My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Review: House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales

House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales by Theodore Jerome Cohen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book: **
Performance: ****

A Silly Ole’Timey Detective Story

The best thing this recording has going for it is the narration; from a completely nostalgia aspect it reminds me of the old radio detective dramas in the 50-60's ... which I still listen to. That was what hooked me when I listened to the sampe and what ultimately saved the book. The series follows an NYPD detective (and military vet with a prosthetic leg) who plays fast and loose with the rules to get the bad guys ... not a plus in my book as it typically lends to lazy writing. 

In this episode, Martelli falls into a conspiracy involving a terrorist organization and a fraudulent hedge fund scheme Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDOs) and Credit Default Swaps (which were at the center of the financial crisis of 2008 ... of which the author apparently needs to go into great detail using info dumps thinly disguised as dialog. Too much unneeded detail is the watchword for this piece as the author shows off his mastery of jargon and testosterone replacements. 

For some reason not completely clear to me (outside a typical manly measuring contest), the Martelli also needs to stay clear of the FBI (they guys that would normally get involved in this kind of thing) , so he engages in various hijynx to make them the rube here while he himself engages in extrajudicial activities that somehow never taint the case. Just for fun, he also throws in a few pontifical monologues a a jab or two at the HYPD administration ('cause they got nuttin' better to do than get in the way of real police work). Then you have the cheesy ending that is cleaned up in the Epilogue …

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#HouseOfCards #MartelliNYPD #FreeAudiobookCodes

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.