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On a par with I'll Be Gone in the Dark, plus...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-19

a tremendous portrait of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1970's and 1980's. Even if you aren't particularly interested in Irish history, this reads in large part like a detective novel. What the McConville family went through after the widowed mother of ten is kidnapped and murdered by the IRA is harrowing, and I felt myself with a heavy heart at many points in the book. Various people characterize the man suspected by most as having ordered the hit (and the murders of many others) as a sociopath, Machiavellian, a man in complete denial, or a statesman. The book raises the painful questions throughout: are brutal acts forgivable in the creation of a new country/society? are they necessary? The people described so beautifully and so poignantly will stay with me for a long, long time. The experience of the hunger strikers and others imprisoned for IRA crimes, the PTSD and dark nights of the soul that never end...all combine to create a memorable book. Plus, the narrator is perfect. He speaks in a quiet, intimate tone as if giving you confidential information. He never over-dramatizes and in fact conveys a quiet reverence for the experiences of the people portrayed. I stayed up much too late for two nights, hating to put this excellent book down. PS If at first the Northern Ireland accent is hard, give it time.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

Great plot, corny writing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-20-19

I’m not sure if this is a first novel or not but the author has taken a terrific story and turned it into a Hallmark movie. Over-describing every scene and the emotional reactions of characters, the author has created totally unbelievable relationships and conversations.

Almost nothing new

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-17-18

I am so disappointed...I waited anxiously for this book, thinking it would begin with the arrest and give us new information. If you've read Michelle McNamara's book (maximum stars!), and watched any of the many documentaries about the Golden State Killer, you won't learn anything new beyond a few biographical bits and short chats with people who worked with/fished with DeAngelo. I think there's no need for another book until there's info about his psychological pathology and parallel "normal" life during the years of his brutality to strangers. (However, it's easy to see why DeAngelo's family would want as much anonymity as possible and not participate in non-confidential interviews.) Paul Holes and others are heroes...but their role has been described in detail before. I guess we will have to wait for the trial and any psych exams and evidence that come to the surface, if that information ever becomes public.
Jim Clemente is an expert in certain crimes (mostly child-related) and he played a prominent role in the very good CBS mini-series in 2016 about Jon Benet Ramsey's murder. He has a pleasant voice, too, but drops a lot of syllables such as in "ser-all" killer. Director should have caught those.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

Should have been edited

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-03-18

Lots of material here for a tight, suspenseful murder story but there are lengthy and repetitive descriptions of people’s reactions to awful events and delayed resolution.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Another wonderful novel from Tana French

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-15-18

I think this is considered a thriller, and it certainly has hair-raising events, but as always, the main character as well as secondary characters seem very deep and finely drawn. Hugo deserves his own pre-quel, and Susanna will have me puzzling for a long time. Paul Nugent has risen to the top of my list of favorite narrators. As other reviewers have written, this book could have been abridged by a third. but a too-Long Tana French book is still among the best writers in my library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

One of the best...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-12-18

In Roy Grace series. I found Gavin to be a very believable and lovable character despite his toughness. The villains were also believable and colorful. Possibly the best thing about this being an audiobook is the marvelous reading by Daniel Weyman. I really, really disliked the reading of the NYC cops who sounded cartoonish to me...BUT all the English and Irish characters (especially Gavin) were outstanding. This series is one you can depend on to have interesting back stories and information and twists and turns that are surprising and yet credible. I don’t remember the last time the ending of a book brought me to tears but the scene at the Manhattan waterfront did it to me big time. Thanks, again, Mr. James!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Terrific book, not terrific reader

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-18

Not at all a trashy send-up but a thoughtful look at how the various people around Trump have played their parts in his campaign and administration. He’s kind of the hole at the center of the doughnut: vacuous, functionally illiterate, malignantly narcissistic, and almost certainly the least capable person ever to be elected president. I tend to agree with those who believe he didn’t expect to win, or if he truly meant to be elected, hadn’t the remotest notion that work was involved. This book feels to me like Bob Woodward’s work.
On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a book in which the reader mispronounced so many words. No excuse, really-that’s what directors and editors are for. I found the reader to be overly dramatic as well as rushed in his narration. The story is more than gripping enough-no need to overact.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

First-rate in every way

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-04-17

Not just a mystery but a novel with well-drawn characters, a believable but hard-to-guess mystery at the center, and a drought-stricken Australia that is as central to the story as another character. I'm anxious to read Ms. Harper's next book.
PS Stephen Shanahan is a brilliant narrator/actor. I will be looking for his future work, also!

A page-turner with depth

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-17

This biography is thorough and fair, yet leaves the reader as puzzled as ever about Nixon's personality. I don't think the man will ever be explainable beyond a conclusion that he was amoral and incapable of empathy, and childhood losses don't seem to really explain that. He seemed to have moments of caring and a sense of fair play...but then would turn on a dime and calmly eviscerate a political enemy. I can't say there were many new facts in this book - except for the unconscionable dealing with North Vietnam that extended the war 3 more years and cost 20,000 additional lives so Nixon could get elected. But the book flows and the darkening of his character continues inexorably.
Reader is wonderful except for a couple of mispronounced words and a very odd tic of saying long vowel sounds in a strangulated way; reminded me of Bullwinkle of Rocky and __. It became distracting for me because the reader has a resonant and pleasant voice, and he reads with much expression, keeping the story moving. But then there will be a phrase like "green fees" (think Bullwinkle) and I cringe.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Outstanding

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-22-17

Wonderfully suspenseful mystery with credible twists and turns. Perfect reading by very talented actor. Highly recommended

1 of 2 people found this review helpful