This is my first experience listening to a book by this author and I was very pleasntly surprised. Not only is the plot well developed, it is not obvious until near the denoument. Some of the villians are actually likable until they are revealed. There is a refreshing lack of plot crutches such as making the bad guys much smarter/skilled than the hero to create tension or making players do things that are completely out of character. The author also infuses the main character with a clever sense of humor. As usual, John Lee does an amazing narration and, thankfully, doesn't effect a German accent throughout the book.
This is a very talky mystery but the mystery is more when is will end. It ends with a whimper whereby the killer just fades into the jail and the "cast" talks some more. I listened until the story quit.
It's not clear what the intent of the author was in writing this book. Either he wanted to write a character study or had an editorial deadline and needed filler for his "mystery". There are endless ruminations by the characters that add nothing to the story and are so pointless that I eventually fast forwared through them. The detectives spend no time detecting but rather are inappropriate, obtuse and inept. An example is when the female detective becomes involved with a man who dated a dead woman. Her excuse for not being suspicious or investigating him is that would mean she is a cynic about men. When a man and woman present themselves as brother and mother to a killer, the lead detective does no investigation of them. He uses the mother as bait in a hotel room to catch the killer and when she asks for a shotgun, gives it to her. Even a civilian might wonder how safe that is.
It is a common albeit lazy method of plot advancement for a writer to make the bad guy omniscient and the good guy incompetent but in this book, the good guy never becomes competent. Nor does the writer.
Initially, this book appears to be a "bodice ripper" as it primarily describes the sexual encounters of the various characters. Eventually, a storyline does develop. The theme of the first book was unrelenting evil with sex on the side, The theme of this book is sex with unrelenting evil on the side. I had to continually remind myself that the lack of morality by much of the clergy, nobility and commoners was a way of life in the 1300's.
The premise for this book is intriguing but the author apparently didn't know quite what to do with it. His protaganists are very unappealing. The woman is a liar and self serving. After every deception, she ruminates how much she regrets the lie and then does it again at the next opportunity. The man is absolutely the worst FBI agent ever penned. He continually ignores the woman's behavior that interferes with his investigation with a "promise me you won't do it again". It is typical for authors to advance a plot with behavior by protagonists that doesn't make sense given who they are but this author's uncharacteristic characters are ridiculous.
The ending seems conjured to meet an editor's deadline. It will leave you wondering if you missed downloading a part.
Ths protagonist is a bumbling CIA agent who tells a doctor that he is a cleaner with the CIA because she saved his life and he "owes her the truth". He tells a policeman because the police "run the intelligence agency" in his country. He picks up a pack of cigarellos that a very suspicious man has left on a table and smokes one (even I wouldn't do that if I smoked). The author's similes are very tired. One person "lies like a Persian rug". I was tempted to delete it and load the next book but decied to listen to the end because I paid for the book. I doubt that I will select anything by this author again.
Robin Cook's foray into legal mystery was a failure. His courtroom diaglogue and judicial rulings didn't seem plausible. These legal proceedings went on in excruciating detail to make sure that it was clear (for the obtuse) that it was a hopeless predicament. It made me wonder several times what purpose they served to advance the plot or prepare for the conclusion. The ending was sudden and did not answer questions about why certain events had occurred during the story (how does a narcissus suddenly become a sociopath?). It seemed as though the author had rewritten the ending in response to a deadline or at the insistence of an editor. All of this was made worse by an epilogue
This is the first book by this author that I have listened to. I was disaapointed that the advancment of the plot and creation of suspense relied on the ineptness of various members of the Sigma Force.
The author's technique of fragmenting the story makes it intriguing for much of the book but eventually becomes tiresome. It also makes listening to this audiobook a bit challenging. The narrator has a wondeful voice and is excellent with accents-except for the American accent. He gives them all the same extra syllable pronunciation and it makes them seem a bit stupid. The ending will leave you saying, "huh?".
The writing is not brilliant but it adequately moves the story forward quickly. It is an easy listen as the author does not bog the plot down in digresive rhetoric. The most notable flaw is the implausible ending. Can 2 sociopaths find redemption in the birth of a child? Considering the mayhem that had transpired in the book, the ending seemed a bit silly.
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