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Cliche, But Readable

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-02-20

I ummed and erred about my rating on this one for ages.

On the one hand, we have a pretty cliche serial killer being hunted by small town local police and an expert psychologist story.

It adds nothing new to the genre, Alex Gregory is an okay character, but not a particular stand-out in any way, and I guessed the major twists before they happened.

On the other hand, it's well written, excellently performed, and compulsively readable.

And I can't say that my own novels are sterling examples of originality either.

I guess I have to say the dreaded, "it's good if you like this sort of thing", because that's what it is.

It won't convert newcomers to the genre, but fans will enjoy it, I think.

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Just the Facts, Ma'am

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-02-20

Something about this didn't click with me at all.

It's something to do with the way the author has presented the story, deciding on a meticulously researched, factual account of the case from day one.

While I more than respect the work that has been done, a lot of the writing seems inconsequential to the case itself, such as an anecdote of a policeman being beaten by a newspaper-seller. I assume this was done to set the scene, as well as fill out a book that refuses to speculate on anything or even attempt to explain actions, but what results is a lot of details about things that have nothing to do with the main plot of the book.

Not only that, but the way the information is presented results in a dry, emotionless account of something shocking. We are never given a chance to get close to anyone, not the boys themselves or the prosecutors.

We are just bystanders reading information in a dry case-history that reads more as an overly detailed police report than anything else.

There is no attempt to do anything other than give us a report of the situation in a dry, factual style that served to bore me more than anything, especially considering the length and amount of filler the writer shoves into her work.

As such, I was so bored by the whole thing that I gave up. Not a terrible work by any means, but top dry to be even the least bit shocking once you get over its initial premise.

A Damn Fine Thriller - Get It

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-02-20

As a South African and son of a Zimbabwean that was born in the 90s, this was a fascinating look into a time period I've heard anecdotes about for my entire life.

This is one of those thrillers that just grabs you from the first page to the last.

With likeable characters, a sense of realism, and a damn fine plot, you won't be disappointed with this one at all.

I read that this was a lost manuscript only found after the writer died, which sucks, because I'd love to have more Max Seager adventures.

Perhaps get a ghost writer on it, lads?

This book also inspired me to write my own thriller set in Africa, which I hope will be my third published work.

Love This Series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-01-20

If you like Marlowe, get this and get it straight!

Because this series is awesome.

Starts Out Brilliant, Becomes Just Good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-20

The first couple stories, up to The Long Goodbye, are excellent.

Stephens makes a pretty good Marlowe, the production quality is excellent, and it's a blast to listen to.

But then we get to The Long Goodbye. I have no idea what happened, time or money constraints probably, but it and the proceeding stories are HEAVILY abridged.

To the point of missing out key characters AND moments from each story. Which is especially disappointing for me since The Long Goodbye is my favourite Marlowe story.

Mild spoiler here, but the woman playing Marlowe's wife isn't right. They don't flesh her out enough, she isn't even introduced in The Long Goodbye, and she's played all wrong. She's played as a spoiled, annoying rich girl. No depth whatsoever.

Overall, great production for the earlier stories. Just okay for the remaining ones.

Fascinating, Funny, and Utterly Enlightening

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-01-20

I loved this book so much that I wish-listed all the author's other works.

This is an utterly enlightening tour of the English language, going from it's beginnings to now, and sheds light on some of the most common turns of phrase that we're so used to.

It is also laugh out loud funny. The author happens to have a keen sense of humour to go along with his smarts, which is what makes some of the best books, in my opinion.

Still As Fascinating Now As in 1984

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-01-20

This is an excellent audio version of an excellent book.

Fascinating, scientific studies read beautifully by the narrator and explained in great detail gives the reader insight into some of the most interesting psychological traits of human beings.

Fascinating and Thought Provoking

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-20

I can see why Eagleman is the "Carl Sagan" of the brain.

He breaks down complex concepts into easy to digest pieces of entertaining information.

If you've ever wondered about the mass of flesh between your ears that gives you so much, get this book.