First Lieutenant Cletus Frade is fresh from Guadalcanal. He teams up with Second Lieutenant Anthony Pelosi and Sergeant David Ettinger for the most critical OSS operation of the war.
Under the direction of the mysterious Colonel Loman, they venture into a simmering stew of German and Allied agents, collaborators, and government security thugs, of men and women hiding their pasts and plotting their futures - all in supposedly neutral city of Buenos Aires.
©2008 W. E. B. Griffin; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Griffin's reconstruction of upper-class Argentine society in the 1940s provides an exotic and credible setting for a tautly written story whose twists and turns will keep readers guessing until the last page." (Publishers Weekly)
The book started slowly but as you listen you begin to like the main characters, father, son, and the other characters linked to them. I'm not normally a fan of military based novels but will puchase other books in the series by this author. I would have given this book 4.5 to 5 stars with the exception that it ended a bit abruptly. I would have liked a bit more follow up on the relationships the author developed throughout the novel but still well worth listening to.
I read the series years ago, now I want to revisit them all in audio format. About the only complaint that I had was that someone should have told Dick Hill that the name Jorge is pronounced "Hor-Hey" and not "Hor-Gay". That was just annoying.
Other than that I enjoyed it.
I really like Griffin, but I think this book is one of my favorites. It has everything - character development, emotion, depth, politics, suspense and military strategy. The main character, Lieutenant Cletus Frade is a Charlie Castillo kind of personality although perhaps not as outsized. The back drop of Argentina and "neutrality" in WWII gives some perspective on the complexity of that war. If you like the Presidential Agent Series (but perhaps have given up once Griffin son-in-law took the pen), read this one - it's fun and gripping. The Corps series needs to be read as a series and the depth of it comes both from the growth of some of the recurring characters and the history (WWII in the Pacific); Honor Bound seems to be the only one of the Honor Bound series that has the magic combination of Dick Hill + Griffin.
Entertaining, creative, and meticulous.
I found the father, Jorge Gallermo Frade, to be my favorite (I hope I didn't butcher the spelling). The author tempers his latin machismo, honor, and paternal love very well.
The loyal manservant, Enrico.
Argentina - another front of WWII
I look forward to listening to the second installment.
I like Dick Hill's narration. He has a nice, steady cadence. He doesn't mangle foreign languages any worse than any other narrator. His accents, while not spot on in most cases, are decent. The reason I gave the performance such a low rating is I couldn't stand the SFX...they really have to go. I enjoy being read to, but unlike a preschooler, I don't need SFX in any shape or form. I have enough imagination to fill in the blanks...
I have listened to several other of the books in this series and was fortunate enough that they were performed properly. This one however butchers every Hispanic and Germanic, name in it, I have never heard a professional that is SO far off in his pronunciation of the names, places and vehicles. So sad that it has been so distracting to the story which I enjoy when performed correctly.
This book should be reread.
To summarize. The action in the book is minimal. The narration never seems to flow. The "echo" effect is terrible. This book probably should be read. The audio version is painful to listen to. I almost quit the book several times but became determined to listen to the entire book. Ouch! Twists in plot, what plot and what twists?
Look at other reviews of Griffin's books. I think it is clear, either read his books or choose other authors of the same category to listen to. How it got 5 stars in a review is beyond me.
I got this book because it sounded interesting and had good reviews. Alas, this is one of the worst books I've gotten from audible.com. Let me count the ways.
The writing was bloated. So many words; so little action. That could have been redeemed by strong character development, but I found the characters paper-thin. Think of the action in a Steig Larsson book. Now think of the exact opposite and you have "Honor Bound."
Sometimes a book can be saved by narration. In this case, I found the style annoying. An echo chamber for "in the head" dialogue? Another example: the Boston accent of one of the characters was unrealistic, limited to a few obvious changes in vowel sounds.
I did listen to the whole story because I was in my car with no other books available. But it was painful to the end. Perhaps this is what purgatory is like.
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