Detective Reed Mattox, just three months removed from the death of his partner, has turned invisibility into an art form. Switching to the K-9, taking over the graveyard shift, moving to a farmhouse miles outside of Columbus - his every move has become predicated on putting as much distance between himself and the outside world as possible.
That distance is shattered, though, when bodies begin turning up in The Bottoms, the poverty-stricken section of town he is assigned to patrol. Grisly, horrific scenes start to pop up in the middle of the night, and the overburdened precinct has no choice but to put Reed on it.
Now operating far outside of his comfort zone with a Belgian Malinois for a partner that attracts attention wherever they go, Reed is forced to unravel the murders, taking him clear across the city and back years in time, to an event that some very influential people will do anything to keep buried.
©2016 Dustin Stevens (P)2016 Tantor
After reading the reviews and listening to the "sample," I knew I had to listen to this book. It is one that does not disappoint. I like a story I can visualize in my head. This one adapts to my need easily. Slowly ( not boringly) the story unwind as the killer is found. Both the killer and the detective have been "deeply hurt." There is a certain amount of respect for one to the other. Good story, good descriptions, good flow to this audio book. Good narration.
If you like flowery prose, this just might be for you. "His skin became moisture ladened". Why can't you just say he started to sweat? Then the long, long plea to stop trying to hurt/ kill his dog, explaining, hey that's a police officer don't ya know. Two chapters to go, just couldn't take anymore.
The mystery element in The Boatman is strong. It's not til you get to the end that you have an idea what's really going on, and it's a shocker. I like the suspense. I'm not so keen about the gory elements.
One reason I bought this audiobook is because the narrator, Charles Constant, is so excellent at his craft. I've listened to others of his books, and he's never let me down in any of his audiobooks. In a suspense mystery like The Boat Man, he really shines.
Author Dustin Stevens knows how to create gritty, interesting characters. And Reed Maddox is a detective you want of follow. He's a flawed hero, but a fascinating one. Narrator Constant knows how to make him come alive, with vocal inflections, pacing, and a lot of depth and control to his voice. Not all narrators can do this. The same with Belgian Malinois, who is not an easy character to give voice to.
The Boat Man is a satisfying audiobook experience. The context of the book, the dark and forbidding Bottoms area, is well drawn. Also, the way the story delves into the past, and shows how it affects the present in a sinister way will keep you on edge. And Malinois is the perfect foil for detective Maddox.
The storyline was so under developed that it doesn't build much interest or anticipation. Both a Must for a thriller to thrill. Adding insult was the flat, plain, terrible narration. But worse - when 5 of 6 offenders die - all the poor, black, dispensible ones and the only person who is valuable enough to live is the white, upper middle class one who sought out the group and killed with the group but is described as nothing like them, it just pisses me off!
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