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First: I'm a fan. I typically await new books from Robotham eagerly, and have been listening since the days of audio CD's.
It's really hard to believe that this canned, corny story emerged from the same brain that gave us nuanced characters like Joe O'Laughlin and Vincent Ruiz, and riveting, believable stories like LOST and SUSPECT. In past books the author's research has felt comprehensive, his medical details plausible, and the lives of the characters rich.
Not here, sadly. While the premise is actually quite good, for some reason the author switched from familiar territory (London et al) to Texas... without apparently bothering to visit the state. There is NO local flavor. It feels like his research comprised of watching American "B" movies and looking at maps. It sort of feels like a historical novel written 200 years in the future, where the author could easily be forgiven for getting some of his period detail mixed up. The prison scenes in particular seem to be a mix of COOL HAND LUKE and bad westerns.
Most of the key back story is completely and obviously nonsense. Prisoners carry cash???? Cash slated to be destroyed doesn't have its serial numbers recorded??? A man with head trauma that put him into a coma and who could not speak 10 months later, is soon thereafter boxing and weaving and glibly conversing while ducking shivs and various attempts to kill him? (Many more examples that would constitute spoilers.) And every character is either saint or stone cold psychopath. None feels like a real person. The glaring impossibilities in the plot were very distracting for me.
Also, the reader was good with the narrative but most of the character voices were whiny and cliched. The accents were just plain bad.
That said, I did listen to the whole book. I'm not returning it. I will buy the next book, especially if it's set in England. I know MR can do better!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I can't believe ANYONE gave this story anything approaching a decent review or rating!
First off, this is a low rent rip off of the Shawshank Redemption. Right down to the zen white guy who manages to transcend/ help others transcend the inhumanity of prison, and the wise black friend.
This bit of garbage is riddled with cartoonish stereotypes like the corrupt Texas politicians and the bigot who calls Obama by his middle name. It was so clichéd, I honestly began to wonder if this author has even researched the American southwest or if everything he wrote is based on old episodes of Nash Bridges!
Seriously, I hate Texas. There are tons of reasons to trash it and its policies, but the attempt at social criticism is hackneyed and juvenile
I cannot emphasize how BAD, SLOPPY, TEDIOUS, and TIME WASTING this book was. Do not believe the good reviews. This book is crap.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful