I've read a couple of other books in this series and while this has a lot of the charm of those books, I'd say this would probably not rank as my favoI've read a couple of other books in this series and while this has a lot of the charm of those books, I'd say this would probably not rank as my favorite one.
Laurent is a small boy with a big imagination and a tendency for tall tales. When he comes running in telling of seeing a big gun in the woods and monsters the response in Three Pines village from all present, including the former Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, is a collective yawn. However, that doesn't last long once the boy turns up missing and we get a reunion of sorts between Jean Guy Beauvoir, Isabelle Lacoste and Armand Camache to look into the matter.
The town of three Pines and its many eccentric residents feature heavily in the plot line. When we finally get around to what this tale is about though, I was just a bit underwhelmed. I just found the whole thing implausible despite the fact that this story is based on some events that actually happened.
The writing on this is still strong and as usual, these stories have more depth than your average who done it and they make for pleasurable reading. I'm just as curious as Gamache though as to what's next. They can't keep having all this crime happening at Three Pines and continue to act like it's this idyllic, pristine place. I'm thinking Gamache needs a change of setting....more
After Kali's mother dies she runs off with her toddler son to remote British Colombia to find out more about her and the reasons for their contentiousAfter Kali's mother dies she runs off with her toddler son to remote British Colombia to find out more about her and the reasons for their contentious relationship. She meets one of her mother's old friends Susannah who reveals surprising details about her mother's life.
This book started off well but quickly deteriorated. The problem is 90% of the story we're in Kali's head and that's not always an awesome place to be as Kali is annoying, whining, impulsive and sometimes not very bright. We also get endless details about the carrying on of a toddler with almost every interaction peppered with some info on said toddler.
There were interesting parts in the story as we learn about Kali's mom's work with killer whales. Those parts are reminiscent of the documentary Blackfish.
This story was also set up as a mystery but it's really not. Anyone paying attention could see exactly where the story's heading and while there's a payoff, it's not explored in as much detail as say which sippy cup toddler Finn would like to use that day or what precious item he was going to knock over and ruin.
It's not terrible just overly long filled with insignificant details and repetitive conversations that could have been edited out. ...more
3.5 Stars Detective Carl Morck is back and this time he's dealing with another cold case, this one involving some very rich protagonists with no redee3.5 Stars Detective Carl Morck is back and this time he's dealing with another cold case, this one involving some very rich protagonists with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. If you're looking for nuance don't look here. These black hearted villains think nothing of rape, murder and the abuse and hunting of exotic animals for sport.
The whole story hinges on these guys finally getting theirs. One of their own is out for revenge and she just might be crazy enough to get it.
This is a very uneven story where we see Detective Morck and Assad his assistant sporadically throughout. But their characters are strong that they can carry you through some of the more unbelievable elements of the story. (view spoiler)[ There's a little weekend at Bernie's type premise in this story that had me wondering how could you be carrying something decades hold and not have it deteriorate completely to nothing. (hide spoiler)]
By the time I got to the end I didn't hate it as much as some reviewers. Maybe it was just the relief of finally seeing the last of the despicable villains. On the other hand, I can't wait to read the other adventures in Morck and Assad land. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
There was something about this title and cover and all the stellar reviews, not to mention that this was an Edgar award nominee that set my expectatioThere was something about this title and cover and all the stellar reviews, not to mention that this was an Edgar award nominee that set my expectations high for this debut novel. But I was expecting depth while this turned out to be little shallow.
The story is billed as being a growing conversation between a college student, Joe Talbert and a Carl Iverson in which Joe begins to question Carl's guilt in a terrible murder. In reality though there's some interaction between the two, it's not really of any length. The majority of the story is Carl discussing the case with a girl he's interested in and Joe's other side issues involving the problems with his alcoholic mother and his autistic brother.
Nothing in the book ever rises above surface level. Exactly what you expect is what you get. There are no glaring writing errors but despite the subject matter, this often felt like a young adult novel or an elevated Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mystery. It's readable, competently written and I did finish it so it's not a total loss. This is the author's first novel and it didn't leave me clamoring for more.
This starts off interesting enough with a disgruntled police officer who's unhappy with his job and insecure about his personal life with his girlfrieThis starts off interesting enough with a disgruntled police officer who's unhappy with his job and insecure about his personal life with his girlfriend and a daughter he loves. It turns out this is the second novel in a series so I missed some of the backstory but this novel gets you up to speed. The problem with the novel is that it also goes into a lot of seemingly unnecessary details.
I rather enjoyed the beginning reading about the detective Soren Marhauge and was ready to settle in to a good mystery story when a body is discovered at an academic research facility. Coincidentally it's the same place Soren's girlfriend works. However, after a few chapters about this, the novel abruptly switches to a very long winded story about a Biology Ph.D. candidate Maria Skov.
It doesn't just switch to her point of view, we basically get her and her family entire biography. Because of the change in tone, the mystery portion stalls and you almost feel like you're reading an entirely different story than the one you got in the beginning.
Eventually the connection between Maria and the scientist killed becomes clearer but there had to be a smoother way to get there. This section was disappointing but it did pick up again after there was more of a back and forth storyline between Maria Skov and Soren and we got the reveal on the mystery.
Despite the awkward transitions and the long windedness of the story (there's a lot of discussion about vaccines) I did find myself liking the story even if it wasn't a smooth ride to get there. ...more
Interesting enough that I finished it but it felt a little by the numbers. The author has impressive credentials in criminal justice so there was probInteresting enough that I finished it but it felt a little by the numbers. The author has impressive credentials in criminal justice so there was probably some authenticity about the police corruption and crime but it still fell prey to some stereotypical development the first of which is the super villain who gets away with everything.
I found it believable that a criminal would have one long con inside of him, especially if he had a lot of time to plan like our killer did here. But when he's subsequently hit with new information and had to do an abrupt change of plans for his next victim, he manages to execute it perfectly. That's not believable. In addition, he commits some other crimes impulsively that should have left a trail a mile long.
The pacing is too hurried and fast in the middle portion of the story as well. One minute there's a murder and then there's an arrest made that same night. This is done before the evidence have even been combed through and tested, DNA samples taken or witnesses verified. In fact a lot of the case hinges on an anonymous 911 call which seems preposterous.
I think the author isn't taking into account the readers weaned on CSI, police procedurals and real life crime stories publicized in real time know that arrests and evidence tracking takes time and in a big time circumstantial case, there's no arrest without first dotting the i's and t's.
Another issue I had was sometimes the characters weren't consistent throughout the story doing and saying things differently than what you expected in the first half.
This would have been a much better story if it wasn't rushed. This was the author's debut novel so hopefully he'll work out these little kinks. There was entertainment here but we just need better character development and pacing. ...more
The story in many ways is preposterous about a young man who's a junkie in prison for 12 years who's revered and treated like a healer. Apparently heThe story in many ways is preposterous about a young man who's a junkie in prison for 12 years who's revered and treated like a healer. Apparently he exudes charisma and has a warm, likable face. Things change when he learns information about his dad's death. His dad was a policeman who died in disgrace. When Sonny (who's alternatively called the son by one of the characters hence the title) learns this he engineers a great escape and becomes a bad ass avenging angel in the process.
I don't want to give away spoilers but suffice it to say that despite the main character's supreme lack of prior skills he manages to outwit practically all in in his path. Perhaps he picked this up while acting like Budha of the prison. The other main character is worn out police inspector Simon Kefas who's out to stop Sonny while dealing with his own painful personal issues.
In many ways despite the inconsistencies and implausibility this story still takes you on a fun ride as it careens towards its inevitable conclusion. But if you don't care for anti heroes or violent revenge fantasies then this one may not be for you. ...more
I usually don't bother attempting a Stephen King book but since this was a crime drama I gave it a shot. I read this one pretty slowly over several weI usually don't bother attempting a Stephen King book but since this was a crime drama I gave it a shot. I read this one pretty slowly over several weeks. It had it's moments but just like other reviewers suggested it's filled with plot holes. With that being said, i was still entertained even with the blurb in my head saying this could never happen in real life with the not that bright criminal getting away with things and the supposedly bright detective making some moronic decisions.
Decent read if you're able to suspend belief....more
I tried to immerse myself in this romance story of two damaged men meeting and falling in love inside a mental hospital butReviewed on Hearts on Fire
I tried to immerse myself in this romance story of two damaged men meeting and falling in love inside a mental hospital but nagging questions kept getting in the way. It’s hard to see love when you keep looking at plot holes. Of the two characters,. Hunter is somewhat more fleshed out as we learn about his past involving depression, a past love and drug use . But I felt we were missing significant pieces of Riley’s story.
We learn that Riley Connors as a young child was a kidnapping victim who was subsequently rescued and returned to a mother who apparently didn’t want him. He was then made a ward of the state bouncing from foster home to foster home and in and out of mental health facilities. What we never get is the why of the story.
A kidnapping child victim rescued and still alive would have generated tremendous publicity. There would have been a great deal of outcry if the mother had abandoned him after his ordeal. The public would have demanded to know why. I’m highly skeptical that such a child would have just been thrown into and left to wallow inside the foster care system. Unfortunately we’re never given an explanation for the mother’s behavior or for the aggressive attitude of the mental health professionals.
Riley’s treatment after his rescue was mind-boggling. Psychiatry is now familiar enough with how a child who was kidnapped for years would react. There’s precedent in this area and they wouldn’t have the child isolated and drugged after he had gone through the ordeal of being isolated and drugged by a sociopath.
We’re also never given any explanation for his involuntary commitment to a mental health facility. People who’re suicidal can be held for 24 to 72 hours in most states but not for years. We don’t learn who exactly filed to have him committed or why. It would take tremendous psychosis to hold someone longer and I just didn’t see that in either Riley or Hunter.
The story does meet a lot of the romance points. It’s warm and emotional and you end up wishing for Hunter and Riley’s happily ever after especially after their troubled past. There are some very lovely scenes where Riley and Hunter share a piece of themselves with each other and show care and protectiveness towards one another. But while I was happy they found love, I wasn’t swept away by the story because it lacked a certain amount of depth. Because it’s built upon something as serious as mental illness, I wanted more from it including more accuracy , explanations and better back stories for each of the men.