This noir mystery was written in 1965 by the master of the California private eye genre, Ross MacDonald. Every award/honor Ross MacDonald received during his illustrious career was more than earned. The missing person plot unfolds at a breakneck pace. Tom Parker has the perfect voice to narrate a 1960's setting and the gritty dialogue of the characters. I listened through in two sessions, impossible to stop. Ross MacDonald wrote in terse sentences with a world-weary tone that perfectly captured his detective Lew Archer and his troubled clients. I loved it.
This novel is really a collection of three (3) short stories that are loosely related, starring a semi-retired Navy Seal character that prefers to call himself Ghost. I regret completing this review for several reasons (mainly, obviously some readers love it): (1) This book has foolish stories that all end with atomic bombs (two go off and one is disarmed in the last 5 seconds before detonation). So you have that kind of novelist that believes now everyone will like the US for nuking Middleeastern countries. (2) Our lead character is a self-confessed sadomasochist that practices his killing skills and abusive behavior in escalating intensity throughout the three stories. (3) The US President loves Ghost so much that he pays him something like $65 million through the three stories; so you have Rollo the Rich Kid pursuing bad guys in a leased Gulfstream; I guess the US does not have an AMEX Platinum Card like Mr. Ghost. (4) Oh, and of course, the entire US Military, CIA and Special Operatives are all 1000's of miles away, so Ghost has to race around the world saving us solo. (5) He kills some of the renown bad guys of past and present as a bonus, why just rescue hostages?...why not reset the geopolitical balance too? What's a head of state or two? (6) Inbetween the relentless killing we get relentless plugs for Fox News and the Republican party. Author Ringo does not miss a beat.
John Ringo writes a lot of science fiction, a genre that permits the author to go outside the bounds of reality, science and logic. This military, spy, counter-terrorism, hero series is sophomoric entertainment, base and senseless and lacks any grounding. The Navy Seal strategy for Ghost is to go in the front door and shoot 10 people standing dumbly around before they can raise an automatic firearm...now that is realistic. Of course, he takes 5 - 6 grievous wounds per story and spouts half-baked philosophy all the way to the trauma center. What a guy!
I am so very ashamed I completed this novel. It's very low-brow, loaded with action and some very disturbing behavior that other reviewers have commented on much better than I could or will. There are much better thriller series to explore.
I wanted to like this book very much, and enjoyed it somewhat....thud. The English characters are eccentric and there is an underlying mischief and humor. The first two murders are colorful and unique. There is a lot of fun in this book.
My issue is that the solution to the mystery is something like an Agatha Christie plot. It is very, very far-fetched and has some of that smugness about a highly doubtful complex sequence with dead bodies that defies most logic. You may suspect the killer, but you will never understand the key detail that keeps the villain shielded...until the Sherlock Holmes-like final reveal. A reader gets the feeling that the characters' daily interactions are the thing and that the underlying motive of the mass killer is somewhat secondary. For that I give 4 stars...maybe 3 1/2. The narration is marvelous.
"Swing" by Rupert Holmes kept me engaged from the beginning to the end. Frankly it was hard to tell how the mystery would resolve itself to the very end. Like any good Noir, it slowly descends to a final violent and unforeseen conclusion.
Rupert Holmes has previously won a pair of Edgars, a Grammy and three Tony Awards. He writes very thoughtfully with an abundance of period information. Set in 1940 during the Golden Gate International Exposition on the manmade Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, the noirish fictional historic thriller is narrated by sax player and arranger Ray Sherwood. He is part of the Jack Donovan Orchestra of Note...playing an extended gig at the upscale Claremont Hotel in Oakland. Holmes uses real locales throughout this novel. His descriptions of various key elements of the architecture, Pacifica statue and carillon at the fair make this an atmospheric production.
A college student entices Ray into helping her arrange an orchestral score for her prize winning piano piece. Part of the prize is a performance by Japan's Pan Pacific Orchestra. The music, the student and the orchestra are not what they seem.
This book is rich with details of swing music. scoring music, and the details of touring bands. Set in that strange world's fair that World War II was soon make immemorable, it highlights the final gasp of large world's fairs that time had already past. You get much more than a murder plot in this book, you become immersed in 1940, the music and the fair.
This audible book is appended with original big band music composed by Mr. Holmes.
No matter...the story is about something more ominous and disturbing than a murder, but to tell more would diminish the pleasure of the denouement.
"Swing" is right on key and not to be missed.
This is a very short story set in Venezuela during the roaring, lawless 1930s. The theme is a race/contest of rival wildcatters desperate to generate producing oil wells before their leases expire. I liked that the true villain was hidden for much of the story, so the logical culprit was a good person, well almost. The dialog and horses make this feel like something out of a Western. Hubbard gives you a lot of plot and action and very, very little character development. To call the principles cartoonish would be an overstatement. This is a fun story that takes only a couple of hours, great when you can't devote 15 hours.
This is a Doc Ford thriller set in his base in the Florida Everglades. The premise is to help a psychic 13-year-old girl, Tula, who is stopping in a nearby Florida trailer park on her way from Guatemala. She is looking for her mother, who disappeared. Tula has a special skill; she speaks with God through Joan of Arc. Blocking the way is the steroid-crazed manager of the trailer park, Harris Squires. Next mix-in a team of lethal gang bangers and meth cookers and you have quite an amalgam.
This entertaining book gives you some nice snippets about wildlife and ocean biology as Doc Ford is a marine biologist when he is not reverting to his Special Forces skills. There is even a nice love story. Of course she is very rich which makes things neat.
Randy Wayne White creates a pretty complex set of circumstances to navigate. The best part is there is a high speed (read high action) conclusion that is very entertaining. I found the Joan of Arc bit a little oppressive as the plot unwound. My preference is to not overload on religious mysticism in a thriller. However, Doc Ford comes through like the cavalry to save the day and the maiden. This is not the best in this long-running series but it does touch on the plight of illegals in America in an enlightened fashion.
This is a fun entry in the Archie McNally series set amongst the rich of Palm Beach and a fumbling detective (Archie). It has the whole cast of eccentric characters of this long-running series in rare form. Of course rich people don't work with the police (even if it's murder), so everyone has to play a detecting role. You need to suspend a fair amount of belief here. The McNally franchise blends a lot of comedy with a mystery motif. It is getting a little dated (the technology used by the characters in the book is now ancient); so think of it as a 1970's period piece. The comedy outweighs the plot; so jump in and enjoy something very unserious!
Portugal and its capital Lisbon were neutral during WWII. Despite this, Portugal played a major part in some of the key dramas, escapees from the pending Holocaust, wartime profiteering and asset/gold looting. The author paints a very interest scene of what a decadent wartime city of intrigue and deception Lisbon was. This is an area of history that has been largely neglected. I found it highly engaging and informative. Excellent narration.
This novel came up in one of Audible’ s special sales. It sounded interesting to me, a Boston attorney comes to bayou area outside New Orleans buying a huge Southern mansion and doing the restoration/renovation mostly himself, rebounding from a broken engagement and finding love. Embodied in this was a parallel story at the turn of the century involving a murder in this home and various spirits (ghosts) that were active in this long-abandoned plantation home, and the obligatory love story, both past and present and very connected. So far, so good.
As a male reader of mostly history/nonfiction and detective/thriller novels, this had some excellent elements to get me engaged. First, the story is somewhat complex as the characters from the past are highly correlated to the characters in the present. There is a lot of ghost activity, flashbacks and paranormal events. Nora Roberts demonstrates authority on the process of restoration which was interesting.
Suffice it to say, this story leaves the concrete world and heads somewhere else. The characters are well-developed and interesting. The couple is compelling, complex and interesting whole people. My only quibble comes at the end, when too many things happen and there is parallel story running simultaneously; that got me into disbelief quickly. Would you say yes to marry someone that had lost his mind/gender periodically?
Things happen with much purpose and everything means something, so there is a bit of rush as everything has to be neatly resolved. I recommend this book as excellent entertainment. Nora Roberts writes a novel with strong characters, a great plot and wonderful information and dialog.
So, from a man's perspective, this is worth the time and money. It was escapism at its best.
This is a refreshingly different type of mystery. It is set in the heady days of the new Pathet Lao communist government's victory in 1975. You have a very wily coroner, Dr. Siri, operating in a very backward country and capitol city, Vientiane with little or no technology. The plot is somewhat convoluted involving the newly ascendant Vietnamese that are tense political partners in those times.
I have a quibble. This book has dream sequences that start chapters. When listening and without context, this dialog becomes confusing as to what is real or not. Eventually, a listener catches on and can sort through it.
I liked this book very much. It is fresh and has a clever protagonist, a Doctor in his retirement years forced to become the state coroner. Of course, he gets involved in some political drama, as the new administration is the motif for the mystery. I feel like I learned quite a bit about a very obscure country and what life must have been like in this highly impoverished state.
This book, actually part of a series, is similar to Phillip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels set in the Third Reich, where an honest coroner/detective foils the corrupt system. It will be fun to follow Dr. Siri through future revelations and mysteries.
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