This series is becoming as beloved to me as the Harry Potter novels were when I read them. It's not so fantastical, of course, since these are real people in the real world. Part of the fascination with the Potter series came from the world J.K. Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith) created, with wizards, spells, fictional places and spaces, and magic wands made from unicorn hairs.. This series doesn't have that, but it does have excellent characters -- fully human, extremely interesting, and wonderfully endearing.
This book was everything I want a mystery novel to be. Just the right amount of detail and side-story, interesting settings and characters, believable events, and a satisfying conclusion.
I highly recommend it, especially if you read the first book - if you didn't, you may want to start there.
This novelist is on my short list of authors whose next release dates are on my calendar. Waiting for the date to come around, anticipating the treats in store for the reader - it's like Christmas for adults, only better!
This was an interesting novel, with a twist that several of the main characters are teenage girls.
The girls are just annoying. But then... when I was a teenager, I knew girls like this and they were annoying then, too. Affected, bitchy, ... enough to bring back some bad memories. Their dialogue did get a bit tedious, but French does a great job of exploring cliques and the influence their members have on each other.
What really made this book special was the two detectives and their relationship. That's familiar territory, too -- the queen bee and the wannabe. Definitely, the strength of the novel is in the cat-and-mouse game the detectives play with the girls, trying to catch them in lies; trying to figure out their motivations and relationships; and trying to get into the heads of the girls, some of whom are hopelessly vapid.
I think the story itself, and the way French chose to unfold it, is brilliant. Reading it is like having a spring attached to your mind, with the easing and pulling of tension as the detectives slowly make headway. But "slowly" is the problem. Sometimes I felt like the mouse in the cat-and-mouse game; just get this over with, already. The story, while compelling, did not lend itself well to an audiobook simply because there are so many details, and trying to keep them all connected was a chore. I think I was spoiled by French's first three novels - they clipped along quite nicely and didn't dally too much on the way to the end. I'm hoping this author becomes a little less consumed by details in her next book. "Faithful Place" was full of them, but that book was such a masterpiece, and everything fit together so beautifully, it wasn't a problem.
It's not a book I regret buying, and it was a really good read - but not quite up to the standard set by some of French's other works.
Note to other reviewers: Do teenage girls really say "totes adorbs"? You bet they do, and that's why they're so incredibly annoying. I've heard some adults do it took, and they're even more annoying. Perhaps the reason some of the dialog was so grating is that it was actually text messages and not actual speech. Since teenagers are so text-dependent, I guess it had to be presented that way. But it was a relief when it was over and I could leave the snobby brats behind.
Mark Greaney is not Tom Clancy, and Clancy wasn't Greaney, either. If you picked up this book expecting the writing and the storytelling to be exactly the way Clancy would have done it, you aren't being realistic. No two people will write the same story the same way, and Mr. Clancy is gone.
This review is probably colored by the fact that I am a huge Greaney fan, and also by the fact that I was growing weary of Clancy's writing. I just finished Clancy's "The Bear and the Dragon" and it was over 40 hours long. I had to MAKE myself finish it. Clancy's writing had become ridiculously tedious and preachy.
Clancy fleshed out his characters a little more fully than Greaney tends to, and I hope Greaney will move in that direction in future titles. There's a reason John Clark, et al. are such beloved characters, and it's because Clancy took the time to delve into their souls.
This book was a fast-paced, excellent read, and I can't wait for the next one!
Let me say this up front: my political leanings are definitely liberal. I don't, however, mind a good intelligent discussion with those who disagree with me, as long as it's not the same old conservative platitudes. (I don't have much patience with liberal platitudes, either.) He's as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine, and actually I'd love it if he'd bring up some points I may not have considered before, and prompt me to reconsider my views. Unfortunately it's same-old, same-old, and it's tedious as hell.
The story is excellent. I don't have a problem with the narrator. What I have a problem with is the same shallow conservative-isms being repeated, ad nauseum, throughout the book. Clancy was pretty bad about this in Rainbow Six, and I think it's worse in this book. It's an insult to the reader's intelligence; it's as if Clancy thinks we need to hear the same concept several times before we can get it through our thick heads. That's too bad, because otherwise his stories are good, they move well, and the characters are people who readers care about. I have enjoyed following them throughout their lives and careers, but the author's knee-jerk conservative preaching is really getting in the way.
Unfortunately, Mr. Clancy is gone now. I certainly hope whoever takes over the series (PLEASE let it be Mark Greaney!) will not repeat Clancy's mistakes.
If you're considering buying the book and you're familiar with the Jack Ryan and John Clark characters, this one will satisfy as much as the others have. It's a good story, but one wonders if the editor was downright intimidated by the author. Some judicious editing could have left the story intact, the author's views stated, and the reader with a more enjoyable ride.
This was an extremely enjoyable story. If you love Clancy's books, the characters John Clark, Ding Chavez and their family almost become your own family. The novelty of the ending made it especially satisfying.
He's just an excellent narrator, period.
No way. That's my main beef with Clancy - the man could belabor a point, and he did plenty of that in this book. At nearly 36 hours long, listening all in one sitting isn't really even a consideration. I love his books but often wonder what happened to his editor. The repeated explanations of the beliefs and philosophies of the environmentalists became really tedious. Clancy doesn't hesitate to allow his political leanings show, and sometimes that turns into preaching, which eventually becomes a weakness in his storytelling.
I always like books that aren't predictable, and that's one of Clancy's strengths. This book was no exception.
All of Greaney's books are compelling reads - this one certainly was no exception. The characters are well-developed, the story moves at a fast pace, but not so fast that it's difficult to figure out where we are, what's happening, or who's talking. Greaney is extremely knowledgeable about his subject, and supplies enough details to keep it interesting but not enough to get tedious. They're all very, very good books and I always put the next release on my calendar as soon as a publication date is announced.
I'd say it was the very first altercation between the protagonist and the team hired to take him out. It includes a rooftop chase in a snowstorm, and it had me on the edge of my seat!
Snyder has done all of the Gray Man books, and his performance is always excellent.
This isn't a laugh or cry book - none of them are. My review title says it all - this series is addicting and this is a very satisfying fix.
I NEVER read books twice, but I'm going to go back and re-read this series. I've loved every minute of it!
(Mark: Court needs a girlfriend. For Pete's sake, give the guy a break!)
When it's all said and done, Tana French's weakest novel - whichever one that turns out to be - will still be a lot better than just about any other writer's novels. In her first three books, she set such a high standard that although Broken Harbour is excellent, the plot has a problematic weakness.
It's nearly impossible to discuss this weakness without spoiling the story, so I won't. The weakness involves the downfall of a character, who has always been well able to handle life, but slides into utter ruin after a rough patch. French unsuccessfully attempts to provide a foundation for such a slide, but it's thin and in my mind, doesn't hold up well. The same scenario is played out in nearly every community every day, but without such disastrous results.
Nearly every other element of the book, however, is extremely well done. French excels at writing about less-than-perfect human beings dealing with very human problems, with the usual results. That she has done it so well in the past, and does it here with other characters, makes it even more puzzling that the cause-and-effect of the main plot doesn't seem to add up well. Others, in other reviews, don't seem to be bothered by it, but I work in an area that deals with families and their dysfunction, so maybe that's why it doesn't work as well for me. I see these things every day, and almost never does a rough patch in life lead where this one leads without an underlying issue such as alcoholism or drug addiction.
I still highly recommend the book, and if you're new to the series, I suggest you start with the first novel and work your way through them in order. Although the novels are connected, each is constructed to stand alone, so it won't cause a lot of confusion if you don't. French is a masterful writer, who unwinds her stories in a manner that makes the reader feel as if layers of character's lives are being peeled back, revealing ever more fascinating details as the character becomes more and more interesting and understandable. Like her other novels, this is a don't-miss read!
What can I say? I appreciate having stories that don't insult my intelligence or make me listen to a bunch of stilted, cliched dialogue. Couldn't put it down!
and the accents used by this narrator are extremely irritating and insulting. The narrator obviously didn't bother to do any research. We don't have Southern accents - except for the few of us who actually moved here from a Southern state. More importantly, the narrator's inflections make it obvious she believes we're illiterate hicks. She's the one who needs educating. It would have been fun to enjoy a story based in Kansas, but that fun was ruined by the ignorant narration.
I felt this book lost momentum at the end, but other than that I enjoyed it. I'm impressed with the author's ability to create fully-fleshed-out characters; she does a better job of it than certain other authors who are selling a lot more books. Still, while the ending wasn't bad or disappointing, it didn't seem to have the same quality of development as the rest of the book. It just sort of . . . ended, but it would have been far more satisfying had it been a bit more dramatic. After all, there's quite a bit of drama in this book. It's a good read and I recommend it, but a more compelling ending would have made it a much better book.
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