Will Jennings is a successful young doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, with his whole life ahead of him. He has a thriving practice, a beautiful wife, and a young daughter he loves beyond measure.
But Will and his family are being watched by a con man and psychopath. A man who has crafted the unbeatable crime. A man who has never been caught, and whose victims have never talked to the police. A man whose life's work strikes at the heart of every family's nightmare: the unstoppable kidnapping.
But this man has never met Will and Karen Jennings.
©2005 Greg Iles; (P)2005 Brilliance Audio
"Iles tells a riveting tale....Here is a major talent strutting his considerable stuff." (Denver Post)
Greg Iles has now become my favorite author. I so much enjoyed this story that I am recommending this to all my friends.
Narration: decent reading, terrible southern drawl. Children's voices are annoying.
Writing: in stark contrast to what appears to be popular belief, I thought this book was awful. It was predictable, patronizing, and terribly out-of-date gender-wise. Perhaps worst of all, the story wasn't compelling enough to compensate for that.
The plot is far too neat, and the storylines are tired. The author won't trust his audience; he repeats the same thing three times, each time stating it more pointedly.
Overplayed stereotypes abound. Men are logical and driven, women are motivated by their relationship to their young. It is self-evident that all women have an overriding maternal instinct that they must either fight against or allow to control and direct them. Women are horrified by others' pain, men are fascinated and perhaps aroused by it. Women exhibit a constant need for the protection of their husbands, which husbands gallantly provide. The rare exception to these rules is treated as just that--an exception--making it noteworthy [only] because of the character's gender. There's no excuse for this. It's just plain lazy, bland writing.
I hear there's a movie. Maybe that's worth watching. But I wouldn't waste your time sitting through this book.
Reader, Listener, Optimist
The author, Greg Iles, is a novelist who conveys the nuances of life in the deep South with the insight that only a native can. Dick Hill is on my short list of favorite audiobook narrators and to my ear, he is the true voice of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch. However, he is not the right choice to perform the accent of any character from a setting in the modern South. He uses bits and pieces of southern caricature snipped from Amos and Andy meets Gone With the Wind to produce his interpretation of contemporary life in the American South. These voices do not approach an accurate representation of what the well educated professional people in Greg Iles' stories should sound like. Rather, the accents are a mixture of antebellum field hands mixed with gangsta rap. Examples: "Wut fo" (What for?) and "Close da do" (Close the door). Equally unfortunate is his lack of knowledge of the correct pronunciation of place names: Natchez, Baton Rouge, Biloxi are examples. It is almost as if someone played a cruel joke on Hill by misdirecting him to repeatedly pronounce them in the most hysterical way possible. The credibility of an otherwise excellent reader is undermined by his lack of knowledge of the subject he has been asked to convey.
The clever and well-conceived story is spoiled by the distraction of the inaccurate narration.
Book keeps you guessing and listened to it in one day!
the wife, Karen
when she got the scalpel!!
kept my interest until the very end!
Nurse, mom, loved to read....but now I love to listen. When I retire I hope to hear waves crashing in 1 ear and audible in the other!
Great story, great narration, you can't ask for anything else! This is not a wasted credit, cash or anything else! Loved it!
This was an excellent thriller from start to finish. The most distracting part, was, oddly, the seasoned narrator Dick Hill. Because medications, conditions and treatments were crucially important to the plot, Mr. Hill should have been given a primer in their correct pronunciations--very distracting having to figure out what he was trying to pronounce, then missing the ensuing dialogue. His southern accents seemed harsh and difficult to distinguish between better educated and lower-life accents--and none seemed anything but contrived. He does better with Reacher. However, the book was truly an edge-of-the-seat thriller about the abduction of a diabetic child without sinking into graphic cruelty. Other issues brought forward were wives sacrificing their careers to raise children and men, particularly doctors, putting their conventions and meetings above family. It also highlights the harsh reality that no one is really safe.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Will Jennings will fly himself to a convention where he will be the keynote speaker. This convention takes place every year. Will's wife, Karen, has stayed home this year because of a prior commitment.
Will returns to his room to see the woman who had been directing her sexual flirting in the audience to Will, standing by his room. She asks Will if could help her with her key card because it would not work. Will inserts his card into his door, wanting to lay down the many things that he has been carrying, in order to help the woman.
When Will opens the door the woman pushes by him into his room. He is unable to comprehend what has just happened. However, when he turns to see a gun pointing at him, Will slowly closes the door and turns to face the woman, whose first name is Cheryl.
Karen and Abbey have a surprise waiting at home for them. Karen opens the door and she lets Abbey know that she'll fix them a tall glass of iced tea with a slice of lemon. Abbey, who is a juvenile diabetic, begs to have oreo cookies but her mom won't concede and accepts saltine crackers instead.
Abbey goes down the hall to the bathroom while Karen is fixing their snack. Abbey stops to look into her bedroom after leaving the bathroom, making sure that all of her dolls are okay.
Someone picks her up and places a cloth over her face and Abbey will remember later that it really smelled bad. She fights, kicking her feet and flailing her arms, until she stops and her head hangs down.
Joey hands Abbey out of the bedroom window where Huey is standing to take her. Joey asks Huey if he remembers what to do next. Huey, who is a cousin of Joey's, does have learning disabilities and is extremely insecure. Huey is also a tall man, big, weighing in at 350 pounds and his looks are scary to others. He relies on Joey for everything. Whatever Joey asks him to do, Huey will do it.
Huey takes Abbey to his beat up, green truck. He remembers how to remove the truck from behind the playhouse, where the truck had been hidden. Huey doesn't turn the engine over until he's about to the end of the road.
Karen, sitting in the kitchen hears the engine, thinking that's it's odd to hear it because the house is a distance away from other homes. She calls Abbey several times to come and eat her snack until she becomes alarmed and starts towards the bathroom. Karen stops dead in her tracks. Joey is in the hallway, staring at her. She begins to scream.
Karen is told about Abbey as she is led back down the hallway to the kitchen. Joey explains the rules. Abbey is now with Huey and he will take very good care of her until Joey receives $200,000. When the money is given to him, he will let Abbey go and everything will be, " the same as before."
Karen starts coming unglued and begins to tell Joey about Abbey's juvenile diabetes and how horrible things could become if Abbey needed her insulin and didn't receive it. Abbey would die without her insulin. Karen begs Joey to let her get the supplies together and take them to Abbey.
Cheryl has already explained the rules to Will. Will asserts that there will be no problem getting the money and he'll give her more if she wants it. His main concern is about his wife and daughter.
The rules are much more convoluted then what I have described above. However, Joey has done the same scheme for the past five years and there have never been any problems. The reason being, the parents want their child returned to them and the ransom is low for the people who have so very much money. So, Joey tells Karen, follow the rules and Abbey will come home just as she was when she had left.
There are scenes that do keep you listening closely. The narrator, Dick Hill, was okay. He could have made the listening experience better. There are times when Dick Hill is excellent but then there are times when he's not too good. I think, if he had read the story with more conviction, concern and empathy, I would have given the book at least 4 stars. There were parts of the story that were repetitious and weren't needed. There are scenes laced with excitement, others that are suspenseful and then there are endearing scenes. Abbey is a 5 1/2 year old child who would rather be 6. She's not aware of what is happening outside her child's world at this time but will she ever be able to forget? However, she's written about lovingly. I did enjoy the book and glad that I did buy and listen to it.
Grabbed me at the beginning thru the end !!
I've never read Greg Isle, I really enjoyed , I paid no attention to anything around me , I was so in tuned to listening !! , just downloaded The Quiet Game . . Hope it's just as good . . Thank you !
I was an avid reader of books before my work took most of my time so now I listen to Audible books when I'm exercising or walking my dog. I like mystery and thriller novels, particularly good serial killer novels. I'm a writer and a psychotherapist.
It's a good story with plenty of twists and I certainly wouldn't downgrade it to a three but nothing gets developed enough to make this a five star, not the characters, the story, or the ending, which just ends when there are a lot more things that could be answered instead of left hanging. What happens to the good guy for instance and his relationship with the girl? It's a longer story condensed into a fairly long story. Also, the bad guy deserves a lot more bad instead of the abrupt ending.
I really enjoyed my first Iles book. Kidnapping plots generally follow a common script. This one was very different - kidnappers as businessmen, very dispassionate, we'll thought-out business plan. It had me guessing and reguessing what would happen next. My lone criticism: the plot was a a bit surreal toward the end - not totally unbelievable (like the end of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons with the most unlikely chopper pilot), but it stretched the limits of plausibility.
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