©2013 Stephen White (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Excellent book -- but a half star subtracted for the inclusion of the completely unnecessary element of having a much-loved dog killed. It added nothing to the story, didn't serve to heighten tension or move the plot ahead, in fact it served no purpose at all that I can see. Granted, the event doesn't occupy center stage for very long, so it's not serious demerit, but nevertheless, for all of these reasons, it should have been left out.
Other than that, a really excellent listen. This was the first book in the long-running series, and on the whole, one of the best. It's easy to see how this book, new on the stands, became a best seller, propelling Stephen White on to publishing one of the best amateur detective series out there. Even though it was published back in 1991, it's completely fresh. The single element that dates it was when one of the characters demands that some photographs be turned over. "And make sure I get the negatives, too," he adds. Right.
It's interesting, listening to this first book, meeting the characters for the first time, pretending we don't know what will happen in later installments. The delightful cop Sam Purdy doesn't play a large role here, nothing like he does in the later books, but Madeline -- Dr. Gregory's first wife -- does, and it's interesting to see how their marriage failed. And of course Lauren, the new love interest, enters the picture, just as big a termagant in the beginning as she is in every book. Once again, I found myself wondering why Dr. Alan puts up with that shrewish woman, who demands everything from everyone in her life, and offers almost nothing in return. The relationship does give rise to a philosophical question though: Lauren is afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis, in this book, in its early stages. It's a horrible affliction, no question about that. Anyone who suffers from it deserves our sympathy. But the question is, how much sympathy? Does having a devastating, obviously frustrating, non-curable -- although not life threatening -- affliction give Lauren - or anyone else, for that matter -- the right to run roughshod over everyone with whom she comes in contact? At times, during this first book, I found myself hoping that Dr. Gregory would just walk away -- he'd have saved himself a lot of abuse if he had. But of course he doesn't. Apparently he, the great healer, sees something in Lauren that doesn't come across all that well to the reader. Maybe he just loves to play caretaker in all aspects of his life.
Whatever, this was a great listen -- great characters, innovative but reasonably plausible plot, psychological insights courtesy of several of Dr. Gregory's nutty patients we readers have come to enjoy. It's a credit very well spent. I know I'll enjoy it again sometime in the future.
It was well plotted and thought out. Not an easy one to figure out.
It did, I kept waiting for the clue that would help figure out what was going on!
Dick Hill is one of my favorite narrators. He does the perfect Alan Gregory
Suspense to the end!!
Why ever would I do that?
Sorry, but I have no sense of whether this book is good or not. It's one of Dick Hill's mumbling, word dropping, cigarette smoking (?) performances. I know Hill is inconsistent and took a few minutes to look over his ratings to verify my opinion.
To ALL Audible authors: Many of us are up to our very ears in listening to Dick Hill. There are many competent narrators, so please give us a narrator who isn't overused and inconsistent.
Do authors listens to these narrators during the editing process? Please, authors, switch up narrators from time to time.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Great story! This one will boggle the mind in the beginning. . . I kept wondering where it was leading me, even though I found it very engaging and couldn't stop listening. Stephen White was leading me to an incredible climactic ending that left me shaking my head about the nature of "privileged information" that doctors, psychologists and lawyers legally protect. This is an informative story that has all the great characteristics of a thrilling crime mystery. True, you have to like Dick Hill to get through it, but I tend to like him more than not, so it was okay by me.
A good book! Gets my recommendation for those who enjoy crime thrillers.
A voracious reader with varied tastes. I enjoy listening anytime I'm driving and switching to reading on my Kindle in my down time.
This was the first book I tried by Stephen White. The only reason I got it on audio was because I couldn't get it for my Kindle. I wish I had just bought the paperback, then I could have skimmed over the boring parts of the story. Oh, wait, that would be all of it! This was truly painful to get through for the pitiful story and ending.
I listened to about 6 hours and STILL nothing had happened and I had no idea what the book was about. Very disappointing.
The story introduces the main character Alan Gregory. He is OK but it is very SLOW getting to know him & his life. The most memorable thing about him at first (spoiler alert) is his dog Cicero & well every one around Gregory dies. The sound quality is terrible like the narrator is swallowing his words.
Cicero and the chase s energy at the Halower party are fun and the confrontation in Gregory's office with Michael McDonald is pretty exciting too. Also stay alert to figure out when the prolog events take place...
Deep Rich Baratone
I bought this through Amazon and not Audible. The sound quality is not perfect and sometime sounds like the words are being swallowed... but it was managable
Changed my thoughts on this book since I've realized it's part one of a trilogy; story = 4 stars.Wish Audible made this clear on their site.
I'm not moved to buy another book by Stephen White, this is his first book in the series and since there are 19 more books, I'm going to assume some body liked them. I like Dick Hill but I don't think this was is best performance; yes I would try another book.
I bought this book which is book 1 in the series, and the 2nd book at the same time, at some point I'll listen to the 2nd book, but if it doesn't improve I want listen to anything else.
He's done better
All of them.
Psychologist Alan Gregory is the dumbest educated character I've come across. I figured out what was happening way ahead of him.
Tell us about yourself!
This book, to me, is very predictable. The main character's profession is unusual, but the rest is pretty formulaic. Patients are dying, the police are focused on Alan Gregory and nobody else, and the "love interest" seems indifferent, The author lets readers know early on who the prime suspect is. I felt that the author was dragging it out, making it more difficult for me to finish it.
I won't pursue the remaining books in the series.
Dick Hill did a professional job of reading the book. The performance was not outstanding nor terrible.
Totally addicted to Audible.
This was my first book by this author. The main character was more interesting than the story. Still trying to decide if I will get another by White.
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