**spoiler alert** This is one of the first fiction audiobooks I have listened to in a very long while. I was very, very happy with it.
I have to say- t**spoiler alert** This is one of the first fiction audiobooks I have listened to in a very long while. I was very, very happy with it.
I have to say- the narrator was FANTASTIC. I loved his voice (it’s actually super sexy, so there’s that) and I loved the way he read the text, and performed the dialogue. I did not have to speed up the playback due to slowness in delivery, and I did not have to ignore any weird vocal tics in order to enjoy the book.
I was a big Grisham fan back in college, after reading “The Partner”, where I sat in my dorm’s bathroom until 4 in the morning in order to finish that damn book. However, there was a point where I just stopped reading and I’m not sure if I just couldn’t get in to the books or if there was a sameness to it all that I was unable to overcome in order to enjoy the read.
I read “The Litigators” last year and enjoyed it, although I spent a lot of time saying to myself, just where the hell is this going? That’s not a bad thing, but in the case of that book, it wasn’t a good thing either.
In regards to “The Racketeer”, however, that “where the hell is this going?” feeling was a really good thing. I had no idea where it was going, until the moment that Grisham WANTED you to know where it was going.
Basic plot is Mal was convicted of a RICO charge and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for a crime he did not commit. After a federal judge is murdered, Mal tells the FBI that he knows who did it. Due to a rule that states that an inmate can be released if they help solve an active case, he is released from prison and goes into witness protection, including getting plastic surgery to change his appearance.
I thought I knew where this story was going to go, when I started reading, but I was honestly surprised when the story took a left turn away from my expectations.
SPOILERS BELOW- BEWARE!!!!
Mal gets out, gets his name changed to Max, and slips away from witness protection to start executing on a project that we haven’t been given any previous info on. Over time, that project is revealed and the story just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
There are long sections of story where I kept saying “what the fuck is happening here?,” willing to go with it because I was enjoying the story (I am sure the narrator’s voice helped with this, tbh). I don’t know if I would call it slow, necessarily, but because I didn’t know where it was going, I wasn’t sure what to make of what was happening on the page.
The ending was pretty satisfying, if not almost too perfect. I was glad that they all got away, and with the gold.
I did think that the group high five at the end, then they all jump into the ocean felt like it came out of a bad 80’s movie for kids.
I would recommend this one as a great road trip read, as an audiobook. Not sure how it plays strictly on the page. YMMV.
There are some lingering questions I have: How did Mal and Quinn know that Natty was going to kill the judge? I mean, their plan seems to hinge on that, but were they just HOPING, or did Mal know for sure that was Natty’s plan?
Where did they get the cocaine? Quinn’s brother?
Were they at all worried about the fact that Nathan’s friends saw Vanessa at the house? Or did they think that her boobs blinded them and that they’d never be able to recognize her in clothes?
Where did Nathan get the child’s coffin? And why did he use a child’s coffin anyway? Seems weird if he was just going to hide it in his shed. ...more
**spoiler alert** Note: I received a copy of “The Widow” from Netgalley, for free with the expectation of a review.
The Widow is a very interesting, ve**spoiler alert** Note: I received a copy of “The Widow” from Netgalley, for free with the expectation of a review.
The Widow is a very interesting, very dark book.
The book is about a woman, Jean, whose husband has recently died, after falling in front of (and being hit by) a bus. To complicate matters, the husband, Glen, had been a key suspect in the disappearance and probable murder of a toddler, Bella, a few years before.
On her front doorstep are hordes of reporters, all of them ignored, until one intrepid journalist is able to convince Jean to let her inside and start pulling the “truth” out of Jean for the first time.
Except, is she getting the truth? What does Jean actually know? And when did she know it? Has she been lying all these years for her husband?
The book jumps around in time, revealing more and more of the story like an onion, slowly and surely giving the reader all the dark, disturbing details of what really happened to Baby Bella.
It contains shifting POV, including first person POV from the titular Widow herself. I wondered about why she was the only character to have that POV, but figured it out pretty quick.
1. She’s the title character. 2. The author needs her to be unreliable, to be able to lie or hide the truth from the reader, and the only way that works is if she’s telling us the story, or her version of it, in the first person. An unreliable narrator.
I liked the author’s voice. I thought the book read very well, and very quickly. Once I was able to actually sit down and read, I got on like a house on fire.
The problem with this book is with the advertising.
I was sent an e-mail about this book from Netgalley, with all the comments about how it’s the next “Gone Girl” or “Girl on the Train” and I INSTANTLY wanted to know what the twist was. Within the first few pages, when we learn that Glen was hit and killed by a bus, my first thought was, “oh, Jean pushed him.”
Through the whole book, I just kept waiting for the “reveal” that Jean had killed her husband, so that by the time it actually happened, I had already gotten used to the idea and was frankly annoyed that it took so long to get there.
This book suffers from what all M. Night Shyamalan movies suffer from, after “The Sixth Sense”. I was told the book fit into a certain mold, and knowing just that, I was able to figure it out in mere pages, so that the actual reveal of the twist felt like a letdown.
I had hoped that I was wrong, that I had gone down the wrong path, that the author had found a new way to take this story that would really have me shocked and surprised, but nope. Didn’t happen.
I couldn’t put it down, I’m not going to lie. But I was disappointed in the end. I would check out the author’s next book, but I wouldn’t automatically buy it. ...more
This seemed to be more a series of vignettes connected by a main character and a few thicker plot threads, but this is not the same kind of intense stThis seemed to be more a series of vignettes connected by a main character and a few thicker plot threads, but this is not the same kind of intense story that you'd get with The Firm or A Time To Kill.
That being said, I really liked the main character and I liked his approach to the law. I thought the author used both very sympathetic clients and very unsympathetic clients to show the various facets of Sebastian's personality and ethics.
I liked Partner as a character, although it was only towards the end that he really had more to do within the context of the plot, outside of escorting Sebastian from place to place.
I was disappointed that Archie wasn't in custody at the end of the book, and doubly so that his ability to slip away from a police tail so easily was never explained. On the one hand, it's more realistic that we aren't given that information, but on the other, his story just felt incomplete. It felt like the story of the missing woman was wrapped up too quickly.
As I new mom, I was especially sensitive to the fact that the baby was never found, nor was there much discussion about if and when the authorities would be trying to recover the baby.
All of the hanging threads of that storyline say to me that there is a sequel in the works, but I don't know if that's actually true. I would read it, don't get me wrong, and the story as a whole does feel complete, but the hanging issues of Archie still being out there, having said that he would in fact kidnap more women, and the missing baby make me think that the resolution to those stories would come at a later time.
Or, we just have to approach the book like we do real life- we can't always have the answers we seek. Sometimes we just have to let them go, because to do otherwise would lead to madness and obsession.
Note: Listened to the audio book. I found the narrator to be really good- I will be checking out his other books, esp. if they're by Grisham. ...more
**spoiler alert** ***ARC kindly provided via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review***
I LOVED this book. Just loved it.
I am normally not a fir**spoiler alert** ***ARC kindly provided via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review***
I LOVED this book. Just loved it.
I am normally not a first person POV fan, but this is so well written, I just fell into the story. And I really liked that it was told from both Cora and Leo's POV. I think it really upped the tension and the suspense, as well as telling a stronger story.
The mystery was truly excellent, something that I was invested in above and beyond the romance.
And the romance- WOW. It's not just the hot sex (which is legit HOT), but the feeling of a real connection between these two people that has really burst into love.
One of the other things I loved was how gritty the whole story was. The crime committed was atrocious and the author doesn't shy away from it. She choose it and she stands by that choice. The language used is real, what you'd expect people to say, which makes it so much easier to slide into the story. Yarnall doesn't pull any punches and the book is all the better for it.
I really cared about Beau and wanted to know who really committed the crime. While I was pretty sure he wasn't guilty, it wasn't clear who WAS actually guilty, so the tension was high for the whole story.
I CANNOT wait to read the next book in the series....more
Great book. Super honest and very helpful. Some reviews say pessimistic but I felt it was just the right amount of honesty, even when the truth suckedGreat book. Super honest and very helpful. Some reviews say pessimistic but I felt it was just the right amount of honesty, even when the truth sucked, to actually be worth anything as a guide.
I ended the book feeling like I just might make it through going back to work after all and that is ultimately the goal.
Really liked it as a companion to the software, although I wish it had been a bit longer.
If you are looking at this as a simple primer for the core vReally liked it as a companion to the software, although I wish it had been a bit longer.
If you are looking at this as a simple primer for the core values behind YNAB, this is your book. If you are looking for a deep dive into how the peocess works and how to use it in your own life (outside of the technical stuff), this is a bit lacking.
I did feel inspired to dig in to the system after reading, so it was successful on that front....more
Confession- this is the first book I've ever bought due to a Facebook ad. Which kind of terrifies me because this book is almost everything that I looConfession- this is the first book I've ever bought due to a Facebook ad. Which kind of terrifies me because this book is almost everything that I look for in a novel. Just add a dash of m/m romance, and it would have been perfect.
I really enjoyed the magic system- it felt different to me, although I admit I haven't read enough fantasy to really have a strong knowledge of all the magic systems used. That said, I felt like it was easy to understand how things worked, and the way it was set up put a pretty powerful stranglehold on what Ethan could and couldn't do.
I enjoyed the setting- this is my FAVORITE historical time period and there simply isn't enough of the kinds of fiction I like to read set in it. I also loved that this was structured like a noir detective novel. The only thing really missing was the femme fatal from the beginning, although you could argue that Sephira Pryce fits the bill.
Honestly, the mystery was one of the weaker elements, although it wasn't terrible. Despite the threat to all the conjurers in Boston, the sense of dread and the need for judicious speed just wasn't there for me. I also felt like the final resolution of the story was a bit slap dash- it really did feel like it came out of nowhere, despite the introduction of the characters earlier in the book. I was able to say, "okay, I guess" but it didn't really feel like an "AHA!" moment.
Despite that, I really enjoyed this read and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, fantasy/paranormal, and mysteries. ...more