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I felt a bit lukewarm about the first book in this series. But I find this one more compelling. It’s hard to strictly define it—somewhat police procedural, a little bit of whodunnit, it seems mostly (to me) to be a story that intends to challenge deeply conflicted ethical issues around aging and dying.
Sgt DC Smith and his team work a case of an unnatural death in a senior living home. Is it suicide, assisted suicide, murder? And has it happened before? The listener is given a lot of opportunity to consider those possibilities, but the author also uses this book to explore some of the fine lines among these actions, and invites the listener to examine society’s attitudes toward them.
I liked this second book better than the first, and also want to say that the narration is good as well. It is not a fast page-turner, so much as a book that slowly reveals the story As the listener is invited to think about the topic on several levels.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I was pleasantly surprised by the first book in this series. I knew nothing about it when I started reading, but was instantly drawn to the melancholy warmth of the main character DC Smith. The plot was complicated enough to keep my interest, but not so complex I was lost. And several of the secondary characters were interesting enough that I was anxious to get to know them better.
Unfortunately, I found But for the Grace, the second book in this series, largely unenjoyable.
Smith's personality no longer comes across as kind, generous and a little out of touch, but almost cruel in some of his comments and actions. I couldn't recognize the DC Smith from the first book in the DC Smith from this. There were subplots that seemed totally disconnected from the primary plot, including the introduction of two women who could be potential romantic interests for Smith, but once introduced he didn't seem to know what to do with them.
I think my biggest issue though was the case he was working on. It did not qualify as a mystery and there was no suspense. It quickly became apparent what had happened and what would probably happen down the road and once you knew that, there really wasn't more story to tell. And Smith seemed to be persecuting and harassing people he thought might be victims rather then helping them.
I do not want to give any spoilers, but when I finished the book all I could think about was what if Smith had not been so slow in realizing what was happening as he interviewed a young woman. What if he had gotten there in time? Then what? What was he prepared to do to the perpetrator/victim? What was the point?
13 of 17 people found this review helpful
Where does But for the Grace rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Near the top, nice to find another detective series that is good old fashioned detective work and not heavy on gory detail.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The main character he is a refreshing change for a detective
Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No I haven't but he was perfect for this
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It made me smile at times as is quite whitty
An interesting well presented and read book. I will be looking for the next in the series.