Justin Chase is the perfect barkeep, tending bar as he lives his life, in a state of Zen serenity, until Birdie Grackle, a foul-mouthed alcoholic, walks into his bar and makes a startling confession.
Six years ago Justin’s life was ripped apart when he discovered his mother’s bludgeoned corpse. Now Justin’s father is serving a life sentence and Justin drowns his emotions in a pool of inner peace. But when Birdie claims he murdered Justin’s mother for cash, Justin is hurled back to the emotions, back to the past, and, most frightening of all, back to the father he tried to leave behind. Who hired Birdie Grackle to kill Justin's mother? As Justin pieces together the truth, a killing machine stalks Justin, leaving a trail of dead in his wake. Someone wants to bury the truth, and maybe Justin, too. Justin had better find some answers quick, because murder is just not Zen.
©2013 William Lashner (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!
This is my second Lashner novel, The Accounting being the first one. Despite the mediocre ratings from other readers, I hoped the depth of character I discovered in the hero of the Accounting would also be found in the Barkeep's heroes. I was not disappointed.
This novel is so much more than a great mystery. It's about redemption, new beginnings and facing the demons that chase us all. The heroes are everyday people who are placed in extraordinary situations.
Luke Daniels did great with most of the characters, but there were a few whose character along with the voice he gave them grated on my nerves. Nevertheless it was very close to a 4 star effort
This was a really fun book to read. It's very close to 5 star experience.
l'enfer c'est les autres
The mystery is given to the listener in the first few minutes of the story. A crazy sounding old man approaches the barkeep and tells him he killed his mother and his father is falsely imprisoned. The charm for the story lies elsewhere. The barkeep uses one book as his guide book, "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" and embraces the Tao of that book giving him a Zen like detachment from the rest of the world. The barkeep also keeps the code of the bartender and knows how to separate himself from patrons of the bar.
There's a lot to like with this story: the dialog between characters was full of witty repartee, the code that any barkeep (or for that matter, any person) needs to keep ones distance from others, the process of discovery one learns about oneself while focusing outside of oneself , finding the actual murderer of the barkeeps mother, and the problem with detachment all add to a very fun story to listen to in spite of the serious nature of the crimes under investigation.
I enjoyed the narrator. He gave voices to most of the characters, exaggerated voices and emotions, and really let the theater of my mind go to town. The author and the narrator made for a good diversion and helped me detach further from the world much in the same way that the barkeep was in the beginning of the story.
The book started out slow. I was pretty lost the first couple of chapters and then the story started clicking.
I thought that the plot was really good and had just enough twist and turns. The fact that every character besides the barkeep is a complete drunk was a little distracting. Sometimes the dialogs didn't feel like they push the plot forward, just made the plot linger. Also the end was a little weird and I didn't care for it that much.
Overall, this book was a nice surprise. The narrator of the Audible made the story come to life.
I thought the book was fabulous. I really liked the main character, a bartender who doesn't drink and follows the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the mentally challenged but endearing killer, the jaded former mistress of the imprisoned father. It was a good mystery with complex intrigue. One complaint - I thought the very annoying and disgusting old codger character went on with his rambling way too long, to the point where I had to fast forward a couple of times. The narrator did his voice much too well - an authentic Texas drunk accent which reminded me of people I have encountered here in the Lone Star State.
The detailed descriptions of the mixed drinks were a fun touch but I think this book might not be a good choice for recovering alcoholics.
I agree with other reviewers the ending was a little strange - and a bit weak compared to the rest of the book. Pretty satisfying outcomes all in all, however.
I definitely recommend this book. It was another one that caused me to sit in the driveway listening after I got home.
This book was a total surprise for me. At the very beginning I didn't think I would enjoy it. After a slow start, for me that is, it captivated me and kept me enthralled. It kept me guessing until almost the very end. I think Mr. Lashner has gained another fan.
The premise of the story was good, there were lots of twists and ah ha moments. But the narration was off at times I couldn't tell when another charade was speaking because they all sounded the same and there was a bit too much mindless rambling. With all that being said it was a pretty good.
I didn't feel there was 12 hours of story to the book. Lots of twists and turns, but I wish a few of the loose ends had been tied up.
No. It just want as thrilling as many of the other books I've read/listened to.
Yes, he did different voices and was consistent with them. I've listened to others that are better.
For me, not really.
Well developed characters in a neatly tied up "who done it" story. I enjoyed the humorous tidbits throughout and did not figure the story out until close to the end. Delightful.
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