I'm one of those people who has a hard time with sexual violence of any kind and also with victims who are utterly betrayed by loved ones and those wh..Show More »o say they'll protect them and keep them safe. Psychological abuse is also hard for me, too. So, I don't typically read suspense thrillers and tend to stick to romances or mysteries that mix in a good helping of humor and maybe a little romance. However, a good friend told me that she thought that I'd like the third book in this series, and being a stickler for doing things the "right" way, I decided to start with the first book, namely The Cove.
Oh, this book was so hard for me to get through because of the issues that I laid out in the first two sentences of this review. There is quite a bit of sexual abuse and emotional victimization (or maybe it just seemed like a lot to me) in a main character's past, and she was so powerless at the time to do anything about it and told that it hadn't really happened and was all in her head, it makes me sad just thinking about it. Also, even in the current timeline of the story, it's hard for her to know who she really can trust at any given moment. So, any readers who have trouble reading about this type of thing really shouldn't read this book. Maybe other readers won't feel it was as bad as this, but I was so depressed while getting through most of the book. I knew that the best thing was to see it through because my imagination would probably take it to even worse places in my mind if I didn't just find out how it all played out.
I agree with some of the other reviewers that the writing wasn't great, either. However, I've been known to forgive that before if there are other factors at times that make up for it in my eyes (such as colorful, compelling characters, great dialogue, creative twists and turns, a great love story, etc.). I don't think that I'll ever listen to this book again, even knowing how the plot resolves itself and knowing it may not be so dark and painful for me the next time because I now know the manner in which everything ends for each of the characters.
The only reason that I MIGHT re-read it is that there are characters in this book that show up and cross over with other books in the series. I just finished reading the second book in this series titled The Maze (since I'd bought the first three books in the series and am too cheap to not at least TRY to read what I've paid for), and I recommend that one. The writing still may not be Pulitzer Prize material, but I thought that it was much better and liked all but a few of the characters so much more than I did those of The Cove. Because The Maze's main characters are mostly FBI agents working together on cases, I think that gave the story-line more stability and Coulter was able to get a better handle on her plot, rather than The Cove's ever-shifting "What's going on in this sleepy, innocent little town, or am I just crazy to think that anything bad is going on?" This reminded me a bit more of the Patricia Cornwell novels that I used to read years ago, before I decided that the psychos that she tries to catch in those books were too dark and depressing for escapist reading (for me, at least). I'm hoping that the third book (which is actually the one that my friend said I should read) will be more like The Maze than The Cove.
The narrator did a good job. She can't be blamed for anything wrong with this book.
Bottom line for this review: skip this one and start with The Maze.
I am in the middle of this 'read' and keep skipping ahead, frankly I find it embarrassing it is so bad. It is poorly written, with too much detail of..Show More » insignificant things. Plus I find it hard to believe that FBI characters (or anyone) would act this way.
The writer also jumps into new sections of the book, so it takes a minute to clue into what is happening. No flow and lack of interest.
I liked the book but the narrator made it feel like a cheesy crime novel with the voices; normally I'm a big fan of it but his female voices were horr..Show More »id and that SQUAK! made it hard to follow, I found I was going back often just to catch what was said.
Overall content was good, story has some holes but I'm willing to try the next book just to see.
Are we really expected to believe that the FBI and CIA would let an amateur run the show? This was not one of my favorite books or readers. Maybe if t..Show More »he reader was a little more enthusiastic and not so childlike she could have helped this book a little.
I enjoyed the book, it had several twists and turns, kept me interested and on my toes. I like the author's work, consistent and translates well to au..Show More »dio...its been great for entertaining me on my long distance runs. As for the narrator, Sandra Burr, she tries to use to many different voices - I found it distracting.
I really enjoyed this book. It has been action-filled, suspenseful and just a really great book to listen to. I absolutely LOVE that there is a male..Show More » and a female narrator. It really helps the characters to come alive!
In other episodes I've read from this series, Coulter used some restraint and kept the supernatural element to just a dash of spice. But in this one,..Show More » she takes the hoodoo way over the line, letting it overwhelm the story and turn it into a shapeless mass. No plot-worthy parameters remain.
The characters flop, too. Coulter has always been noticeably cartoonish, but didn't run amok until this one.
She's also maddeningly repetitive, not just with statements, but with actions and events. Worst of all, the plot was so predictable that I found myself skipping large chunks, only to tune in later to find that things had gone exactly as I'd known they would. In fact, I fell asleep -- again -- just before the end, and couldn't stir up enough interest to rewind and finish it.
The producers chose to do that awful thing of swapping between readers. Including this novel, I've never seen that done well. Rather, it's
disruptive and distracting. Costanzo has a high pitch, almost adolescent, which saps strength from the story. Raudman is awful beyond belief. I thought I'd experienced the worst overacting possible in audio, but she trumps them all.
I never write reviews but I want to save others from the pain of listening to this book. There is so much stupid detail about stuff that has nothing ..Show More »to do with the story that it is nothing short of painful to hear. Maybe the abridged version would be better.
As with Catherine Coulter's other FBI series stories, this was excellent. I gave it only three stars because the woman who read part of the story mad..Show More »e the women characters sound so weak and ridiculous that it almost ruined the story for me. The childish voices, the shaky characterizations were demeaning, not sensitive. Hopefully, if Catherine Coulter had listened to this she would have stopped the production. I've listened to other stories of hers with other readers and found them enjoyable. Please don't ruin another of her stories by engaging this reader.
I have read all of her books from the romantic novels to the fbi series. All of her books are fabulous and I love that she writes continuos stories b..Show More »ecause you fall in love with the characters. Was glad to see The Judge, Emma and Molly back. This is a must read.
The storyline is typical of the author...not very deep...you need not think too much about what's going on. Unfortunately, Paul Costanzo is a rather ..Show More »bad narrator and Renee Raudman isn't much better. (We get spoiled by the really good narrators.)