As usual, Burke's poetic writing style pulls your senses into the action. However, I almost stopped listening when the narrator began reading. As I moved through the book, however, I found that Hammer had a genuine gift for dialect, and this made the narration bearable. When Hammer was just narrating the narrative (sorry, don't know how else to put that), he sounds like he's recovering from the flu and will barely be able to make it through the paragraph. I also didn't like Hammer's interpretation of Robicheaux's voice.
I started this book with some trepidation as I knew it was going to be an emotional, trying experience. I've listened to about two hours of it so far, and know without a doubt that this is going to be a great novel. The only bad thing is trying to get past the narrator, who sounds like he is just beginning to learn his craft, flat and with inappropriate pauses and segues; unable to provide different characters with different voices. Because I see that so many others have rated this narrator highly, I'm hoping that he will improve greatly as he progresses through the reading of this book. For now, the narrator is the only fly in the ointment of my enjoyment of the book.
Tanenbaum's books were some of my favorites. But the last couple or three of his books have been rote, spun from a formula. If you want to appreciate Tanenbaum as an author, and the Karp/Ciampi family, pick up his earlier books, starting from the first in the series.
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