Gus LeGarde's life essentially ended four years ago, when his beloved wife, Elsbeth, leapt from the Letchworth Gorge cliffs. These days, the music professor plays endless Chopin etudes on his antique piano and lavishes love on his family and dog - but nothing buries the pain or answers his burning questions. What made her jump? Why didn't she say goodbye? And how will he be able to live without her?
Trouble comes to Gus and his daughter, Freddie, when her arrogant husband, Harold, is caught in several love affairs and begins to verbally abuse her. To protect his daughter and two-year-old grandson, Gus threatens to throw Harold out himself the next time he messes up. But when Harold's law partner goes missing, a police search in the woods on Gus's property reveals a shocking find. The mystery deepens as Gus's innocent friend is set up to take the fall.
In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand - and Gus braces for the fight of his life.
©2011 Aaron Paul Lazar (P)2012 Aaron Paul Lazar
This audiobook was given to me as a gift, the first I've read by Aaron Paul Lazar. I found Gus LeGarde an enjoyable companion on an interstate drive. The plot was involving but not so edge-of-seat as to make me a menace on the highway - a perfect drive-time book. Some people might object to the lengthy breaks between action sequences and concrete plot developments, but they can write their own reviews! IMO, the pace suited Gus's character and gave Lazar time to paint wonderfully sense-appealing details about the setting and to develop the romantic element.
I docked Robert King Ross a star because he often crooned the ends of words to no purpose and because his pronunciation of some words was distractingly incorrect, especially Siegfried's German comments. (I'm not expecting a perfect accent, just correct basics.) Otherwise, the performance was very good.
I definitely will read more by this author. (In fact, I already did - I liked Tremolo even better!)
I'm not an avid bookie and this is really my first foray into mystery stories... so not much to compare with for me. If you have a mystery book that weaves multiple plot threads with a wonderful sense of place and the everyday joys and not so everyday tragedies of life... You would be getting close on this one.
There is genuine tension in several scenes, but especially when The professor is snooping where he probably shouldn't... And you sense the moral dilemma and character traits under making his decisions. There is also genuine joy at points. There are times you can't believe one guy can have such bad luck, patience and good fortune, all at the same time.
I had several verbal moments while listening... A few chuckles and a "good grief", or two.
Mr. lazar writes about an area of the country I am familiar with. His sense of place and descriptive writing style will draw pictures in your brain for you. You'll smell the food cooking, feel the chill in the air, see how the relationships built over time and sense what the characters are going through. All the plot lines resolve in the end and leave the future wide open. At no point did I fast forward, but admit I sped up the playback a bit during a few sections. Very enjoyable and I think I will follow up on the next in the series. Great down time for me. I'm a busy guy and this story created a great escape for me. Wouldn't mind meeting Gus, some day. He seems a decent fellow. Yah!
I really enjoyed Double Forte, which I read some time ago. I’ve recently found audio books an excellent way to make time pass when doing chores and got this one. The characters and the easy, pleasant descriptions of life in Gus’s house, his interactions with members of his family, and the overtones of suspense appeal to me. This isn’t edge-of-your-seat action but a steady threat that sometimes comes to the fore, sometimes hovers below the surface—perfect for listening to over several days. I even cook more so I can listen. :-)
Lazar’s writing is smooth and easy to follow without being simple. The story is rich and the subplots add depth. The characters are (mostly) people you’d like to spend time and be friends with. Gus, the protagonist, is a strong family man with many facets--a quiet hero. Siegfried is a wonderful character, Harold is portrayed quite well, and the others are clearly drawn and stand out as individuals.
Overall, the narrator did a decent job, but to my ear, he made Gus sound like a man in his late fifties, older than I think Gus is. He also mispronounced a number of words, and in some of the tense situations, I thought the dialogue sounded too casual and laid back. Still, it was an enjoyable performance and I’d recommend it. I’ll listen to it again sometime.
It was a sweet book that had some interesting twist and turns.
I liked most all the characters but found the brother-in-law's character pulling at my heart strings.
I enjoyed the description of characters at the winter BBQ.
When the little girl finally spoke
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