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I HAD to try this book. It's very simple. I am an avid geocacher, having logged over 1800 finds (I know, brag, brag) and I spent 22 years working in the child welfare system (including the courts). This book was a bit disappointing for me, which I found surprising given the consistently rave reviews and subject matter. I am giving it 3 1/2 stars, rounded to 3. Here's why:
Pros: The author really knows the child welfare system, having been an attorney in juvenile court in California. That was very evident, and that part of the story stirred alot of memories up for me. As to geocaching, I am guessing Teresa Burrell is herself a geocacher, as she really knows the ins and outs. Otherwise, she did phenomenal research on geocaching. I applaud her either way.
My comments on the narrator go both ways. This is an unusual story in that it has so many different speaking roles. I don't see how any narrator could come up with THAT many good voices. It goes beyond what should be asked of a narrator. I do commend John Bell for giving it his best in what must have been a very frustrating process of trying to come up for a new voice for each character and remembering them all!
Lastly, the story was engaging enough to keep me listening and wondering how the author was going to tie things up.
And now, the Cons: First for the narration, as that is what stands out in my mind most. The main character, JP, Sabre's boyfriend, wasn't at all engaging to me. I hated JP"s Texas accent--he sounded much older than Sabre, too. Then, there was not a hint of spark between the two of them. It was described as a somewhat new relationship and for the life of me, I couldn't understand why they were together. No sex here, implied or otherwise, just a "smooch" now and then. Neither Sabre or JP came across as interesting or very likeable, nor were they developed characters. This con, I see as shared between the author and the narrator. And yes, some of Bell's many "voices" were truly cringe-worthy or downright laughable.
For me, the story was pretty far-fetched, yet there had to be some way to make geocaching and integral part of the story. While a bit bizarre, the ending was also too pat and too much was tied up in a pretty ribbon, a too happily-ever-after ending for me.
And perhaps too nit-picky on my part, child welfare cases are really social worker-driven and in this story, the social worker was a mere ghost, a shadow of a character. However, this most likely would not bother anyone else but me.
In summary, I am betting if you read Burrell's other books, you will like this story. It doesn't ask much of the reader and is an easy and for many, a fun listen. Just look at all the fabulous reviews. And oh boy, I bet this review will make the Burrell-Bell fans mad at me.
I'm just here to tell you what I thought. And to recommend geocaching!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
The Advocate's Geocache in Book 7 of the marvelous The Advocate series. Some earlier books in the series, while excellent, were difficult to listen to because the series deals with children who are not properly cared for by parents or are being sexually abused.
This is a very clever novel. Attorney and child advocate Sabre Brown found her brother in the prior novel and he is a part of her life. Her romance with investigator JB is finally on a somewhat even keel. The clues to a murder are revealed through a geocache series in a way that adds to the drama and suspense.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! One need not listen to other books in the series to appreciate this novel.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful