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Hamish

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Ridiculous

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

Reviewed: 05-02-2020

You don't go to Stephen King looking for realism - I don't think the guy has ever written anything realistic in his life - but this narrative asks for suspension of disbelief and it's impossible to give... The farcical story centres around a group of ultra-high-functioning kids being used as lab rats in a hotel-come-prison being run by a bunch of absurd cartoon villains who apparently derive sadistic pleasure from their gratuitous and pointless experiments. Try as I might, I could never work out what the baddies actually got out of their vile research, but that could be because I drifted off to sleep several times, which only ever happens when I seriously lose interest in a story. Stephen King's talent, in my view, lies in his prose flow; it's something I've always been impressed by, and it's certainly not lacking here - neither is the performance of the reader - but the plausibility of this narrative is pretty idiotic and eye-rollingly non existent in any case. If you want fanciful, and you want to cheer the goodies and boo the baddies, then it might be the one for you, but if you want your i's dotted and your t's crossed...hmmm nyyewp....

Good Story Lousy-ish Reader

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

Reviewed: 20-12-2019

As usual Lynda La Plante does really well, though it's clear she's far better suited to English drama. This American stuff is a little cliched. You can almost hear the publisher say: "Now, ya know, Lynda, baby, honey, sweetheart, you know we love your stuff, but what we really want you to do is write a sassy sultry LA thriller. THAT"S what we think'll REALLY sell some units."
But truth be told it's the reader that's really off - this Laurence Bouvard sounds like some sort of comedy act. Absurd voices, caricatures, no subtlety. It really cheapens the work. But it hasn't put me off Lynda, it'll take a lot worse to do that. Will probly give the next one a shot...

Ridiculous and Cliched

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

Reviewed: 24-11-2019

Started well, but then the cliches started, then the absurdities. When the lame writing set in, I called it quits. Time of chucking in the towel: 1 hr 14 minutes.

1 person found this helpful

are you friggin' kidding me

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

Reviewed: 18-10-2019

what were the producers thinking?
making us listen to every single html identifier every single time someone says something during an online exchange?
o lordy whose bright idea was it to do that?
let me give you an example of what i just listened to: (not a direct quote but paraphrased near enough)
"online news blog hastag find daisy catherine miller at news at nine fifteen on the fifth of august slash email
poor daisy
online news blog hastag find daisy pete smith at news at nine sixteen on the fifth of august slash email
i know it's terrible
online news blog hastag find daisy catherine miller at news at nine seventeen on the fifth of august slash email
those poor parents
online news blog hastag find daisy pete smith at news at nine eighteen on the fifth of august slash email
it's their fault if you ask me
online news blog hastag find daisy catherine miller at news at nine seventeen on the fifth of august slash email
you can't say that
online news blog hastag find daisy pete smith at news at nine eighteen on the fifth of august slash email
yes i can it's true
online news blog hastag find daisy catherine miller at news at nine nineteen on the fifth of august slash email
you haven't got kids so you don't know
online news blog hastag find daisy pete smith at news at nine twenty on the fifth of august slash email
so what"

and on - and on - and on
what the hell are you guys trying to do - make me run headfirst into a wall?
you're nuts!
and the book was looking so good too - til that bollocks kicked in...
such a pity
bleep!
delete
h

7 people found this helpful

Last Lullaby - Last Time I Buy

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

Reviewed: 04-08-2019

You know how sometimes you dislike a bad A-grade movie twenty times more than you dislike a bad C grade movie?? Well i've always wondered about that and i think it's because most C-grade movies aren't pretending to be good - whereas crappy A-grade movies usually have the added flaw of being pretentious - and to me pretentious art is the absolute pits - well - I fear that is what we have here - I really thought I'd try to give this author another go - but honestly - she hasn't got any better.
Carol Wyer has just hopped on the crime bandwagon like every second other writer out there - she's slapped together a female lead DI a la Carol Jordan - Maeve Kerrigan - Kim Stone - Lottie Parker - Anna Travis - take your pick - and off we go with the same old formula - it's just derivative copycat drivel without ANY originality whatsoever - it's sterile - it's cliched - the characters are made out of cardboard - and worst of all - it's DULL
I think the problem is that the author hasn't put any HEART into this - it's as if she thinks she can just spit out a text - out it goes - and quick - onto the nexty! - publisher's waiting for another just like it...
i haven't spotted a SINGLE original thought or piece of dialog ANYWHERE in the text - there is just no heart and no soul in the work - i cannot tell you how much i loathe it - well i suppose i just have - i apologise if i've reacted overly strongly to it - but my lord its appalling - shame on this soulless money-making formulaic CRAP - it really ruins the genre for other more authentic writers...

If you're slightly hungover and it's a Sunday...

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

Reviewed: 23-07-2019

... and you just want a middle-of-the-road, mildly thrillerish police procedural story that's not going to challenge you or blow your mind (in any way), then Carol Wyer is the writer for you. This book is more-or-less competently put together, but really this stuff is wholly unexceptional. I spend 80 percent of my waking hours listening to audio-books on headphones, so i'll probably end up buying most of her novels, but this is only because A) the reader is pretty good and B) my mind is an insatiably ravening crime-audiobook-eating monster and it's devoured all the good stuff already, so anything remotely passable immediately gets thrown onto the conveyor belt to get chewed up. Having said that, you only need to dust off the surface veneer of this work to reveal an array of glaring flaws, which the writer could probably have spotted and dealt with if she could just have had the passion and persistence to do another 2 or 3 drafts. The characters are sketched rather than finely or boldly drawn; they are only partially developed, so the personal views, opinions and attitudes of the writer can be clearly perceived in the text, like stains that show through under an inadequate paint job. The main character has been knocked together as though following the ikea diagram of a flawed heroine. Her sanctimonious lectures are insufferable, and it seems like the last person to follow her soapbox moralising is herself.
Let's face it, the characters in a story should always be the driving force behind plot because, after all, people, their personalities, choices and behaviour are the reason things happen the way they do. Here it's the other way round: the characters are crammed in to conform to the plotline, which, by the way is virtually identical to The Dare - Book 3.
I mean yeah, it's passable, but there's just no originality to it. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris was written in the mid 80s - and it still has more hutzpah in its little toenail today than all these books. Connoisseurs of great crime writing will find Wyer banal, unoriginal and formulaic, though it must be said that the 3rd book was better than the 1st ( i haven't had a go at 2 yet).
Yes, you're patently familiar. Flawed cop heroine with murder squad investigates, she's conflicted and tortured by the pain and emotion of it all and whatnot, she's rollin' rocks uphill, trying to do right in a man's world, juggling work, colleagues and family, and all the while the killer is out there, and yes, you did meet him briefly early on, and after a few red herrings, she sniffs him out. I mean, come on. It's just so predictable. You can't just rip off Midsomer Murders like this and get away with it! At least not without getting pulled up for it!
I give it 52 out of 100...

3 people found this helpful

Fantastic As Usual

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

Reviewed: 14-03-2019

I've noticed Fred Forsythe has actually become a more economical writer over the years. Around about the time of The Cobra especially, and now this book, he's much more, sort of, 'blockbuster thriller'. But it works because of his superior research and attention to detail and character, and the subsequent ability for the reader to suspend disbelief. All the way back in the days of The Day of the Jackal and other such books, he was a lot less sparing with his prose, and it sometimes appeared (to me at least) to be OVERLY concerned with details not necessarily connected to the main narrative. I'd find myself glossing over whole sections, searching for where the story reengaged. But he's 'reverse mellowed' now, so to speak. His work pumps along at a great pace and he doesn't concern himself with any unnecessary dross. Better and better. And David Rintoul is fantastic as ever. What a great pair.

Inadequate and Superficial

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

Reviewed: 13-03-2019

Extremely disappointed. There is nothing here that is not available on wikipedia or on the internet or on the TV. Where are the insights into the psychologies of the subjects? Where are the analyses of the profiles? Where is the chased down extra information? Where are the in-depth probings into the causes of the behaviours of these perpetrators? These are just linear accounts, reports of the basic factual stories of these criminals, there seems to be no attempt by this author to probe, to divide and dig, to incise, to go down any deeper than the surface narratives. No new information that I could see. Was really hoping for something better than what I got! Like going to a fancy restaurant all hungry and excited and getting served a piece of toast.

Utterly Absurd...

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

Reviewed: 10-03-2019

Infantile C grade cop movie spudge. I keep waiting for Michael Ironside to walk in and growl: 'What's da connection.'
Hey, that would probly've improved it.
This here is what you call a slop of unoriginal narrative served with a side order of cardboard characterisations, and over-seasoned with bland cliches and wince-inducing stereotypes.
I mean, the killer is called: "the Strangling Undertaker" for !&@#*$ sake.
How's about a little sample:
"When Tatum saw Lieutenant Samuel Martinez from the Chicago PD, he was quite taken with the man's mustache. He shook his hand, wondering how the mustache would look on his own face. It was well groomed and thick, with a Tom Selleckish style, giving Martinez's mouth an aura of importance... [for pity's sake] Tatum suspected that if he tried the same face decor, he'd look like a pervy literature professor who slept with his students. Some mustaches belonged on other people's faces. So far, Tatum had failed to find one that belonged on his own."
This, by the way, is Tatum the FBI agent, whose cat, Freckle, he has just left in the care of his cocaine-purchasing Grandpa, along with strict orders the cat is to be kept well away from the fish he's just been given by his FBI superior, Mancuso.
'But I'm warning you,' says Mancuso, after promising Tatum the single fish from her aquarium. 'He's a bastard'.
And while these morons are knocking heads and chatting about Freckle the Cat, the Bastard Fish, Cocaine Grandpa and Mustache Sam, the Strangling Undertaker is literally in the process of striking again...
Yeah. Not exactly a literary colossus.
The reader is actually ok, but even good reading can't stop this giant clanking honk-box from reeling through your brain like nails down a chalkboard.
Safe to say I'll be returning this and never EVER buying another. I would highly recommend you Swerve Awayyyyyy.

1 person found this helpful

Was ok - Too much autobiography - Not enough case

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

Reviewed: 19-01-2019

I bought this expecting a true crime narrative - NOT the autobiography of a self absorbed journalist - I'm sorry - I know she's passed on - but hey - I really don't care that the author's high school crush reminded her of her Curious George doll way back when
The book is long winded - and appears to focus far too much on the author - and nowhere near enough on the case - if you want a fantastic true crime book - take a look at the zodiac account by robert graysmith - the guy manages to get through whole paragraphs - whole chapters! - without using the pronoun "I" !!!!
Yeah - lost interest in this book - didn't finish it - narrator was good...

8 people found this helpful