It was a "million-dollar bullet," a sniper shot delivered from over a mile away. Its victim was no ordinary mark: he was a United States citizen, targeted by the United States government, and assassinated in the Bahamas.
The nation's most renowned investigator and forensics expert, Lincoln Rhyme, is drafted to investigate. While his partner, Amelia Sachs, traces the victim's steps in Manhattan, Rhyme leaves the city to pursue the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discovers that not all is what it seems.
When a deadly, knife-wielding assassin begins systematically eliminating all evidence-including the witnesses-Lincoln's investigation turns into a chilling battle of wits against a cold-blooded killer.
©2013 Jeffery Deaver (P)2013 Hachette Audio
The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.
Any time Lincoln Rhyme is called into action, I can count on Jeffrey Deaver to deliver hours of enjoyable diversion, either in print or on audio. Any time, that is, until now.
In print, The Kill Room might equal Deaver's earlier works. I wouldn't know. I made the mistake of listening to the tale. And the new, multi-voiced narration of this work harms the story-telling so greatly, it surprises me that any audio producer would sacrifice his reputation by allowing it to reach listeners.
Audio casting is remarkably bad. Rhyme is presented in a weak, petulant voice, undermining the gravitas that our disabled forensic investigator presented in early audiobooks (and films). Sachs is even worse, portrayed with a voice that is not serious and is almost flitty. All this is even more disappointing since previous narrators, including the great George Guidall and Dennis Boutsikaris, performed so outstandingly that they enhanced Deaver's work.
Worse, something went wrong technically with the merging of these voices. You can hear that these two voices were not actually recorded at the same time and that Sachs was spliced into the overall audio. This is so jarring and so noticeable, it is unforgivable that professionals would not have corrected it before releasing the "finished" product.
There are worse narrations in the Audible catalog, but none for such a high-profile, popular novelist. How did this happen?
Narration aside, the plot is interesting and offers a few surprises. Rhyme continues to be developed nicely as a character, as does Sachs. This may not be Deaver's "A" game, but it isn't too far off the mark.
In short, The Kill Room is worth a READ, but not a listen. This time, buy the BOOK.
Usually l love the diversion of a Lincoln Rhyme novel. The multiple narrators distracted from the story in this case. In particular I hated the voice for Amelia and the way her dialogue popped in and always sounded like it didn't flow.
Primary narrator was fine but multiple voices did a disservice to a story that was already not one of my favorite in the series.
Deaver should be a bit more diligent in picking the reader for his audio books. The latest "talent" left too much to be desired. His past readers/performers did a great job instilling the characters in my mind. This new genre of 3 readers is a joke. It makes it hard to listen to and hard to visualize. Rymes sounds like a grade school teacher and Sachs is a joke. Go back to one reader, preferably one you used in the past and dump the triplets. They are horrible.
They were horrible
First, the narrators need to learn that "conch" is pronounced with a hard "ch" like "conk". The repeated mis-pronunciation was distracting and got to be funny after a while. We could even make a drinking game of it. The narrator who voiced Amelia was terrible. It sounded like she read her lines all at one time with no inflection of any kind and then they were spliced in here and there. Also, the repeated reading of the evidence reports was both boring and time consuming. The book could have been 2 hours shorter without that. The characters Jacob and Shreve seemd to be channeled from Dean Koontz except Deaver can't keep it up throughout the book. The development of both characters falls apart at the end as neither fit the character which was developed.
Jeffrey Deaver's novels are a bit formula driven, but I enjoy them and they always improve on a repeat listen. I won't be able to do this with this very over produced version. It should be recorded again by one narrator. Agree with other reviews about the feeling that voices were spliced in. This so disrupts the listening/narration experience that it's hard to follow the story which is complicated further by a different kind of mystery/thriller for these characters. I always feel uncomfortable when rating a favorite writer as average, as their average most certainly almost always would be considered excellent for a less talented author. I would recommend that Deaver fans buy the book, it still may be an average novel by Deaver fans but worth reading.
I've read all the other Lincoln Rhyme books so far, and liked all of them. With this one, I decided to go with an audiobook, and I couldn't be sorrier. Any one of the 3 narrators alone might have been all right, but having 3 of them reading the same book turned it into a mess. They sound as if they all recorded their parts separately and had them spliced together afterwards. It was especially disconcerting to have a woman voicing only one character - Amelia Sachs - and everything else, including other female characters, were read by males. Amelia's dialog went something like this: (female voice) "Blah, blah, blah" (male voice) "said Amelia.". I listened to it while commuting, and couldn't focus on the story, since I was spending so much time grinding my teeth over the disjointed narration. I've listened to books that have had different narrators for chapters written from different points of view and they were fine. But changing narrator mid-sentence is ridiculous. It's not a play or a movie, it's a book!
The book was only released a few hours ago and I am only one chapter four, so I can not comment on the story, only my first impressions of the narration.
This is the first of the Rhyme books that has used multiple narrators and, so far, I am not impressed. The voice chosen for Rhyme makes him sound weak and not at all in control. The female used for Amanda makes her sound like some valley girl not the in-control cop she is. Hopefully that will change as the book goes on. It almost sounds as if each of the narrators read their parts independently of each other and the parts were edited together. If anyone who makes these decisions reads these reviews, please stick with a single GOOD narrator. Deaver weaves a good story and the wrong narrator can destroy that.
Say something about yourself!
If you can get past the poor choice of narrators --you will find a pretty decent story/mystery. I had to really concentrate on what was going on - and ignore the young and inappropriate voices for Lincoln and Amelia to get though this one. I agree with other reviewers that one narrator would probably have made this a more enjoyable listen.
One bullet is shot through the window of a hotel room in the Bahamas--three people are killed. Thus starts the mystery which includes a vast array of issues.
An aggressive ADA brings Lincoln and his team in to help with her investigation into possible government corruption and abuse of power. Had the people in the hotel deserved to be killed for crimes against the U.S.- - -or were there other unknown reasons? Who else might be responsible? These aren't the only targets, and in the aftermath and coverup, bodies start to pile up to wipe out any witnesses. Some of them meet their deaths in especially brutal ways from one of the "clean up" crew who is a superb cook and thinks about food most of the time. He copies recipes from the most classy restaurants and prepares the meals only for himself -and sometimes an unfortunate victim. He loves to use his extremely expensive carving knives (the same ones used in his fancy dinners) to torture his victims to obtain information before they are killed. This guy seemed a little over the top- cook and killer in one??? Sounds a bit like Hannibal Lecter -except he doesn't eat them.
There are some moral issues to sort out--when does the end justify the means when it comes to protection by the government? The reasons go back and forth, and the ending wraps up the question maybe a little too neatly for this reviewer.
Deaver has woven a good mystery and thrown in enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Just be aware that the narration could put you off--unless you can get past the first couple of hours--that's about how long it took me to just pay attention to the story.
I am sad. I always llook forward to Rhyme books. And the voice that did Emilia was terrible. She is too strong a woman for that whimpy voice.
There are always several cliff hangers in the Rhyme novels and this one didn't disappoint. Worth a listen.
Although I enjoyed the narration, someone needs to tell Jay Snyder that "conch" is pronounced "conk"!!
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