©2005 William Bernhardt; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
This is one of the best books I have listen to in over a year. This author grabs your attention and doesn't let go. The characters are people you can relate to. This book is just awesome.
This book is reminiscent of "The Silence of the Lambs" in that it deals with a Psychotic persona... while "Edgar" isn't as likable as Hannibal Lecter, he's certainly, uh, creative. The Susan and Darcy dynamic is heartwarming and a welcome change from some of the darkness in the story line. I found no slow moments of this book, which is rare. Kathe M is a phenomenal reader, voicing Darcy so well that I felt like I was really listening to him. It's a little bit creepy, no doubt, but you know, that's fun sometimes.
Ok - the main character is a bomb - the author uses the typical self destructive actions and unfocused anger to convey/cover her sorrow and grief. How she still has any friends is completely a mystery - why people are attracted to her is a mystery.
But I give this book a high rating for the protrayal of a high functioning autistic man - the son of the boss. The narrator does an excellent job conveying the strange speech patterns of an autistic person. And the author does a good job of using an autistic's different way of thinking/seeing the world to help with the investigation. My seven year old son has high functioning autism and I see the limitations and extraordinary abilities first hand everyday. One fault on this character - while I think my son would love the riddles - and no he can not solve problems like the ones in this novel - he could never visit these crime scenes without having a meltdown and subsequent nightmares / anxiety.
I found this book disappointing. The book is formulaic and, in my opinion, not particularly well-written. I did not enjoy the reader's voice or style. What was most troubling to me is that the characters did not seem to act in ways that I found convincing.
That being said, the book did improve with listening. I was about to dump it before finishing the first section but continued and felt it improved.
Obviously, some other listeners found the book great, so listen to the sample and make your own judgment.
... but our rating system doesn't allow for it.
This book is a must-miss. The main character is unlikable, histrionic, and a blight on law enforcement. I so disliked her that I gave up about a third of the way through part one. My biggest regret is that I'd paid for both parts of the book, and can stomach neither.
Do yourself a favor and read something worthwhile. I'm a major mystery fan, so I'm not being a snob. If you favor women protagonists, seek out someone else. This character is an embarrassment to women everywhere.
I particularly like this genre and am often disappointed with the audio versions -- especially the narrators. But this one is an unexpected pleasure! The narrator is exceptional, capturing everyone very well from the autistic Darcy to the female protagonist to the serial killer himself. There are some "twists" and turns -- even though it is possible to guess some of it...
The only thing I must do is warn you of particularly heinous violence. This one does step "out" a little further than most on that limb...
If you like the genre, you'll probably love this...
I picked this book because I love the Justice Series by this author. I did finish the book, but found the main character to be unlikable. In addition, I found the villian to be unbelievable and extremely sickening. I also found the senerios to be unbelievable in his excape from capture.
Lots of things wrong with this book. Characters not well developed. For example, the protagonist has a degree in psychology, and is "highly empathetic" but has several meetings with a young man displaying autistic stereotypic movement before she figures out what is going on with him. Too many plot pieces do not make sense. For example, the police check out all of the guests at a hotel where a crime occurs but not the staff. In addition, the killer leaves his post early to commit a crime but no one notices. Finally, the reader uses a wistful, innocent intonation for the protagonist, a hard drinking former police officer. However, if you are into really gut wrenching sadism, the scenes of torture and mayhem will brighten your day. I would have given this a zero if I could.
It's hard to completely love this awesome book, because as expressed by others, the "heroine" is so unlikable through at least 3/4 of the book. I know the alcoholism was integral to the entire story, but it got old real fast and I wanted to scream and shake her everytime Susan told us...and herself... that she could beat it. How ridiculous, given that she makes almost no attempt to do so. The rationalization was infuriating. Having said that, though, this was truly one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. I'd put it right up there with many of Stephen King's best. The last three hours were so grueling and intense that I could only listen in short time periods! As the grandparent of a precious autistic young man, I was impressed with the author's description of typical autistic characteristics. The reader was good, but could've been a more animated at times. Her reading of Darcy was exceptional, "Edgar", very good; but as Susan, I found her whiney. I almost dismissed this reading after the first hour---fortunately, I stuck it out and got the chill of my life! I'll probably read the hard copy now.
I have read William Bernhardt for years and I absolutly love his work. This is a much darker and verbally and visually vulgar novel than the Justice series but I loved it none-the-less.
The Protagonist is believable and has feelings of many kinds that I would expect them to have.
Most Bernhardt fans will not be used to this type of writing for him but it IS a good read.
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