I happened coincidentally to download this audio just before the Kennedy Assassination, so it was a very timely read/listen. Littell is a master of the LeCarre-type spycraft novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed Scott Brick's delivery of the dialogue amongst the various characters. The plot is crisp, with excellent character development, but I was hoping for a more satisfactory ending to the various intrigues than the one Littell delivers. Just the same, a worthwhile purchase.
Victor, yet another 2-dimensional hit man, kills his target effortlessly, then kills another, say, 20 bad guys sent to dispose of him. The plot is thin and predictable, the anti-hero survives through coincidence, luck, and no small amount of skill. I mean, really. If you like this genre of literature, walk don't run to Mark Greaney's Grey Man novels, the hero of which is much more interesting, three-dimensional, and has some of conscience. Also, I should add that the narrator of this book has a nice voice and attempts to dramatize the dialogue, but it is frequently difficult to know which character in a conversation is speaking, as for Rob Shapiro, "once voice fits all."
The basic premise is this: A multitude of gods who have been brought to America in the prayers, beliefs, and myths imported with the faithful, subsequently abandoned and nearly forgotten, are now disguised as ordinary folk pursuing ordinary occupations, though sometimes exhibiting extraordinary powers. Add to the mix the unflappable ex-con Shadow, enlisted by "Wednesday" (aka Odin) for some ill-defined job as a bodyguard. In "American Gods", Gaiman has woven a wonderful and captivating homage to the power of myth and story. I haven't enjoyed a novel of mythic fantasy so much since Robert Holdstock's "Mythago Wood," published decades earlier.
Harry Bosch solves two cold cases with a new partner, a lot of luck, and no small amount of coincidence. The narrator's monotone and "one voice fits all" approach to conversation makes for boring listening and sometimes makes it difficult to determine who exactly is speaking. He gives the impression of someone just reading words on a page rather than actually telling a story. And then there's the issue of Harry Bosch's age. For Harry to have been a "tunnel rat" during the Viet Nam war he would have to have been no older than 10 years old at the time. Perhaps he lied about this age.
As usual, this historical detective novel is well written and McCammon does a believable job of portraying the culture and atmosphere of the 18th Century Carolinas. Matthew Corbett is engaging as the young Sherlock Holmes-type "problem solver," and the reader, Edoardo Ballerini--arguably the best there is at reflecting the mood and atmosphere of the various characters--does yet another excellent job. However, the ending employs one of the most hackneyed and scientifically dubious cliches in literature -- retroactive amnesia (forgetting your own name and personal history after receiving a blow to the head). Also, there is an incredible (read: unbelievable) coincidence at the end, combined with a bit of gratuitous gore, which had me shaking my head for hours. I recommend this book only for fans of the Matthew Corbett series.
I can add little to what has been said about "Replay" in the past 25+ years since it was published, except to comment that, while it has been compared many times to "Groundhog Day," it is actually more similar (in my mind) to characters in Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series: Bergitte Silverbow and Gaidal Cain, starcrossed lovers who are endlessly reborn, and with each new life much search each other out so that they may reunite yet again. Sadly, the author of "Replay", Ken Grimwood, died in 2003 at the age of 59. I like to think of Ken back into his teens during the 60s, betting on the Kentucky Derby and the '63 World Series, preparing to write a sequel to "Replay," perhaps suggesting an explanation for the miracle of reincarnation for a select few people.
I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderfully hilarious mystery and sendup to "The Postman Always Rings Twice." The main treat, however, was the reader, William Dufris. This one-person cast of thousands has more voices than Sybil, and to hear his Jamaican-thug patois is to die for.
This is one of the most enjoyable thrillers I've listened to in the past couple of years. A PTSD veteran with his life in shambles redeems himself to his family and the best friend he failed, all while defending himself against one of the most vicious mobsters you'll ever encounter in a novel. Even with the dire, often depressing plot, Hurwitz manages to inject some humor (a bacon-eating vegetarian) and a poignant scene in a hospital ward, where severely sick children are trick-or-treating the other inpatients on Halloween. Scott Brick, who rightfully labels himself a "performer" rather than a "reader," is at the top of his game.
I purchased this book after listening to "K.I.A." by the same author, which was terrific. However, "One Drop of Blood" has almost no plot line, although there are a few interesting science lessons about forensic anthropology, and has a "surprise" ending that is predictable about halfway through the novel. What bothered me most however was the nearly constant bickering between the two main characters, made worse by the reader's tendency to make them sound like characters out of South Park. This is apparently Holland's first published novel, and it's surprising to see how much his writing improved with the later (and much better narrated) "K.I.A."
What started out as an engrossing story about a black ops type bad guy killing cops and civilians ended up so anti-climatically that I swore off this author forever. It was like the publisher decided the book was getting too long, so the last couple of chapters that described specifically the personality and motivations of the evildoer were chopped off. Too much in-depth description of trivia also bloated this mediocre police procedural.
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