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Eric Mochnacz

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  • Nine Perfect Strangers

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 16 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,783
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,469
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,441

From number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty, author of Big Little Lies, comes her newest audiobook, Nine Perfect Strangers: Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amid all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these 10 days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next 10 days are going to be.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narration was good on my end

  • By Anna on 11-29-18

Not a psychological thriller!

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

Wait...this is being marketed as a psychological thriller?! I will tell you right now, it's NOT! Even the more maudlin "Truly, Madly, Guilty" was edged with humor...and that's where Moriarty shines best. The touches of humor, genuine human emotions, and characters with depth are what set her books apart - and make it difficult to think she would 1) write a thriller and 2) this book would be described as such. Also, as an Audible listener, Caroline Lee always narrates with a lilt of joy and glee - so I'm not sure I could ever take her 100% seriously.

I know the reaction to Moriarty's previous novel, "Truly Madly Guilty" had mixed reviews. She is most known, obviously, for her smash hit "Big Little Lies." But with "Nine Perfect Strangers", I feel she hearkens back to hear earlier works. All nine of the strangers, as well as the Trangquillem House staff, are quirky and unique - and Moriarty writes those characters best. Then, as she begins to unveil the layers of their personality and their trauma that brought them to the retreat in the first place, the story becomes richer and the characters become truly multi-dimensional.

And just when you think you know is happening, Moriarty takes a diversion into farce territory...and although a bit distracting and off-putting (and loaded with a ton of exposition), it doesn't take away from the book as a whole. Because it's not necessarily about the story - but the unique characters - ranging from recently fired, middle-aged writer Francis to Yao, one of the wellness consultants that truly make this an engaging read.

In terms of characters, there seemed to be some superfluous ones - like Carmel and Lars - who don't, but also don't detract, from the story - but another reader may find them highly relatable.

At the end of the day, this is a book about the trauma we all experience, the lengths we may take to heal, and the value of genuine human interaction in the weirdest of situations that may lead to the healing we need.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Forbidden Door

  • (Jane Hawk, Book 4)
  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
  • Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,350
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,236

She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive, a happily married woman before becoming a devastated widow. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills - and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice - Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal. But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Koontz is always a good listen!

  • By Gwen on 10-02-18

Good, but series starting to show signs of fatigue

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

When I started this series, I should've known that I had to commit to Jane Hawk and her adventures for the long haul. What started as a rather isolated ex-FBI agent on the run story has evolved into a multi-character, sprawling saga about one woman (and her allies) fight against a government nano-tech mind control conspiracy.

Still with its share of thrills and intrigue, the series does seem to be exhibiting some signs of fatigue. Jane is now in a race against time to find her son Travis while government agents, some we've met before, some new, are on the hunt for Jane's parents. As these stories occur concurrently, we are introduced to the usually uniquely named carnival of Koontz characters. For example, Radley DuBose and Carter Jergen, FBI agents who are in deep with the Techo-Arcadian crew, return as they lead the hunt for Jane's parents-in-law. We are introduced to a new team of agents and a family reported to be hiding Jane's family. This is where the story gets convoluted, and it almost seems like this subplot was diversion and an attempt to pad the pages a bit more.

What I had originally found a bit frustrating of the previous entries in the series is the introduction of characters who we never hear from again. Patience is a virtue, as some of those characters do come around and full circle in this story. It gives me hope that perhaps some of the more eccentric ones do return in the next one.

What was assuring was it seems like the series appears to be wrapping up. Or at least I hope it is. I think Jane Hawk is a dynamic character. Her adventures have captivated me and held my attention over 4 books...but there can be too much of a good thing. I think if they prolong the story any more than one (or maybe two) books...we would need serious suspension of believability. Someone can only outrun and escape the government so long before she finally messes up.

Ultimately, I love Dean Koontz and his style. His writing after all these years is like a comforting blanket. You can't help but think in the end, the good guy will always in (although in this book, I wasn't so sure...and good's victory seemed a bit unrealistic and highly coincidental...but isn't life full of coincidences?). If you are just getting into Koontz, you have to accept the fact that he uses a LOT of simile...like, a lot...and it did kind of wear on me after a bit...

But, overall, a good entry, but here's to hoping he ends this series soon and delivers some standalone novels he is known for.

  • Lullaby

  • By: Jonathan Maberry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16,639
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,250
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15,261

A young couple buys a beautiful house by a picturesque lake in the Catskills, looking to escape the bustle of the city to raise their newborn baby. It is a perfect place for a fresh start. Except that nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. As autumn nights close in around their home, they learn that darkness takes many forms. And sometimes that darkness is hungry. New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry delivers an unsettling Audible Original that will give listeners the Halloween creeps all year round.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I guess there’s a reason it’s free

  • By Katie Washington on 10-05-18

Amazing narration for a short, subpar story

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

When I downloaded this book, I didn't realize it was a short story. But, I think that Scott Brick is one of the most talented Audible narrators I've heard. Even with his amazing narration, this short creepy story started with promise...but ended up being a bit of a dud.

  • Lethal White

  • A Cormoran Strike Novel
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,874
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,476

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best 22 hours of the last week

  • By Jennifer on 09-27-18

Not the best Strike book in the oeuvre...

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

So, I'll be the first to admit that maybe I was experiencing a bit of Strike/Glenister fatigue. I decided to re-listen to the first three books back to back as a lead up to the release of "Lethal White." And as much as I loved the first two books and enjoyed book #3, not having any rest between could easily make a reader get bored easily. As I listen to the books on Audible, I've also had Robert Glenister narrating for hours upon hours, and some of his characterizations could be tiring. I also attempted to listen to a lion share of the novel while trapped on the road for 6 hours because of a storm in the northeast, so I was probably distracted during a majority of the story.

The reason I had issues with "Career of Evil" is I feel it diverged from a tried and true formula by dipping too much into the feelings between Strike and Robin. And although they are still important to this entry, they take a back seat to the central mystery...although Robin's story isn't just about her work as an PI. We learn what happened to her and Matthew after the fateful events of book 3 - and let me tell you, Matthew is a total dick.

As the Galbraith universe expands (and his PI business), it is reasonable that additional characters need to be added to keep the story interesting. Yet, Rowling as Galbraith still is determined to rely on the appearance of Cormoran's ex, Charlotte, to add dimension and feelings to the normally stoic character...and that's just lazy. Even his prosthesis, a reality for combat vets, gets trotted out too often as a plot device or a reason for Cormoran to be human. We've known him long enough that his character should be changing and evolving, and in some ways, he isn't. Although there are a number of scenes between he and Robin that speak of a warm friendship, which I hope remains, rather than a potential romance. I still think they are mismatched, and too often assume things about each other rather than talking like rational adults...again, four books in, it's a little contrived.

In this book, Strike finds himself investigating the potential death of a child reported by a mentally ill man. It embroils he, Robin, and his new employees in government machinations, blackmail, and the British government aristocracy. Galbraith successfully draws a contrast between the rich Chiswell family and common protestors. Given the author's portrayal (and Glenister's narration), the Chiswell's deserve the ire of Flick, Jimmy Knight, and their ilk. Glenister's characterization of Kinvara and Izzy drove me up a damn wall.

The mystery drags on and isn't exciting. The red herrings and different characters muddy the story and the mystery to the point the reader doesn't care and just wants it to end. The relationships of the Chiswell's becomes unclear, and the character names - Izzy, Fizzy, Torquewell, don't do much to offer clarity. Some of the additional characters, including Amir Malik, offer potential for mystery and intrigue, but they are left hanging. They never made it clear - is he gay or not? And why focus on him so much when he ultimately seems to be inconsequential.

I can appreciate the idea of taking the journey with the writers and characters to solve the mystery, but if the reader is unfamiliar with the British government system and "old money", you may not be able to follow a number of the plot points. There was a lack of familiarity with British government, which took me out of the story frequently.

Where Galbraith succeeds in all of his Strike stories is the actual investigative work. I am continually transfixed and am rapt in attention any time Strike or Robin engage in an investigative conversation with a witness or suspect. There was a conversation between Strike and Della Wynn, a Prime Minister, that had me listening with attentive ears it was so finely written.

Listen...I love the Strike books, but this one wasn't one of my favorites.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Career of Evil

  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,403
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,504
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,450

Audie Award, Mystery, 2016. When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Characters Mean Everything

  • By Charles Atkinson on 11-09-15

Good, but pales compared to the first two.

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

So, I really like the characters of Strike and Robin. I feel they carry the series well, and their two previous exploits have been enjoyable. The central mysteries are intriguing, the other characters fit well into their central narrative, and I appreciate their relationship. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that although there is a level of “Will They it Won’t They” chemistry, I felt like Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) always walks firmly in the “Wont They” category - believing a relationship between the two would be too cliche. And I would like to think that they work better as business partners than romantic partners.

Unfortunately, “Career of Evil” takes the tried and true structure of the first two books and goes in a completely different direction. And with that, we are almost led to believe that Robin may, in fact, sacrifice her relationship with her fiancé, Matthew, for her working (and maybe more?) relationship with Cormoran. This story gets bogged down with Robin and Matt’s upcoming nuptials and the contrivance of Matthew’s insecurity about Strike - and the idea that Robin isn’t safe - especially after receiving a severed leg in the mail. We are subject to the convention confessionals from both Strike and Robin about their potential feelings for the other. This story development takes away from their unique relationship and bogs the story down in soap opera plot devices.

And as it relates to the central mystery, we know there are only three suspects, all from Strike’s past. It feels like this story is all about the surveillance and not much action. So, it is missing the unique characters we’ve come to expect from Strike’s investigations. And even as the suspect list is slowly narrowed down, the eventual reveal seemed almost inevitable and lacks any real impact.

This almost felt like Rowling wanted to write a romance novel between Strike and Robin, but knew she would need to integrate a mystery into it somehow. That’s where this book suffers compared to its predecessors.

Although I have criticisms, I still love the character of Strike. And Rowling does know how to write characters - including Robin’s sympathetic mother, Linda - in a nuanced and emotionally true way. Some of the characters are a bit stereotypical - Matthew, the the jealous fiancé, Carver, the angry police officer. And even though the suspects are a motley crew and we don’t get to know them too much (they are all interchangeable as far as I am concerned) until their respective moments - Rowling does manage characterizations of villain’s well.

I am all about reinventing series as to not get bored, but this one seemed such a departure from the previous Strike outings, I’m curious to see where “Lethal White” goes.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Silkworm

  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,826
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,442
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,411

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Made Alligator Alley fly by

  • By Tracey on 06-26-14

A compelling follow up in the Strike saga!

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

Listen, we know Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) is a good writer. She has a unique ability to create characters with depth and develop an engaging and entertaining magical Universe. In her follow up to the first Cormoran Strike novel, she manages to tell another great Strike story, while expanding the Strike universe and giving us a deeper look into Cormoran, Robin and the other secondary characters in their lives.

After successfully solving the murder of Lula Landry - Strike now finds himself a lot more popular with a lot more business. That’s how Leonora Coyne finds herself in Strike’s office. Her eccentric writer husband is missing. After taking the case, Strike and Robin find themselves enmeshed in the publishing world. Who knew about the controversial book “Bombyx Mori”...and who recreated the finale with Coyne as the victim?

As Strike investigates, we meet a number of writers, publishers, editors and literary agents which provides a lengthy list of suspects. This is the only place the book falters. Each isn’t unique enough to contribute to the story, and it gets a bit challenging to keep each of them straight. It’s a whodunit - but too many who’s to keep straight! It also felt like some were needless to the story and were added for no real purpose other than to pad the suspect list. This was my second time reading this book, and the only reason I wasn’t utterly confused because this wasn’t my first foray into “The Silkworm” and was prepared for the complexity and the numerous characters.

Even as Strike investigates, we begin to learn more about Robin and her fiancé, Matthew, who is still none too pleased with Robin’s choice of employment. We also learn more about Strike’s personal life throughout the book. This shows that Rowling/Galbraith is committed to Universe building and adding more layers to her characters as the story progresses. The relationship between Robin and Strike is unique, complex and multi-layered. What could be seen as a cliche “will they or won’t they” is explored more as two mature adults trying to navigate mature adult relationships as workers and friends and potentially more - even though they are written with the reader knowing it isn’t meant to be. It’s almost as if Rowling knows any romantic relationship between the two would make the books suddenly routine and the relationship rote and boring.

Although not as compelling as it’s predecessor with too many characters to count, the Strike series is a competent, engaging and entertaining mystery series worth revisiting. Rowling’s talents are not confined to boy wizards. Her Strike series is just as well written and thought out and intentional as everything we came to expect from her thanks to the Wizarding World.

In fact, since these two books follow the same formula, it’s most surprising to see her go in a unique and different direction for its follow up - “Career of Evil.”

  • The Cuckoo's Calling

  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,468
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,184
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,172

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unbelievable debut mystery set in London

  • By Tracey on 05-26-13

A stunner...even the second time around!

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

Reviewed: 09-26-18

With the release of the fourth entry in the Strike series upon us, and a desire by a friend to read it together...I asked for permission to get caught up with the series and reintroduce myself to Cormoran, Robin, Wardel and the lot. Upon reading this book for a second time - and starting off on "The Silkworm" soon after - I appreciate that these books can serve as stand alones, but also make an effort to connect to the previous in the serious for those new to the series.

As I worked through it a second time, with a faint notion of who I remembered to be Lula Landry's killer, it afforded me the opportunity to truly listen and engage in the story and see the connecting dots that led to the resolution. For the majority of the book, even though it was my second time, it kept my attention - when really, it's just a standard, typical private investigator novel. But Strike, Robin, and all the suspects are unique characters who are written in a way to pull you into the story. The only drawback was some of the narration was a bit annoying - everyone who wasn't Strike seemed to have a cockney accent!

The story is immersive - and you're immediately drawn into the central mystery Strike is investigating. Did Lula Landry kill herself...or was it murder?! Each suspect, witness, or periphery character adds more to the central mystery or to the background of Strike, an amputee war veteran who is a bit down on his luck in life, work and love. We meet him first as he's welcoming his temp, Robin Ellicott to his office. Their relationship is unique...albeit a bit cliche - but never bordering on a will they or won't they - but more a mature relationship between trainer and protege. I remember as I read this the first time hoping that Galbraith (JK Rowling...duh) didn't go down the tried, true and TIRED route of having them sleep together. It would mess up the unique chemistry between the two. With Robin in the picture, we see more of Strike's soft side, which makes him a multi-dimensional, nuanced character.

JK Rowling is known for creating a colorful wizarding world, but she paints as a colorful world in London with her diverse, unique characters. They are well written, and as we've come to expect, Rowling is very descriptive, although never being overbearing. It's an intense novel, but written with her light touch. She makes a dialogue and exposition heavy book exciting because the characters jump off the page.

After her first attempt at a non-Harry Potter book, "A Casual Vacancy", I think some people questioned her ability to write an adult novel that takes place in the real world. With this one, she sets the stage for a strong and successful series with compelling leads and the potential to entertain and engage readers for years to come as Robert Galbraith.

  • Our House

  • By: Louise Candlish
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden, Elliot Hill
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 121

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she's sure there's been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern coparenting arrangement: bird's nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It certainly did hold my attention until the very last second!

  • By chris rinyu on 08-26-18

Highly unlikeable characters!

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

Reviewed: 09-26-18

A few months ago, Buzzfeed published a crowd sourced list of 20 thrillers that will mess with your sleep schedule. Whenever I find myself with an audible credit, I go to that list in hopes of finding the next great thriller.

The concept of this one was interesting enough - Fiona (Fi) arrives home one weekend - only to discover that her ex-husband Bram (who she still lives with) has sold her house. The story unfolds between the events after that moment in real time, a word document that Bram is maintaining, Fi’s appearance on a true crime podcast, and the Twitter responses. This is common these days - stories told from different perspectives - with some digital story-telling aspect as well. The podcast approach is interesting.

The story unfolds slowly - almost too slowly. If you’re going to give us twist after twist, they need to come faster. Also - some of the twists were predictable - especially if you’re familiar with stories like this. But when delivered, it did lead me to appreciate the story more.

The biggest challenge with “Our House” is that neither Bram nor Fi are particularly likeable. Bram is a man child who never seems to take responsibility for any of his actions (his affair, his driving record, his lazy approach to work) and Fi is insufferable with her devotion to the house in question and the commitment to bird nesting - the weird shared household she makes Bram commit to when he has sex with a neighbor in the kids playhouse. Then, she quickly falls in love with Toby - and the entire time, I couldn’t help but think she is going to get what comes to her. Then I couldn’t help but think the reason I found them so unlikeable was the narration, which, to me, wasn’t very appealing.

The story doesn’t end with the household drama - but takes a few more twist and turns, with an ending that did make me grin, gasp and slyly smile - but thinking all these insufferable characters got what was coming to them.

  • Anatomy of a Scandal

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Vaughan
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal, Luke Thompson, Esther Wane, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 360

Sophie's husband, James, is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart. Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listened to it without a pause

  • By Nor Cal Books on 02-19-18

Slow start, but it amps up!

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

This book is a stunner. I was put off over how totally British it was in the beginning. It was slow and gentile and just bland that I almost turned it off. But all good things come to those who wait. And what starts off as a book that seems to have no direction, slowly starts to come together in a deep, well-written and effective story about choices and consequences and privilege...and how it dooms some and saves others.

The story is told from the perspective of a lawyer, a government official, his wife, and a young college woman. What seems disparate slowly, quietly but intentionally comes together at a pace that almost catches you off guard when the revelations occur. Things are hidden from the reader and revealed for the best impact. This convention works here - once the story gets rolling - there is a stunning revelation after revelation, which adds to the deepness and richness of the story, its characters and their plight.

I felt a genuine connection to the characters. I hated some and cheered for others. The main focus of the story is a court case - and even after a verdict was delivered - I wanted to know more. And Vaughan provides.

Stick with this one. It is worth it.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Perfect Couple

  • By: Elin Hilderbrand
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,769
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,413
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,404

It's wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people - an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin - with the bride-to-be discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony - everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom's famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield - and no couple is perfect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By RMS on 07-27-18

Disappointing after a promising start.

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

I was excited about this book. It was listed on a Buzzfeed list as one of the most suspenseful summer reads. I thought the idea of a beachy murder mystery would hit the spot as the summer ended. It started off a bit cliche, but I was hoping for a sudsy, soapy, suspenseful beach mystery. I thought it would be the perfect trash novel I was hoping for. With the wedding of the season occurring in Nantucket and victim named Merritt Monaco and the suspect list primarily made up of wealthy, British socialites, I had high hopes for a dramatic and twisty-turny thriller.

However, after the initial introduction of Celeste Otis and Benji Winbury, the story falls easily into murder mystery cliche and drags on to the mystery's finale - which is wholly unsatisfying. As each suspect is eliminated in long drawn out asides and revelations, I can't help but feel the story could've been pages shorter. There are also a number of characters who have periphery involvement, and way too much time is spent in discovering their feelings, motives and emotions. There is a minor airport security guard character who is lonely and unlucky in love, and that fact contributes nothing to the story and comes across as a bit creepy.

Ultimately, Hilderbrand struggles with a lack of focus. Telling the story from a number of different perspectives is a narrative device that is popular these days...but is only successful when handled well. These different perspectives are all over the place and muddle the story. I recognize mystery often relies on a slow burn unveiling, but like I said, ultimately it drags.

Also - for whatever reason - the author is obsessed with food. I am taken out of the story every time there is this strange need to explain every single thing every character eats in orgasmic detail.

Erin Bennett's narration isn't anything spectacular and seems devoid of any genuine emotion. I appreciate when a narrator contributes to the story...in this case, it felt like she was JUST reading the book.

I was hoping for a fun, sexy thriller full with a mystery that was deftly handled. I just ended up with a tedious cliche novel - and I was happy when it ended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful