Three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal.... For team leader Rachael Lambert, the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide....
I am a big fan of Cleeve's Shetland Island series. Jimmy Peres is a presence from beginning to end. I like that.
Maybe my mistake was watching the Vera series on TV first. I was expecting the format and the personalities to be similar. Not at all. Besides which, Vera doesn't make an appearance until over halfway through the book. The one appearance Joe makes during that time, makes him seem like a real dullard.
Now that I am about an hour away from the end, Vera, Joe and her team actually become a real part of the story.
This Vera is not very likable, nor is Joe. In fact I find no characters at all that I care much about much less what happens to them. That removes what little suspense there is in Cleeves' work.
I'm willing to try book #2 but if there is no improvement, I am returning them both, and will re-read Shetland Island series.
From the number-one New York Times best-selling coauthor of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels comes an all-new explosive thriller featuring the lethal assassin known as the Gray Man.... Court Gentry was the CIA's best agent. Until the day the agency turned against him and put out a kill-on-sight order. That's when the enigmatic international assassin called the Gray Man was born - and Court has been working for himself ever since.
I've read all the Gray Man novels. I haven't downgraded Snyder's narration only because the novels cycle through so many accents in which there are numerous mispronunciations, nor Greaney's many mostly small grammatical errors.....but this is the first one in which the volume fluctuates--sounds like the distance between Snyder and Mic constantly changes, often several times in one sentence. otherwise book is pretty solid for it's genre. Gentry's constant moral and ethical struggles continue and add depth to what could have been just another Jack Reacher
A heart-stopping crime thriller from the author of three consecutive No. 1 bestsellers, including Birthdays for the Dead and the DI Logan McRae series. He's back... Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man' murdered four women and left three more in critical condition - all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside. And then the killer just … disappeared. Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years.
...because it would have been REALLY nice if the book summary had mentioned that this was actually part 2. Now am I supposed endure the torture I know Ash Henderson is going to go through in part 1, when I know how it will come out??? I've already bought it, and am contemplating returning it, but I admit, battered as I am by A Song For the Dying, I really like MacBride's writing.
Glutton for punishment that I am, I'll probably read it. But I'll have to take a break and listen to something easier to take for a book or two!
Ian Hanmore's accent may be hard for an American's ears to understand at first, but using headphones helped and now I'm used to it. He doesn't distinguish enough between characters, but overall his narration is a positive for the book.
So be warned. Read Birthday's for the Dead first.
Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q, Copenhagen's cold cases division, meets his toughest challenge yet when the dark, troubled past of one of his own team members collides with a sinister unsolved murder.
This one is sooo different from the rest of the series, all of which had a similar feeling. This one.is a completely different ride. Perhaps the author recently went through some major life events. Carl, Assad and especially Rose, go through some dramatic changes in this one--which is much less about a crime than about the evolution of the characters.
Despite the surprise, I recommend it. Narration is excellent.
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Aberdeen's growing Polish community is under attack from a serial offender who leaves mutilated victims to be discovered on building sites - eyes gouged out and the sockets burned. Detective Sergeant Logan McRae is assigned to the investigation, codenamed Operation Oedipus, but with the victims too scared to talk, it's going nowhere fast.
I am a big fan of Stuart MacBride. This is not actually a critique of the book as I just started it. It's about the narration. This is the first of the Logan McRae series which isn't narrated by Steve Worsley, and I didn't notice the change when I bought it. Worsley's dry delivery, command of accents, and well paced delivery, suit MacBride to a T. MacBride's own voice does not.
While MacBride is better than a number of professional narrators I've heard, it's really affecting my enjoyment of this book. His version of the irascible DI Steele, as well as Logan's superior officer nemesis (in this book Finney), is just grating. He rushes the narration (I've actually had to slow it down), is too emotional, and it always sounds like he has an excess of saliva in his mouth. He also doesn't seem to understand how to convey someone speaking loudly without actually yelling in one's ear.
Because I like the series, I will continue. Unfortunately, to do so I will have to put up with MacBride in Book 6, too. Why oh why do authors make this mistake??? Neil Gaiman is one of the few authors whose narration of his own works I can count on.
Simon Serrailler is faced with that most complicated of investigations - a cold case. Freak weather and flash floods have hit southern England. The small cathedral town of Lafferton is underwater, and a landslip on the moor has closed the roads. As the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave - and a skeleton - is exposed; 20 years have passed, and the remains of missing teenager Joanne Lowther have finally been uncovered. Joanne, an only child, had been on her way home from a friend's house that night.
I've just read the entire series, so this review is to cover them all. She writes well, plots are unlikely, but she carries them off for the most part, due to character development and command of English language.
My problem is that with this book and several others she commits what I feel is outright "entrapment". She starts out with characters who take opposite sides of moral arguments, leading you to believe it is just that--a discussion meant to show two sides of the debate and hopefully enrich plot development. And then, she turns the person(s) who represent the side of the argument the author doesn't represent into evil, or insane serial killers. Her side of any argument is based solely on traditional medicine, and traditional beliefs underpinned by very traditional Catholic morality.
A good example is Book 1, wherein at first a main character, Cat, appears to accept the idea that acupuncture can have real benefits, then Hill ends up turning the practitioner into a sexually deviant psychopathic serial killer, and with one broad brush paints all alternative healing methods into evil quackery.
This particular book turned on the subject of the right to choose the how and when of one's own death. I happen to live in a Right to Die state, and am glad of it. Once again the proponents of the side of the argument she doesn't like turns out to be nuts, or evil, or both. She does this a number of times during the series, and by the end I realized that if these books represent the personality and beliefs of the author herself, that I wouldn't like her very much. Way too dogmatic and narrow minded.
And when all was said and done, the short prequel that sucked me back into finishing this devious series just to find out why it even existed, was pointless--as nothing in the previous books led me to understand why Serailler lost an arm and why he was being feted.
I felt like an entire book was left out at the end. Tricked again...
When Simon Serrailler was a rookie constable with the Met, he did something reckless in the course of a night's work which caused a man's death. But his act was praised by his colleagues, and he was called a hero. Years later, now a detective chief superintendent who has been badly injured in the course of duty, he receives a medal for bravery at Buckingham Palace while recollecting that fateful night of his early career, when chance disguised itself as bravery.
Why THIS story inserted belatedly at the beginning when it feels like an ending of sorts? It's been years since I read this series so I am now re-reading the whole lot just to find out what events led to this point, because right now I haven't a clue. Perhaps it will make more sense then, but even so, after two listens it barely constitutes a vignette.
An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, as they work to solve the gruesome murder of a young scholar in London's Jewish ghetto. When the eccentric and enigmatic Barker takes the case, he must hire an assistant, and out of all who answer an ad for a position with "some danger involved", he chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man with a murky past.
I like the writing, the characters, the plots, the portrayal of Victorian London--not easy to do from a contemporary perspective--but this series is not helped by Antony Ferguson's narration. He's not bad, and won't keep me from finishing the series, but he doesn't add a star like good narrators can.
He over-enunciates every single word, and doesn't make much distinction between most of the characters save Barker--and his version of Barker's Scottish speech becomes irritating over time because he makes the rhythm the same regardless of circumstance. He delivery is tediously stilted and too emotionless. The only characters who sound at all natural are the some of the lower class who have cockney-type accents. Perhaps he thinks that's how everyone with any education in Victorian England spoke, but I doubt that's true.
Overall, I recommend these books. Especially for those who like period mysteries.
The first storm comes from, of all places, the Minnesota zoo. Two large and very rare Amur tigers have vanished from their cage, and authorities are worried sick that they've been stolen for their body parts. Traditional Chinese medicine prizes those parts for home remedies, and people will do extreme things to get what they need. Some of them are a great deal more extreme than others - as Virgil is about to find out.
I hate it when, after waiting and waiting for the next book in a series to come out, it is as disappointing as this one.
After reading all of the Flowers books, I believe I have realistic expectations about the quality of writing and narration. Despite the fact that Conger could ruin most any book as far as I'm concerned, Flowers, as Lucas' more lightweight alter ego, has been a likable guy and the books have mostly been fun but...
Even a better narrator couldn't have saved this one. The plot was so-so. Much of the dialogue is flavorless, juvenile and served to do little more than increase the word count. One example: Sandford includes every unnecessary "oh, okay". or "uhm, okay" he possibly can. And in Eric Conger's badly paced monotone this kind of ineptness is impossible to ignore.
And again, once Sandford's main character gets his woman--Weather in Lucas' case, Frankie it looks like in Virgil's--then she is immediately relegated to the background and seldom makes a further appearance or merits a mention, except for small uninteresting exchanges. There isn't even any good sex to spice things up.
This series is not all that well-written, though I've enjoyed most of them. Buut, Sandford seems to be running out of things for Virgil to do and say...time to end the series, perhaps.
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Bartholomew Lampion is born on a day of tragedy and terror that will mark his family forever. All agree that his unusual eyes are the most beautiful they have ever seen. On this same day, a thousand miles away, a ruthless man learns that he has a mortal enemy named Bartholomew. He embarks on a relentless search to find this enemy, a search that will consume his life. And a girl is born from a brutal rape, her destiny mysteriously linked to Barty and the man who stalks him.
This book didn't know what it wanted to be. The events in the book are hung on what turn out to be a series of murders, yet it's not really a murder mystery. It gradually evolved (devolved?) into an awkward and sentimental attempt to marry religion to quantum mechanics, which just doesn't hold this book together. Is this a personal belief system of Koontz's that he earnestly wants to share with us? That didn't work in my opinion, and if that's not the case and the book actually wanted to be a murder mystery and the whole quantum mechanics/religion argument was there just to solve the mystery and add a unique twist, then it works even less well. I honestly couldn't tell from the book itself.
The plot, bounced haphazardly from one of it's various parallel realities, so to speak, to another. Eventually all the characters/threads get pulled together but it was a real strain. Strained by the growing improbability of the plot, strained by the impossible saintliness of some of the main characters, and strained by the often maudlin sentimentality which characterized their interactions and conversations, and most burdensome, strained by the author's need to make his overarching point (religion, quantum mechanics). I stuck it out all the way to the very weak ending in which Koontz tidily ticks off all the loose ends whether or not we care any more, and whether anything else worth knowing has happened. The most complex character in a cast of mostly cardboard cutouts, the murderer, is by far the most interesting but Koontz steps away from developing him more, instead opting for more sermonizing and too cute by half kiddie conversations. The other viable option would have been some serious editing so that Junior's character development didn't get buried.
It may be that more recent Koontz work has taken a different direction from the small handful of older books I have read and that this book is part of him moving away from thriller/horror/mystery, but I can't really recommend it.
As usual, Stephen Lang did an excellent job with narration.