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Review Date: 2/24/2012
Helpful Score: 1
I was pleasantly surprised how into this book I got. I don't know if pleasant is exactly the right word though, because this book set me on edge. I ended up reading it in 3 days. Couldn't put it down. I spent the first half of the book waiting for the main character to come unglued and go "postal" on someone. I spent the 2nd half of the book having a great deal of sympathy for him instead. Through my reading from page 1, it's very hard to either hate or really like this guy--he's so "anal" in his activities that he seems without personality--but be/c of the lack of personality you can't really hate him either, he's not exactly a bad person. If you read the back cover of the book you might get a clue about how the book will end up but I didn't think too hard about it and so when the end came I wasn't exactly surprised but I WAS impressed with how the author handled the subject. It seems to be obvious what sort of statement he is trying to make about the current political situation, but at the same time, he uses our main character to show how people trying to do the "right" things can be led astray.
There's a lot more I could say about this book, but I don't want to give too much away, but suffice it to say I was very, very impressed, for lack of a better word, and I really valued its originality.
Review Date: 1/15/2012
This is an excellent book, not just as a mystery but the historical content is really fascinating. The characters are also very well-developed.
Review Date: 7/29/2011
This book was so much fun.
I picked it on the recommendation of a friend that lives too far for us to trade much and I really didn't know what to expect--when I received it, it looked suspiciously like a book fair book and I was a little concerned...
I will say I think that it probably WAS intended for young adult reading (hey, but so was Twilight) so it doesn't go TOO deeply into the real dark side of actual pirate history, but I can't really say that it "glosses over it" really either.
I think it IS much in vhe vein of Twilight in the following factors:
1) depth of character development (NOT that deep, but you're invested all the same)
2) a serious subject--love, survival, etc--that isn't necessarily handled lightly but isn't so heavy that it's depressing
3) there's a sense of adventure, of boundaries crossed, etc.
BY no means am I saying you'll love it if you loved Twilight--I'm simply saying it's about the same level of reading --not too serious, not too light, just enough to keep one entertained. I don't recall when it was published, without getting the book out of the other room anyway, but I was surprised that I'd never heard of it before, meaning that it wasn't a bigger hit. Maybe with it being a UK author it didn't catch on over here?
Anyway, it's ALL-ages appropriate and alot of fun to read.
Review Date: 7/8/2012
Another great book from Henning Mankell. Really enjoyed reading about Wallender's first cases/first years on the job, how he grew into the detective that he became. A very enjoyable read!
Review Date: 7/18/2011
I was really disappointed in this book, especially as I had gotten it right on the heels of "Ghosts", a book by the same author that I couldn't put down. It's as if the author, trying to duplicate his ghost story success with the previous title, was rushing to get something out on the shelves again.
To be fair, the base storyline is a good one, a police officer being haunted by the spirit of someone he helped send to the electric chair. Unfortunately, I couldn't really get into the cop's character b/c although we should have been able to sympathize with him, he was really not all that likeable. And, although, there were many characters in the book that the author DID go into depth with, I never really connected with any of them, good or bad, which is an odd occurrence for me as a quite active reader.
The other thing that surprised me is that even though this book should have been a quick beach/paperback-type read, it took me days to get through it. The beginning 60 pages are so read like they are by a TOTALLY different author than "Ghosts" and in fact read a little different than the rest of the book as well, in that it seems sloppier. There are also a lot of cliche descriptions that are used overmuch, such as describing the killer REPEATEDLY as a "dirtball Adonis" and other cops as "harness bulls". (maybe that was 90's slang?? I just worked 5 1/2 years in a police department and NEVER heard that phrase).
I really want someone to want this book so I can unload it from my inventory so I should probably not have written such a scathing review--however, it got almost consistent 4 stars so maybe it IS just me. I would say that taste is individual and perhaps someone would like this for an airplane or beach read, but if you have read "Ghosts" and are expecting the same quality, I wouln't recommend it based on that factor.
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