I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery thriller. The main character is a private detective dealing with grief over the recent death of his teenage son. The disappearance of a teenaged girl he gives a ride to draws him into mystery and intrigue in a small town in upstate New York. I found myself caring about the characters and mystery equally. This story is very well paced, and I could not stop listening. While I would characterize this as a light summer page-turner, I was totally drawn in. The plot moved at a good pace with a good amount of twists and turns. My only criticism is that the end had one plot turn too many, but I still recommend this novel. It was one of my favorites of the past year.
This very formulaic mystery is about a retired police detective fighting cancer and getting dragged back into a former case where the murderer seemed to walk free. The main character is likeable and believable, and the narrator is very easy to listen to. This novel was a pleasant, fun way to pass the time. There is mystery, action, and romance. This was good "escape fiction."
I think that this story would be better to read, given the great writing Capote uses for his descriptions. It is harder to savor great writing on audio, I think. I never really cared about any characters, and quit halfway through. I understand that the author is a great writer, but that was not enough for me to keep my interest in this book.
I had read or listened to other books by Anna Quindlen and loved them (One True Thing and Black and Blue). This was just boring. Half the book is flashbacks, and I never cared much about characters from the past. Even the modern story, which had my interest for a while, lot its momentum. In this story, a young man finds a baby in a basket and wants to raise it on his own. He befriends his boss, a strict 80 year-old. None of these characters were realistic to me, and so my heart was not broken, as happened with so many readers and listeners.
This novel tells the tale of Alfred Dreyfus, a Frenchman convicted of treason in the 1890's. It's a tale of politics, the French secret service, injustice, and whistle-blowing. It is a dramatic legal thriller at times. I did not know the history well enough, so I was riveted to this saga, not sure of the outcome. The second half was great! The first half was so slow, I was tempted to stop listening and get my credit back. The story is told through the eyes of Georges Picquart, the a high level French spy in the army. Much of the first half was too much about Picquart's life, and only when it swung back to the Dreyfus tale did it get really good. I am glad that I stayed with this because the second half of the novel is very good, great at times. It is also a story that has stayed with me since I finished a day ago. This was a little bit of work for me to stay with, but the payoff was very big. The parallels to modern US politics (the rift between the parties) and whistle-blowing were uncanny.
These short stories try to capture modern life for teens and adults. They succeed with both. Many of there are absolutely phenomenal. Many are very good. Some were good but forgettable. A short story has to draw in the reader very quickly. These did so. Believable characters combine with interesting situations. It's impossible to rate a short story collection, because all stories will never be great. That was the case here. But I rated this 5 stars because the very best stories were just so good, and I cannot remember reading or listening to a book of short stories that I enjoyed as much. I will definitely explore this author further!
I'm an adult who occasionally enjoys a good young adult novel. The futuristic school theme intrigued me, but I was totally bored from the start. I can see why this might appeal to a young teenage girl, but it did not work for me.
I'm very glad I listened to this book about racial injustice in Florida in the '50's. The book captured the racist time and place, but also captured the change that was starting to take place in America. It was good legal drama, riveting at times, and an engaging and painful human drama. Thurgood Marshall plays a big role as an NCAA lawyer defending black men of the rape of a white woman. My criticism is that for the first two-thirds of the book, background anecdotes took up more time than the narrative of the case. The strand of the story got lost among those side stories, including the people and the workings of the NCAA. Some background is interesting and important to the context of a story, but tighter editing could have made this a more engaging read and listen. The last third is excellent. As interesting as this is, an even better book is Simple Justice by Richard Kluger. That is about long legal journey leading to Brown v the Board of Education. That book was riveting from start to end.
This was a great thriller that took my breath away at the start and never let me relax. A gang of bad guys in rural Alabama threatens a father and his 9 year-old daughter out hunting, as well as a high school couple looking for quiet time alone. Good, believable characters got me to care, and for ten hours, the suspense and action kept me glued to my iPod! This novel is perfectly paced to maximize thrills. If you want a heart-pounding escape novel, this will deliver. I give very few 5's to this genre, but this earned it.
A prep school father borrows money for tuition for his child, and gets drawn into a world of crime and blackmail. The author Joseph Finder knows the Boston prep school world well, and captures it, which is one of the big pluses of the book. I cared about Danny, the protagonist, and his family. This thriller was filled with characters that were interesting and believable enough to keep my interest. Finder's "Paranoia" and DeMille's "Gold Coast" are two of my favorite thrillers. The 'regular guy getting drawn in to crime" is from Paranoia, and the 'regular guy befriending a charismatic criminal kingpin" is from Gold Coast. Both are played effectively in this impelling mystery/thriller. Had I not read either of those other two books, I right have rated this a 5 star novel, but I too often had that "been there" feeling while reading. It's been a few years since the author has written a novel. The wait was worth it, as I had gotten tired of the old formula. Suspicion was good enough for me to check out his next novel.
With a mystery, I can suspend belief a bit, but this novel pushed me much too far. Robert Tarza is the protagonist. He is a senior partner of a law form accused of killing another partner. Well, he is the dumbest lawyer I know. He hired a non-partner (Jenna) in the firm to defend him. Jenna was not a criminal lawyer, and was the person most likely to have committed the murder. Tarza went on to investigate the crime himself, time and again making his case look worse. None of the characters were especially believable, nor were they interesting. The one good thing about this was the trial. The author does create drama in the courtroom, which is impressive given how little I cared about the characters. There are many clues in this mystery (coin collection stuff), and that puzzle somewhat kept my interest, but the case is resolved in a sudden and not very satisfactory way. The trial almost made me boost my rating to a 3, but the poor ending clinched the 2 rating. The one other good point - a very good narrator. Great narrators are getting to almost be the norm, thanks to Audible, so that is not a reason to get this. To be quite honest, I can't figure out why so many rated this a 5. There are many books I don't like, but I can see what others see in them. Not this. Unless you want generic mystery/legal thriller. Or maybe the author has a lot of friends writing reviews.
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