Jeffery Deaver, "the master of manipulation" (Associated Press) and "the most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world" (Daily Telegraph, UK), returns with the new, long-awaited Kathryn Dance thriller.
A tragedy occurs at a small concert venue on the Monterey Peninsula. Cries of "fire" are raised, and, panicked, people run for the doors only to find them blocked. A half dozen people die, and others are seriously injured. But it was the panic and the stampede that killed; there was no fire.
Kathryn Dance - a brilliant California Bureau of Investigation agent and body-language expert - discovers that the stampede was caused intentionally and that the perpetrator, a man obsessed with turning people's own fears and greed into weapons, has more attacks planned. She and her team must race against the clock to find where he will strike next before more innocents die.
©2015 Jeffery Deaver (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"Narrator January LaVoy excels in her timing, pacing, and sensitivity to the myriad subtleties in the story. She delivers children's voices of both genders extraordinarily well, and the wide array of adult characters allows ample scope for her ability to develop multiple voices for the complex dialogue.... LaVoy is so good as the lead that listeners will want her to be the voice of Kathryn Dance in all future publications." (AudioFile)
Solitude Creek is a good story - in theory - in that it's reasonable and very plausible for a disaster to happen as a result of a false cry of "fire" in a small concert hall. However, the over-the-top description of the catastrophes was way WAY too much. Maybe I would have preferred less dramatic descriptions and less use of the overly-dramatic voice used by the reader.
Yes, people will panic and people will run for the doors and people will be seriously hurt and people could die if the doors are locked. But the descriptions was read in a far too dramatic a voice which soon became vey irritating. For such a small venue as described, the blood bath described, along with that voice, was not believable.
As with so many of Jeffrey Deaver's books, this one offers a lot to think about -- I have never thought much about stampedes, or panic in crowds, how or why they happen, but that's changed. Among the several such situations Deaver works into this story, ALL seem perfectly possible, as he tells them. Maybe it would be a good think to be a little more aware of the potential, when in crowded venues. What a unique plot element -- Deaver is so good at that!
I originally liked the Kathryn Dance books because of the setting -- the Monterey Peninsula is home base for me, and it's fun to see the characters driving and walking familiar streets, eating in familiar restaurants, and going to local events. Obviously Deaver has spent a great deal of time living there -- you can't get that accurate with just a visit. The only thing that doesn't ring true is that none of his characters have any trouble at all getting a parking place. When Kathryn tells a young woman to "meet her at the Bagel Bakery in ten minutes", she obviously isn't counting on having to spend a half hour finding a place to park. Ah well -- one of the issues with fiction. They never have to go to the bathroom at inopportune moments either.
I'm not a fan of the narrator, January LaVoy -- although her failing is, unfortunately, not an uncommon one. Listen: if you're going to narrate a book set in the Monterey Peninsula -- or anywhere in California, for that matter --- you'd better learn how to pronounce the word "Junipero". It is hoo-NIP-er-o, not jun -ni -PERRO. Why? Because 3/4 of California's length and populated areas were settled around the missions, those 21 Catholic outposts established by Fr. Junipero Serra and his Franciscans during the mid-1700's to mid-1800's. What that means is that an awesome number of things -- buildings, roads, schools, organizations and everything else -- are named either "Junipero" or "Serra". It seems to me to be a matter of professional competence that a narrator would find out, if she doesn't know, how to pronounce local place names -- especially one as common as this one. It would not be a difficult thing to do -- pick up the phone, for crying out loud. Call any Chamber of Commerce, any school, any city office. Heck -- even Google offers a correct pronunciation! Miz LaVoy didn't check, and you could tell she hesitated the first few times she read it, but continued to mispronounce the world dozens of times, throughout. Not very professional.
But all in all, a very good book -- I know I'll enjoy this one many more times.
January does a great job of bringing the characters to life
The story jumps around a bit but not in a distracting way. I'll definitely listen to other stories by Deaver and those narrated by La Voy.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
...poorly revealed. I really like Catherine Dance, which naturally leads to me liking all of Deaver's works featuring her. Deaver is famous for engineering several major twists in his mysteries. That is not the case here. In Solitude Creek he shows his genius for surprise through revelations, explaining what has transpired after the fact. I found that dissapointing. That is why I said it is brilliant police work, poorly revealed.
Nevertheless it a really good mystery with outstanding characters. And its expertly narrated.
Love books, listen to 3-4 books a week, thriller and true crimes favorite.
I fast forward many times. there are three different stories all of them have a very simple and amatuer ending. a waste of my time I will be asking for a credit back . I love this author but the over descriptive fear scenes along with the readers dramatic voice at these moments, nauseated me... you'll see what I mean and you too will ask for refund
Audible Fan, Amazon Customer, Gardener, Quilter, Liberal and Activist. I'll read about anything!
Solitude Creek was a great story-though I enjoy the Rhymes / Sachs novels, I admit to have gotten a bit tired of the same types of stories, the same white boards full of details that read on paper much better tun they do via Audible.
Dance, on the other hand is a good character and seems much like a real single m0m with a cool job. I enjoy her give and take with the kids and her confusion in her love life-which is finalized...sort of..at the end of this book. NO spoilers here, you'll have to listen for yourself!.
If you enjoy effective women as cops I highly recommend this series..but do start with the first book. They add to your understanding of Dance as person.
I have been listening to audiobooks when I commuted more than an hour to work. I enjoy fiction mostly. I can't put down a good classic.
I enjoyed the fast pace of the book. So many complex enjoyable characters! I can't wait for the next listen.
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