When her best friend is murdered, Julie O'Hara, a body language expert, packs up her suspicion and flies to Boston for his funeral.
Who could have killed rising artist Marc Solomon, and what does Castle Cay, the Solomons' mysterious Caribbean island, have to do with it? Before long, Julie's sixth sense pulls a hidden string that unravels a deadly conspiracy and her own troubled past.
©2012 Lee Hanson (P)2015 Lee Hanson
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I had a hard time focusing on the storyline due to the performance. There were too many characters for one narrator.
This is the most terribly written book I've ever encountered. I never leave a book half read, but half way into this one, I realized I am getting aggravated by clumsy writing. I kept editing it in my mind instead of following the story line and finally gave up.
"Books should have ratings like movies"
I prefer not to have vulgar language or explicit sexuality in the books I read. It's even worse in audio.
I did not like the reader's voice or presentation.
I already requested a refund and will delete the book from my library.
"You've gotta' be kidding.."
This is a really stupid story. It was back and forth and back and forth from the 1990's to 2007, as far as I listened. I hate back and forth books, just tell us a little something about the dead guy don't go to and from the 1990's. He's dead, for pete's sake. I don't care how he and Julie met, just solve the murder! And how much sense does it make for Julia to have sex with someone she's hated for over 2 years just because Dan said he was sorry for being a jerk. Geez!
I hate when a narrator sounds the same whether it's a male of female talking. One reviewer said Ms. Slade deserved an award? Really? When a man sounds just like a woman THAT'S deserving of an award? Ummm, NO! Ms. Slade only narrated 12 books in 2 years and I can see why. If you can't even try to sound like a man you shouldn't be a narrator.
"good story/storyteller. narrator needs Improvement"
I thoroughly enjoyed this story but found myself missing parts or having to rewind and turn up the volume when the narrator whispered, which was often.
Narrator Paula deserves an award. She does each character consistently and exceptionally different from one another. Greatvstory, great narrator...what more could we ask! :-)
"How much is your time worth"
Utterly lacking in pace. Truly not my cup of tea... more can be expressed in one sentence than was conveyed in thirty pages.
"A smart and engaging mystery"
I’ve recently gotten hooked on murder mystery television series after “binge-watching” some terrific programs on Netflix, but this was my first venture into books of that genre. I can easily say that “Castle Cay” did not disappoint, and has gotten me hooked on mystery books as well!
The story was intriguing, and the characters thoroughly likeable (or despicable, in the case of the villains). The drama was well-paced, and the book overall felt like it was the perfect length. The mystery kept me guessing for much of the way through.
I appreciated the fact that while our protagonist Julie O’Hara is very sharp and intelligent, she is not an over-the-top “super-genius” á la Sherlock Holmes or House. Instead she relies on a combination of rational analysis (body language expertise) and emotional intelligence (a.k.a., gut instinct) in a very believable way. The body language element was not overdone, either; it was incorporated just enough to add an extra layer of communication to the character’s interactions. As a bonus, I learned some interesting facts about the elements of body language!
The audiobook narration was delivered with flair, and served the dramatic tension very well. There were so many characters in this book that it could have been easy to lose track of who was speaking when, but the narrator gave each character a distinctive voice, and the cadence of the conversation dialogue sounded very natural. She also did a very good job of using tone-of-voice to hint at the conflicting emotions behind many of the characters’ words, giving you the impression they were not always revealing all they knew.
I’m very much looking forward to listening to the sequels, “Swan Song” and “Mistral Murders,” as well as exploring murder mysteries by other authors. Thank you, Lee Hanson and Paula Slade, for cluing me in to a new favorite book genre!
P.S.: (On a side note: About half of the book takes place in the protagonist’s hometown of Boston. As someone from Massachusetts who attended school in Boston, it was a lot of fun to read a story set in this city and be able to recognize various landmarks, suburbs, and of course the famous accent! So many U.S. books, films, and TV shows skew towards New York or L.A. to the exclusion of other smaller urban settings, so this was nice change of pace.)
"An Artful Beginning in a Promising Series"
Often times I'll toggle between the print/digital version and an audio format to optimize reading time and location appropriate access and am generally comfortable with most modes of story delivery. However, with this title I was caught up with the trusting spoken word that I stayed with the audiobook version solely.
As a mystery fan (and nascent writer) I was especially engaged with not just the plot, but the character forces that moved the player/development pieces around the board. There were potential scenarios aplenty to vet as to the "whodunit" and why.
While the tale was told third person omniscient, I think Paula Slade's kinship with Julie O'Hara was where my rooting interests were drawn. Actually, I also thought her "male" characterizations were amazingly deft, distinguished and believable. There were a number of passages where conversations carried out over the phone were especially realistic and had production value of verisimilitude.
"First in a series" works are most important to me as a reader. Lee Hanson's Castle Cay was recommended to me by a fellow writer and I was particularly curious as to how Julie's gift of reading body language (and what I learned of the art/science) would play out in the arc of the story. I was most pleased that it paid off in a measured ways that weren't officious or smug. During the time spent with this audio version I found myself in real life day-to-day conversations looking for similar tells in the people I encountered.
As alluded to in a previous comment, I enjoy a strong (though also vulnerable) rooting interest in a series and if the "first" in that series performance carries me along, I know can look forward to second and third helpings -- or however many titles follow.
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