This is absolutely a book to pass on to friends, if for no other reason than to have someone to talk to about it. It is the type book that seems worthy of discussion and inspection. I actually asked a friend who retired from the Navy if some aspects were "nautically correct": They were.
Full disclosure I love mysteries, histories, any writer that can weave the two into one story. So please understand I am a Clive Cussler devotee and think everything he writes is good. This however, surpasses that. As you read/listen to this story unfold, you see it playing out in your mind. Imagine the story that has as an outline: The Philadelphia Experiment, Russian Mob, Russian Navy, Ultra-Rich spy hero with his own spy-ship and gadgets, disappearing ships, super yachts, and a bit of death and destruction. How can that recipe NOT turn out good?
In reality, it does. It has a way of sucking you in until you are immersed in the naval history which may or may not be completely true. Real or not, it is captivating how Cussler manages to weave a story most people know something about (The Philadelphia Experiment) with modern events to tell a completely new story that seems to acknowledge the old story was legend and the new story is reality.
Excellent and thought provoking, but caution: Do Not Drive a Vehicle while listening! You will be so enraptured with the story that you will visualize the books action instead of the road.
Adam Mitzner is a good writer. I gave both "A Conflict of Interest: A Novel" and "A Case of Redemption" 4 stars overall. They were both engaging legal thrillers. This book was a good story but maybe a notch or two below either of the other two. So it wasn't the writer. This narration with horrible cartoonish voices is so bad, you have to struggle to get through it.
Scott Brick or Brian Hutchison I think would do fine. But it isn't the who, its the how. This narrator made horrible attempts at creating voices for various characters. Generally when a narrator tries to do too many voices, they botch it it. Not only is the execution bad, but the choices are bad. The husband of one character is made to sound flamboyantly gay, insulting both gay and straight listeners. I am not sure what the narrator was going for, 1930's theatrical aristocrat...maybe? Whatever was attempted, besides the revival of a Birdcage character, it missed. Female voices were equally dreadful and shame on the directors and producers for letting the monster leave a cutting room floor.
In short, I could not finish the book making it all the way to about 90 minutes left, I just could not take the distraction of the poorly produced narration. By that point I did not care much how the story ended, I just need to make the voices in my head stop!
EVERY Character. This was likely the best reading performance I have ever listened to. Hutchison does a masterful job of adding just enough drawl, dialect, and accent to give every character, even fleeting and insignificant ones, flavor and uniqueness. At the same time, he does not overwhelm or impede either the story or the listener’s immersion in it. In short: Amazing and unequaled.
Pick any one of the special forces characters, the commanding general, the Afghani interpreter... if they were real, I do not know of any American male over say 15 years old that would not want to spend a half hour just listening to any of the characters. Therein lies the rub: Save your money, people like that do not go to dinner with anyone that would be in awe of them nor do they generally speak about what they did or do. So, dinner with any of the "good guys" in this book would likely be very boring for your average human.
This is without question one of if not THE best audiobook I have ever listened to. When I say do not operate a car or heavy machinery while listening to this book, it is because I seriously fear for your safety and that of those around you. This book is so absorbing, the performance so flawless, you will absolutely get transported to the mountains of Afghanistan making a nightly commute along Highway Whatever a bit dicey. The story is both simple and complex. Simple: A female Special Forces helicopter pilot is shot down in the mountainous and extremely lawless area of Northern Afghanistan. When she is raped and tortured and the video of the unspeakable assault is delivered to the American intelligence community, the Special Forces warriors from the special ops group that she is attached to, mount an "Unauthorized" rescue which no one, including the President can make them abort.Complex: The behind the scenes political fence sitting and posturing by the safe and never endangered Washington types is so intricate in calculation that it just has to be real life. Thankfully, that part is relatively brief and only appears in a quantity necessary to raise the listener’s blood pressure about 20 points. The true complexity is in the rescue missions development, planning, execution and evolution as the special forces guys hack their way through problems and the inevitable "plans turned to *@#% " as they attempt to save their sister in arms. This is truly an amazing book that will leave you hoping that all of the characters are in fact real and that this is the fictionalized account of true American Exceptionalism.
I have no clue, but they probably have to share Grisham's political bent and view of the world, since this whole story is no more than illustrations of his personal beliefs
That John Grisham wrote this dog.
This was just a miserable lecture on all things evil according to John Grisham. It is his political bent being illustrated in the form of a fictional story with no point and no end. There is no particular high drama, no great Courtroom moment. There was just the constant lecture of coal is bad and here is what they do to people. I have no idea if any of the horror he claims … sorry, his characters claim… is true or not. What I am sure of is, I do not sit down to read a book or in this case, listen to a book, to hear what John Grisham thinks about Capital Punishment, Coal Mining, Pedophiles, Cops, Conservatives, Liberals, or anything else he seems to want to opine on in recent books and interviews. I was hoping for the nail biting “Gotcha” moment where good wins and the evil guy gets the twisted shaft. But it was not to be and this is my last Grisham book. If I want political opinions and commentary, I will just turn on …”Fill in the Blank” News Channel and watch a bunch of preening fools tell me all about how smart they are.
I hate to say it because I REALLY like the series and the writer, Lee Child. I even take into account that I get bugged by small things sometimes. However, this is just mediocre at best and truly a poor addition to the series. If you don't need or want further thoughts, let me just say for you, this strikes me as "McMillan and Wife team up with Rockford Files while being pursued by The A-Team".
The main character, Jack Reacher, has always been a “flawed” hero. Any summary of this character should include the key phrases of Obsessive Compulsive, borderline Schizophrenia, Anti-Social Personality Disorder… and a few more that escape me now. You have to face facts; anyone that simply buys new clothes rather than washing old ones, claiming it is cheaper, has a loose screw or two. Also, give some room to the idea that anyone that, in his 40’s lives hand to mouth hitchhiking all over the Country and ALWAYS seems to find trouble, cannot be all good or all innocent. But that always seemed to flow into the story because although sometimes cartoonish, in a “6 Million Dollar Man” kind of way, the story was not over the top ridiculous. You only needed to suspend reality, not torture it before abolishing it all together.
In this book, we have Reacher returning to metro DC to see a woman that he never met, but in previous stories, had aided him via telephone. He arrives at his former military post where the woman he comes to see is now the commander of his former Military Police unit. Reacher is immediately recalled to active duty after being discharged for 16 or so years. Ostensibly, this significant impossibility is so that the evil guys can take control of him. Of course, they have already trumped up charges against the female Major Turner, whom Reacher was coming to see. Oh, throw in to that, Reacher had never told anyone he was coming to see her… he just hitchhiked from the great Northwest to Arlington Virginia “because she had an interesting voice” (Can you say stalker?), yet they were ready.
So they seemingly frame-up charges on Reacher that he assaulted a man 16 years ago and he just died as a result of the injuries, making Reacher a killer. In addition, they throw in a recently filed paternity suit claiming Reacher is the father of a now 14-year-old girl and the mother just came forward to claim her child support. As long as you are in the “it’s a frame” mode, what the heck, put $100K in an offshore account belonging to the female Major (that in reality she knows nothing about it) and then arrest her for taking bribes. If only the basis of the story were the downfall, I would not be so disappointed.
The story is written with truly annoying “OCD” stuff that makes me wonder if Lee Child is not OCD and writing a bit of himself into the script. Things like repetitive recitation of “catch phrases” in the form of drifting thoughts, such as “Sam, a daughter, 14-years-old” over and over, even in the middle of a prison escape. But the OCD isn’t just Reacher; it is also in the narrative. “Romeo called Juliette, because something’s are her responsibility” and “Juliette called Romeo, because something’s are his responsibility” each time the narrator introduces a conversation between the cloak and dagger characters of Romeo and Juliette. Then there is the insane obsession of counting, everything, no matter how unimportant it is to the story and then explain the count. Things such as “…he parked 8 spaces down from the door, not 1 and not 3, but 8” and then explaining the odds of a car parked directly in front of a motel door that the driver/car’s owner went into, versus the door 1, 2, or even 3 doors down might be.
For me the ridiculous compounded the insane making it difficult to finish despite wanting to like the story. Ridiculous in concept since nowhere in the United States do Military Police “hunt” anyone or anything. MP’s do not do deep undercover, they do not investigate or arrest civilians or even have power of arrest off base. No, that is left to Army CID, or Navy NCIS, or Air Force OSI, all of whom are sworn Federal Officers. Ridiculous in logic such as when someone, on a remote hunch, flags all credit cards and ID’s contained in an Army Military Police “Undercover Vault” (see previous statement indicating NO SUCH THING could exist) which results in the bad guys being able to track Reacher and Turner. Yes, they can do that, but as Reacher steals more and more of the bad guys credit cards and uses them to fund his treck to find “Sam, a daughter, 14-years-old”, they cannot call the credit card company and get the cards shut off because the bad guys that own them are off the grid. Oh, how about the completely bizzar idea that someone (here two people) break out of an Army brig where they are held presumably on high felonies, and their first thought is to run to California to find “Sam, a daughter, 14-years-old”. More insane is that the bad guys anticipate that the hero would break out and go to track down the girl because of a paternity suit (even assuming that was a crime of adultery, the punishment is discharge (did I mention Reacher had been out of the Army for 16-years?). In fact, most of the obstacles thrown up would require the bad guys to be either genius or clairvoyant, and the hero to be an idiot or on drugs.Overall, I can only give it middle of the road and keep the bad feeling that the recent release of Jack Reacher to the big screen, made Lee Child so hungry for a follow-up, that he rushed and gave us an updated version of the “A-Team” or some other equally bad 70’s prime time show.
As a legal thriller, this is clearly at the top of the heap... but it is a heap created by all the other works of John Grisham. AMAZING!
This really stands alone in the legal thriller genre. Do not come looking for the death threats or car chases a la The Firm, The Pelican Brief, or even The Bleachers, No, this is a completely mundane legal topic, Wills and Estates, that is so boring even lawyers yawn at the thought of it. Yet, it is so compelling, so wonderfully written, told and read, that you actually hate to stop for the night. It is by itself but very much in or above the quality of PT Deutermann, John Grisham, or Michael Connely.
He is absolutely, spot on perfect. The performance was just the right combination of performance and reading. I often find myself distracted by readers that insinuate them self into the book either by overacting or by giving no character definition at all. Here, at some point you forget there is a "performance" and are magically there, experiencing the author’s story. There is no insane attempt to make a man sound like a woman, and yet female parts are clearly feminine. The reading has a perfect balance to remain in the background and allow the story to take center stage.
It is 20 hours long... so in real terms, NO. And given the underlying legal topic...Hell No. You can only take so much minutae about wills and estates and probate. For that matter, raise your hand if you want to think about LAWYERS for 20 hours straight! It is however, tough to decide where you want to take the breaks and I did find myself looking forward to the ride home from work just so I could get my next installment.
Only John Grisham has ever been, in my opinion, routinely able to skillfully turn what is realistically boring and mind numbing, into thought provoking, gee I am sad it is over, edge of the seat thrillers. Here he does it again in seamless perfection, sowing together estate and financial planning (yeyyyy; yawwwwwn) and old Southern racists. Starting with a very secretive man hanging himself from a Sycamore tree in rural Mississippi in 1987, Grisham takes us back and forth through the decades to answer that single question of WHY. Why did the rich white guy hang himself and leave a will, handwritten just before his death that supersedes all other prior wills. Why did he cut his family out and leave all his wealth to his black maid. I had it mostly figured out by about the middle of the book, more or less... ok so maybe less, but I still could not skip to the end or put it away for the night.This was a great listen, and I am sure it will be a great read.
I like this series even if it has a litterary feel of say the 1980's TV Show "The A Team". This is more for entertainment than education like the more serious writing of Baldacci or Deutermann. Ignore the fact that the main character Castillo can do anything (he is a jet pilot, a sniper, a surgeon, basically, he is every 13-year-old boy's fantastical self portrait) and the story has a clever fun plot and a nice pace.
Definitly in the Top 10% which is saying something, since all I read or listen to are political thrillers.
Ben Coes is clearly a man that does in depth research before writing his books. This is the second book in the Dewey Andreas series. Andreas is the hero that was introduced in Coes first book of the series Power Down, where Andreas is a supervisor on an Oil Rig off South America when terrorists attack and destroy the platform, throwing the hero into action to protect his country (the United States) and seek revenge. In Coup d?????tat, Andreas is "Called to Action" by the President of the United States, who following the events of the previous book, now sees Andreas as a National Asset and the only man that can carry out the mission. Andreas, leading a quiet life on a ranch in Australia, is tasked with overthrowing the corrupt leader of Pakistan before he drops another nuclear warhead on India.
Like most people, I am not clear on all of the inter-relations and workings of the various Middle East groups and governments. What Ben Coes describes and paints in this book, certainly "feels" right and because of that, the reader is almost immediately sucked in to the idea that a corrupt leader brought to power in a nuclear State like Pakistan really could drop a bomb on a nuclear India and throw the world into irrevocable war.
If there is a criticism, I would have to say it is in the unnecessary detail that at some points causes the story to labor (just a bit) and distracts from the action. For example, it seems our hero, Dewey Andreas, cannot get into a shootout with anyone without a full catalog description of the weapons everyone is using including Manufacturer, Model, sub-models, iterations of the weapon not involved in the battle but available if one were to have wanted it, the ammo, rate of fire, etc. etc. etc. Now I like detail, but at some point, I found myself just wanting a nice simple good guy bad guy shootout.
That said, all of the details, be they true or fiction I don't know, seem to be plausible if not true. The cause and effect of the various action choices seem to be realistic, and the flow of the story is so seemingly possible that one wonders if the story plot is actually drawn from real plans once uncovered by intelligence people somewhere.
Good, fun, thought provoking story.
Absolutely, enough said!
Very much. Even though I pretty much had the main players and bad guys identified early in the book, I wasn't SURE I was right but still there was enough action that it was never boring.
I found the tag-team reading more palitable than others but I prefer a single reader.
Though I am not a fan of tag-team reading, that is to say a male narrator for male characters and a female narrator for female characters, this book???s performers do a good job. Usually I find the often badly weaved audio editing of two narrators distracting. Here however, the performance, editing and really strong story far outweigh that little issue which may be more mine than a performance flaw. Orlagh Cassidy who handles the female voices has chosen what I think is an odd mixture of Tennessee and Brooklyn accents for the lead female FBI agent. I have listened to her work in other books and it is always southern, so I assume it is a southern speaker attempting to speak Brooklyn which comes out pretty laborious, but again, that is me. Somewhat difficult is that she sounds like she has smoked 3 packs a day, so when she uses an only slightly modified character voice for that of a 14 year girl it is a bit more grating.
The story itself has a slight weakness in that for all of the bits to work, very early on the main male character (Agent Will Robbie) and the 14-year-old streetwise child victim/witness must come together at a place and time willed by the bad guy but ONLY possible through impossible feats of luck and guesswork by the plotter.
Get by the story weakness and assuming I am the only one in the world so picky and critical as to try an dissect the genesis of the dialects used, this is a REALLY compelling and fun book. I really hated to put it down and for my entire diatribe about faults; I had a hard time pausing for bed and regretted hitting the end of the book. I discovered that I had really come to like the characters and wanted more. David Baldacci is a magnificent penman. He has the ability to throw minor details into the storyline in a way that is flowing and easy, almost invisible, and always provides my imagination a perfect picture of exactly what he is describing. It doesn???t matter if I am reading the printed book or listening to the audible, I ALWAYS find myself reeled in, on the hook, and caught between bed and one more chapter. This is no exception and may in fact prove the rule! This is another Great book.
Absolutely... this book has just the right combination of politics and heros to keep your blood pressure topped out.
Marine One and Falcon 7 both also by Huston have the same tenor, tempo and feel... I love it. Comparing to another author, I would say Full Black by Brad Thor or I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter are the same level of
This truly is an author and a book that can raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels no matter which side of the political bent you fall. In fact, I truly cannot figure out if the author is a liberal or conservative thinker, which I love. Often, knowing the authors personal political view point turns me off to a book because I then see an agenda in every turn of the plot. Here, Huston does a masterful job arguing both sides of the coin... but to tell you who wins, if there is a winner, would ruin the fun.
The setup is simple: Navy SEAL trying to find the #1 terrorist in the world, tortures one of his minions to get information. Minion dies, but people are saved... is this good or bad? Meanwhile, bad guys plot the death of more Americans and all the while our SEAL hero is on trial, the #1 terrorist is being tried in a special court just for that purpose.
While the plot seems simple, there are many moments to make you at least ponder the correctness of your belief while at the same time, not being able to turn the pages fast enough.
Pile on top of the real world dilemma a big heaping of
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