Holla, das fängt bombig an: Mit einem Schnappschuss von Spezialagent Faris Iskander, eine Sprengstoffweste umgeschnallt, die er jeden Augenblick zündeHolla, das fängt bombig an: Mit einem Schnappschuss von Spezialagent Faris Iskander, eine Sprengstoffweste umgeschnallt, die er jeden Augenblick zünden wird. Wird er tatsächlich?
Dann springt die Geschichte zurück an den Anfang, wo alles beginnt. Und auch das ist kein gemächlicher Einstieg. Faris, Ermittler einer Spezialeinheit gegen religiös motivierte Verbrechen in Berlin, hat einen Tag, wie ihn sonst nur Kollege Jack Bauer aus ’24’ erlebt. Geiseln werden genommen, Sprengsätze gehen hoch, Morde geschehen, und pausenlos steht Faris mittendrin. Oder vielmehr: rennt mittendrin. Die Geschichte lässt nicht viel Raum zum Atmen, weder der Hauptfigur noch dem Leser. Mit Stehaufmännchen Faris hetzt man von einem Brennpunkt zum anderen. Gut so! Das Spannungsniveau ist hoch und bleibt es durch das ganze Buch hindurch.
Okay, dafür muss man einen gewissen Preis bezahlen. Eine wirkliche Einführung in diesen zweiten Teil der Reihe gibt es nicht. Die Vorgeschichte stückelt man sich während der Jagd auf den Bösewicht zusammen. Das geht, auch wenn man sich wünscht, nochmal kurz einen Steckbrief unseres tapferen Agenten/Polizisten zu bekommen. Ich, die ich Teil 1 nicht kenne, rätsele zum Beispiel immer noch, aus welchem Land er ursprünglich stammt. Aus dem arabischen Raum, klar, aber woher genau?
Man kommt allerdings auch so ganz gut mit, denn als zweites muss man Abstriche bei der Tiefe der Geschichte machen. Emotional ist schon alles drin von Schock, Schuld, Wut bis Angst und Trauer. Allerdings fehlt für tiefschürfendere Introspektion und Charakterisierung über Jack Bauer-Niveau hinaus ganz einfach die Zeit. Würde das schön hohe Tempo auch unterbrechen, und so nimmt man das zugunsten des Nervenkitzels in Kauf.
Sprachlich hat das alles nichts mit dem Nobelpreis zu tun. Lange schreibt ohne Rüschen, zackig, ohne jedes Gewese. Tatsächlich scheinen viele Sätze aus dem ‘Wie-schreibe-ich-einen-Thriller’-Handbuch zu stammen und klingen schon mal formelhaft. In meinem Leseexemplar gibt es einige Wiederholungen, die das Endlektorat hoffentlich gefunden hat. Ich fange beim Lesen schon an, eine Strichliste zu machen, wie oft irgendwem ‘die Worte von den Lippen gerissen’ werden.
Am Schluss wird die an sich sehr stringente und wirklich spannende Geschichte etwas wuschig. Kathrin Lange versucht, eine Wendung zu viel unterzubringen, und die Logik wird holperig. So richtig zum Verschlingen
Schlimm ist das aber trotzdem nicht. Und zwar, weil Lange ordenlich Gas gibt mit ihrer Geschichte. Weil Faris ein Kerl ist, der das Herz am rechten Fleck und die Knarre in der fähigen Hand hat. Weil er Menschen verliert, die er liebt, und weil man ihn am liebsten auf den Schoß ziehen und ein bisschen im Arm wiegen möchte. Weil Faris selbst aber – blutend und tapfer – den Hintern zusammenkneift und sich einfach nicht unterkriegen lässt. Dafür belohnt Lange ihn (und uns) mit etwas Trost, Heftpflastern und einer aufkeimenden Liebelei.
Dann ist da natürlich noch das brandaktuelle Rahmenthema: Verbrechen, die aufgrund ethnischer Zugehörigkeit und religiösem Fanatismus begangen werden. Faris als muslimischer, deutscher Polizist arabischen Ursprungs, inklusive kleiner rassistischer Seitenhiebe auf ihn. Auch wenn das nicht über ein grobes Hintergrundbild hinausgeht, so sorgt es doch für tagesaktuelle Würze.
Bestens geeignet, um es an einem freien Tag an einem Stück zu Verschlingen.
Unterm Strich ist ‘Gotteslüge’ also kein anspruchsvoller Polit-Thriller. Oh nein. Dafür aber ein mit Cliffhangern durchsetzer Action-Cop-Roman mit durchweg sympathischer Hauptfigur. Ein Buch, das man sich süchtelnd reinzieht wie eine Tüte Lieblingschips. Aus der Hand legen kann man das kaum. Deutsche Thriller sind in der letzten Zeit ja entweder verkopft oder sensationsheischend. Dieser hier hält sich stattdessen an die Hauptsache: krachende Spannung und echte Rasanz. Wen interessieren da noch Schönheitsfehler?
Ich buche den guten Faris dann jetzt schon mal für Teil 3....more
Ein Debut-Roman, von dem ich mich gerne hätte begeistern lassen. Die Buch-im-Buch Struktur ist eine interessante Idee, und Raabe konzentriert sich aufEin Debut-Roman, von dem ich mich gerne hätte begeistern lassen. Die Buch-im-Buch Struktur ist eine interessante Idee, und Raabe konzentriert sich auf psychologische Spannung, die in einem Kammerspiel gipfelt. Die Erzählerin erweist sich als alles andere als zuverlässig, hat zu diesem Zeitpunkt meine Sympathien aber leider nicht auf ihrer Seite. Ihre Selbstabsorbiertheit, ihre Labilität stoßen mich persönlich ab. Ihr Plan zum Überführen des Mörders scheint mir nicht realistisch.
Tja. Da liegt wirklich der Hase im Pfeffer: Wo andere Mitgefühl und Verständnis für Linda entwickeln und daher mit ihr mitfiebern, lässt mich ihre Not kalt, und deshalb hält sich der Spannungsfaktor für mich in Grenzen. Dass ich mit der Hörbuch-Sprecherin ein paar sehr subjektive Probleme habe, hilft da auch nicht gerade.
Es geht also um mein subjektives Empfinden für die Hauptfigur, und weniger um die Story, die Sprache, Raabes Schreibstil. Die sind, gerade für einen Erstling, von wirklich ordentlichem Format. Raabe bleibt konsistent, und von ihr werden wir bestimmt noch mehr lesen.
So begeistert, wie die meisten anderen Leser klingen, ist das wohl einfach ein Fall von ‘nicht mein Buch, aber vielleicht eures’.
I love Tempe. I really do. But I need to be honest, even if it hurts.
BONES ARE FOREVER, while being an entertaining read, is going down the same pathI love Tempe. I really do. But I need to be honest, even if it hurts.
BONES ARE FOREVER, while being an entertaining read, is going down the same path as other recent installments of the Tempe Brennan series: Everything is getting a bit old and - worse - the characters are running in circles, getting nowhere.
Yes, we have the forensic stuff. We have, as usual, corpses that need to have a name put to them. And - let's face it right away - the scenes with these little bodies are the best ones of the book. Heartbreaking, but spotlighting everything we love about Tempe. Her tenderness, her rage, her emotional investment feel authentic and human and professional at the same time. Here is a character who, after all these years, hasn't lost touch or abandoned her ethics and sense of justice.
So, Tempe goes on her crusade, and we love her for it. The case takes her to northern Canada, aboriginal country, where, along with Tempe, we learn about a drug war, about geology, about greed and the sad story of a mother who never should have become one. A guest character is added to the mix: A Canadian mountie Tempe once had a fling with. Of course, there is the awaited clash with Ryan, also accompanying Tempe on her trip north. And, of course, we have an intense finale with action and danger and a satisfying wrap-up of the murder case.
And yet, something is missing. The murder story, after a shocking start, isn't all that riveting. Side stories rather distract than add to the case. The numerous characters that come and go fail to make a lasting impression and are rather forgettable. Even the proverbial pissing contest between Ryan and the Mountie never reaches an interesting climax. Reichs just doesnt't make full use of the potential bombs she dropped in the beginning. And, for the finale, she re-uses a much employed actioon pattern for Tempe that is, indeed, getting a bit old. Will Tempe never learn?
And here we come to the biggest problem: One of the most attractive assets of the series was the rollercoaster relationship Tempe and Ryan had going. There was wit, snark, sexiness. There was a development. But now, these two have stalled and aren't getting anywhere. BONES ARE FOREVER, once again, has these two great characters stuck in an uncomfortable, unsatisfying status quo. I had rejoiced when I'd heard Ryan would be back. Turns out, he seems to have lost his mojo, and so does Tempe when it comes to him. The few flickers of mutual attraction between them just aren't enough to make Ryan's return worth it.
I refuse to believe that the series has passed its zenith. I do believe there is still a lot of potential in the characters, and that Reichs has many more interesting cases for Tempe to solve in store. But she needs to tap into that potential and make use of it. She needs to move things forward and come up with new twists. Pounding on familiar patterns while having the characters grind to a halt isn't going to do it for me.
Lisa Emond's voice certainly fits Tempe. She's great when it comes to bringing the irony, the passion and insecurity of Tempe's character across. Best, when it comes to inner monologues and silent commentary. But during the dialogues, Emonds isn't always able to stay in character, making differentiation a bit of a problem sometimes. Which is a shame, since she does find distinctive voices for the characters, but she just isn't consistent with them. ...more
A French thriller - it's been forever since I read/listened to one, and the idea alone was enticing. I just love the sound of French names and places,A French thriller - it's been forever since I read/listened to one, and the idea alone was enticing. I just love the sound of French names and places, and I'm indeed a little mad at myself that I didn't go for the French hardcover book and chose the German audio instead. Would've been great to brush up my language skills.
BUT I would've missed out on the masterful narration of Johannes Steck who graduated to my top 10 favorite German narrators with SCHWARZER SCHMETTERLING ('Black Butterfly' - the French original is called 'Glacé'). Steck has a beautifully virile, dark, facetted voice with the perfect creepy edge to read a psychological thriller like this one.
The story itself is not as fast-paced or scary as one might expect from the beginning (workers find a slaughtered horse draped like a giant butterfly on a mountain lift). It certainly has an eerie, icy undertone, but the crime investigation, headed by the wonderfully wry, baggaged Martin Servaz, takes its time unraveling. Minier gives Servaz and most of the other characters impressive depth, and the story behind the crimes reaches deep into the past, exposing family secrets and an abyss of crimes.
The one weakness of the book is the storyline taking place in the forensic facility, hidden in the lonely, cold mountains. I was expecting a Hannibal-Lecter-like development when suspician falls on the mass murderer Julian Hirtmann incarcerated in the Institut Varnier. But, in fact, his character hovers on the sidelines only and never lives up to expectations or his full potential. Also, the psychiatrist Dr. Xavier and psychologist Diane Berg remain clichéd and almost campy.
It turns out to be a very good thing that Servaz carries the weight of SCHWARZER SCHMETTERLING, with wit, melancholy and attitude.
The ending feels like the set-up for a sequel, and I certainly hope there will be one!...more
It's been a while since I've enjoyed a thriller as immensely as I did this one. Maybe because after reading about so many psychopaths and supernaturalIt's been a while since I've enjoyed a thriller as immensely as I did this one. Maybe because after reading about so many psychopaths and supernaturally touched murderers, one kill more horrifying and graphic than the other, it was refreshing to read a thriller written the classical way. We have an intelligent, likable protagonist, a plausible, fast-paced plot, perfectly timed action sequences and a highly dramatic finale. A page turner of the traditional sort, with a very modern, scarily realistic scenario.
The fact that OATH OF OFFICE is a medical thriller had me braced for scientific monologues and medical lingo that would drown out part of the actual plot. How wonderful that neither was the case! The medical/scientific aspects of the story are well-embedded into the plot, and the fact that the main character, Dr. Lou Welcome, works in an ER only gives the whole thing even more plausibility. Lou's calmness in the eye of the storm directly correlates to the life-and-death decisions he has to make in the ER, and the reader readily believes in his mental strength in dire situations.
OATH OF OFFICE also covers the modern day power play of politics and business. The conspiracy goes all the way up to the White House, and Palmer touches on a highly sensitive issue when it comes to the clashing business interests in and health risks of GMO.
Be warned: After reading OATH OF OFFICE, you'll most likely exclude certain types of food from your diet. At least for a while.
The one thing I could criticize: The common denominator, the link between the victims was very obvious very soon. I couldn't quite believe how Lou didn't put two and two together there. But he's forgiven, and so is Michael Palmer. We've all been there and overlooked the most obvious, haven't we?
What an enjoyable read! And the audio version I listened to was perfectly narrated by Robert Petkoff. A professional, well-paced narration with subtle vocal differentiation of the different characters. Petkoff never over-dramatizes, and never pushes his voice into the foreground. His narration does nothing but completely serve the story and give the characters their unique voices. Couldn't have been done better!...more
I listened to the German audiobook version called 'Toxic', and it turned out to be a solid thriller. A series of religiously and sexually motivated muI listened to the German audiobook version called 'Toxic', and it turned out to be a solid thriller. A series of religiously and sexually motivated murders has to be figured out by a token figure of the genre: a slightly disgruntled, divorced detective and weekend dad who, to my joy, is less sardonic and depressed than nowadays exemplaries of the species.
The plot was plausible, the religious science involved interesting, and snakes as a murder weapon unusual and interesting. Snake fans will cry out at the demonization of these fascinating animals, though. And those balking at sexual content might want to walk the other way. Neither was a problem for me.
The story is told as a 1st person narrative through the eyes of Detective Sergeant Seamus Moynihan, giving TOXIC a grounded, no-fuss, recognizably male voice. No literary flourish in this one,and it isn't needed.
Some of the characters are a little clichéd, but there is enough depth in the main cast to raise TOXIC above superficiality.
The German narrator, Wolfram Koch, drove me crazy with his mispronunciations of first names, above all 'Seamus' and 'Jorge'. I flinched every time. But that's a pet peeve of mine and doesn't have to vex anyone but me.
NICEVILLE didn't live up to my expectations of an intense thriller with significant horror elements. Instead, it turned out to be a slow burning, compNICEVILLE didn't live up to my expectations of an intense thriller with significant horror elements. Instead, it turned out to be a slow burning, complicated (and admittedly complex) crime/mystery story with subtle horror on the side. The exposition takes up half of the book (I listened to the unabridged audio version), and new characters and/or events are introduced every other chapter. It's very difficult not to lose track of who's who and how they relate to each other. NICEVILLE ended up being the first audiobook that had me take notes and relay them into a mindmap. Otherwise, it world have been too confusing.
It takes some endurance and a lot of concentration to make it through that prolonged exposition. Many of the dialogues, IMO, could've been shortened. Once the characters were introduced it simply wasn't necessary to showcase everyone's attitudes and have them squabble so much. Sometimes, less is more.
Also, the text on the dustsheet is a bit misleading: The story revolving around Rainey Teague's disappearance, and - at its core - the 'thing' that lives in the Crater Sink and corrupts almost everyone in Niceville turns out to be hovering on the sidelines throughout most of the book. Instead, a complicated bank robbery and it's sprawling fallout take center stage, making NICEVILLE more of a crime story than a mystery/horror thriller. Only during the last third of the book does the story come around and return to it's original creepy premise.
One has to keep in mind that NICEVILLE has been announced to be the first installment of a trilogy. While that doesn't excuse the overly lengthy first half of the book, it does at least explain it. I had to keep reminding myself to look for the bigger picture, beyond the ending of NICEVILLE and that did, indeed, level out some of the flaws of the book.
At the end, some questions are answered, but many remain open. The threads begin to weave into an intricate, impressive net of cause and reaction that reaches deep into the history of the families of NICEVILLE.
The book wasn't nearly as gripping as I had expected and took quite a while to grow on me. I still wouldn't say it's worth all the elated praise it's getting. But then again, I don't read a lot of horror/mystery fiction, and certainly not this lengthy Stephen King kind (and it DOES remind me of King's DARK TOWER series). Which means NICEVILLE doesn't cater to my usual tastes.
But the book's premise and some of its main characters (above all, Nick and Kate Kavanaugh) were intriguing enough to have me put the sequel (which is awaited for 2013) onto my TBR list.
A word on the German audio version: The narrator, Michael Hansonis, wasn't the best pick. He has a nice, husky, cool-blooded gunslinger voice. But he also doesn't have a lot of range, so that the characters, whether male or female, often sound similar. Which isn't helpful when the cast is so large and the story so confusing in itself. A little unfortunate in choice....more
First of all, I downloaded this book in the assumption it was a thriller, not knowing it belonged in the 'romantic suspense' category. Hence, I was aFirst of all, I downloaded this book in the assumption it was a thriller, not knowing it belonged in the 'romantic suspense' category. Hence, I was a little surprised at the sexual undercurrent already apparent very early on and, at the same time, a little disappointed at the lack of action and heart-stopping thrill.
In the end, having found out it's a crime/romance story, I can say I liked the book enough, although the genre (if LETHAL is a typical example for it) won't become my favorite. The compromise between suspense and sex-scene sprinkled romance, IMO, leads to a hazy focus of what the story is about, and it leads to a slackening of pace.
On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of shallowness. Both Honor and Coburn are fully developed characters and not the cardboard, cliché kind we often meet in formulaic genres. Honor is a strong mother and attractive woman. Coburn is a handsome bad boy with a lot of emotional baggage, giving him depth. I really fell for these two, and the ending made me want to read more of them - if there ever IS going to be a sequel. The book has the feeling of a Part I to me, in any case.
For my reviews in German, go to http://www.buchstapelweise.wordpress.com As to the crime story, I have to say I didn't really get engaged until the last two hours of the audio version I listened to. The story revolving around trafficking and smuggling wasn't all that invested or interesting, and although there was a nice whodunnit quality to it, its resolution didn't appear very plausible. e I've read quite a bit of criticism about the ending. Except for said implausibility, I have to say I liked the book in terms where it left our heroes. I can't share the frustrations of other readers, but that may be because I like it when a story doesn't have a completely clear cut ending and leaves a bit of room for my own interpretation.
All in all, a good book, but definitely not a thriller. I'd say it's a crime story with a hot, but meaningful relationship developing in its center. The characters are what's intriguing, and not the plot itself.
The narrator is doing a good job. He pulls off the 'southern drawl' in varying intensities without pushing it too hard. Thank God Slezak is one of those who refuses to speak in a falsetto voice when it comes to portraying female characters. I had to get used to his deep voice as 4yo Emely's, but it didn't take long and I was enjoying it. The kid never even got on my nerves - which is a huge compliment both for the character in the book and the narrator 'acting' her....more
I have to say I was underwhelmed by this book (I listened to the audio version). Reviews have been mainly in favor of the series, and now I'm wonderinI have to say I was underwhelmed by this book (I listened to the audio version). Reviews have been mainly in favor of the series, and now I'm wondering if I started with one of the weaker volumes.Let's get the criticism out of the way, shall we? The plot. I tried, but I didn't really feel suspense, except maybe for the final action sequence. While at first I was curious to find out why Trey was being hunted, and who was eventually behind it, halfway through the book I was so distracted and partially bored by the Spring Breakers, sulking teens, franchise resort golf cart drivers etc. that I stopped really caring. The plot felt like something from an 80s P.I. show - entertaining, but not gripping. The action scenes are well written, I have to give Sharp that. Crisp, well-paced, no fuss and believable. Made me listen up and lose my disinterest whenever a shootout/close combat scene arrived. Spice of the book. When I noticed my own disregard for the plot, I decided to focus on the characters instead and care about them. Which is what saved my opinion about the book and lifted it to three stars instead of two. To be precise, Charlie and Sean did. I never really warmed up with Trey, and neither did Charlie. Not really. The teenagers in the story were something to grin at at first, but they quickly became as much of a nuissance and source for anger as they are in RL (I'm raising two of that species, I know what I'm talking about). I was, in general, missing adult in the book. Only Walt with his warm Southern accent and paternal instincts was a likeable supporting character. The rest - most of them bad guys - were indistinct and even blurred a little in my head. But thank God there's Charlie. Tough, yet thoughtful Charlie, ghosts of the past haunting her, and battling with feelings of guilt. She's a likeable heroine, the right mixture of hard and soft, and those features are best completed when she interacts with or thinks about Sean. Sean, her partner, whom she's obviously in love with, but on difficult terms. In the few scenes these two have with each other in 'First Drop', there is a lot of chemistry crackling between these characters, a lot of history defining their cautious but clearly smitten ways with each other. And it's because of them that I might go back and read the first book of the series, even if 'First Drop' really didn't meet my expectations. Luckily enough, stories, for me, are about characters more than about plot (for the most part anyway). Which is why, with qualms, I'm giving 'First Drop' three of five stars (would be 2 1/2 if that was a option).
One more word about the narrator: I listened to the audio version narrated by Clare Corbett, and she couldn't always convince me either. Her voice suited Charlie's character, and her British English is clean and easy to understand. Also, Corbett's interpretation of Sean was done very well - she gives him nuances of cold-blooded, yet evocative sexiness. Unfortunately, Sean only played a small part in the book, and we don't get to hear him often enough. As for the teenager's voices, Corbett made them sound appropriately obnoxious - which got on my nerves after a while. Possibly intentional. I had my biggest issues with Corbett mimicking a deeper, male voice and an American accent. Both seemed exaggerated and really took some getting used to. I would've preferred more subtlety here.
Ein typischer Preston/Child: Es geht los mit einem grausigen Todesfall, der Fragen offen lässt. Dann folgt die Einführung der Hauptpersonen, ein gedulEin typischer Preston/Child: Es geht los mit einem grausigen Todesfall, der Fragen offen lässt. Dann folgt die Einführung der Hauptpersonen, ein geduldiger Aufbau der Geschichte und der Spannung, gesprenkelt mit Wissenschaft und hier und da ein paar weiteren, grausigen Segmenten - bis das Ganze dann in einem fulminaten, actionreichen Finale kulminiert.
Das ist eine Formel, die sich bewährt hat, und die auch hier ganz gut funktioniert, allerdings für eine gewisse Vorhersagbarkeit sorgt. Apropos vorhersagbar: Was mit den kränkelnden Arbeitern los ist, war mir schon lange klar, als der gute Hatch endlich darauf kam, und dafür gibt's einen Punktabzug. Kommt sonst bei Preston/Child nicht vor.
Die Geschichte ist spannend, aber nicht ganz so packend wie die Pendergast-Serie. Das liegt zum einen natürlich am Fehlen von Pendergast, aber auch daran, dass in RIPTIDE bis auf Hatch Malin die Nebenfiguren etwas zu blass daher kommen, und zu eindimensional. Preston/Child sind grundsätzlich nicht auf Tiefgründigkeit aus, aber hier fehlte mir doch etwas mehr Komplexität und emotionale Anbindung an die Charaktere. So kam es dann auch, dass Hatch's aufkeimende Beziehung zur Taucherin Bonterre mich nicht wirklich berührte - Bonterre blieb einfach zu oberflächlich. An keinem Punkt erfahren wir mehr über sie, als dass sie eine toughe Frau ist, und das reicht mir nicht.
Klar, die Idee mit der Schatzsuche und der Wassergrube, und was letztendlich des Rätsels Lösung ist, sind lesenswert. Aber an die packende Qualität der Pendergast-Reihe reicht Riptide einfach nicht heran.
Da ich die Hörbüch-Version gehört habe, ein Wort zum Erzähler: Thomas Piper liest vor, und ich wusste gleich, dass er nicht mein Lieblingserzähler wird. Ist einfach Geschmackssache, und ich mag etwas coolere, zurückhaltendere Stimmen oft lieber als das doch recht markante und dramatische Organ vom Piper. Und (aber das ist eine Macke von mir) ich kann es nicht leiden, wenn ein Erzähler einen ausländischen Akkzent benutzt, ihn aber nicht wirklich glaubhaft hinkriegt - in diesem Fall den französischen Akkzent von Bonterre. Hätte man besser machen können.
Last but not least: Lieber Herr Piper, das 'l' in 'Lincoln' spricht man NICHT aus. Das ist auch so eine Empfindlichkeit von mir. Aber ich bin der Meinung, dass man zumindest die Autorennamen korrekt aussprechen sollte....more