©1996 Jan Burke; (P)2008 Recorded Books,LLC
I need mysteries like I need great bread. I am trying to get over very serious leg injuries, so I am glued to my ear buds and in turn to my MP3 player as I work out in the gym or on the beach. Lately, I've been on a Jan Burke binge, because I finally listened to all of Grafton, have been a bit put off by the snobby attitude of Marcia Muller, though I'm sure I'll be back downloading her books if nothing better comes along, and I have listened to all of Paretsky's wonderful works.
Both characters, Paretsky's VI Warshawsky and Burke's Irene, are in their 40's and both writers seem to be within 3 to 5 years of my own age. Yet, it took me a couple of tries to get used to Burke's vision. She seems much older than I, and that's uncommon!
Beyond a seemingly dated point of view, she makes huge mistakes that make her books impossible. In this one, the killer turns out to be someone who is seemingly improbable, and there are issues with how it fits together. Yet, I've decided there are essentially four choices with mysteries: either they are so complex, I can't figure them out no matter how long I think about them (modern Sherlock BBC series,) they are obvious and unchallenging, they highly improbable but consistently explained (Paretsky,) or, they are flawed. The latter is the fate of the Irene series.
Still, I listened to the entire book and will download all the rest of them. I love the performance and the character development. Please recommend another mystery series soon!
I really like the Irene series and this one didn't disappoint me. She is endearing and spunky and I like that this one goes into her past a bit and also shows a sort of flawed side to her and a couple of bad choices she has made. I appreciate that in a character because if she were a saint, she wouldn't be nearly as interesting. This series is a good combination of murder mystery without too many details. I love forensic novels as well, but between reading those I like to give my mind a break and read something that is just as interesting without taxing my brain.
Without giving the plot away I will say that I was intrigued all the way to the end and didn't catch on too early. I really like the characters and the respect Jan Burke gives to them. I was worried after the last Irene book that the character/stories would start to get redundant but I do like where Burke has gone with this one. I will definitely be moving on to the next book in this series.
The narrator is a very good addition to this book. I had purchased this title in print from a secondhand book story a while ago and was planning on just skipping the audio for this one. Halfway through the book some pages were ripped out so I decided to go ahead and purchase the audio. It was actually a very good decision because the narrator does a very great job reading this book. She really has Irene's personality down and made the book even more enjoyable.
So far, my 4th Jan Burke/Irene Kelly book. All of the books have great storylines with wonderful characters. The narrator Eliza Foss is excellent!!
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