At the beginning of the book, I thought the plot seemed to have some real possibilities. However, Cornwell's writing has really sagged in these last few books. What in her first books was some really decent character development has descended mostly into caricatures. The whole thing with the forensic academy seems more and more like a quickie solution to having written Scarpetta and Lucy into a corner - and the academy's not remotely believable. It belongs in a comic book.
The worst part was that Cornwell herself seemed to tire of the story - the resolution (if it can be called that) is rushed and incomplete. It seemed like she'd arrived at nearly the number of pages agreed to in her contract and then just wrapped it up as quickly as possible once that number was reached.
In the event of another Scarpetta novel, I definitely won't be reading it. Maybe Cornwell should retire & fly her helicopter.
My God what a good book. Five stars isn't enough. McKinty is truly gifted as a writer - great dialog, the characters are fully developed and the plot twists seem fully believable once enough is revealed so that you see what's going on. There're a couple of scenes involving an imaginary world on a ceiling (I know this sounds weird but it isn't) that are handled so skillfully that I had to back up and listen to them again.
Two forewarnings: this isn't really a mystery story. Crime story doesn't actually seem descriptive either. I don't know how to categorize it but it is amazing. Secondly - once past the first three hours or so of the book, you won't want to go to work or do anything that will interfere with finishing the book. Up until then you're still picking up background information, trust me, it zooms along soon enough.
The guy doing the reading is really good as well, you can easily imagine that it's a story being told to you directly over a few pints over a long night in the pub.
I liked this legal thriller a lot. I thought it was a great plot and the characters were well developed and their motivations were fully explained. As far as the ending being predictable - isn't that the case with all legal thrillers: you know the good guys will win out in the end. The reason to read the book or listen to the story is to hear the story of how the characters get from here to there, you *know* where they'll end up.
The author throws in some nice details that only become clear/get explained later on the story, which shows me he cares enough about the reader to make the story enjoyable and to reward the reader (contrast this with the steaming pile that is Patricia Cornwell's latest: Predator).
Is the book perfect? No, the writing could be a little more complex, some of the bad guys' dialog isn't subtle enough to come across as totally realistic and some of the financial details aren't accurate (for those of us with OCD), but ..... all in all, a really good book.
In any case, I liked this book a lot & would definitely read/listen to other things he's written.
This was really nice - it gives plenty of details and context regarding Hemingway's post - WWI time in France. If you're familiar with Paris there are plenty of details about the neighborhoods that the Lost Generation frequented and you'll get a real sense of what Paris (and other parts of France) were like at the time.
Started out slowly but it picked up a lot after the first third of the book or so. The second half is definitely much more engaging than the first half since by then it's rolling along pretty well.
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