Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
Yes, I can find one flaw in this, the third book I've read so far in the Dave Guerney series by John Verdon. Right after I finish this review I would have downloaded the next… and that is the flaw. Apparently it's only available in Swedish! Damn!!! Well, in fact, that book really is a translation of the second in this series, "Shut Your Eyes Tight". Yep, it's flawed-up that this is the last currently available in the Guerney saga.
Yesssss…. I guessed correctly at an important part of the killer's methodology, but I wasn't sure until the hot ending that packaged it all tight. Verdon weaves relationships into his plot with the precision of Persian rug maker. While it's not necessary to succeed in the mystery genre to create multi-dimensional characters, Verdon shows how it can be done (at least with the key people)… and maybe should be done, more often. Guerney's personal flaws are believable, sympathetic, and important to each of the stories.
This is a dark series, all built around procedural puzzles. Must you suspend disbelief? Well of course. Must you accept the improbable? Only if the author's talented enough to make you. Verdon's got that kind of talent.
Oh, and Robert Fass is a magical actor. His voice CREATES each distinct character in this book. Forget nit picking, he neither brings a nit to the table nor leaves any to pick at.
There's a "however"… Start this series from the top with "Think Of A Numb3r". let The Devil Sleep" isn't as much a novel as it is the third part of a rewarding epic.
Come-on John… Gimme the fourth in this series… FAAAAST!
To paraphrase Dante: conscience judges the sins of the the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted through different lenses. In 'Pursuit', Thomas Perry allows complex characters to explain themselves, then he smashes one against the other.
I think it was General MacArthur who said, "If you find yourself in a fair fight… You didn't plan your mission properly." 'Pursuit' is about grim planning men, hunting one another. It's a killerchiller of a story driven by clever plotting, cruel plotters, and dark motives.
Varney versus Prescott… A steel cage battle between men with brains wired backwards to each other. Perry creates a stream of exploding crisis. And since Perry rarely returns to a character in his next novel, the reader never knows who is disposable regardless of the depth of their characterization.
Perry's interested in the way our brains construct a sense of self. And then how impossible it is to cause them to change from the paths that result, in this case, in codependent killers. If you like tense mystery, clever puzzles, and truth suspended between perspectives… You'll like "Pursuit" as much as I did.
And Tom Weiner creates, then stages Perry's cast precisely correctly. He's nuance-perfect in unravelling a story that kept me intrigued in this conundrum through the last minute. Yep, five stars in this genre - And this is the SIXTH of the eight Perry novels I've read so far that earned FIVE STARS!!! I'm thinking this guy is a very favorite author of mine. And I just downloaded "Silence"… so I'm anxious to see of there's a seventh perfect Perry read coming up.
I really got off on Adrienne Allen, wife of the murder victim… She's a great character and both White and Hill have fun with her. She's a scene stealer. Otherwise, I listened through the book and generally enjoyed what's become a too easy villain for many writers in the genre. Still, it was a way to make gain through my pain at the gym every morning I listened. Harm's Way distracted me from the discomfort and I think I'll listen to another of Stephen White's books, especially if Dick Hill's the reader. They're a competent team.
Apparently Scott Pratt's got some sort or denominational religious angst going on in his head… It apparently developed since his excellent earlier novel, "An Innocent Client" (which should be read first BTW). And here he swirls it around and around in a mishmash of mystical versus spiritual plot whorls.
I don't like it when an author relies upon ghosts, mystics, or satan/gods to solve his/her story difficulties. Pratt does that here. Maybe you'll enjoy it, since he's a good craftsman and Tim Campbell's a fine reader. Don't know whether I'll try the next in this series… I like my legal thrillers to be more "normal" courtroom matches without a gooey side-order of the "para'.
Listen to Charles Rosenberg's delightful "Death On A High Floor" before this one. That's VERY important. Set five years after that adventure, Jenna James, has lost a lot of her perk. To some degree it's the fault of casting Kate Rudd, only because I was used to Christopher Lee's brilliant creation of Jenna's character in book 1 of this series. Oddly, Lane did that Jenna better than the excellent actress… Rudd.. does in this book.
BTW, for some inexplicable reason I wrote Lane's name as Lee in my review of "High Floor" and wish that we could edit our reviews. I feel awful… grumble….
But maybe this book lets me down just a bit because Jenna James lost her perkiness. Her impetuosity, her sexual, um, spontaneity.Rosenberg's earlier work jumped the shark, but Lane's wonderful read made it work. Here, he only carries half of the water, so maybe that makes it more difficult to accept the improbabilities of this interpretation of academic politics. Dumno.. but while I enjoyed Long Knives… It wasn't "Death On A High Floor".
Still, if a third in this series arrives, I'll listen… especially if Christopher Lane's reading. AUDIBLE: GIVE CHRISTOPHER LANE MORE WORK… K?
From the first lines, Christopher Lane insinuates pompous, grumpy attorney Robert Tarza right into my mind. HE'S ALIVE!! Lee is an audible artist who breathes Charles Rosenberg's characters full-up with dimensions.
And Rosenberg gives them a bunch. Plus he makes the impetuous side-kick, young Jenna James… well, PETUOUS! These guys, Rosenberg & Lee make a kind of ordinary plot-line keep you in the car… in your driveway.. after a long ride home… still hanging on the next twist, wisecrack, and cliff hanger. Did I write "side"-kick? I'm not sure who is kicking who's side here,
it's a very clever ensemble, made even more interesting by quirky criminal lawyer Oscar Quesana… who will need to star in his own Rosenberg novel soon… hint.. hint… Hear me Charles? I totally liked this… and immediately downloaded the next in this series which features the perky, brilliant, and sexy Jenna James… Hope it's as good a listen as this one.
AUDIBLE… come on… give Christopher Lane lots more work… PLEEEEESE!
Looking for the kind of legal thriller that Scott Turow used to write? Here's a guy NOT PREACHING his ideological message. Here's a nifty noir voice. I just listened to Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon where the hard-boiled detective got invented. Scott Pratt's in that league. Like Hammett he's writing straight entertainment while playing the various techniques of fiction like a jazz pianist pulls in the riffs and chords you expect from hands that can find the dark a well as light keys.
Tim Campbell's created this ensemble cast with same sort of note-perfect sense as Pratt. Did I like it? I just downloads the next Joe Dillard book. Wadda-you think?
Hammett shocked readers. He won't today. So stripped of that support, Falcon's now a slow period piece. The legendary snappy dialogue's also lost its snap over the years, copied and tightened as it's been by so many who've mastered this genre since Sam Spade was invented. Hammett invented pacing that goosed along the plot. And yet, even there his followers have learned to crank up the pace to warp speed.
It was interesting to return to the firm of Archer & Spade, but it was more like a class assignment... Something for study perhaps. Something to appreciate for its contributions.
I read Falcon when I was young. I like that memory more than this revisit. Hmmmm... Maybe you can't go home again, eh?
Scobel and Israel are a top IT reporting team. Maybe THE top team. They have an intriguing curiosity, wonderful access, and an ability to translate tech complexities into colloquial English. But, high tech becomes old tech at blinding speed. I finished this listen on 6/15/14. A lot of their material was… well think of a banana. You know how quick the yellow ones become brown? We'll this banana was flecked when I read it, on the way to brown.
I'm guessing the expiration date for Age Of Context is probably 10/14 or 11/14 at the latest. Get it while it's fresh, huh?
Jeffery Kafer's a good fit for the read he helped me enjoy the listen.
Imagine an argument with great links missing from its logical chain. Then imagine simply inventing links of fact to fill the gaps... Links fit into place with welds blended and blurred by strong emotional distractions.
A deus ex machina is a literary or sophist trick... an ancient device that Wikipedia defines as a seemingly unsolvable problem which is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object.
Robert J. Sawyer does that here in Calculating God... quite enchantingly. He "proves" the case for diesim by... well I use the word enchantingly in a couple of its meanings. It is much like a fascinating fairy tale that absorbs and charms you. And it is also a magical yarn that fits as well into the realm of fantasy as sci-fi. Indeed, it's an ingenious blend which proves nothing yet, seems to. Uh-huh, here the "calculations" and the "proof" are just like a guy suddenly and abruptly whipping a rabbit from a hat.
He does it so well, you forget that he's contrived to bring both a certain kind of hat, baggy-sleeved jacket, and well... his own unexpected rabbit.
Sawyer's good. And while you're enjoying this "calculatiion" ignore the man behind the curtain. There's nothing to see there... Just move along past :-)
Oh, and Jonathan Davis, or whoever... reads the book ... um... enchantingly.
You ever seen taffy stretched? Well it sags in the middle and even breaks if over-pulled.
Fidelity is rich, thick, and a sometimes gooey taffy. The characters are by Thomas Perry, so they're basically complex. Characters drive Perry stories. But here, the cast is pulled sometimes beyond its, um, stretchability.
Fidelity's a good book, and Perry's always a unique chef. This recipe's different from all of the other six Perrys I've listened to - so this author's not derivative. But it's more like "Strip" in his book of recipes… not a waste of time. Diverting. But I urge you to listen to either of "The Butcher Boys", or the classic "Metzger's Dog" first.
Oh… Michael Kramer ROCKS! He makes this book worth the time keeping this listen from becoming a stretch too far.
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