**spoiler alert** I didn’t actually expect to like this book. It has the hallmarks of books that I haven’t liked in the past. It’s in first person. Th**spoiler alert** I didn’t actually expect to like this book. It has the hallmarks of books that I haven’t liked in the past. It’s in first person. The narrator has the white blond hair of self-inserted, Marty-Stu’s that I have loathed. He’s good looking and knows it, in a way that I generally despise.
And yet, I found myself falling for Vincent in a way that apparently EVERYONE does.
I was intrigued by both the brutality and the sexualized nature of that brutality. This felt like a book in the same vein as “Dexter”, where our heroes would be the bad guys in any other novel.
I loved Frank. I disagree with other reviewers that found him to be uneven or inconsistent. We’re seeing him through the eyes of a first person narrator, so that’s the nature of the beast. We’re only ever going to observe his behavior, and never get the inside scoop on the why’s or how’s of it, because we aren’t ever inside his head. It can’t be inconsistent because we aren’t given a real set of rules that must be followed, based on anything other than what Vincent has observed and his interpretation of that data, which doesn’t make it accurate, just data.
I enjoyed the story thoroughly and loved that Vincent ended up with Frank, and Frank ended up with a book store. That made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I was glad that they had left the assassin life, although knowing that there is a second book in the works, it makes me think that they might get sucked back in. I feel like since Frank’s brother is dead, perhaps he might be able to get back to work for his former employer, although I’m not sure if he’d want to. Since he felt it was safe to return to Paris, I feel like it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility.
I liked that we did finally meet Bella, although I wished we had met her earlier. She seemed like a cool, fun character that would have been interesting to see Frank interact with, and would have caused all sorts of trouble for Vincent. I hope that she shows up in the next book.
I could have done without Casey and Maggie completely. I hated both of them and felt like they were author favorite characters but the story could have done without them. I know that there was the whole thing with Maggie’s boyfriend being a lawyer and his threat of litigation is how Frank got out of trouble but that whole plot line was total and utter bullshit and made NO SENSE. That’s not how the law works, friends. It just doesn’t. And the timing of where Casey and Maggie were to get there quickly, etc- it was unclear and made no sense, and the whole thing had a kind of deus ex machina feel to it that I didn’t like after getting this far into the book. HATED THESE CHARACTERS OH MY GOD.
I would have given this book five stars if it weren’t for these characters. Not kidding. The stupid Titanic painting. JFC.
Dear lord, please don’t let them be in the next book. PLEASE. It’ll be just my luck that they’ll be main characters. *sigh*.
I highly recommend this book. It is gruesome and dark, but I loved it. I found it fascinating and twisted but something that I found very, very difficult to put down. I didn’t have a problem with much of anything until I got to about the 82% mark, when Casey and Maggie really came into play. Other than those characters, I loved it and would suggest it as a purchase for anyone who has read or watched Dexter or is a fan of Criminal Minds, or enjoys darker stories, fanfics, etc. ...more
The mystery was pretty great and was balanced well with the paranormal/supernatural elements and the romance**spoiler alert** I really liked this one.
The mystery was pretty great and was balanced well with the paranormal/supernatural elements and the romance in the book.
I felt like the romance was handled very well, especially since it was dealing with the loss of a beloved partner and the introduction of someone new (as opposed to an old friend moving into the role of lover).
I did find it a bit odd that it was a romance entirely from Matt's POV, although I am used to read fanfic written this way. You just tend to get published romances with both sides of the story. HOWEVER, I do think that there was the element of "is this real" to the book that would have been ruined if we had seen it from Kiernan's perspective. We had to remain in Matt's head if the author wanted to leave any doubt about Kiernan's abilities, etc.
I felt like the mystery was wrapped up well and that the danger was true to the circumstances the author put the characters in. I was concerned for their safety but it didn't feel like they were over their heads or in situations that felt too crazy- even when they ended up at the house, it did feel like something that could have happened and was believable.
My biggest complaint is not enough sex, but then again, what we got was REALLY hot. They don't hook up until chapter 12 or 13, I think, but once they do, it is SMOKING HOT. Really great sex scene, but that's about it. There's another scene after that pretty good as well but not really a sex scene, per se. The plot line is very tight and doesn't really have room for a lot of messing around without making the boys look like jerks for screwing around while poor dead Abby is waiting to be avenged, so I get it but on the other hand, this is a romance novel so there are certain expectations when buying a book of the nature. This is where I am really torn, here, because there are things that I really wanted that are butting up against things that I know I can't or shouldn't have due to the demands of the story.
I'm also a little torn on where the book ended. Yes, it was a good place for the book to stop, in terms of storytelling. Everything was wrapped up and the boys were in a good spot, relationship-wise. They planned to move forward so we got our Happily Ever After (at least for now). But I would have loved to see more, which is always a sign that the characters and the world was a good one.
Personally, I think this is a great set up for a series. I can totally see Matt leaving the department to work with Kiernan, to solve crimes across the country. Matt could be Kiernan's liaison with various police departments who are hesitant to work with him. Matt has experience and the ability to say, "look, I was you once and and trust me, it's worth all the shenanigans to just work with the guy." I'd love to see that happen. (hint, hint)
In the end, this is one I highly recommend and encourage you to pick up ASAP....more
I got this from Netgalley- they shot me an e-mail and I was intrigued. I loved the idea of this book. A guy kills someone, buries the body on his propI got this from Netgalley- they shot me an e-mail and I was intrigued. I loved the idea of this book. A guy kills someone, buries the body on his property. A year later, bodies (plural) are found on his property, neither of which are the body he buried.
Fantastic premise and a really great idea for a mystery.
Except, this isn’t a mystery. I’m not entirely sure what this is, but a mystery it isn’t. Everything is laid out pretty clearly almost immediately and if there is a bit of mystery, it doesn’t stay that way for very long. You know which person killed which other person, when, why, and how before you reach the middle of the book.
What, then, is the book supposed to be about? You got me. I have no clue. It could be a character study, but if so, it’s about a bunch of really boring people that I couldn’t care less about. I’m not really sure if it’s about a character journey for anyone, although a few weak arguments could be made about Leah, or Jason.
What it really boils down to for me is this- the writing needs some serious work. Don’t get me wrong, I think the prose is beautiful. The author clearly has talent on that level, although the amount of $0.50 words is a bit ridiculous- we get it, you’re smart. Fantastic. Can you quit showing off and tell the stupid story now?
What I mean when I say the writing needs work is that there are some fiction fundamentals that were really lacking for me here that the authors editor, agent, etc. should have picked up on and polished but clearly did not.
The first major example would be POINT OF VIEW. The author jumps from point of view to point of view- from Jason to Leah to Boyd to Tim back to Jason to Tessa the freaking DOG like a flea in a kennel. There were numerous occasions where I had to backtrack just to determine whose POV I was actually in, because there was no indication that I had moved from one character to another. In writing circles this can be known as head hopping and it bugs the crap out of me. It can be done well- some say Nora Roberts does it well, although I don’t always agree with that statement, but here it was just annoying.
It was never clear in every case why the POV shift happened and sometimes it felt gratuitous, like there was no reason at all, the author just wanted to change from one to the other. That was when it was the most frustrating of all.
A second element I think needed some work as all the telling, as opposed to showing. We got a lot of backstory for a number of characters that we just didn’t need, told in long passages of prose that was just boring. I’m not sure what it added to the story, mostly because I’m not really sure what the story really was, to be honest, but I know that I was bored and I didn’t care, and it just felt like I was getting all of this out of place history that had no real context or meaning when placed next to everything else that had happened.
Maggie’s smoking story, about her and Ford not being able to have kids- what did that have to do with anything? At the point in the book we were getting that story, it didn’t add anything for me and it didn’t move the plot forward or add to the tension of the moment, it just slowed everything down and TOLD me about Maggie, it didn’t SHOW me anything about her as a person or a character.
I found myself growing more and more frustrated with the book as I read further, trying to figure out just what the author was trying to do with the story, what they were trying to say. What, I asked myself, was the point? I stayed with it because I was hoping there was some kind of twist ending or something new and different I was waiting for… and then I got to the end and thought to myself, THAT WAS IT? THAT’S WHAT I WAS WAITING FOR? And the last paragraph- what? I don’t know what you’re trying to say with that. Is he a monster? What?
This is what I got from this book: Sometimes you have to do bad things. Sometimes bad things are actually kind of okay things. It’s fine to blame your bad actions on dead people if they are bad people too. It’s okay if you try to kill someone, if you didn’t REALLY mean it. Going on the run is a great plan. And get a dog.
I hate getting to the end of a book and feeling more frustrated than when I started it. I read for pleasure, for enjoyment, for relaxation. I don’t need a book to be simple or easy, but I want it to make sense and to have something to say. This one doesn’t, at least not as far as I can tell.
The author wants to have written a Cohen Brothers’ movie in book form. This is not that book. ...more
**spoiler alert** I was somewhat disappointed in this book, but it isn’t Leonard’s fault.
According to some reading I’ve done, it seems like Leonard le**spoiler alert** I was somewhat disappointed in this book, but it isn’t Leonard’s fault.
According to some reading I’ve done, it seems like Leonard let the show runners read an ARC of the book, allowing them to take plot points for the second season of the show. If that is the case, and after reading the book it seems pretty clear that it was, the book ended up being a weird read.
I felt like I was suffering through literary deja vu. Plot elements that I recognized and yet, they didn’t go in the directions that I recalled from the show. Sometimes that was fine- I really like that Otis’s wife shot Carol, because, boy, did I think he had it coming.
But the deal with the Crowes. I don’t know what I would have thought if I had read the book first, to be honest. I liked Mags Bennet and her boys, and as I read the book it all just felt wrong to me, a large part of that because she was missing. Purvis was just not the same.
There was a disconnect for me that kept me from fully engaging in the book, like I had with the previous stories in the series, and I think it was that I was constantly comparing the book to the second season of the show, which was super distracting.
This read, to be honest, like fan fiction. It felt like the stuff that gets written during the summer hiatus, when you hear about a new character coming to the show but you haven’t seen their episodes yet, and the writer’s just guessing. Then, when the show actually hits the air, you get Jossed- the show takes things in a totally different direction. That’s what this felt like to me, despite completely understanding that Leonard got there first and wrote this first.
I honestly wish this had been published before the second season, as I would have enjoyed myself a lot more if I didn’t have anything to compare it to.
Someone else mentioned that it was like reading the later Dexter books, if you watched the series, and I would agree with that completely.
My other major issue with the book was with Jackie’s story line. I liked her as a character and would love to see her on the show. However, I felt like her story line was tacked on, and that the female bank robbing crew did not get nearly enough “screen time” to do them any justice. That was, in my opinion, some of the worst character work I’ve read in Leonard’s stories.
I also felt weird about Raylan’s relationship with Jackie. I didn’t believe it for a second. Based on the previous books, and the show, I don’t believe that Raylan would fall for her that quickly with so little to go on, and I don’t think he would act on it when she’s technically a wanted fugitive. While Leonard is quick to point out that Jackie is 23, I still felt kind of gross about Raylan having sex with her.
I wish that Jackie had her own book, because I think the character and her story is really fascinating and could actually support a much longer story on her own. I’m not sure what part Raylan actually had to play in getting her to the table where she wins all the money. He seemed more like an afterthought in that story, than anything else.
I also wasn’t sure what Raylan thought he was doing at the club, at the end, leaving the car running. A US Marshal walks into a bar, knowing that a guy is there, gunning for him, and he leaves the car running? Where the hell do you think you’re going after you shoot the guy, Raylan? You really are going to leave that scene? It felt very out of character for him and didn’t sit well with me.
Now that I’m thinking about it like this, I wish we had touched back with Angel and made sure that he got his kidneys back.
That story line was super cool and I hope that the show uses it- the danger that Raylan was in was pretty solid and I wasn’t entirely sure how far things were going to go before Raylan got things back under control.
I found it really interesting that in all three stories, there was a female mastermind behind what was going on. Leonard always writers really interesting characters and this book was no exception. I was thrilled that we got so many women, even though, again, I thought that the bank robbing chicks could have had more time on the page.
I’m not sure if I would recommend this book to fans of the show, esp. if you have seen the second season. I found my prior knowledge to be distracting. If, however, you have not yet watched season 2 of Justified, this would be a much better read, and then, hopefully, you’d start watching the show. ...more
**spoiler alert** I wasn't sure what to think at the beginning of this book. The character of Sixkill started off feeling very Marty Stu to me. And th**spoiler alert** I wasn't sure what to think at the beginning of this book. The character of Sixkill started off feeling very Marty Stu to me. And then I started to like the guy. I felt he was a good match with Spenser but couldn't help but think that it would have been a better story if it had been Hawk at Spenser's side.
I thought the story was a bit weaker than previous, but that doesn't make it a bad thing.
Spenser training with Sixkill reminded me a bit of the training scene with Paul in earlier books.
A good read, worth it for sure if you're already a fan....more
**spoiler alert** I liked this book SO MUCH Better than the last one, even though I think that overall the story is much weaker. But there was less Gr**spoiler alert** I liked this book SO MUCH Better than the last one, even though I think that overall the story is much weaker. But there was less Gretchen, which I was glad of, and I was happy at the distance that Archie is starting to make for himself.
I think it was weak that Gretchen was, AGAIN, connected to this killer. It's starting to get old and predictable.
Susan had a serious case of the stupids in this book. I mean, really. For someone who was almost killed by two DIFFERENT serial killers, you'd think she'd learned something but she really hasn't. Other than to NOT call the police so she could get a good story.
Archie's life is different- some ways good, some ways bad. I was disappointed that Cain didn't play out the kidney issues that almost killed Archie at the end of the last book. It seems like it was hand-waved away, which always annoys me in a series, but not as much as the revelation in the last book that Archie had an affair with Gretchen before he knew that she was the Beauty Killer.
And you'd think that after all these issues, that I wouldn't like the book and yet, I really had a good time reading it. I was willing to push things to the side to find out what happened next, which makes me feel kind of dirty but whatever. I'm going to read the next book but I am kind of dreading it, now that Gretchen is back in custody.
**spoiler alert** I still love Archie. But I don't like how Cain retconned Archie sleeping with Gretchen. I have a very hard time believing that the A**spoiler alert** I still love Archie. But I don't like how Cain retconned Archie sleeping with Gretchen. I have a very hard time believing that the Archie we saw in Heartsick was capable of cheating on Debbie. In fact, I was fairly sure that Cain specifically mentioned that Archie had never had sex with Gretchen, even though he was having sexual fantasies about her. To make that major of a character change just felt wrong to me.
I do, however, love just how dark and twisted Cain's brain appears to be. She really likes torturing Archie and taking him to dark, nasty places. There are some writers I know that have a hard time hurting the characters that they create, not wanting to do anything bad to the creations that they love. I, however, ADORE torturing my characters so I felt that Cain was a kindred spirit.
I am not excited about the fact that Gretchen is still out there. I am assuming that the next book will be about her capture and the next book will be about some other way that she finds to screw with Archie. I really think it would be better if Gretchen was dead, to be honest. Her legacy will be around for a long time- I don't think that she personally still has to be kicking it for that to be true.
I am sad that the love story of Archie and Debbie is over, at least that's how it felt at the end of this book. The fact that Archie slept with a serial killer, knowing that she was in fact a killer, does seem like a death knell for their marriage. I do think that Debbie and Henry would be a good pair, although the info dump that he and Claire are together makes that seem a bit of a stretch at this point.
I don't know- there were many things that bugged me about this story but many things that made me want to stay and read the whole thing. Cain just hit on a few of my bullet proof story kinks and I just can't NOT read this series....more
**spoiler alert** I love a broken hero. The more broken, the better. And Archie is BROKEN. I liked how dark this story was, how willing the author was**spoiler alert** I love a broken hero. The more broken, the better. And Archie is BROKEN. I liked how dark this story was, how willing the author was to hurt her lead character and really show the dark side of both the tormentor and the victim.
My only quibble is with the ending. So, the guy who sleeps with Susan as a teenager and is killing teenage girls who remind him of her was ALSO there when Gretchen kidnapped Archie and helped torture him? Why? Why did it need to be that way?
I really liked that there didn't seem to be a connection between the two killers. It pushed me over the edge, believability wise, when there was a strong connection. That Susan and Archie were both victims of the same man, in a way, felt like a weak twist that wasn't necessary. It felt tacked on, almost, even though I know that Cain did try to set it up earlier in the book.
I don't know- I loved Archie and I loved how well Cain wrote him.
I am not a fan of Gretchen as a character. I just don't like her. I know that people find her fascinating but she just creeps me out and pisses me off. A good reaction to have re: a character, esp. one who is a serial killer, but I am not looking forward to her involvement in this series moving forward. I am hoping that she doesn't stick around for too terribly long but I get the feeling that Cain loves her evil creation much more than I do, so we'll prob. be dealing with Gretchen well into the life of the series.
Again, I did love this book. I couldn't put it down and I was dying to know how it was going to end. Already started on book two, can't wait to see what kind of spin it gets....more
**spoiler alert** Was not thrilled with the baby/Agent Dean story line. It didn't make sense to me and it didn't really fit with the character. It fel**spoiler alert** Was not thrilled with the baby/Agent Dean story line. It didn't make sense to me and it didn't really fit with the character. It felt rushed and out of place, based on the feel of the rest of the novel and the character work from the previous two books.
Thought that the prologue gave the game away- would have preferred the slow reveal to the dump of info at the beginning. I never really wondered how they were connected- I've read enough of these books to know that somehow, some way, we would be given the connecting piece.
The entire thing didn't really make sense to me, esp. after the killer was revealed but then, we weren't given a lot of time to really mull over the ending.
I liked the mystery but wasn't a fan of the resolution....more
**spoiler alert** I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this book. I liked it. I liked the writing style and the voice but then again, it's King and**spoiler alert** I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this book. I liked it. I liked the writing style and the voice but then again, it's King and that's almost always a true statement for me.
I was expecting a supernatural element, to be honest, and I thought that the reveal, while pretty grim, did not live up to what I THOUGHT was going on.
The problem may be more with my perceptions and expectations and less with the book itself but at this point, I can only give a like, not a love.
**spoiler alert** I love Parker's writing. I'm more a Spencer girl than a Stone girl but I'll read it all. I wish I could give this 3.5 stars because**spoiler alert** I love Parker's writing. I'm more a Spencer girl than a Stone girl but I'll read it all. I wish I could give this 3.5 stars because I love the people in his books but the plot and the mystery aren't always the best.
This book was interesting in that the stakes did not seem as high as I am used to. The danger did not seem as life or death and the ending ALMOST felt forced. I didn't see the Night Hawk as being that violent or willing to go that far up to that point and his decision to go after the person he did seemed forced as well. The way they "trapped" him in to going there was a bit weak in my mind, too.
I liked the stuff about Jesse and his ex-wife. I find it interesting that Parker continues to combine the Jesse Stone world with the Sunny Randall one. In my mind, Jesse is Tom Selleck and it's hard for me to see him with Sunny, who in my mind is WAY younger, but that is my issue and not one with Parker or his writing.
I enjoyed this book- it was a FAST read, as all Parker books are for me- and it was engaging. I love the dialogue and the characters most of all. The plot is just there to give me an excuse to read a Parker novel.
If you love Robert B. Parker, you will enjoy this book. If you are a first timer to his work but love mysteries, this may not be your cup of tea....more