While I don't enjoy this series as much as I have other Charlaine Harris series (Aurora Teagarden and Sookie Stackhouse are my two favorites) I do likWhile I don't enjoy this series as much as I have other Charlaine Harris series (Aurora Teagarden and Sookie Stackhouse are my two favorites) I do like how she is developing the characters slowly, revealing their stories over time.
The killer was not as big of a surprise in this book; most of the puzzle pieces that built the main mystery were easily sorted out before the midpoint of the book. I hate when this happens... I like to be surprised ( Midnight Crossroad did a very good job of this) and you can't expect to hit it out of the park every time.
I especially enjoyed the introduction of two characters that were originally part of the Sookie series... at least one should be sticking around for a bit....more
For those who have read other non-Sookie books by Charlaine Harris, you'll recognize her main character. Manfred Bernardo is a psychic who first poppeFor those who have read other non-Sookie books by Charlaine Harris, you'll recognize her main character. Manfred Bernardo is a psychic who first popped up in the Harper Connelly series (which, while I loved the premise of the series -- girl struck by lightning at age 14 can now find dead people -- I hated the creepy romantic denouement.) Manfred is a recent transplant to the small town of Midnight, Texas (although by the end of the first book, the reader doesn't yet know why) in search of a fresh start. He learns quickly that the small town welcomes newcomers, but doesn't like answering questions. Because, as we all know, everyone has something to hide.
Manfred's landlord, Bobo (yes, I know) is a quiet guy who runs the local pawn shop. His girlfriend, Aubrey, up and left him a few months before Manfred moved to town. And when her body is discovered, fingers point to Bobo as the murderer. But there are questions as to Aubrey's former life, including lying about her family, an ex-husband who was killed while robbing a bank and her involvement with a white supremacist militia group. Ultimately, as with all good mysteries, the real killer is a surprise. I always like when that happens.
The first few chapters dragged, detailing the lay of the land and character introductions and I had to acclimate to the narration style of Susan Bennett (she's very good at catching the humor of dialogue without beating the listener over the head. I think she's a good choice). The most off-putting thing was the switching of POV. It's a pet peeve of mine, since I tend to think it's lazy writing, but I recognize it's at times a necessity (think Outlander switching from the predominance of Claire's first-person narrative to third person from Jamie's perspective). If I wasn't listening carefully, I'd have to back up to figure out who was doing the thinking.
The other, slightly-less-off-putting thing is that Manfred does not utilize his psychic powers. It seems that every experience where he could use them, he's having an "off day" and "can't get a read." Why bother making the MC a psychic if his powers are so apparently useless?
I just downloaded the second audiobook from my library, so we'll see if any of the outstanding questions are answered, and where book two of the trilogy goes....more
I have an issue with infidelity being propped up as beautiful and wistful. It is neither. It is coarse, destructive and disloyal, regardless of the plI have an issue with infidelity being propped up as beautiful and wistful. It is neither. It is coarse, destructive and disloyal, regardless of the players and the magnitude of their lust.
This novel is a "what if" attempt to explain why Mamah Borthwich Cheney left her husband in 1907 for famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, destroying two families in the process.
I had a tough time with the overwrought drama and tragedy. I think my biggest stumbling block was a personal one; losing a five-year-old child named SI had a tough time with the overwrought drama and tragedy. I think my biggest stumbling block was a personal one; losing a five-year-old child named Stella? Nope, nope, nope....more
I started reading Michael Koryta when I came across his Lincoln Perry series, which is based in Cleveland, OH. His writing is smart and humorous and dI started reading Michael Koryta when I came across his Lincoln Perry series, which is based in Cleveland, OH. His writing is smart and humorous and deserves a look by anyone who enjoys a good mystery.
Arlen Wagner is a thirtysomething man trying to make a life for himself in the Great Depression. His post-war travels have taken him into the southeastern US, on a train bound for the Florida Keys.
Arlen has a gift; the ability to see when a person is about to die. To Arlen, the person's eyes become black holes with a wisp of smoke in them. While riding south on the train, he sees something unbearable; each man riding with him has the telltale sign of smoke in his eyes.
Arlen convinces Paul, the young engineering genius that has befriended him, to leave the train at a stop. Thus begins a story of intrigue, murder and power in the rural south....more
I had this book on a to-read list before I learned that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym of J.K. Rowling's.
As a detective, Cormoran Strike prides himsI had this book on a to-read list before I learned that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym of J.K. Rowling's.
As a detective, Cormoran Strike prides himself on accuracy and detail in his recordkeeping. The reader gets the feeling that Galbraith emulates that attention to detail, and the book is written from a distinct perspective of detachment. Strike is likable and somewhat pitiable at points, but it's difficult to actually pity him. He acknowledges his circumstances and moves forward despite them, inspiring respect.
The plot is interesting; supermodel falls to her death, but questions remain as to whether it was suicide or murder. Her brother hires Strike to uncover the truth.
Not many books have a truly surprising plot twist that can surprise me (if you know of any, please leave the title in the comments; I'm always on the lookout). But I get the feeling that the author simply chose to muddy the waters with so much extraneous detail that the reader gives up and waits to be handed the denouement. It's decently crafted and Strike is an obviously intelligent man capable at his job, but some of his conclusions are a bit of a reach.
When comparing Cormoran Strike to, say, William Coughlin's character Charley Sloan (recovering alcoholic defense attorney working small jobs for clients), Strike is likable and sharp. But Coughlin wins for deft storytelling and suspense, hands-down
By now everyone knows this is a mom de plume for JK Rowling. Here is the original author bio:
"Born in 1968, Robert Galbraith is married with two sons. After several years with the Royal Military Police, he was attached to the SIB (Special Investigation Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for protagonist Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who have returned to the civilian world. 'Robert Galbraith' is a pseudonym."...more
Better than I expected but not as good as I’d hoped. With the time travel it’s a bit disjointed and it’s hard to build suspense properly when it feelsBetter than I expected but not as good as I’d hoped. With the time travel it’s a bit disjointed and it’s hard to build suspense properly when it feels like several chapters were inserted out of order. But it’s a very interesting premise and I look forward to seeing how it pans out.
A good read, and a bit of a thriller. I kind of saw the end coming (I hate that. I like when an author can actually surprise me) but it was still pretty good....more