‘When the rains came they found the girl's face. Just her face. At least that was how it appeared...’.
Sheriff John Gaines is called down to the riverside when the body of a teenage girl is found. It is that of Nancy Denton - a girl missing for over two decades. Now she's been found her mother can finally put her memory to rest, but Nancy's body bears horrific mutilations that suggest she was subjected to a terrifying voodoo ritual. As Gaines digs ever deeper into the dark secrets of the town he is forced to confront his own demons…
©2013 Roger Jon Ellory (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
"Classic noir… Ellory is beginning to sound like the master [James Ellroy]. I can think of no higher praise." (Daily Mail on A Dark and Broken Heart)
I am an artist, living in Cairns, Queensland, Australia right next to the Great Barrier Reef. I listen to audiobooks everyday while making art and on into the night. I really like mysteries with a good serving of suspense on the side that keep you wondering right to the end. However, I won't say no to any entertaining and well written book which has been read by an excellent narrator.
I never thought I would say this, but, yes! Emphatically, yes! It took a while to get me 'hooked' this time. I'm an Aussie and the southern USA slow speech, and slow thinking got in my way to start but Ellory soon hooked me with his superb prose and I continued listening just to take pleasure alone in this; soon I was engrossed in this unusual murder mystery which was really a saga about a small town and a wealthy southern family with a secret that they never wanted to be known. The story meandered like the great Missisippi itself backwards and forwards allover the place and every time revealing another piece of the puzzle our protagonist was attempting to unveil. He had a story too, and as the mystery unfolded so did Deputy Sherrif Gaines story too. The book has many layers, the murder plot, and the intricacies of the lives this murder touched. I devoured this reading quickly and will read again just to savour once more the excellent prose of the author, RJ Ellory, who is fast becoming my favourite.
The protagonist, Sherrif Gaines. A complex character in his own right; looking for direction and meaning in his life and finding it, as the book unfolds.
I must admit, that I was not aware there were two performers. For me it was seamless and the voices excellent, for the most part.
I did have an extreme reaction to this book in as much as I was unsure at first whether I was going to enjoy it mainly because of the USA deep south subject matter and just as I was contemplating switching it off, it started to hook me and boy did it ever; I was completely drawn into the story and did not want to put the book down - which I only did once, to sleep.
If you love really good writing, get it!
Beautifully written,well paced all you could wish for from a book by R J Ellory.
"Worth the time invested."
A very slow start.
I almost gave up several times as I had not expected this novel to dwell on the Vietnamese war so much.
However I was rewarded in the end!
"One of Ellory's best"
I loved the character of John Gaines; a complicated and very moral person haunted by his experiences in Vietnam
John Gaines. He came across as a kind, determined and intelligent sheriff, with great affection for his elderly mother and the people around him
Eric Meyers read beautifully and I loved the different voices he used. I also liked the use of a woman's voice for the story of Nancy and her friends.
It made me smile at times and it made me think.
An excellent story, well read.
"I'm affraid I gave up half the way."
Just really couldn't make heads or tails of this story. Kept on waiting for the story to evolve but nothing. Myabe I'm a bit impatient so gave up and bought another book instead.
"If you like R.J Ellory... you'll still hate this!"
Small town cop tries to "solve" crime by thinking about his time in Vietnam instead of asking questions and gathering evidence.
At least one glaring plot inconsistency and dozens of examples of the authorities jumping through hoops to avoid doing the obvious tasks which would probably have wrapped the case up within a few chapters.
Good narration though.
"The Stress of War"
Although the main story centred around the discovery of a corpse and trying to find out who killed her; there was also a focus on how war damages soldiers. The sheriff was suffering terribly from Vietnam and a suspect was traumatised in WWII. As with most of R J Ellory's books, there is a lot of descriptive prose and as such you have to concentrate when listening and not multi-task, like I tend to do! I did find I had to go back a few chapters now and then as I had missed salient points; but it's worth it as it really enriches the story.
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