As the parent of a teenage boy, this book made me really, really uncomfortable.
(view spoiler)[If you've ever seen the movie "The Bad Seed", you know e...moreAs the parent of a teenage boy, this book made me really, really uncomfortable.
(view spoiler)[If you've ever seen the movie "The Bad Seed", you know exactly what this book is about. It has exactly the same theme. (hide spoiler)] While the story seemed fairly predictable, it was told in an interesting way. Andy Barber, father of the titular Jacob, is on the witness stand testifying about his son. From his testimony, it's quickly apparent that he's discussing something that's in the past, but he's not letting us know what the trial is about. (view spoiler)[I thought Andy was on trial for something, or that he was being forced to testify about Jacob at some time after the original trial, but I was wrong. In fact, I was quite surprised to find out why he was giving testimony. (hide spoiler)] This framing device was quite interesting, but it was also frustrating. There are tantalizing clues about what has happened, but it's not spelled out. He lets you think one thing when the truth is really something else.
I really liked Grover Gardner's narration. He did the various characters really well and actually made it sound like he was someone testifying in a trial.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Because his last three novels were supernatural suspense, I was expecting this novel to fall into that same category. It didn't. The Prophet is a straight-up mystery/thriller. It's also a very masculine book that delves into brotherly relationships and football. In fact, it had way too much football for my tastes. I can say that I never figured out who the perpetrator was and was very surprised by the ending. However, there was way too much football.
I listened to the audio version of this book and the production was very good. Robert Petkoff is a very good narrator. However, I kind of wish I had purchased it in hardback so I could pass it on to my husband. I think he's like it. It's got brothers and football. It's got a lot of football.(less)
I've read two other books by Laura Lippman and really enjoyed them. I was really looking forward to her latest stand-alone novel, but ended up disappo...moreI've read two other books by Laura Lippman and really enjoyed them. I was really looking forward to her latest stand-alone novel, but ended up disappointed. It's supposed to be a suspense/mystery/thriller, but it offered little of any of those things. It starts off well enough. A madam in a suburban neighborhood is murdered. Heloise Lewis debates a woman in a store who thinks the madam was asking to be murdered. We find out fairly quickly that the reason Heloise jumps to the dead woman's defense is because she herself is a suburban, soccer-mom madam. Sounds promising, doesn't it? Instead of a story in which Heloise is fearing for her life/being stalked by a murderer/figuring out whodunit, we get a story detailing how Heloise keeps her profession separate from her personal life, the terrible childhood she had, and how her earlier life was generally effed up. Nothing happens until the very end and by that time, I just didn't care.
For what it's worth, Linda Edmond did a fabulous job of narrating and was probably the only reason I made it through this snoozefest of a novel. I'm not ready to give up on Laura Lippman. I just picked up one of her earlier novels on sale as an ebook. (less)