My first and last attempt to get through a Ted Dekker book. The characters were wooden, the plot heavy-handed and marred by obvious holes, the writing nowhere near acceptable.
I'm a real fan of Michael Connelly's. I've read all of his books. This is the first one to be a real disappointment--seemed as if he was phoning it in. The book had one real surprise and that surprise didn't do much to lift up the level of the writing. There was hardly any suspense, just a dreary parade of misery and procedural details with no real tension or emotional payoff, followed by a deadly dull ending.
I can't even tell whether the book is good because I can't stand the narrator, who adopts a very thick southern accent for the reading. Ugghh. And I've lived in the South and spoken with a southern accent myself at times in my life. This one is just thicker and more annoying than I can bear.
This is the first Grabenstein book I've read/heard. It will be my last. I bought it on the half-price sale and I don't think it was worth even that. John Ceepak is a wooden, one-dimensional, incredibly inauthentic character. In fact, he's just the idea of a character, barely a character at all. The narrator's reading of this character's voice only makes the character more flat and unbelievable. The author also has a bad habit of talking about how brilliant this character is through his sidekick Danny's commentary. Even if your plotting or your detective's deductions really are brilliant, it's not a good idea to say so overtly. If they really are--and they're not in this case--your readers will make that judgment. If they're not so brilliant, you just look foolish for claiming they are. To Grabenstein's credit, there are a few interesting moments in the plot. But overall, this is not even mediocre quality mystery writing.
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