I really enjoyed my first read of Robert Parker. It's a quick and fast-paced read, enjoyable all the way through in large part for its prose. The shor...moreI really enjoyed my first read of Robert Parker. It's a quick and fast-paced read, enjoyable all the way through in large part for its prose. The short, descriptive sentences and quick dialogue is reminiscent of hardboiled but it doesn't have that pessimistic worldview it usually is associated with. I would call it softboiled but that sounds like an insult. Lightboiled, maybe? Anyway, just like the best hardboiled, it makes your eyes race effortlessly across the page.
Sunny Randall isn't randomly named and makes for a different kind of PI. There's no dark past compelling her to do what she does. She's good at it, naturally enquisitive and enjoys the work. That's pretty much it. The book doesn't spend much time explaining her character. We get to know her through her interactions with others (people and dog, very important that dog) and how she handles her cases. There are two plotlines that are only thematically linked but also serves to make Sunny well-rounded. That plots are intriguing enough but the real interest is how she deals with them.
My first Parker but I doubt it will be my last.(less)
The incredible story of a bank robber that would make you roll your eyes if it was the plot of a movie. As a true crime story, though, it's pretty fas...moreThe incredible story of a bank robber that would make you roll your eyes if it was the plot of a movie. As a true crime story, though, it's pretty fascinating.
The politics of eastern european countries after the fall of the Berlin wall isn't something I'm overly familiar with and the book does a great job of laying out how such a streak of bank robberies by an unlikely subject was made possible. It lays the groundwork always in a compelling way and how it affects Attila's life is always clear.
It makes for a fairly sympathetic towards its subject but doesn't shy away from its flaws either, making Attila strangely relatable. The circomstances are sometimes so ridiculous, you feel for him as you go through his life story. It's funny and tragic and reads more like a novel than a historical account.
So, you get an exciting crime story, compelling character study and interesting history lesson all in one go. You really can't go wrong with this book.(less)
I'm told the Dismas Hardy books become a lot better but this first one is a absolute mess.
Lescroart's prose attempts a Wodehouse-like approach to givi...moreI'm told the Dismas Hardy books become a lot better but this first one is a absolute mess.
Lescroart's prose attempts a Wodehouse-like approach to giving out information in an obtuse way. Instead of laughter, though, his mostly breeds confusion. Add to that the constantly shifting points of view that seem to be completly arbitrary and you get a book that lacks a great deal of focus. The main character is likeable enough but appears in little over half the books. New characters and viewpoints are still being introduced in the last few pages.
The mystery itself is not that interesting. The lack of focus, overabundence of characters and useless tangents make it needlessly complicated. It’s also evident pretty early on who the culprit, if not his motive, is. Which is a shame because the one thing that could have been very interesting was that motive if it had been treated much less superficially.(less)