie Lake Park. Scot Brick pronounces it with a hard c and it sounds like KA NO bee where anyone in New England knows it's CAN o bee. There are several instances of this issue. That said, I enjoy books that are located in cities in which I have either lived or spent time.
Lehane is a master at weaving his stories through personalities and situations. This story is no exception. We get to learn about families, in-laws, childhood friends and sweethearts, ex-wives and ex-husbands, children of questionable parentage, short people and organized crime. We hear, as Lehane is an excellent voice, murder, liars, friends who are anything but, lifelong enemies and the police.
I will listen to this book again at some time in the future, I enjoyed it that much.
I read (listen to) 8 to 10 books a month in 1, 2 or 3 hour sessions so I've followed many story lines. I found this book to be difficult to follow. Perhaps it's one of the few that should be listened to in one sitting or with few and short breaks. After 4 hours of listening I am unable to effectively explain more than the basics of what is actually happening in this story. I don't think the character development was done well nor am I able to comfortably flow between scenes and time periods. David de Vries does a good job with the narration. His tempo, diction and emotion are what kept me going after 2 hours. I would not recommend this book to a friend.
I suspect the story is worth listening to, but the incessant beeps that accompany the CIA's redacted words or phrases are far too annoying for me. I wish they had rewritten those sections instead of making their point that the CIA did them wrong. I struggled through about 20 minutes before I stopped the recording and deleted it. If the author and/or editor ever realize that the reader is their audience not the CIA, and rewrite the book, I would be very interested in buying that version. Until then it's gone and forgotten.
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