Breezy, fascinating story of an amoral teenager duping the adult world and enjoying *almost* every moment of it. (The French prison portion is harrowing.) No surprise: better than the movie. Reader is excellent. Well worth it.
The Queen of the Sound Bite is Ann. Lots of snappy lines, but give me a break on some of the "evidence" she trots out ... over and over again. At least you know with Ann that her purpose is to be controversial and one way to do that is to reach sweeping outrageous conclusions from tiny fragments of information while ignoring any and all contradictory evidence.
[Ship]wreck diving is not for the faint of heart and this book expertly captures that frighting, fascinating world and those who are drawn to (obsessed by?) it.
John Chatterton and his diving enemy-turned-partner, Richie Kohler, dive a sunken WWII German U-boat (dubbed the "U-Who" until they finally ID it) off the New Jersey coast. Through 3 dive crew deaths (!), two failed marriages, and numerous harrowing, narrow escapes they relentlessly go back to the mystery sub for several YEARS looking for evidence from which to identify the vessel. Soon they are caught up in the real world of historians, artifacts, documents and oral accounts to ultimately to prove the WWII records wrong and correctly identify the sub.
Kohler, in particular, feels compelled to uncover the story of the German sailors who (all) died when the ship sank and his personalization of their WWII lives is moving. (As long as you don't think too much about the fact they were killing Americans.)
As Chatterton and Kohler get closer and closer (over several years) to identifying the sub, the suspense builds. It climaxes on the last dive during which Chatterton (250 feet underwater) nearly dies twice. Gripping stuff.
My only complaint: the author dwells a bit too long on the "mystical" or philosophical angle to this hunt. However, he did have a good quote from Chatterton: "Excellence is born of preparation, dedication, focus, and tenacity," a prescription Chatterton followed religiously in his pursuit of wreck diving excellence.
... but you'll never get me to voluntarily experience narcosis at 200 ft.
This is the story of the FBI trying to catch a serial killer. Reacher starts out as suspect because he fits the "profile" but then he's suddenly hired as a consultant on the case.
Child has a pretty good story buried in there with some nice plot twists. But ... has there ever been a dumber, less imaginative national-level FBI task force leader than the one here? Reacher actually has to tell him (and the other plain vanilla agents) to "follow the clues" ... as if the FBI would ever rely solely on a "profile" to catch the bad guy, as they do in this story.
The interaction between Reacher and the FBI agents flip flops constantly (with only the most strained of "reasons") between Reacher being a bad guy, then a genius consultant, then an idiot, then they're taking his advice again right after dismissing him, etc.
... and then there's those pronunciations that are like fingernails down a chalkboard to us in the Pacific Northwest. The fourth murder takes place in "Spokane" (Washington). It may look like "Spo-cane" but it is pronounced "Spo-can"... but the narrator mispronounces it every time. This is especially egregious when the character talking is FROM Spokane and would never make that mistake. Since the rise of Gonzaga University basketball (located in Spokane), even the most oblivious East Coaster knows how to pronounce the city. For a publisher to allow this is unforgiveable.
Mispronunciation is to an audio book what typos are to a printed book.
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