©2003 Erin M. Hart (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc. Published by Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing Group, A Division of Random House, Inc.
"In every way, this is a debut to remember." (Booklist)
"In addition to a complex, multilayered plot that involves both contemporary and historical crimes, Hart's novel is rich in local color." (Publishers Weekly)
A more driving plot line, and less meandering about. Really had a sense the author wasn't sure what to do with things and just mucked about. Disappointing
I've finally finished this book. Thank goodness. I never felt engaged at all or as though I knew any of the characters -- I can't even remember their names at this moment -- or what was happening plot-wise, and I honestly don't care. Even though the premise sounded interesting (albeit disturbing), the three or so sub-plots wound into one was too many, and the end was lackluster after the long road getting there.
I listen to 5 to 6 audiobooks a month. I am looking for sheer intelligent entertainment. Enjoyed the narration (accents still easy to understand), storyline and characters. Even though there were several storylines, the author moved you back and forth effortlessly and it wasn't a struggle to remember where you were and with whom. Anyone who just wants pleasurable listening will enjoy this.
I was prepared to like this book, especially after the rave reviews found here on Amazon, and Audible. But I found that Haunted Ground: A novel, quickly lost my interest. Why, you may ask? Because the author has too many characters and she head-hops between them constantly. Each section is narrated by a new character, and frankly I lost interest. I prefer books with one, possibly two voices but not a half dozen. This is particularly disconcerting in audio format. Plus, I found the drippy American character with the tortured past and murdered sister a bit trite and maudlin.
Feh, overall, 2 stars. If she had stuck to a single or maybe dual perspective it might've captured my interest.
Do I have to give this novel even a single star? If you're expecting an archeological puzzle, don't bother. "Haunted Ground" is more Harlequin romance than ancient mystery. Pathetic characters people contrived settings, stumbling through an improbable plot. The writing itself isn't bad, though Erin Hart does tend to become a bit overwrought at times. A bright spot is Jennifer McMahon's narration -- she possesses an impressive range. However, her talents aren't enough to salvage what is, at heart, nothing more than a suburban bodice-ripper. Halfway through, I found myself finishing characters' sentences in a silly Irish accent. Sadly, it was the only enjoyment I derived from this novel. Fabio should appear on the cover, holding an excavation trowel in one hand and a swooning colleen in the other.
I don't know what it is about this book but I've tried to listen to it twice now, thinking maybe the second time I'll be more interested, but I find myself tuning it out. Its not an interesting story line to me, though I wanted to like it. I find minutes can go by and I realize that I've absorbed nothing of what the narrator was saying and had to backtrack.
I like her accent, but maybe her voice was too soothing or monotone? Reminded me of science class back in high school
I think the story line sounds interesting if I could actually pay attention and follow along with the book.
The story at times just seemed to plod along. I never really felt any tension, the whole story long. It took longer than usual for me to complete this book and I actually fell asleep several times.
The characters were cliche I'm afraid, almost as if following a manual. I'm giving it 3 stars instead of 2 because I've been to the west of Ireland, seen peat bogs being cut by hand, been in many rural pubs where "trad" music was played, and so on. In this respect I was held just a bit more by this story (maybe) than if I didn't have those experiences.
The narration at times was almost comical. When the narrator (a woman) did the voices of the cop and the archaeologist she reminded me of a 5 year old Shirly Temple doing a man's voice.
This effect made them seem one dimensional and humorless.
If you are offended by foul language, you will probably want to skip this one. The author apparently only knows one curse word but uses it frequently, even when there is no reason for the characters to be cursing. I also didn't like the narration. The accent may be authentic, but it was very hard to understand and her attempt to sound masculine for the male characters sounded like someone mimicing Santa Claus. Despite all this, the mystery was interesting enough. It would be much improved by a male narrator and a little editing.
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