At the Millers Kill Community Center, five veterans gather to work on adjusting to life after war. Reverend Clare Fergusson has returned from Iraq with a head full of bad memories she's using alcohol to wipe out. Dr. George Stillman is denying that the head wound he received has left him with something worse than simple migraines. Officer Eric McCrea is battling to keep his constant rage from affecting his life as a cop, and as a father. High school track star Will Ellis is looking for some reason to keep on living after losing both legs to an IED. And down-on-her-luck Tally McNabb has brought home a secret - a fatal one.
Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne just wants Clare to settle down and get married - to him. But when he rules Tally McNabb's death a suicide, Clare sides with the other vets against him. Russ and Clare's unorthodox investigation will uncover a trail of deceit that runs from their tiny Adirondack town to the upper ranks of the Army, and from the waters of the Millers Kill to the unforgiving streets of Baghdad.
©2011 Julia Spencer-Fleming. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGo
I have been on a tear reading this series with great enjoyment. So much so that when the middle 5 books were not available here on audible I borrowed CDs (!?!?) from my library. I loved the complexity, the characters, the dialogue, the setting. Yes the mysteries were of the block-buster movie type where you needed to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the show. But--they were concise, very engaging, plot and character driven books.
This book is a departure from that style. It was overly long, very, very slow and plodding. The narration was terrible. Men growling with almost nauseating voices. Lyle being completely intolerable. Clare becomes a one dimensional boozy, drug seeking, southern belle obsessed with sex. This change in direction makes for 17.5 hours of rambling and profane yuck. Such a waste. Truly disappointing.
Couldn't get past the first few chapters. Too much like a soap opera and the reader just didn't do it for me.
This was one of those “I only finished it because I paid for it” books for me. Found myself stepping out of the story often to remind myself how unlikely the circumstances were. Really hate when that happens because it reminds me I am reading instead of taking me away.
Julia Spencer-Fleming is among my favorite authors -- to read. This was my first one to listen to -- or to TRY listening to. I'm about three hours in, and I don't think I can continue -- I like the series too much to ruin it by listening to this narrator. She started reading so slowly I had to backtrack to keep what she was reading in mind. Finally I switched my iPod to "fast" read, but then she speeded up some, so I switched back. But her voices -- oy! The narrator is female -- why the falsetto for most of the female characters? And (so far, anyway) she makes Claire sound like a lovesick damsel from the Old South -- good grief. This woman is not a Suellen O'Hara -- she's a tough as nails helicopter pilot who saw combat. Nor is she a wilting lilly at home -- she's decisive, quick thinking and courageous, not languid and insipid. Right now I'm at the "I bought it so I darn well better listen to it" stage -- but still hating to ruin the book if it's as good as the others in written form. I will definitely stay away from this narrator in the future, for anything.
Well written character-driven mystery mixed well with healthy romance and laugh-out-loud humor. Russ and Clare stories have become one of my favorites. Suzanne Torne gives an excellent performance as narrator as well.
I'm listening to this one for a second time to glean as much from it as I can. Spencer-Fleming is a wonderful storyteller and this time she includes several sides of being a military veteran. I learned a lot from the story --- stuff I should have known but lost along the way.
I have read all the books in this series and this is the only one to disappoint me.
I have never been crazy about Toren's narration but I let that go to enjoy the story.
I could not get past it this time and I am sorry to say I should have read it...not listened to it.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
(Title of review learned from the book.)
I immediately knew I would be having a problem when I started this audiobook and heard the female narrator's male voices, particularly that of the main character. I never heard such a throaty, hearty voice and it brought to mind an aging, overweight, life-long smoker. However--this book seemed rather well-rated. (I must have stopped after reading the first few positive reviews.)
So, I charged on ahead, as I like mysteries and stories about military personnel, and the idea of group therapy is right up my alley. I felt I could overlook the poor narration. Not!
Firstly, I must make it known that I did not read the other four books in the series, so I was not in any way attached or fond of the characters. With the terrible narration, I found most of the characters very difficult to like. The main female character is an Episcopal priest, living in a rectory. She has the most obnoxious southern-belle accent. Rather than a woman of God, she comes across as a sex-starved hussy. And the male, well, I already mentioned how unattractive his voice was portrayed, almost to the point of making me feel physically ill.
But what about the mystery, you ask? I listened to seven hours before I could stand no more, and there was no mystery presented. Setting the stage, maybe--for 7 hours? Uh, uh.
None of these characters are well-developed or come across as the least bit interesting--not a one. And so, I leave this book a little bit smarter. I will be more careful reading the reviews in the future, and I will avoid any further books by this author and particularly this narrator.
last of a really great series and truly superior narration.These are just good stories with a mystery, people interaction, warm love interest and a desire for more of the characters. The series was over too soon..
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Spencer-Fleming has once again written an excellent story, showing insight into the characters' inner lives. In this case, the turmoil and troubles of the military veterans after combat were well and sympathetically portrayed, especially the main character's alcoholism and addiction and her attempts to carry on life as an Episcopal priest in spite of it. That said, I have to say that the performace of the narrator distracted greatly from the story. The natural voice itself was fine, but the voices used for characters were off the mark. Claire's southern accent was okay, and the other female characters were portrayed adequately, but the voices used for the men, especially the Sheriff, were not good. In an attempt to lower her voice for the male parts, the narrator ended up using a grating, rasping voice which repeatedly distracted from the story and interrupted my immersion in the story.
If I listen to this book again, it would be only for the story, not the performance.
Yes. It opened my eyes to the problems our soldiers face when returning home.
It was well written. Never knew how it was going to end.
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