©2007 Thomas Perry; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
Retired at Last
The action in this novel, and there is plenty, could fill a third of the space Perry takes to tell a layered, rich tale. You think you know most everything, but more gets revealed, and the characters are people you want to know more about. When one of the characters is crazy, the author reveals it by showing us her interior dialog in a convincing and scary way. Surprise revelations right up to the last page, the last sentence. Clearly written and a pleasure to read.Perry hasn't lost a step.
Thomas Perry, the creator of the Jane Whitfield series pulls a switch, and with another stolid character...Grizzled Ex Cop with gimmicky crosses to bear...has to find a someone he helped disappear. Mayhem ensues. Body count rises, reader is taken on a road trip along California's Highway 101. Nice scenery.
Now the problem: if you are Tantor Media, and you are having an actor narrate a book which takes place in California, with important sequences taking place in Los Angeles, would it be too much to ask the actor to at least learn how to pronounce place names which have made it into the general lexicon. Streets like La Cienega and Sepulveda are mentioned on TV all the time. In a pinch, I understand Los Angeles has actors who do good narrations and know how to pronounce local street names.
And yeah...Simi Valley is not pronounced SEMI.
Problems like this occur thruout the reading, and detract from...er...the authenticity of the mileu Perry spent a lot of time creating. Because...yeah...he is an LA writer.
From the brutal baseball-bat attack on a female character in chapter one to the slightly muddled extra plot point at the end, this 13-disk novel is dark, dark, dark.
As an audiobook, one device the author uses comes across much more effectively than it would in print. The story involves a series of road trips and monotonous activity - in these times, various characters reflect on their history or the history of others, thus delaying the return to the main narrative and making the long drive, plane flight or walk back to the highway seem longer and more real.
A bit long, but extremely entertaining. The best drawn character is the female assassin Sylvie, and unfortunately one of the weakest is Wendy Harper, the female protagonist. A very interesting character is introduced in the third act and the plot intersections gradually weave into a fairly solid thread. Michael Kramer's narration is a bit florid but given the material, it works most of the time.
Enjoyable, perhaps even memorable. A good long walk on the dark side. Enjoy.
Every once in a while I run across one of these books that is California centric, they describe a world that revolves around nonsense. A couple of sexually frustrated contract killers leave a trail of bodies in an effort to silence a restaurant owner that took money to introduce her attractive servers to wealthy lawyers and record producers. Although they are in a heavily populated area nobody can touch them. All this time I thought it was hard to get a book published. If you have about 8 hours of your life you would like to throw in a dumpster then by all means listen to this book.
63 y/o psychologist with two sons, living in SF Bay Area. I absolutely love all the feedback I've been getting for my reviews. It's very gratifying. Thanks to all of you.
It is almost impossible to say enough good things about Thomas Perry. Silence is just one of his amazing accomplishments. His Butcher Boy series set the bar very high; and yet, he has written a number of stand-alone books which are just as enjoyable and just as thrilling. Silence is about a woman named Wendy Harper. Jack Till, a retired cop and now private detective, teaches Wendy how to completely disappear. His methods are very thorough and very clever. The plot thickens when Wendy's old partner, Eric ( they had run a very successful restaurant in LA named Banque) is on trial for her murder. Till tries to convince the DA that Wendy is not really dead. Like Perry's other books, this plot is so inventive that it allows the author to take us down a number of pathways. We get to meet a psychopathic couple named Paul and Sylvie. I won't spoil the rest for you. Michael Kramer is the perfect reader of these books, his voice driving the plot, picking up the pace to the point at which your heart is pounding by the end. Mr. Perry has used his skills to write about a dozen of these, and each is as outstanding as any of the others. The Butcher's Boy series is a good place to start. It is about thirty years old, but it shines as if Mr. Perry had written it six months ago. Give yourself a treat. If you are a fan of thrillers, as I obviously am, you will find no greater master of the genre.
This story is full of mystery, suspense, intrigue, and well-developed characters. For me, part of the mystery was how all of the characters fit into the plot; however, the author does finally spell it all out for those of us who are too slow to understand his subtleties. This is a fast-paced book, and it is best to keep a series of bookmarks so that you can go back and review easily; but it is a fantastically intelligent novel. Bravo!
It's true, any book by Thomas Perry will be terrific -- interesting characters, full of fascinating tidbits about how to disappear ( who among us hasn't thought of that, at least once?) and hard to put down plot lines that keep you listening or reading. This book is no different -- maybe a little more complicated in plot than some, with everyone trying to kill everyone else. But a great book -- I've listened to it twice and probably will again some day.
So what's the downside? It's not a biggie, but this narrator drives me nuts. Here's a shout-out to all narrators out there: when you come across a Spanish-looking place name in California ("Ventura" "Sepulveda" "San Rafael", etc etc) they are NOT locally pronounced as they would be in Spanish. San Rafael is just plain San Ra-Fel -- not the proper Spanish, San Ra-fa-eyl. It's NOT 'Sep ul VEY da' as it would be in Spanish, but just the simple Sa PUL va da.
What was really funny, though, was that as the narrator gave perfect (and totally wrong) pronounciations to the names of places in California, he pronouned the name of a Spanish tree -- jacaranca -- as its written in English, with a hard "J". Whereas that's one thing that DOES have the Spanish pronounciation.
Honestly, there outta be a book for narrators on how to pronounce local names, in California or wherever they are. Nothing is more distracting that hearing some reader really massacre the pronounciation of names of places and streets we know so well.
Is that asking too much? Maybe. I suppose. Still, it's really off-putting.
Couldn't put it down; some very nice twists that I didn't really see coming, lots of interesting characters; one of the best detective stories I have read all year. The narrator did have a few problems with place names, but he had a unique voice for each character, and overall I thought he did a good job. The book left me looking for more!
Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.
I think it was the narration that threw this off for me, Kramer wasn't bad he just wasn't the right type of narrator. This was still a deal at $4.95.
The story wasn't too much of a stretch, mild suspension of reality. I don't think Perry's characters are as timeless as Connelly even this books feels a little dated and it is set in the last few years. What really bothered me though is the ever so slight chauvinistic take on women. I am no feminist I love Harry Bosch and he is an outright chauvinist, my objection was to a kind of underlying nudge and a wink women are all the same view. Not part of the protagonist's treatment, but the overall view of the writer.
However, the story was a decent listen if not entirely engrossing.
This is an intriguing, attention-grabbing thriller that keeps you on edge through out the entire story. Well written and narrated!
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