©2000 Charlaine Harris; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
As a fan of Charlaine Harris This was one series I haven't updated. I am glad I had a chance to read more. I like that Lily has become more open and at the same time finding herself a bit lost because of that. The mystery was interesting, too. Nice fast easy listening!
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
One of the things that I admire about Charlaine Harris is her willingness to follow the growth of her, usually broken or stigmatized, main characters, even when the venture into politically incorrect territory.
I've seen reviews of previous books in which Harris is criticised because Lily Bard, a survivor of a vicious gang rape, saw the promiscuity of, Deedra Dean, one of her customers, as a lack of self-respect. Lily cannot understand why Deedra would put herself at risk just to have sex with men that she does not care about. This raised a red flag for some readers. How dare Lily judge this woman!
Yet the point of this series of books is to get inside the head of Lily Bard as she does what she can to rebuild her life. Lily's impatience with Deedra speaks more to her own need for security and her lack of trust in men than it does to any moral condemnation of Deedra's behaviour.
This book starts with Lily discovering Deedra Dean's body in a car in the woods, apparently the victim of one the many men she had sex with. Part of the power of this series is that Lily grows and changes with every book. Lily is not as locked away emotionally as she was in book one. Her reaction to Deedra's death, which she cannot get out of her mind, shows that while she still cannot grasp why Deedra behaved with such little self-regard, she cannot abide the idea of her being killed for it. This unwillingness to accept that Deedra "got what she deserved" eventually leads Lily to unravel what really happened to Deedra.
Along the way we also see how Lily deals with people who treat her badly (a sleazy man in his nineties, too used to getting his own way and too lascivious for polite company) or who suspect her honest (a Deputy Police Chief who sees her as perpetrator, not rescuer) and see that, although she has grown strong enough to withstand these people, she still behaves honourably towards them.
We also see that Lily has built a home for herself in Shakespeare. She has friends and people who respect her. She is no longer the invisible person she used to want to be.
The plot has enough twists and turns to be interesting and picks up on characters and storyline from previous books in a consistent way but, ultimately, it felt a little too elaborate for me.
I enjoyed the book, not so much for the plot, as for the opportunity to spend more time with Lily and see who she is becoming.
Although I found this too be the weakest of the Lily Bard books so far, it is still a good read, well-written, thought provoking and intimate.
Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.
I continue to enjoy the books in this series. This one is a somewhat over the top story and does have people behaving in what might not be the most believable ways. That didn't bother me, though it might bother some people who have definite rules about a mystery. I am more interested in the characters than the mystery usually. However, if you can let go of the disbelief it is an interesting mystery to follow. On a side note, it's funny how old a book feels when people are using VCRs and such. I criticized the motive in a previous Lily Bard Mystery but that was not an issue here. I felt a little sad knowing I have only one more Lily Bard book to go. I meant to mention in previous reviews that Harris spends a lot of time discussing clothes, make up, relationships, etc. A male reader's head would probably explode the 100th time we heard the description of someone's navy belt matching their navy leather pumps, or that they shaved their legs or put cream on their cuticles and if anything this installment is even more like that. Still, I enjoyed both Lily and teh mystery in this one.
I LOVE Audible
Great 'simple' listen. Nothing too complicated, a great story which kept me interested until the end. I did not expect the ending, which is typical of Charlane Harris, she is a great story teller.
I just finished this and I'm about to read book five. Lily Bard is a troubled woman with a past and PTSS. She is strong and tries very hard to be totally independent. I like this character and Charlaine Harris knows how to paint dark characters. I love the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I really enjoy this as well because it is so different.
The narrator does a good job and "fits" how I see the voice of Lily.
Lily...although I felt bad for poor Deedra in this one.
No. It was a good read to listen to while commuting. I thought Harris might have taken the "Deedra was a sl**" theme a little far, but overall the book was OK.
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