I want to start this review by saying that in general, spy thrillers are not one of my preferred book genres. However, with that said I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to others in the genre and by this author; thank you for expanding my comfort-zone. Although I rated the book 4-stars, if given the option I would have more likely rated it 3.5-stars; because it is not a three-star book.
The author did a good job of weaving a believable story that included many twists, turns, and suspense throughout. Many times I was surprised by a given outcome and said to myself, I didn’t see that coming. The author was able to create characters having depth and the main characters were involved in complex relationships which kept them interesting and more life-like. Her ability to simply describe a scene that allowed me to see it like a picture in my mind kept me listening and engaged.
I laughed multiple times at one of the characters lack of having a cellphone in today’s society, however the author herself said on her Amazon page, “I wrote 3 LIES, in part, out of my own struggle to untether from the digital world”. This realization while reading the book gave this specific character more meaning to me. I can her love of animals, especially dogs from her story, and this part was again one of the surprises for me. The book has vulgar language; however, it was not frequent or gratuitously used. I would not feel comfortable allowing my teenager to read the book because of this. I include this as it is important for many readers when looking for new material for younger readers. Such language is only used at points when the characters are in high-stress situations. I will have to say that I will never look at people wearing colored ski masks the same again.
Let me touch on a few areas of the book which I found were less believable for me. I have been in the technology industry for over 35 years and focused on information security for over 20. This is not to say that I’m an expert in the specific technology the author was describing, however I felt at times that I had to just go with the flow and remind myself it was a story. Some of the technology described seemed farfetched or more futuristic in general, and the trouble with some of the computers and how it was handled seemed to lack deep research into the topic. Again, this is more nit picky on my part as it touches on my area of expertise, yet I do not think others would be impacted by it. I will also admit that the general population often is not even aware of the types of technology that are out there or the power of surveillance.
A few of my recent reviews have called out authors for having very long chapters, and this book is almost on the extreme other side of that for me. A number of chapters were extremely short, consisting of only a page or two. Other authors will often join these smaller chapters into a larger one and simply separate or transition the scenes. Once again, this is more a personal issue and did not take away or add anything to the story itself.
The most memorable part of the book for me was the love shown between himself and a dog. Not to sound funny, but only those who read the book will understand.
For the audiobook, I enjoyed Patrick’s narration overall. I think I would have enjoyed more if he had been more expressive with his voice both during times of action and low-points of the story. More to put emphasis and keep the listener tied to the story-line. I would have also liked to have had more uniqueness in the various character voices, yet I understand how difficult this can me for a narrator. I know it can also be difficult for a male to voice female and female child parts.
I look forward to listening to more by this narrator in the future. I did find it somewhat interesting during one portion of the book when the narrator was describing a driving scene and he pronounced the word “route 3” like it is said in the west instead of “root 3” like it is often said in the Northeast. Again, the narration was good, not outstanding, but good.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to no charge to the reviewer by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.