Two stars for the portrayal of the main character, four stars for the plot. Average being three stars....more"Read" as an audiobook. Narrator was Dick Hill.
Two stars for the portrayal of the main character, four stars for the plot. Average being three stars.
By the end of the first chapter, I detested our protagonist, Detective Bosch. A self-centered, arrogant, obnoxious, rude, character which I simply could not sympathize or empathize with, nor, ultimately care about. I don't know why anyone would like this man or call him a "friend" given how poorly he treats people. I can't fathom any police department putting up with the behavior demonstrated in this book (and previous), including assaulting a supervisor, assaulting an investigator, illegal use of resources while on leave, inability to work with a team. He insults everyone he talks to, treats them as idiots, accuses them of some perceived slight to his character, frequently shouts at them, and to top it off, only Bosch knows what's right. Everyone else is an ignorant putz. I'm seething at Bosch's behavior just typing this review.
My second complaint with the book was the excessively long "love scene" between Bosch and Jasmine. Tedious, boring, and gratuitous - if I wanted a soft porn romance book, I'd read a soft porn romance book. I want a mystery-thriller. There are other ways to have a couple connect meaningfully that doesn't involve sex.
The only reason I finished this book was the plot - the plot was interesting. A cold case with interesting twists and turns, of perceptions being righted, and ultimately, the truth coming out. Not a pleasant truth, mind, but that's usually the case. That was very well done.
Was the plot enough to carry the book...barely. Not sure I could recommend this one. (less)
I finished this on my flights from Minnesota to Texas. Absolutely perfect for traveling...actually just perfect period!
John Taylor, our Nightside pri...moreI finished this on my flights from Minnesota to Texas. Absolutely perfect for traveling...actually just perfect period!
John Taylor, our Nightside private eye, accepts a job from Lady Luck to find the origins of Nightside. A lot of people don't want him digging around in those murky depths, including Walker from the Authorities, The Hunter, and the Horrors - the entities who want John dead. John engages two new characters - Sinner, a fellow who's living his own purgatory because he loves a demon named Pretty Poison; and Madman, who saw reality for what it really was and hasn't been able to see things the same way ever since. In John's journeys he encounters gods from days gone by and characters that can make the skin crawl on a dead man, but the biggest surprise is Lady Luck herself.
Green's writing is definitely progressing and solidifying - the new character 'biographies' are becoming more integrated into the story rather than coming across as info dumps. The new characters themselves are just amazing in their creativity and uniqueness. Green has a subtle - almost wicked - sense of humor that keeps me turning the pages just to see what he will come up with next. I find the length of these books just perfect for the setting, something that I can enjoy over a couple of days or on a trip.
I'm not sure if my opinion of this book is colored by the thought I wasn't really in the mood to read a space opera or if is because this book was jus...moreI'm not sure if my opinion of this book is colored by the thought I wasn't really in the mood to read a space opera or if is because this book was just plain dull. Probably a combination of both.
Our hero is now married and is sent off to the far reaches of Alien space by the Alliance as a way to get him out of the picture in a pure political move. Admiral Geary's is given an impossible mission, which is to survey and make contact with the alien race they call the enigmas. And oh, on your way out would he please stop by Syndic space and pick up these prisoners of war, which all happen to be high ranking fleet officers. All of our original cast is back: Captain Desjani (his new wife), Captain Duellos, ex-Co-President Rione, and several others.
This book plodded along and after a while I couldn't bring myself to really care what happened next - Rione was still being obtuse and difficult, Tanya was still questioning her honor for her feelings about Geary, the rescued officers wanted to rebel, the Fleet flew from spot to spot and fought a battle and nobody could figure out the aliens and their motives. Ultimately, I couldn't care enough about the characters or plot to finish and ended up skimming.
I've read reviews that Beyond the Frontier #2 is better, but whoo, it's going to take a lot for me to overcome my apathy to pick it up. Recommended with significant reservations. (less)
"Read" as an audiobook and I couldn't stick those CD's into the player fast enough. Stop lights are my friends - extra listening time! In fact, I fini...more"Read" as an audiobook and I couldn't stick those CD's into the player fast enough. Stop lights are my friends - extra listening time! In fact, I finished the last CD sitting in my garage.
As this series has progressed, the writing style and plot development have definitely improved. There seems to be less organized chaos and more methodical character and background building. Things are following a logical formatting which I appreciate.
In Turn Coat we have Warden Morgan showing up battered and beaten on Harry's doorstep with him pleading for sanctuary. Harry, despite his intense dislike and mistrust of Morgan, shelters him without many qualms. But this illusion of shelter can't be maintained when everything starts to point right at Chicago: we have Shag-nasty (an evil skinwalker of Native American construct who wants Morgan), the White Court is involved when Thomas is kidnapped and Magdalene is out for vengeance, Captain of the Guard Anastasia finds out Harry has Morgan and is now caught between the two people she cares about the most, and the White Council will have someone's head on a platter by the end of the day whether that person is innocent or not. Nothing is what it seems to be.
Lots going on, well coordinated cast of characters, good character development, nicely plotted out. Only a couple of detraction's in the way of loose ends and in that I figured out the "who done it" almost immediately. Recommended, but advise starting at the beginning of the series. (less)
Let me tell you just how much I am enjoying this series...IMMENSELY doesn't begin to describe it! I started/finished this on 12 hours of travel from B...moreLet me tell you just how much I am enjoying this series...IMMENSELY doesn't begin to describe it! I started/finished this on 12 hours of travel from Brownsville, TX to Minneapolis, MN.
Jacket blurb is actually pretty good so I'm not going to rehash the plot summary.
I continue to thoroughly enjoy the sports setting - it's so refreshing from the run-of-the-mill depressed alcoholic cop syndrome, so refreshing from the run-of-the-mill police procedural! So far, these mysteries are solved through a group effort, ideas being bounced of a variety of people rather than held "close to the chest" ala Lone Cop/Cowboy Cop trope. Everyone does his or her bit of research to reach the Grand Finale.
I love the cast characters: Myron is young, conflicted by his past actions, has a big heart that he wears on his sleeve and is devoted to his friends. His right hand, front desk gal Esperanza, is a nice counterpoint to Myron in her dry sense of humor and no-nonsense personality; the mysterious Win continues to be creepy, witty, drool, and delightfully mysterious; lastly, Myron's girlfriend is a solid grounding character to the rest of the cast and especially for Myron. The sub-characters in each book round out the story perfectly.
Highly recommended if you like sports and mysteries with a wicked sense of humor. (less)
The mix of an on-going court trial covering the four year old shooting of a murderer known as the Dollm...more"Read" as an audiobook. Narrated by Dick Hill.
The mix of an on-going court trial covering the four year old shooting of a murderer known as the Dollmaker and a current investigation into a copy-cat murder was an interesting mix of dual plots.
In the court trial, Bosch is on the stand for the use of unreasonable force in his shooting of the suspected murderer known as the Dollmaker. His city appointed lawyer is an inept buffon who has to match wits with Honey "Money" Chandler, one of the toughest prosecuting attorneys in LA. Chandler shreds the defense on the stand and manipulates the entire trial with a deft and practiced hand.
In the secondary plot, Bosch realizes that there is a second Dollmaker murderer - a Follower, as he is dubbed, who is playing the LA Homicide department and subsequently, the trial, like a puppet show. Everyone is dancing to his tune.
Where I thought the plot fell apart was the romantic relationship between Bosch and Sally (whom he met in book #2). One moment everything is going smoothly, Bosch is realizing things about himself, his past and his relationship, and then she cracks like a egg hitting the floor just when he needs her the most. Ultimately I found her to be...pushy, whiny and annoying. She was a cops wife, she knows what being married to cop is about, so why she thinks it would be different with Bosch is puzzling.
My other complaint was with the "red herring". I thought the attempt at subterfuge too obvious and blatant, to the point where it detracted from the plot rather than enhancing it because I just wanted to blast through the smoke screen and get to the actual murderer.
Recommended, especially if you have read the first two books. (less)
Book number three in the Nightside series, and just as interesting and entertaining as the previous. The author is definitely starting to hit his stri...moreBook number three in the Nightside series, and just as interesting and entertaining as the previous. The author is definitely starting to hit his stride and many of my complaints with the first book (Something from the Nightside) have been resolved.
John Talyor, in the process of avoiding the Authorities for a tiny little mishap at the power plant, agrees to look in on a new local singing sensation whose voice, it's rumored, drives people to kill themselves. Her Father just wants to know Rossignol okay and happy. John reluctantly agrees if nothing else than to keep himself ahead of the Authority. The rumors prove true and with a bit more digging, a bit of help from his friends, he does more than find out if Miss Rossignol is okay.
This plot felt simpler than the first two books and I think it was stronger for that. Less running around, more methodical sleuthing. We were introduced to a couple of new Nightside characters, but now their biographys don't come across as "info dumps". Our characters are more seamlessly integrated into the story and plot. I also appreciated the new characters rather than having the regulars trotted out for their stage appearance. This gives the whole aspect of Nightside more depth and color, which I like.
And a nod to Mr. Green for the very subtle references to other books. Nicely done! Made for very engaging reading.
After my "falling out" with Agony of the Leaves (#13), it was with great reluctance and hesitation that I read Sweet Tea Revenge. And unlike the rest...moreAfter my "falling out" with Agony of the Leaves (#13), it was with great reluctance and hesitation that I read Sweet Tea Revenge. And unlike the rest of the series, I decided to get this from the library.
It was a dark and stormy afternoon, the lightening cracked overhead, the rafters shook from the thunder. Theodosia, our heroine with hair prone to frizzies in humid weather and owner of the IndigoTea Shop, has been roped into maid of honor for Delaine Dish's whirlwind, shotgun wedding at the rundown and slightly haunted Ravencrest B&B. The guests are assembled in the drawing room, the bridesmaids are in the hallway, the bride is ravishing in white, the groom...is no where to be found. Until Theo finds him gasp!...DEAD!
While Sweet Tea Revenge did not leave me wanting to hurl the book across the room in utter disgust as I did with Agony of the Leaves, it certainly didn't leave me wanting to read more. We have a totally insensitive photographer, a detective so cliched as to be ridiculous, a bi-polar bride, a Tea shop run by three people, one of which seems to spend most of her time running out during the height of the lunch hour to interview people in an investigation she was told to stay out of (of course). But you can't trust the police to do their work after all...
I muttered about this in my previous review: one person simply cannot run a full service kitchen and single handedly cater events for hundreds of people, while going to school. For the type and amount of food coming out of that "cozy" kitchen, this is completely unrealistic.
The authors portrayal of Detective Tidwell and the police is still insulting. The ATF agent hitting on Theo during a very busy lunch hour during an active investigation was incongruous given the circumstances (busy lunch, just met, investigation, not a romance).
Theo herself has been turned into a frizzy headed ditz, who seems to spend more time running around in a panic, than logically working her way through events. At least in this episode, she learned to call 911.
With an overly robust cast of characters the southern charm of Charleston, the Low Country and the Indigo Tea Shop, was lost to whirlwind events and loose ends.(less)
Just as enjoyable as Something from Nightside (Book 1), if not a bit more polished and filled out. Which is what I would expect as the author starts t...moreJust as enjoyable as Something from Nightside (Book 1), if not a bit more polished and filled out. Which is what I would expect as the author starts to flesh out and tidy up his world. As far as Nightside can be tidied up...
In Agents of Light and Darkness, John Taylor is hired by the Vatican to find the Unholy Grail before the Agents of Above and Below do and start the apocalypse early. The angels are not nice beings, and proceed to wreak havoc and chaos upon Nightside, killing anyone who might know anything about the Unholy Chalice. John, with the help of Shotgun Suzie, embark upon - essentially - a quest for the Grail before the Agents of Above and Below destroy their city.
Unlike book one, where I commented on how each character had a biography to accompany it, new characters were introduced by name and maybe given a couple words as to their uniqueness. There was more showing, and less telling, which I appreciated. Less biographical exposition. More action. We were also given Suzie's background over the course of the story and I appreciated the focus on one character. We find out a bit more about John and Alex the barkeep, but just enough to want to keep the reader engaged and wondering what will be revealed in the next book.
These are short enough to finish in a weekend; great for trains, planes, road trips and doctor offices. Recommended. (less)
Once again we return to the world of Theodosia Browning and her Indigo Tea Shop, located in the historic district in Charleston, SC. Theo and her merr...moreOnce again we return to the world of Theodosia Browning and her Indigo Tea Shop, located in the historic district in Charleston, SC. Theo and her merry band of friends: Drayton, master tea mixer extraordinaire; Hayley, tea shop chef and business student; Delaine Dish, social lite and others are the beverage caterers at a Historic Society function at one of the old plantations in the area, when a friend suddenly falls dead of a heart attack. Theo, never one to let dead people lie, asks some discrete questions of the investigating authorities and find out her friend was poisoned by a "nonspecific toxin".
This time Theodosia doesn't purposely embroil herself in the mystery, in fact, compared to past books, she pretty much stays out of it. However, her curious mind doesn't rest and she picks up on odd little clues that come to her over the course of the story and she does unwittingly land herself in a heap of trouble.
The Tea Shop books are just fun, brain candy stories, totally implausible (really, how many people can fall dead around one person?), but enjoyable nonetheless. Child's fills the books with scrumptious sounding food, interesting tea combinations and little tidbits about S. Carolina. This was book 8 in the series, but they could easily be read out of order. (less)
Book #1 in a new-to me series, recommended by a fellow book group member.
This was interesting enough - despite the cliches and obvious riffs from oth...moreBook #1 in a new-to me series, recommended by a fellow book group member.
This was interesting enough - despite the cliches and obvious riffs from other popular series - to want to read more.
The obvious cliches - it was a dark and stormy night and a beautiful, rich woman walks into our down-on-his-luck protagonists dive for an office in desperate need of a private investigator. He's a sucker for a damsel in distress. There will be kissing. She even calls him "my Hero".
London has a darker, magical side. Not the first time an author has explored this - Neil Gaiman's, Neverwhere (1996) comes to mind.
It seemed every character we met has a name (Razor Eddie, Shotgun Suzie, the Collector) and our protagonist gives us a rather lengthy character biography as he explains each person to our damsel.
Basically, the book is a detective noir with a healthy dose of fantasy quest.
But yet it all works. Where the book redeems itself is how Green wraps everything up at the end. Which I can't talk about because that would be a mega-spoiler. I also found the use of each character having a "gift" interesting. John has a mysterious past and parentage that keeps the sub-plot interesting and intriguing. For a first book, the reader is thoroughly introduced to Nightside and it's quirks and quirky characters. Hopefully the author can now build on this base rather than revisiting it in books to come.
I finished this in about a day; it was that enjoyable. I would have preferred to have read this via audiobook, but my library didn't have it on CD. Ev...moreI finished this in about a day; it was that enjoyable. I would have preferred to have read this via audiobook, but my library didn't have it on CD. Even so, I was captivated by the mystery, amused by the witty dialog, and enjoyed the sports background. The pages just flew by, interrupted occasionally by a laugh out loud moment and then having to read the paragraph to the Husband.
The setting is the US Open. Myron has an up and coming client who's slamming his way to the top. A young tennis player is shot in the foot court - a young woman Myron was supposed to meet the next day. This triggers an avalanche of secrets, threats, mystery and another murder. Myron, with the help of the mysterious Win, sets forth to right wrongs. Well, Myron wants to right the wrongs, Win has a different objective in mind...
Just a couple of minor complaints: was this was awfully similar to book number one and I won't get more specific for fear of spoilers. In this book, more characters seemed to affect the dry, witty, truncated dialog which I associated with Win and Myron.
My positives - as I believe I noted in Deal Breaker - I love the fact that our protagonist is not a cop or detective nor a depressed cop or detective. We don't have the protagonist chasing tail - in fact, the romantic set up is actually very sweet and I usually don't say that. I love the dialog. I love the TV show/movie/play game the characters have going on. I love the air mystery surrounding Win; in some ways, Win is a bit more intriguing than Myron. The two characters balance each other well. I could go on, but will say instead, go read these!
Highly recommended if you like mystery, sports, and witty dialog. (less)
A new-to-me author; I've been eyeballing his books in the checkout line at the grocery store and the Camel Club was available as an audiobook. Unfortu...moreA new-to-me author; I've been eyeballing his books in the checkout line at the grocery store and the Camel Club was available as an audiobook. Unfortunately, the book wasn't my cuppa tea and I couldn't finish it.
The story is a healthy blend of internal espionage, terrorism, murder and romance with more info dumps than I could keep track of. Off the top of my head, I recall being lectured on Islamic culture, Chinese karate, the internal workings of no less than three major government agencies (who all despise each other, of course), political hierarchy, and how a Secret Service agent is supposed to dress and behave in public.
The writing is very competent, the subject obviously well researched, the plot has more twists and turns than the streets in San Francisco, but it just didn't interest me. I returned this to the library unfinished and will perhaps try a different series by this author.
Recommended if you like modern day politically-based spy thrillers. (less)
I read this as an audio book, the narrator is Dick Hill - who also does the Wallander books. The similarities between Kurt Wallander and Harry Bosch a...moreI read this as an audio book, the narrator is Dick Hill - who also does the Wallander books. The similarities between Kurt Wallander and Harry Bosch are cliched. Shall I name the cliches? I think I shall.
Slightly depressed cop/detective
Busted in rank/and or disciplined
Sleeps with the grieving widow
Sleeps with the hot coroner
Authority doesn't know their ass from their head so it's okay to disregard them
Does things his own way because authority doesn't know their ass from their head
And surprise! Pisses everyone off and yet...is always right.
I think I nailed them all.
Now that I have that off my chest, this was a moderately interesting mystery that bounced between LA and Mexico. This wasn't so much about the drug trade as the title implies, but crooked cops and drug lords. There was one OMG! moment that I can't talk about, but relates to the rest of the series. Now that was cool. But I can't talk about it. Unfortunately, one OMG moment cannot carry a plot, and the cliches were rolled out like the actors at a Hollywood red carpet event.
Despite my complaints with book two, I will read (via audio book) the next in line. I have an objective here that relates to the OMG! moment, but which I cannot speak of. Oddly, the mystery that really isn't is what is keeping my attention in this series so far.