First let me say that Burke has not lost one iota of his descriptive talents. There are passages in Creole Belle that take my breath away. I had to share them; they were too good to experience alone. But sadly he's run out of plot lines, revealed all his characters' inner demons and angst. It's the same tale Burke has spun over and over, another visit to Dave's oft confessed moral struggles. Once again, we are introduced to unethical, self-important. rich villans held in check only by the maligned ex cops who in the end burn down the house. Earlier novels had a touch of preachiness, but in this one, Burke's anger at big oil is explicit. His rage at the BP oil spill is front and center and very close to the boiling point. I share his rage, but not here, not so explicitly, and not draped over the same plot one more time. I just felt tired before I got to the end. It was better to have Dave and Clete take that ride on the river boat with dignity than to drag them out of the river to plod through one case too many.
The Inspector is torn between his standards of honorable conduct as an Interpol agent and his desire for revenge for horrific acts of torture and murder committed by those he is tracking.
The characters are believable and the plot well twisted. At times it was difficult to read about the trials of this man and the injury to the innocents around him, and I found myself carrying around a sadness that was difficult to shake. That said, the author was wise enough to let the plot veer away from Poincare's tribulations in time to keep the reader engaged to the end, when the Inspector gets his man and begins to heal.
If you are a fan of PD James, you will probably like Charles Todd. His Ian Rutledge stories leave me with much the same feelings--the detective got his man, but that isn't the whole story. Rutledge and his characters are struggling to find a new normalcy after World War I's ugly, senseless carnage. Against that backdrop, there is someone waging his own private war on the town's former soldiers. They are being garroted--one by one--as Rutledge struggles to identify and stop the killer. Hamish, his relentless internal companion keeps up a steady stream of comments often seeming to be more of a partner in detection than the nemesis he has vowed to be.
This is no action packed can of Coke. There is plenty of meat here. French writes with the depth of P.D. James, the best kind of detective writer. Early on, she introduces a sense that something will go wrong with this sad case that hung in the back of my mind as I tried to piece together just what did happen. At times, I thought I could see what was coming; I'm pretty good at seeing through plot twists and get highly annoyed when a writer cheats by throwing in some unrevealed factor or brilliant move by the detective in the last five pages. But French is too good a writer to rely on such cheap tricks. Plot twists are more gentle curves than hairpin turns, subtle changes of perspective brought about by hashing out personal views of the evidence between detectives or bits of new information. The hunt is intelligent and engaging. The solution is plausible and satisfying. The end is somehow uplifting.
"Broken Harbor" will stick around in my brain for a good while.
What a jerk! This is my first (and last) Nelson DeMille book. I have rarely seen a talent of this caliber for creating a truly obnoxious main character. Although I did think the buried treasure angle was an interesting twist and I did learn a little history, the plot was uninspired. And holy cow!, how many times have we seen the "dramatic ending" played out in a storm. Yawn, eye roll. But I digress. The worst sin of this book was truly the protagonist -- completely juvenile, self pitying, petty (as in breaking really nice things to spite a guy who already clearly is not going to need them), oppositional, rude and pretty much a cardboard cutout. Plum Island is a clinker, and the stinker is the sinker.
I've listened to every available Jo Nesbo Harry Hole book. Each one seems to get more violent and harder to listen to, yet they keep me hooked. The plots are intricate and twisted. Mistakes are made. But I want Harry to be happy, and it seems that he suffers more emotionally and physically with each book. The author is literally dismatling Harry by bits--a finger in the Snowman, his jaw in the Leopard. A brilliant, flawed and doomed hero. How can you resist that?
I hope the books currently unavailable in the US are soon translated; I want to know what happens in between those now available and in the beginning. I'll keep coming back as long as the books keep coming over.
This is the first Virgil Flowers book I've listened to and I really enjoyed it, but then I've been a John Sanford fan for a while. I've listened to all his Prey series and found his good guy characters and dialogue to be believable. I love the touches of humor, especially Virgil and Lee's book-ending conversation--it left me chuckling--MEN!
While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I did find the subject rather disquieting. And although Sanford at least did a little poking around in the brains of his predator characters, they remained pretty one-dimensional bad guys.
The reader was absolutely perfect for the story. He captured the accents and attitudes very well.
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