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No need to go over the story. Suffice it to say, it's Kellerman's early work, filled with simple sentences and ridiculous scenarios. The unlikely actions of a variety of professionals are maddening. Story has potential, and then at the end FINALLY, the explanation is too complicated. Characters are rough-hewn, except for Alex. He's perfectly rendered. Milo is still a background character and the gay card is waved about like a flag -- to denote political correctness? Because it adds only a smidgen to the story. Robin has some interesting appearances, and Alex (Kellerman's alter ego) is right there with the romance everybody dreams of -- though a bit over the top for an infraction of minor proportions. Alex knows boating and furnishings, gourmet and fashion. Alex knows psych, and what he does not know, he gets from other "experts," in this story, the experts are little geniuses.
The reader/narrator is a little stiff, but that's not the problem with him. It's his pronunciation: co-op is pronounced coop (chicken coop) cadge (twice pronounced cadged -- like tagged); other badly "read" words the narrator obviously did not know. Very distracting.
Two stars and nearly unreadable except that having read the series from end to beginning, I had something to look forward to, which never materialized. No engagement -- but long lectures on science, anatomy, South American Indians, psychotropic drugs, high finance and land development, blah, blah, blah... the story was so small, it could have been an anecdote. We have gays and gay haters, racism, sexism, rogue professionals, bikers, investigators, good cops, bad cops, astounding wealth, single moms and dirty dealings all around. And yet, there was no story, like a child's Christmas tree upon which are placed his favorite things, great and small, for the child to gaze upon and be impressed.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Let's start with the fact that most of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware books are better than most other books. That said, this one was a disappointment.
It's taken me decades to figure this out, but there's a very simple pattern to these books: Some event/crime occurs, and Alex gets called into the middle of it. Then he -- or he and his trusty (and very likable) sidekick, Milo -- try to figure out what happened. So he, or they, go around the LA area and interview all kinds of strange and weird people, some of them high-level wealthy movers and shakers, all the way down to the lowest of the low quasi-homeless. In doing so, Kellerman gives us all access to part of LA we'd never see, and insights into the kind of people most of us would never run into normally. It's heady stuff, and endlessly fascinating. I never get tired of it.
So this book starts out like that -- and steams ahead quite nicely for about 2/3 of the book, at which point Alex Delaware finds himself immersed in way too much chemistry -- actual chemistry, as in the chemical components of various hallucinogens and other mind-altering drugs. I found myself tuning out -- way way way too much technical information. I have no mental 'hooks' to hang any of this information on anyway, so it was clearly in one ear, out the other.
Unfortunately, when the book reengages, it does so with a lot of mindless characters, people who really weren't interesting -- but then, I've never found drunks interesting, either. I never could get interested in it again, just played it out to the end.
As others have noted, this was an early book in the series. It was worth listening to again, even if it was less than satisfying.
And the narrator? I'm going to give him two stars until he learns to pronounce the word "Ventura" correctly. There is no excuse for someone reading THAT many books set in the LA area to constantly, every single time, mispronounce the name of that city/county. Maybe sooner or later someone will clue him in....
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
No. I lost interest about a third of the way through. There was just too much minute detail which held the story back so the pace was too slow.
Would you ever listen to anything by Jonathan Kellerman again?
Have you listened to any of Alexander Adams’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Probably but I'm not good with looking at the names. However, I did think he was very good and would definitely hope to hear him again.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
I personally won't recommend this book despite the narration.
Great story factual content excellent, clear reading total pleasure to listen to while you're cleaning