I had just finished Foreign Influence, my first Brad Thor book, and enjoyed it. Decided to go back and read his earlier books. This was very disappointing. Too much emphasis on a running gun battle with some less than believable terrorists. To suggest that a band of terrorists could effectively cut Manhattan off from any military, National Guard, or even NY State Police support, leaving the nation with no one else to turn to but Scott and his small band of brave warriors is foolish at best. Add the sniveling, whining President and various intelligence agency bureaucrats, and the story line is almost intolerable. The final blow, I'm afraid is Mr. Guidall's narration. I've enjoyed his work on other books, but I just don't think he's right for this series. After listening to Armand Schultz read Foreign Influence, there's really no comparison. Not recommended at all.
I have been getting into Patterson's novels in recent weeks, and gave this one a try. A few chapters in, and I am not happy. The first person narrative by "Ben" is tedious and annoying. I keep hoping it will get better, or maybe move on to another character, but probably not. I am not an expert on psychology, but whatever Ben's psychoses might be, they do not make for a pleasant narrative. Manic depressive, bipolar, paranoid schizophrenic, OCD... He seems to have many psychological problems. And perhaps that is an interesting study. But it is very difficult to listen to the audio narrative while sitting in traffic.
And then...he rides his motorcycle to Potomac Airfield, hops into HIS Cessna, taxis out while holding his internal mental debate, nearly hits another plane on the runway, before finally taking off and happily flying off to Wisconsin. I'm a pilot and have some expertise in this regard. There's at least one major problem here. Back to the psychoses, combined with whatever cocktail of medications he talks about needing to get through the day. No way on earth this guy would ever pass a medical and get his FAA ticket. I hate when novels present situations that are just plain wrong. From the way its written, the authors seem to understand aviation ("just fly the plane..."). I don't know why they would have the main character be a pilot when he clearly can't qualify. He could just as easily have hopped on a commercial flight, chartered a plane with some of his trust fund dollars, or just ridden his motorcycle worst case.
Just can't recommend this one at all.
An excellent read. And as a devoted pet parent to a 3 year old German Shepherd, I can say that the author got the dog right in every respect. When the narrative switched to Maggie's point of view, I could see and hear my own girl every time. How she learned, how she responded, her pack instinct, her protective instincts, all on the mark. Great job.
Not the best Sharon McCone mystery, but still an enjoyable story. Not sure why certain elements were introduced, like "Jake" being involved in illegal arms dealing, if it apparantly had little or nothing to do with the plot and then was just left hanging at the end, but no big deal. Another worthwhile listen from Ms. Muller.
But the one thing that drove me crazy, is the one that most frequently drives me crazy about narrators. Ridiculously mis-pronounced words. It would seem that anyone hired to narrate a recorded book would first read the book, perhaps highlight the words they don't know, and then look them up. Or listen to previous narrators who got them correct. Or most basically, ask the author who certainly knows them very well. Some are local dialect, in which case the reader might ask someone who lives there. Some are less commonly known words in general. But if the author has chosen to include them in the story, the reader should prepare and get them right. Small stuff maybe, but it's jarring to the ear, and diminishes the enjoyment of the book. I've spent many wonderful days in the wine country. Someone please look up how to say Lytton Springs. I'm also a pilot. McCone long flew and loved a delightful aerobatic plane. It's called a Citabria (basically aerobatic spelled backwards). Not a common name outside aviation circles, but...really not that hard! Ms. Hicks absolutely butchered it. Please Laura, if you ever read another McCone novel, prepare better!
A good read, and the usual excellent job by Scott Brick. So sad to lose Mr. Cannell. Both he and Shane will be missed.
I have enjoyed other Jack Higgins novels in print, however this is one book that I've found difficult to get into. The plot in the early stages may be a little thin, but my primary complaint is the narration. Patrick Macnee's acting is excellent. I'm a lifetime Avengers fan. But the voice is wrong for the book. Pace, cadence and inflection are all off. It becomes difficult to envision the main character when his dialog is read with a very cultured British accent. I expect there are any number of books for which Mr. MacNee's narration would be an excellent fit. But this novel is not one of them.
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