In Gone Girl a wife is missing. Having been immersed in so many mystery books and television plots you usually go with the strategy of who is the least likely suspect as a mystery unfolds. I used that strategy in the first part of this book as the author withholds vital information as to what is really going on. That made this a mildly interesting book and it would have remained that way if the book had ended on this plot point.
In the second part my prediction was confirmed but then something funny happened. The book went in a totally unanticipated direction. Now, I was hooked and totally absorbed. I could see possibly how this would end but did not care because this journey was getting so fascinating. Little did I know that there was going to be a couple more surprises in this richly entertaining mystery.
All of you jaded mystery readers and viewers are in for a treat with this book.
Jo Nesbo has said there are advantages and disadvantages when writing about the same universe. The author and reader sharing a knowledge of the back-story might make things a little easier in some cases, but there is a significant challenge in keeping the characters fresh and interesting.
I am a big fan of the Harry Hole series and this book represented a 17 hour investment of my time in a different Nesbo universe - would it be up to the standard set in 12 Harry Hole books?
It was. I've always loved the insights Jo Nesbo gives us into his characters and their motivations. This book had more of the same. It was actually a little refreshing to be immersed in this authors style of writing and not revisiting the same old battles that Harry Hole contends with. We get introduced to different detectives with different flaws and a hero who is viewed by many as a villain.
While listening to this book there never was a moment where i looked at the time remaining and felt like there was work. It was more like - ten hours left ... I don't want this to end.
Being familiar with this authors style at the 16 hour mark I remember having an aha moment. The current was pushing me in one direction and this was fine, but having been tricked so many times before I actually anticipated a twist in the plot. This was one of the few times I've twigged to a Nesbo formula. That did not detract in any way from the book and there were still plenty of Nesbo zigs when I was ready to zag.
In short, this is an excellent book and this review has not imparted any of the story line. Sometimes that is the best way to start a book. So download this gem and start listening.
I have to laugh. A search in Audible using the keywords Republican and Brain turn up “The Republican Brain – The Science of Why they Deny Science” and it also turns up Ann Coulter’s “If Democrats had any Brains, They’d Be Republicans”. One is a serious study and the other is penned by an entertainer. Having seen the performer Ann Coulter and not having much respect for her capacity to reason, I will pass on her book but I will do due diligence and Google her take on Evolution and Climate Change for this review.
It appears that just like many religious right Republicans, she rejects these two convincing science based findings. This book attempts to figure out why a large number of Republicans can ignore solid science. I wanted to know as well. I have Conservative friends and family that I like tremendously but cannot figure out why they reject science and find getting into discussions with them is futile.
There is a lot of solid research here and while the author is a liberal, he occasionally delivers biting criticism of the liberal state of mind. I wonder if Ann can find anything positive to say about a liberal in her book? Essentially the conservative frame of mind has its positive applications sometimes in society, but there is a lot of positives for the liberal bias. One study among many that impressed me talked about brains scans showing emotions being predominant with Republican reasoning and the cerebral area taking the lead with Liberal reasoning. Studies find a cluster of traits shared by many Republicans. One is they do not like uncertainty – liberals do not have a problem with this. It is no surprise that the majority of scientists are more likely to be liberal with the nature of the vocation being amenable to upheaval of certainties when new solid evidence comes in. A religious right Republican is more likely to let the more primitive emotional brain system kick in when presented with solid facts and dig in their heels and deny.
Surprisingly an educated Republican science denier is actually more recalcitrant than an uneducated one when good evidence comes in. They are more adept at bringing in complicated nonsense arguments. This is called being idiot smart. For me, the best way to describe this is to go back a few hundred years to Galileo’s time. His notion that the earth was not the center of the universe went against the teachings of the church. I’m sure many educated religious right people of that time scorned the conclusion that the earth revolved around the sun and came up with some very byzantine proofs to support the sun revolved around the earth view. But Galileo was right and he had good evidence to support his contentions. Darwin and the majority of climate change scientists are probably correct as well.
Liberals and Republicans are human and are capable of similar mistakes with motivated reasoning. I now have a better understanding that my Pollyanna wish to convince a science denier with cogent arguments will ultimately fail because they are reasoning with a more primitive human system that sometimes was the best answer when survival of the group was on the line.
Shattered has reminded me of that wallop I felt with the first book. All the books in this series are good. But, the first book was always the best until now. It introduced the exquisitely voiced Oberon and for me the unlikely pleasure of following a Druid's adventures. It was also the book that hooked my wife and daughter on this series.
With this book, I loved the new character, Owen Kennedy. Luke Daniels hit another one out of the park with his voicing of this new cantankerous Druid resurrected from centuries ago. He also does a fine job with Granuaile’s wolf hound.
We see the story unfold from three perspectives. The conflict between the newly deiced Arch Druid Owen and our original hero Atticus is enriched by not granting all the wisdom to Atticus. The third viewpoint we get is from Atticus’s new convert Granuile as she spends a lot of time in India telling her story.
One of the best collaborations between author and narrator is served up with this series and with this book in particular.
There are so many audiobooks out there to choose from and a lot of series to possibly buy into. I recently read Stealheart and it was a good book but there was an unexplained fantasy element and a few other things that kept me from emotionally committing to the story and series.
I would never have guessed that another "Roswell" type story could hook me so thoroughly. My first reaction to the provocative ominous ending was to immediately decide on reading the second book in this series.
The science feels legitimate in this captivating story and our young high school heroes are immersed into a very dangerous world made even worse by some despicable characters who have gained advantages from alien technology taken from a spaceship that had crashed in the U.S. Although the government is controlling the access to the ship, that control is not airtight and some of the people working on discovering the ship's secrets are up to a different agenda.
Fortunately the teens have harnessed some advantages from the alien technology from a second ship they accidentally discovered. There was a battle between both ships that destroyed all the occupants and now it seems the battle is being continued largely in secret between the people who have access to the ships. Meanwhile the young protagonists are trying to alert the NSA to the danger without giving away their identities. This brings in some ruthless heroes who move into the area with harmless cover stories. These agents want to find out if the teens warnings are legitimate and who the leak is for the information coming their way.
This series is not only for young adults - us old jaded folks will have a grand old time with these books. There are some stomach turning characters you don't normally associate with a YA book. You will not like the man who likes to call himself "The Priest".
If you choose to start this series, you will have a hard time stopping. Like I said at the beginning - so many audiobooks to choose from and now this set will be demanding your attention. I'm sure most of you will be happy to take on the commitment.
This was a rewarding accidental discovery for me. The good news is that there are eight more books to look forward to in this series that is not driven by another flawed detective. (I'm following a few of those) Instead we have Joseph O'Loughlin who is a flawed psychologist. He makes some bad choices and they come back to haunt him tenfold in this mystery/thriller set in England.
Although imperfect, this psychologist is capable of some deep insights into human nature giving us a different perspective than the traditional hard ass cop protagonist. It is refreshing to join along with Mr O'Loughlin who has a credible background in something different than detective science as he attempts to unravel the strands of a perplexing murder. In the process, there are enough twists in this book to keep mystery fans engaged.
The narrator, Cripsin Redman does an excellent job with the voices for the various characters. I especially liked how he portrayed the Scottish friend who had designs on our hero's wife.
I am looking forward to the next book in the Michael Robotham Joseph O'Loughlin series and if you are looking for something where a professional detective or policeman isn't driving the story - we get a lot of those - give this one a try.
Allan Karlsson has lived a charmed life and he is in no mood to celebrate an upcoming 100 year party under the thumb of a domineering nursing home employee. So he climbs out a window and embarks on a fantastic adventure.
As this tale unfolds we are given flashbacks of his life that involve meeting several pivotal politicians of the last 100 years. Alan has a very refreshing optimism about life while disdaining the worst in politics and religion of all stripes.
It turns out that this simple sounding man had a lasting impact on our recent history and instead of sneering at this whimsical romp through the last century I found myself cheering the fantastic encounters with key people at crucial times. Alan's guileless observations and the authors modest descriptions of complicated historical events actually deliver a lot of wisdom.
Steven Crossley provides a superb voice to the 100 year old man and to the narration of this story by Jonas Jonasson. If you are looking for a delightful time with something a bit different then give this book a listen.
Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo - the two best writers of detective fiction over the last decade in this humble reviewers opinion. Occasionally I've decided that Michael is the best on the planet after an inspired story - but then I go through an intense journey with Jo and have to admit that the Norwegian has all the tools to claim that mantle.
This story has a lot of subtle twists I did not see coming. I even thought the book was over and did not understand why my ipod indicated that there was 3 hours left. Does it really take that length of time to wrap things up? I quickly learned that there was a lot of adventure, suspense and twists still in store for me.
Nesbo introduces a diabolical device called a Leopold's Apple in this book. I had to research if it really exists after finishing the book. I will leave the answer to that for all the mystery readers who do not read the back of the book first or in this case Google the answers before starting their new adventure.
So Michael (as if he really cares), you were the best a few months ago - but the gauntlet has just been thrown down by Mr. Nesbo. I hope you and your narrator are up to the challenge and I get to reap the rewards when I acquire your next audiobook.
The science fiction bar has been raised high in this tale of a struggle for survival on a hostile planet. Our hero has been left behind and assumed dead by his mission mates. Mark must overcome many obstacles and each life threatening conundrum he has to face is fascinating along with the plausible technical solution he comes up with. If you are not a fan of detailed explanations outlining the very real situations faced on a journey like this, you may feel a bit bogged down.
A fine tuned sense of humor has been mixed in with hard science as this astronaut makes wry observations while battling to endure in a harsh environment. The narrator, R. C. Bray does an excellent job in getting that comedy across.
There are three main perspectives in this epic tale. We hear from Mark with his daily trials, and I will let you discover the other two for yourself if you decide to give this book a listen.
The movie made such an impact on me that I purchased the audiobook. Tarantino's Django Unchained with it's slave superman gave me no emotional understanding of what it meant to be a slave in the deep south. This movie did and I wanted to listen to the book to extend that knowledge.
Then it sat for a while, because this started to feel like a homework assignment (I'm ashamed to admit). It wasn't. The book did start slowly as the mundane life of Solomon Northrup was laid out in the first thirty minutes. But that was necessary to identify our ordinary lives with Solomon's average lifestyle and therefore really "feel" his sudden revocation of freedom when it happened.
This story was able to educate, fascinate and spark my outrage towards slavery all over again. If you are like me and have already seen this movie, here are some tips for your upcoming audio adventure.
There are some scenes in the movie that were made up. You will recognize that with the noticeable omissions during your second time through this incredible story. There were some scenes that were in the movie and in the book. They will became richer with a second telling from a deeper perspective. Finally there was a lot that wasn't in the movie or glossed over in the movie. These pieces were totally absorbing as you take in the reality of slavery in the deep south all over again.
Some stories should not be ignored. This is one of them.
Michael Connelly has always been dependable in delivering a top notch Harry Bosh or Mickey Haller story. His detective and lawyer yarns have been so good, I never bothered to write a review in this forum. Most everybody loves chocolate, so why rave and try and convince more people to partake in this pleasure.
I've noticed a number of reviewers indicating that this book about the lawyer is not up to the standards of one or more previous books. My only question for them is - did they really read the same book that I did!
I was fascinated by the intricacies of the trial, I got choked up near the end of the book (good thing I was alone in my car at the time and nobody saw that), and was blindsided by how a major witness ended up testifying. This was very entertaining from start to finish.
The neat thing about a Mickey Haller book is you never know if his client is really guilty or innocent until you are well into the story. Mr. Connelly is willing to expose that person you have been rooting for as a villain. This author is also willing to show our hero lawyer as not so praiseworthy in defending and freeing obviously guilty criminals.
You will have to read "The Gods of Guilt" to find out if he pulls any of those stunts in his latest book. I'm sure the majority of you will be glad you did.
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