Spring Branch, TX, United States | Listener Since 2004
There is a lot of timley information on genetic engineering in this cliff hanger novel.
I tried to turn off my ipod to save some of the story for later but couldn't do it. Had to listen to the whole thing in one gulp!
This is my first time listening to this reader. He has a wonderfully expressive voice. He makes the novel into a performance rather than someone reading from pages of a book.
This is a book that could be true, it could actually be happening as we go about out daily lives, unaware or not wanting to be aware of what is being done to our food supply. Not a laughing matter although the sarcasm expressed by Dr. Welcome was an enjoyable way to lighten up an otherwise terrifying plot.
Michael Palmer is a wonderfully informed person which makes his books realistic and enjoyable.
First let me say that I am addicted to modern mysteries with intelligent female detectives, medical examiners, contract killers, ditch diggers, surgeons, anything but frumpy housewives and good mommies with perfect kids. So when Tess Gerritsen "gave birth" to the Rizzolli and Isles series I almost inhaled the first book in one sitting through my ears. Then I realized that the voice reading it was so hypnotic, expressive, engaged in the story that this was part of the reason I could not take my ears off the pages. Anna Fields is one of the most talented readers that Audible has. She can read an IRS information pamphlet on tax exemptions for 501 c3 organizations and make it interesting. Although Gerritsen's plots and excellent writing can survive other readers, even the less than mediocre ones, the combination of Anna Fields and the characters of Gerritsen's suspense novels is unbeatable. The Apprentice has so many twists and turns it's like a subway tunnel built by a crazed carnival ride inventor. But she did not fool me one bit with her ending. There will be more to come and a return of the least likable characters of The Apprentice so listen carefully, once, twice, maybe three times so you will be prepared for the sequels.
Patricia Cornwell is one of the most professionally informed writers that I read from cover to cover and series book to series book. Although "dust" was a great listen, it was darker and more disturbing then most of her other books. However, in this, her latest book she failed to make her two side characters, Benton Wesley and Pete Marino anything but wooden replicas of themselves. Actually, the character of Marino was so unappealing in this novel that it was almost painful to listen to his part.
Considering that 20 out of the 21 books in the Scarpetta series were terrific, I guess that Patricia Cornwell should be forgiven for one partial dud.
The thing that saved the entire book from being a 2 star failure was the intricate plot that wove logically through the tale of murder and mayhem without becoming ho hum and boring or confused and tangled. I did figure out "who done it" before the story reached that part, but at least I didn't figure it out 15 minutes into listening, as I do with some less talented authors of detective and mystery tales. And of course, Kay Readings performance was wonderful as usual.
I have read all 16 VI Warshawski books, some of them twice. Although the story line for Critical Mass is excellent, it gets really twisted up in places, like an expensive pair of pantyhose that knots up when someone tries to get into them quickly. You have to listen to the story line in this book very carefully or you will be clicking on the "back" button every several minutes. It would probably help if the listener has some knowledge of the Cold War, nuclear technology, the Holocaust, and the ins and outs of the CIA. I actually have quite a bit of knowledge in this area so I was able to follow the plot but the novel itself was very dark and somewhat depressing. I think that Sara Paretsky was trying to teach a lesson in ethics. It's good to a point but it can become very upsetting. It can also become very confusing to someone who has very little knowledge of the shenanigans that our government has gone through in the past regarding nuclear weaponry. All said though, it's still worth listening to.
When I was 6 years old, my mother bought me a Nancy Drew Mystery Story. I was MIA until I finished it - in about three hours of steady reading. Like gobbling up an ice cream cone in two bites. It was the start of a lifelong addiction to reading. I can't imagine what I would have done if Audible had been around in those days with excellent readers like Deanna Hurst. I probably would not have eaten or slept. I would not have gone to school. I would have been absorbed into books, non-stop. They would have had to send me to a book detox center. Well, years later there is no more Nancy Drew or Beverly Grey but now there's Marcia Muller and her alter ego Sharon McCone. Not only have I read the entire series up to and including Locked In and Coming Back, I am sitting here waiting for Ms. Muller to write her next book and hoping it will be soon because I am having definite withdrawal symptoms. Her well balanced characters, her courage to allow Sharon to hire people who have, in traditional literature, been shunned or stereotyped and her excellent, complicated plots that take twists and turns without becoming either boring or illogical is what keeps me listening. The only complaint - hey, I want the books to be longer. Well, you can't have everything. Read it, you'll love it.
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