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Publisher's Summary

Drew Danner, a crime novelist with a house off L.A.'s storied Mulholland Drive, awakens in a hospital bed with a scar on his head and no memory of being found convulsing over his ex-fiancee's body the previous night. He was discovered holding a knife, her blood beneath his nails. He himself doesn't know whether he's guilty or innocent.

To reconstruct the story, the writer must now become the protagonist, searching the corridors of his life and the city he loves. Soon Drew closes in on clues he may or may not have left for himself. And as another young woman is similarly murdered, he has to ask difficult questions - not of others but of himself.

©2007 Gregg Hurwitz; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America

Critic Reviews

"Hurwitz's L.A. thriller has noir pulp chutzpah in spades." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hurwitz's insights about L.A. life sound knowing and are often ruefully funny, e.g., 'L.A., where a porn star runs for governor and an action figure wins.' Crime fans looking for something different will love this one." (Booklist)

What members say

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  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 06-11-17

This Tale of Amnesia is Quite Forgettable

Imagine yourself held for hours on end for a crime you didn't commit. When you're finally exonerated, instead of releasing you, the cops throw you in with a hundred violent criminals who begin to beat the living daylights out of you. Then the cops come in, let you go, warn you to stay away from their investigation. What do you do then?

Me, I'd run home and curl up in a corner until I stopped shaking. Or run to my wife, GF, BF and say, HS! You won't believe what just happened! But in this book, Drew Danner, the title character, doesn't even think about it, doesn't tend to his wounds, doesn't seem to feel pain. He just goes immediately back to messing with the case. So how does a reader suspend his disbelief when things like that make it impossible to disbelieve?

Imagine that all happens after Drew wakes up from an operation to remove a brain tumor with amnesia, goes on trial for killing his ex-fiancee, is found guilty, but is released because the tumor caused temporary insanity. And is then implicated in an identical murder. Was he framed? Not even Drew knows for sure. A lot of other non-believable stuff happens beyond all that. Cliche upon reality-defying cliche.

And only some of it relevant to the plot or character. At one point, there is a long comic set piece followed by two lengthy, morbid ruminations on loneliness and mortality. These are only marginally and tangentially relevant to either the plot or character development. This is almost amateurish in its construction, despite being written by a veteran best seller.

There seemed to be something interesting happening. The writing and the narration (a better than usual performance by Scott Brick) was progressing from the blank slate Drew Danner started with, due to amnesia, toward an actual personality. Nice work, I thought -- until his personality started bouncing all over the place like Ricochet Rabbit. It wasn't forethought, it was accidental, until it veered unpredictably because it wasn't actually planned.

Then there are the ultimate reveals. A big one and a secondary one. No. No way. No way, ever, ever. The only thing that could have made this worthwhile was the reveal. No. Off the charts non-believable. Not possible. Not even interesting. The beauty of a good reveal is the deadly simplicity of the truth. Going this far over the top is the exact opposite of that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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dumb mistakes but remains exciting

Seemingly caught in the act, red handed (literally), yet due to a brain tumor, you are acquitted on the grounds of temporary insanity. It sounds convoluted but it actually does work. How would you feel if you really didn't know if you had done the murder or not!

The plot keeps getting thicker, the hero makes some poor choices, but then he's just a writer, not an operative, and you don't figure it out until (perhaps slightly before) he does! It is exciting, tense, and fast-paced.

Scott Brick does very well giving character to the people in the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Way too long

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I thought Greg Hurwitz was too descriptive and could have saved Mr. Brick and the listener a lot of time by getting more to the point and leaving out all of boring history of his characters. The only reason I listened until the end was to find out what happened. This was not a good value for me.

Would you ever listen to anything by Gregg Hurwitz again?

No

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

He is always good. It is amazing to me how he makes his voice fit the type of book he is reading.

Was The Crime Writer worth the listening time?

No, it was not.<br/><br/><br/>

Any additional comments?

I just didn't like it. Was very disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Review

Positives: Interesting story, held my attention through most parts, believeable ending. good narration but like the smooth style of Scott Brick.
Negatives: several passages where his editor should have done his job and made the descriptive passages more succinct. They added little to the storyline and tended to bog the story down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome story

This book was fast paced. It keeps you guessing and has great characters. I really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Alliteration at the end of Chapter 1

Although I enjoyed the book, the Description of LA at end of Chapter 1 was something special-and no I am not from LA. It was by far the best writing and performance of the entire book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great story and reader performance full of interest and surprises

I enjoyed listening to this audible book. I was surprised how my mind easily provided a movie of this story based on my and the writer's imaginations and the reader's voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Better than I thought based on reviews!

This book had some bad reviews, even so far as to say Scott Brick wasn't the right narrator! WHAT??? Let's start with Scott Brick could make reading the phone book sound gripping! He's awesome, always! Now to the book, it wasn't bad, I enjoyed it! Not Hurwitz best but still good! Scott Brick is great with character voices, the plot was thought out well and I was entertained! I recommend the book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Okay book

Glad I bought it on sale. If it weren't for Scott Brick I may have given up on it. But it was worth finishing. I love anything Scott narrates

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very engaging and well told story.

Loved it. A very well-written mystery. The narrator performed in such a way as to compel me to try and finish the story in two sittings. I would happily purchase any additional works featuring the author and the narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful