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EVIL GROWS AND OTHER THRILLING TALES by Loren D. Estleman Narrated by Paul Heitsch Publisher: Crossroad books Running time: 4 hrs. 39 min.
This book is a lovely little collection of 8 noir stories reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and such movies as Double Indemnity and On the Waterfront. The writing is lean, yet evocative. The author can, like the greatest of Chinese and Japanese painters, draw an absorbing picture using as few words as they do lines, yet I was immediately caught up in the story, the characters, and the settings. One of the things I liked best about this all too short collection is that there are a variety of settings, ranging from the seamier side of a large city to mountain back woods to a Bishop’s manse. In each case, the setting is vividly rendered and came to life in my mind’s eye with the clarity of a movie.
The characters are handled with equal skill, though don’t expect to like or sympathize with most of them. There are, of course, a few exceptions ..and a couple of villains who absolutely delighted me, and for whom I had not only sympathy, but wanted them to succeed in their endeavors. Some of these were rough justice, and some revenge …and my instinct was that, given the situation in which they found themselves, I well might have considered doing the same thing. Some characters are pure nastiness, but are extremely fascinating in the same way a cobra fascinates behind the protection of very strong safety glass (or whatever zoos now use). I found myself hypnotized by them, possibly because it was so hard to relate to them, and I was very glad that we had very little, if anything in common.
The plots are tight and very well developed, and, while some stories share elements of the same plot scenario, I never felt I was reading the same story told over and over again with slightly different flourishes. Instead, it was more like walking around a particular sculpture and viewing it from different angles, or thinking about a particular incident and then playing “but what if ..” with it. Some of the tales are very short, with a scorpion sting at the end that made me gasp, and some are leisurely strolls through the darker side of life, mind and motivation, but each story is like a perfect pearl on a necklace, worthy of examination in itself, and lovely as a part of its environment.
The narrator was perfect for this book. Like the author, he could deftly portray many different characters, each of whom was unique, and handle speech patterns and regional dialects with graceful competency. His narration added sparkle and depth to an already excellently written book, thus giving me an engrossingly satisfying experience that engaged both mind and senses. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Would you consider the audio edition of Evil Grows & Other Thrilling Tales to be better than the print version?
ALWAYS IS!! But I only listened!
What was one of the most memorable moments of Evil Grows & Other Thrilling Tales?
I liked all the stories...but the 1st one and the last short one, were my favorites!
Which scene was your favorite?
The ending one!
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
this would make a great tv mini series!
Any additional comments?
** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
This was a great collection of short mystery/thriller stories and is very well narrated! I listened to it all in one day and enjoyed it very much...if you like thrillers, and unexpected twists...this will keep you entertained for hours....I recommend!!!!