The story is a typical Lehane story and that is a very positive statement. BUT, when someone lives in the area where the story is supposed to be placed and the pronunciation is profoundly wrong, it's something of a turnoff. For example there is an amusement park in southern NH whose name is Canobie Lake Park. Scot Brick pronounces it with a hard c and it sounds like KA NO bee where anyone in New England knows it's CAN o bee. There are several instances of this issue. That said, I enjoy books that are located in cities in which I have either lived or spent time.
Lehane is a master at weaving his stories through personalities and situations. This story is no exception. We get to learn about families, in-laws, childhood friends and sweethearts, ex-wives and ex-husbands, children of questionable parentage, short people and organized crime. We hear, as Lehane is an excellent voice, murder, liars, friends who are anything but, lifelong enemies and the police.
I will listen to this book again at some time in the future, I enjoyed it that much.
The story is great. It has the requisite intrigue (who is the murderer?), a smidgen of politics, the local cops and the FBI and of course the culture war that is rob ably endemic in museums. The star is undoubtedly the narration. The voices of David Colacci and the very appropriate use of sound effects (echoes and radio chatter for example) to dramaticize the reading is just fabulous. I already have book two and although I thoroughly enjoy Dick Hill in the Jack Reacher books, I hope he matches the intensity David Colacci projected into Relic.
I read (listen to) 8 to 10 books a month in 1, 2 or 3 hour sessions so I've followed many story lines. I found this book to be difficult to follow. Perhaps it's one of the few that should be listened to in one sitting or with few and short breaks. After 4 hours of listening I am unable to effectively explain more than the basics of what is actually happening in this story. I don't think the character development was done well nor am I able to comfortably flow between scenes and time periods. David de Vries does a good job with the narration. His tempo, diction and emotion are what kept me going after 2 hours. I would not recommend this book to a friend.
I suspect the story is worth listening to, but the incessant beeps that accompany the CIA's redacted words or phrases are far too annoying for me. I wish they had rewritten those sections instead of making their point that the CIA did them wrong. I struggled through about 20 minutes before I stopped the recording and deleted it. If the author and/or editor ever realize that the reader is their audience not the CIA, and rewrite the book, I would be very interested in buying that version. Until then it's gone and forgotten.
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