First time author, Dalton Fury. You might think that a book written by an ex-special ops soldier would have it down in regards to how special ops teams work. You would think right. It felt like there was a lot of firsthand knowledge of processes, weapons, lingo, environment, etc. It was clearly a fictional setting but you had the feeling that it wasn't too far from how it would actually happen. There was a lot of shooting, blowing up, dead on both sides, intense action just like you'd expect. Theere is nothing other than special ops action in this book.
What can you say about this book that hasn't already been said, it's a great book. I'd seen the movie 10-20 times over the years but had never read the book. When I came across this audio version narrated by Sissy Spacek I decided it was time to dive into the book. It was excellent.
This is my second Stabenow Kate Shugak novel and I enjoyed them both. The mystery/crime side of the story was interesting. One of the highlights to the book is the Alaska setting. This book was set in January and you'd think SW Alaska would be cold and nasty and the book makes it seem that way. Plus you get the feel for Alaska in general, the people, the landscape, the lifestyle, etc. In fact, at the end of the book the author has a short interview where she states the book is about all things Alaskan, that's a good way to put it. If there was one distraction it was the narrator. I read some of the reviews before listening to the book so had an ear out for the narrator and she seemed to be talking a bit too fast. I went so far as to slow down the audio on my iPod and that didn't solve it. She must just talk fast, I can't think it was intentional on the part of the producers. But like most audiobooks, in my experience anyway, you get used to the narrator in about every book the further you get into it and this one was no different. After getting about a quarter of the way through the book I quit paying attention to the narrator and just enjoyed the story.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is now retired after ending the previous book battered and bruised, mentally and physically and living in Three Pines getting healthy. And a different kind of mystery finds its way to him in the form of a missing person. He is asked by Clara Morrow to help find her overdue husband, Peter. So, Gamache's natural investigative instincts get involved. Since this has been on the surface a series about crime this book was different in that no crime has been committed. The author's books have never been intense crime thrillers and this book solidifies that what her books are really about are life and human nature. And, she throws in some Canadian history and geography, this time eastern Quebec up the St Lawrence River almost to the Atlantic Ocean. Still the tale of Three Pines and its characters continues and I'll look forward to the next one. As an aside, the narrator of the books up to this point, Ralph Gosham, died after finishing this book. To many, including me, he had become the voice of Armand Gamache. It will be interesting and tricky I'd guess to see how the publisher replaces the narrator.
First time author, this book seems to come from the genre where you're in a reality that doesn't appear to be real and you're trying to figure out what the reality is. The plot keeps unfolding even right up to the end. I realized only while listening to the book and researching the author a bit that this is the first book in a trilogy so there's a ways to go before figuring it all out. It is interesting and the author was really imaginative in coming up with the plot. I did read where this book is the basis for a TV series on Fox network TV starting around May 2015.
If I only read the reviews in audible on this book I might not have purchased it. But I had so enjoyed the first four books by the author I knew I would buy it nonetheless and I'm glad I did. Often with foreign accented narrators it takes some time to get used to the accent, in this case a male and female with an Irish accent. The male was fine but the female could be a bit hard to understand although I did find that if I put on my Bose headset I more easily understood the female. But as the book wore on, as usual, it got easier and easier to understand them both even without the headset. I did find it interesting that the author would choose to have a crime story set in a girls prep school with the teenage students as the primary suspects. I'm not sure who the target audience is other than just Tanqa French fans. But I will say that once again the author proves she is a great writer with awesome insight into human nature. She goes inside the school and brings the teenage lives to life. She also goes inside the heads of the two main detectives, mainly the male whose perspective most of the book is written from. Once you get into the characters, the setting and get used to the narrators the book flows along quite nicely. Tana French has written each of the books in the series using different characters for each book. Sometimes I wish she would loop back around and bring back some of her old characters to life and finish some of the personal stories, relationships she nurtures in her books. I really do enjoy her book, that's for sure.
For fiction, PT Deutermann's depictions have to be among the best written in actually describing what the Navy war against the Japanese in the Pacific theater must have been like. This book describes the battle of Okinawa from a Navy perspective. The Japanese considered Okinawa part of their homeland, much like we think of Hawaii. The Japanese sensed the end of the war was coming and they were going to lose but their warrior mentality said, seemingly, that they were going to fight to their last breath. If you were in the American fleet in the Okinawa campaign you life was on the line every single day. I've come to really enjoy this author's books.
I've stated before that starting a James Lee Burke novel is like meeting up with a good friend again where you just know you are going to have a good time. This book didn't disappoint. This book filled in the early days of the Hackberry Holland character, a series set mostly in west Texas although this one wasn't. Many of Burke's books have bad things happen to good people. When this one started off with Lt Weldon Holland rescuing Rosita Lowenstien from a German death camp at the end of World War II, marrying her and bringing her back to west Texas, as the story unfolded I got a sense of foreboding of bad things to happen. Burke sets the core of this story just after the war ends in south Texas and Louisiana when the oil boom is just getting going. I never really thought much about that time and place but Burke brings it to life. It stands to reason that there were lots of cutthroat people who would do anything to get at the riches of the black gold. There were plenty of bad hombres. Burke does his usual fine writing, flowery and intellectual, while Will Patton does his usual good job of bringing the story to life as the narrator. Burke could take the Holland character in so many directions after this book, it's hard to anticipate what he will do with this series. I'll look forward to it no matter where it goes, I just hope it keep going.
This is a great book, period. I've listened to more than five of the author's books now over a long period of time it seems. This was her third book, written way back in 1987. It must not have been put into audio format until recently as it only not too long ago showed up on audible. How an English author came up with the idea for this book and researched it, set in the Lapland region of Norway and Finland is beyond me. But she weaves a really interesting, engrossing spy thriller that even at over 21 hours of listening kept my attention from start to finish, was a page turner, and I was sorry to see end. Side note, while listening to this book I went into audible to see what other Clare Francis books I might be interested in and couldn't find her books anymore. I chatted audible and they told me that the author evidently has changed publishers and they currently don't have a contract with the new publisher, at least for this author. While not widely popular, as far as I know, I've always enjoyed her books and would hate to see them no longer available here on audible. The chatter said audible has a mechanism to pass along my input.
Why would an author that has had great success take on a new genre? It can't be about the money. It must be that the author just enjoys writing, maybe it's the challenge of showing others or maybe just yourself that you can do it. But this author, by any name, gets it. This book is the second in the series and the author does a great job of building on the first while weaving an interesting crime thriller. I wouldn't say there is great suspense in this book but the characters are really well developed and interesting. It's a thinking person's book and the setting with a bunch of authors, editors, and publishers is good. You get into the mystery after a bit and the book just flows. I'll look forward to the next book in the series, the author can really take the series in many different directions.
Interesting premise in this one, my second Lowell book. Two families involved in precious gems task a family member to get to know the other to get an inside track to the other family. The two not only get to know each other but sparks fly immediately. I don't know that Elizabeth Lowell is known as a romance writer but this one had plenty of romance in it. It was an entertaining listen, though, as the author wove the story line of the mystery, the gem in this story being jade. You learn a lot about jade in this book. I enjoyed the characters, the setting in Seattle and the San Juan Islands, and the plot was OK. Sometimes it seemed the book didn't flow as well as it should but it didn't detract from the book too much. I will listen to book 3 in this 4 book series.
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