Wednesday, May 30, 2018

All the Beautiful Lies; Peter Swanson and The Cuban Affair; Nelson DeMille

All the Beautiful Lies; Peter Swanson
2018 - Harper Audio (William Morrow)
Sarah Mollo Christiansen (reader)

In this stand alone psychological thriller, Harry Ackerson is getting ready to graduate from college when his stepmother, Alice calls to say that his father has fallen from a cliff and has died. Although the police suspect it was a suicide, there is a chance that he may have been murdered. Devastated, Harry returns home to Maine where his father ran a book store to grieve and to help settle his affairs..

Harry's stepmother Alice is only 35, she's attractive and was some 20 years younger than Bill, Harry's father.  As a teen Harry always fantasized about Alice while he was living at home.  When another young attractive young woman mysteriously shows up at the book store Bill had owned while Harry is sorting through his father's business affairs, the plot thickens. It appears as if she may have been romantically involved with Bill as well while he was working at another book store in New York.

The story shifts from present to past with a fair amount of sexual tension along the way.  There were a few twists to make the reader wonder but, overall I thought the outcome was fairly easy to predict.  This was fun to listen to on my walks but, overall, I preferred the author's previous book, Her Every Fear, much more.

Rating - 3.5/5 stars


The Cuban Affair; Nelson DeMille
Simon & Schuster Audio - 2017

Daniel McCormick, is a 35 year old decorated, Afghanistan Veteran who now owns and operates, The Maine,  a charter fishing boat out of Key West.  Mac is offered $2,000,000 by a Cuban American lawyer named Carlos to take his boat to Havana to smuggle back a cache of cash, treasure and documents hidden from the Castro regime during the revolution. It's believed the loot is worth some $60,000,000.

Many of DeMille's earlier novels which featured John Corey, were a must read for me, Corey was a tough talking central character who was always full of wise cracks. He almost always had an attractive woman by his side that he met as part of his mission.  "The Cuban Affair's" Mac, possesses similar traits to Corey and he also had a sexy counterpart named Sara Ortega by his side, but I missed the old central character.  Unfortunately, a few wise cracks go a long way and after a while the humor seemed a bit forced and over the top. Although I loved how well DeMille researched information about Cuba and its history, overall, this story was far too long and dragged on and on.  We recently listened to this on a road trip and we found ourselves fast-forwarding at several intervals that seemed to be a bit too over the top for us.  Overall, this audio book, read by Scott Brick was fun to listen to but, it missed its mark. I do miss the earlier DeMille, John Corey books.

Rating - 2.5/5 stars

18 comments:

  1. After reading my first Peter Swanson book recently (Her Every Fear), I put a hold on All the Beautiful Lies. I hope to be reading it soon. Great reviews.

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    1. I really enjoyed "her Every Fear" - so good. I hope you like the next one.

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  2. Too bad these books weren't more successful.

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  3. Sometimes I get lost when the shifting from past to present happens, short attention span.

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  4. I've heard pretty much the same about the Swanson book. I liked his two previous books so much, so I have been dragging my feet to read this one. I'll get it done at some point. Or maybe just reread the previous two. LOL

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  5. It is a sad day when one's go to thriller writers let one down.

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    1. I know, I think they experience burn out and honestly, I think they might have someone else writing in their name.

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  6. Diane, thank you for your honest reviews of these audio books. I haven't read (or listened to) books by either of these authors.

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  7. Peter Swanson and DeMille are authors I've enjoyed in the past but, sadly these were not their best efforts.

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  8. Glad to see the Peter Swanson review. I'm looking forward to reading this one as I loved two of his previous works. Silly question: how do you listen to audio on your walks? I don't have an audible subscription (yet!) so am always curious what options there are for audio books while I walk or drive.

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    1. Our library system has a large number of Playaways --http://www.playaway.com
      You just need earbuds and a AAA battery. I also download audio books onto my iPhone from the library using an app called -- Axis360. Both options are free

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  9. It's a shame they were both a bit disappointing. I have the Swanson. I'm hoping it will be better than his The Girl with a Clock for a Heart.

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    1. I loved Swanson's last book as well. This wasn't horrible but just not as satisfying.

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