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Dr. J. Crawford

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  • 19
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Good story

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

Reviewed: 01-07-20

Enjoyed this immensely. A well constructed story. A bit drawn out at the end.
Reasonably well written but too many “and there”s and “and there it was”s which got a bit irritating.

Humourless and cliched

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

Reviewed: 04-06-20

This story is bit like a fifties/sixties comic strip. The hero is a Texas Ranger, righteous and square jawed. He’s like a Boy Scout.
The baddies are also stereotypical. A small town drug baron and his ex military psychopathic son. The love interests are of course,flawless, beautiful goddesses who remain chaste throughout.
The plot glosses over all sorts of improbabilities. In the end the Texas Ranger overcomes adversity and the baddies. The only mild surprise is that he doesn’t get either girl. They were lucky to escape!
Apart from this it’s predictable. There is no humour (except occasional unintentional amusement)

Fairly decent story but......

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

Reviewed: 29-02-20

Spoiled by dreadful narration by Saul Reichlin.
Poor old Saul can’t do accents. He sounds like an amalgam of Sergeant Wilson and Young Mr Grace thereby making the book’s characters unintentionally laughable. The most hilarity surrounds the in-prison dialogue.
The story itself is ok but some of the dialogue is a bit unrealistic and unnatural. Some in of the characters are cliched. Eg DCI Rutherford. We also have to be told repeatedly how fab Paula, Carol, Stacey et al are in case we don’t cotton on. All a bit tired.

Over Long

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

Reviewed: 21-12-19

This story is basically about abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland and as such is quite worthy. However it is let down by being far too verbose and cliched.
We have the feisty and tenacious heroine Lottie who is also rather slow witted and overburdened with personal baggage. We also have the superior officer who seems to nothing at all except worry about adverse publicity and upsetting his golfing buddies. The main baddie seems to have been drawn from pantomime villainy. He’s a catholic bishop who seems to have gone over to the dark side in order to get cut price golf club membership and at the same time suppress a history of child abuse in the institutions he was in charge of.
The story unfolds during a 9 day blizzard which obviously is cold but doesn’t seem to disrupt.
Clearly child abuse in institutions like the church is a very important topic but the story labours under a burden of cliche and tired, unoriginal literary device. Basically you’ve read all this stuff before. You’ve seen it on tv cop shows. It’s hard to be original.
The book lasts for 13 hours and could easily lose 3 or 4 hours such is the padding.
The story is narrated quite well but I probably won’t try another book by this author.

Enjoyable with much food for thought

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

Reviewed: 16-10-19

I thought this was a very good story and will doubtless stoke anxiety in the minds of parents of gap year travellers and maybe the backpackers themselves. Basically the story involves the deaths of two 18yr old girls in Thailand and the nightmare for parents obtaining information and fair treatment from a corrupt and incompetent Thai police force who want to sweep it all under the carpet. The suspect is another traveller, who happens to be the estranged son of a news hack covering the story. The hard bitten reporter becomes part of the story but continues to manipulate and exploit the others involved in the interests of her self and her son. The British policeman investigating appears to have little other demands on his time but his wife is terminally ill, an unnecessary part of the plot . Eventually things become clear and nobody really lives happily ever after which I guess is realistic. Side issues are the lack of police confidentiality and cosiness with the press and the unscrupulous and manipulative nature of of the press itself.

1 person found this helpful

Undemanding codswallop

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

Reviewed: 14-09-19

This is definitely the worst so far of the Kate Brannigan series.
The story is extremely lame and the characters all lurch further down the road to laughable stereotyping. I come from Manchester but have never heard anyone continually referring to others as “chuck” as the soap star who hires Kate does. Cringe.
The story concerns the murder of a astrologist and each chapter infuriatingly commences with the reading of a horoscope. Boring at best but annoying if you want to re-listen to a chapter.
Richard continues to act like a moron. He probably has mono sodium glutamate poisoning due to his heavy consumption of Chinese (the cuisine not ,apparently, the people but I may be mistaken here)
Alexis becomes an even more stereotypical scouser speaking in stereotypical scousims.
Kate’s analogies and comparisons become increasingly cringeworthy and are often unnecessary. I suppose this is meant to tip the had toward American fictional detectives but mostly doesn’t work well.

2 people found this helpful

Rather silly

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

The plot is absurd and very complicated though it is set against a contemporary background of US tensions with Russia and North Korea and a great deal of intrigue. Our new FBI heroine is an almost superhuman specimen. More like a Marvel Comics superhero than a believable cop. Of course she has the dark side to her as well as her patriotic dedication and this revolves around her having a twin who was abducted and killed when both were young. Atlee does not want to talk about this despite it pervading her thoughts. Despite this she has had herself tattooed with references to this traumatic event then tries to act coy and not talk about them when asked. Thus despite her claims she is an attention seeker. What other reason can there be for disfiguring herself with silly tattoos. If you don’t want to talk about something why write it indelibly on your skin? One strongly suspects that a person with these sort of psychological issues wouldn’t make into the likes of theFBI.
The potential romantic interest is another superhero type who is an ex soldier now a National Park ranger. The narrator reads his part making him sound like the honey monster or some other dumb cartoon character. “Duh!”
Many of the other characters are just cliches (eg Atlee’s FBI boss who is more at home with paperwork than solving crime)
It’s a halfway decent yarn but it does get out of hand: nukes in the Grand Canyon and all. It’s hard to be original and you get the idea that Mr Baldacci is running out of ideas.

The best of crime writers.

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

Reviewed: 12-11-18

It’s a great story with two great characters coming together with the prospect of more in the future.
The story is of Renee and Harry working a cold case of a serial killer which is a common enough scenario in crime fiction but the author has a couple of brilliant characters at his disposal and the writing is excellent.
The two readers do a great job too.

A good yarn but implausible

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

The latest Amos Decker story sees him and his sidekick Alex Jamison, on vacation together staying with her sister ‘s family. Immediately they get involved in an investigation of murder and conspiracy. The plot is ambitious to say the least and it is entertaining and well paced throughout though prone to cliche.
My immediate question was why would they vacation together? The next one was Why does Decker need Jamison at all apart from her being a vehicle for Decker to explain himself to readers? She does almost zero detective work. As the story progresses the murders mount up as the baddies try to contain things. Obviously such a strategy can’t work as the more bodies the greater the law enforcement response.
Anyway Decker solves everything more or less single handed as all the other cops are dumb or corrupt.
Fortunately in the end all the baddies are bang to rights or dead and the goodies are rich (apart from our heroes).
The problem with Decker and his altered personality state is that he is very one dimensional and apart from his talent as a detective nobody would want to go on vacation with him.

5 people found this helpful

Very Overblown

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

Reviewed: 21-02-18

This audiobook is 25 hours long. Many of Stephen King’s books are long but this is enormous and enormously disappointing. I got bored well before the end and didn’t actually care how it ended by the time I got there. I lost concentration during the epilogue and dozed off so I don’t know how it actually finishes and couldn’t raise the enthusiasm to replay it. The basic idea is ok. Much of the writing is very good but it’s patchy. The story dies, crushed under its own weight. Realistically it could have been at least halved in length and been improved greatly by doing so.
Various characters were introduced but died ineffectively and irrelevantly. None of the characters who lasted long into the story were worthy of much admiration.
Definitely the worst Stephen King novel I’ve read (or heard). I’m a fan of his but I don’t recommend this at all.