Times are tough in LA, and Robert Klayman, substitute high school teacher, attempts to solve his money woes along with a midlife crisis by trying on a new career: He finds a job moonlighting as a private detective.
He's in over his head and soon enough stumbles upon a criminal drug ring working out of the Los Angeles Unified School District. His efforts and schemes to find the murderer of a young teacher take him on a spine-tingling journey through the violent netherworld of private detection.
From the streets of L.A. to the gaudy casinos of the Vegas strip, and to surreal, ghostly Arizona landscapes, Klayman finally redeems himself but at a price he never could imagine.
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I enjoyed the audio version of The Lesson Plan, a debut by G J Prager.
Robert Klayton is a substitute high school teacher by day and a trainee private detective by night. When he meets Sheila, a fellow substitute teacher who is in need of a private eye, he gets excited at the prospect of having enough money to actually pay his rent. However getting involved with Sheila inevitably gets him into trouble… A LOT of trouble. He has to try and find a killer while keeping a bunch of bad guys and the cops off his tail.
Overall I found it to be quite well written, the story was engaging and it held my interest quite well.
However, the characters were a bit of a let down for me. In particular Robert, the main character. I just had a hard time reading (or listening in this case) about a character who made such absolutely stupid decisions at every point and had such minimal personal growth. Just when I thought I was gaining a little bit of respect for him, off he goes again and does something even more stupid and It frustrated me a lot. I understand that this was the way he was supposed to be, it was his personality, he isn’t a typical “good guy”. But it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t find his character very likeable. The female characters that Robert was associated with were all pretty shady also. As were his interactions with them. I hope that substitute teachers are not all like that!
I felt the plot opened with a bang, and then moved quite slowly until about half way when it picked up again. There was a lot of intricate description of non significant aspects of the story, which was not necessarily a bad thing, but I felt at times it was slightly overdone. I loved the old school ‘Rockford files’ type vibe going on. It was engaging and I wanted to know how the story developed and what happened to Robert and if he ever sorted himself out.
I enjoyed the descriptions of the places in the novel. Las Vegas, the desert, Los Angeles… All places I have never been but were well described in the novel.
Audio Version: The author narrated the book himself and I love that! Who better than to emphasise key points and phrases than the person who wrote it originally. I wish more authors would narrate their own books! G J Prager has a lovely accent and I really enjoyed listening to him narrate as Robert. However, at times I got a little confused about who was who and who was saying what because it was hard to differentiate between characters. Every character sounded the same, even the females. I think more of an emphasised change of key or roughness to his voice would have made a world of difference to the listener. However it was by no means a bad narration, I quite enjoyed it.
It was a good mystery, and I enjoyed the audio version. I would be interested to read other books by this author.
Thanks to the author via Word Slinger Publicity for a copy of this audio book in exchange for my honest review.
The MC bungles through, & I wondered if he'd win