Elliott Smith wakes up in the hospital with a head injury - and an invisible companion. At first, he's convinced "John" is just a figment of a damaged brain, but when he's fully recovered John is still around and desperate to find out who he is. Reluctantly, Elliott agrees to help, and discovers Chicago PD has a John Doe on their hands with six bullets in him - who died in the ER at the same time Elliott was there.
As Elliott digs deeper into the mystery of John, he stumbles on a body hidden behind a wall for 80 years, meets a sexy artist who could become more than just a one-night stand, and uncovers a deadly secret that has haunted a nun for two decades.
©2008 F. Roger Margason (P)2013 F. Roger Margason
I'm not sure that the audio edition could be considered a better experience. The narrator had a unique rhythm to his reading that was somewhat distracting at times. After 30 minutes or so I'd grown used to it and was able to follow the story. Honestly, I liked the story so much I will probably buy the print versions of the others just to finish the series!
I'm a sucker for ghost stories, but I also loved that the romance developed seamlessly without taking away from the plot of the mystery. Elliot and Steve didn't fall madly in love at first sight. Elliot questioned his sanity when he heard John's voice, who wouldn't?
Dorien Grey has a plays with language in a way that most writers only attempt and usually awkwardly. The remarkable descriptions of physical locations and the characters emotions will definitely have me buying another Eliot Smith mystery.
I would not seek out a book narrated by Jim Hickey, but I would not avoid a book that he narrated either. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and there have been some that I have not finished because of the narration. That was definitely not the case here, but the rhythm was somewhat unusual.
I really enjoyed the way John's identity was slowly revealed not only to the reader, but also to John.
I listened to the audio version of His Name is John. I have to say that I really enjoyed the story a great deal and that I definitely look forward to reading the rest of the series! Not many people can use language as well as Dorien Grey and I found the characters engaging.
I loved the manner in which Elliot's relationship with Steve developed as it didn't take away from the focus of the story which was figuring out John's actual identity. My only issue was that the narrator took some getting used to. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and there have been some that I have not finished because of the narration. That was definitely not the case here, but the rhythm was somewhat unusual. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and will listen to it again!
I drive a truck so I listen to a lot of books.
The summary sounded ok, however the storyline was dull and boring, I was waiting to get hooked but nothing really was happening.
I liked the summary and thought it would be more enjoyable, but a long story just to get to the basics of the book was taking to long and I drive a truck so it was not like I was being distracted.
He has the same voice for all the characters, male or female, I could tell when someone was on a phone, that was cool, but the same voice for everyone is not a performance it is a reader.
I can not say that cutting anyone would have improved this book
I enjoy a good listen, but when I am turning the book off because listening to music would be more enjoyable, then it is time to delete.
Dorien Grey generally writes a good mystery (see Dick Hardesty series) but this first book has fallen short. Unlike his other series I figured out who, both ghost & killer, early on in the book and spent the rest of the time waiting for the writing to catch up to me.
I'm not real fond of Jim Hickey as the narrator, his style seems to be that of someone telling a story to a child, but the voice effects were good. So while I was put off, it was not enough to stop me from getting the next book in the series.
I am hoping that the next book won't be so transparent, and that they might decide on a different narrator in the future.
Dragon Slayer by Isabella Carter
I only got about an hour in, before I gave up. But the whole apartment scene when he just gets home from the hospital seems pointless.
This might have been able to be saved with a better narrator, because the voices he did were just ridiculous. But it was a horrible narration with what seemed like decent to sub-par writing, so there was no way I was wasting my time on this. Which makes me really sad, because I love these types of books.
Tell us about yourself!
In His Name Is John, prolific author Dorien Grey has achieved the rarity few writers enjoy, which is developing a solid first novel in another series daringly different than Grey’s wildly popular Dick Hardesty private investor mysteries.
Once again, Grey has created a colorful cast of characters we love and despise, beginning with the introduction of a middle-age Elliott Smith, a rather mild-mannered man whose vocation is real estate development in the Chicago area. Elliott and his rather motherly sister are siblings of wealthy parents who appear more interested in traveling the world and keeping up appearances than in spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Although he is from wealth and privilege, Elliott has achieved wealth of his own by investing in historical, architecturally significant buildings to rehab and sell for profit. A great backstory that provides a solid foundation for the novel that quickly bursts to the forefront when a decades old skeleton is discovered behind a brick wall in the basement of Elliott’s latest project.
No, but I certainly will listen to any Hickey narrates in the Elliott Smith series.
Elliott Smith because he's a very interesting character and we share the same love for old architecture and desire to restore historical properties to their former glory - Elliott has the resources; I have the desire.
Dorien Grey has written an extraordinarily, inventive, highly imaginative mystery within a mystery, complete with well-developed characters and tightly plotted prose. The incredible talent of narrator, Jim Hickey, makes this already terrific novel an even more enjoyable listen. Those listening to the audio version of His Name Is John will quickly slip into a comfortable zone hearing Hickey’s words, the perfect choice of narrator for this novel, not to mention lending the right voice to Elliott Smith’s character.
I am looking forward to reading more Elliott Smith mysteries and hope Grey continues with Jim Hickey as narrator for future audio releases.
Yes, an interesting story approach, but characters need to be fleshed out more.
The evolution of John as an individual, almost like an infant learning to walk and talk.
Probably, not a particularly dynamic reader but liked the way the audio was changed when addressing telephone calls.
The very end, when John's voice came across as his own rather than a conversation in Elliott's mind.
Normally, I do not care for explicit "sex scenes" in books; however, Elliot's relationship with Steve comes across very flat and not very believable. I think the book would have benefited greatly from more detail on the relationship.
"His Name Is John" is one of the better audio book stories I have listened to. The story is well written, interesting and paced just right (not to slow). It definitely captures your interest right from the start.
Of course, Elliott Smith. He is an interesting character. The author gives you just enough information and background info in the beginning few chapters to get you hooked and keep you wanting to come back for more. He is a regular guy despite his very rigid and formal upbringing. He is a loveable, relateable guy. He has a sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew who love him and friends who like his company. He works hard at something he loves to do but alwys has time to enjoy his life and his family.I really liked how Elliott was not overly worried about the appearance of John in his life and regarded it as just another thing he needed to find answers to and continue on with his life while he tried to do that. He knew there had to be a reason John was there and it was just a matter of figuring it out. A detective at heart.
When Elliott realized that he actually was going to miss John just a little now that they had resolved the mystery of who he was and who had killed him and why. He had actually come to like John's company, even though sometimes his company was a little awkward for Elliott.
Mr. Grey's writing is a style that flows nicely. His characters are always just regular people with something just a little extra-ordinary happening in their lives. He makes us feel like we are a part of his character's lives in some way and we root for them to find their resolution in the end. This book is a good beginning to what promises to be a fun series to read. I look forward to the chance to read the next Elliott Smith mystery.
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