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The Sound of Sirens Kindle Edition
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Carter sets the scene, two guys, the young one awaiting the old one, clandestine meeting, packet exchanged, opened, the moon setting the newly acquired handgun alight resting in the young guy’s hand, the distant beat of soft rock resonating from the nearby pub. Luke Flowers has a job to do but can he be trusted? From its horrific inception this story cleverly pulls in characters, their background, their raison d'être. Carter is a master of this, drawing on all the senses until we can hear, see, smell, taste and touch all that impinges on their variety of existence, from local to far flung places giving ethnic and cultural prominence, all successfully geared to creating substantial, believable characters the reader can’t fail to bond with.
I’ve already met Inspector Walter Darriteau in ‘The Murder Diaries Seven Times Over’ (well reviewed here). He’s a solid, dependable, ordinary kind of guy that’s never done thinking. His mind’s sharp, very sharp but is he going to crack this one, or two, or three? Yes this story moves along quickly, it’s a cliché I know but I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, for this story plays with the reader, minute diversions, false starts, Inspector Darriteau sharp as the family heirloom securely displayed inside a cabinet on the wall in The State of Kerala Restaurant, Chester. He likes dining Indian, here, it’s his favourite restaurant. He knows the family well but how well? He’s 58 and lives alone, though from choice he’d rather be sharing his house with someone young and attractive like Galina his Eastern European cleaner. There’s not much spare brain space for dreaming but he lets his fancy for her slip through his thinking, never does it cross his mind that there could be another out there, duplicating thoughts, fancying him.
This book is simply packed with plots and subplots given such coherence in the smooth running of the mystery as to be absolutely astounding. Carter’s an astute observer, too, capturing the non-verbal interaction with skill, drawing out differing characters’ thinking, be it humorous, scathing, suspicious, capricious, just to mention a few of the character traits responsible and piling in to make this book such a credible read. David Carter does indeed possess a remarkable talent, he knows just how to hook his readers and keep them.
This work is action packed, exciting, thrilling, scary, with a twist to the dénouement which can only be described as brilliant. You certainly don’t have to be a fan of the genre to enjoy this one. It’s high calibre writing but then one wouldn’t expect anything less from David Carter. It’s meticulously researched giving substantial historical background particularly to immigrant life and present day cultural integration, which is worth mentioning, though it does not constitute the main focus. Indeed this sense of insight in all its variety permeates and enhances the whole story leaving the reader with a sense of satisfaction from time enjoyed and very well spent in the reading of this book. I congratulate David Carter on yet another superb tale and can but very highly recommend this book to all.
I liked the writing style and David Carter has a unique way with words, his descriptions are particularly strong and he knows what to write without waffling on. The writing style, combined with well-researched material and a great lead character in Inspector Walter Darriteau made sure the storyline never lost its zest.
The plots and sub-plots are woven together in an accomplished manner, the sign of a great storyteller. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys great writing.
The story opens with an intriguing meet-up between two men, the reader is immediately grabbed by this clandestine set-up. This meeting leads to a murder, unfortunately for the hit man, his contractor and the victim things don't go to plan. There is a murder but was the target the intended person?
The lead Detective Walter Darriteau has to unravel what is going on and why. He's a well-drawn character, believable and likable. The supporting characters stand out, and add layers to a good story. The author writes with gritty realism, the dialogue is realistic and the reader is pulled into a dark underworld.
My only gripe has nothing to do with the story but the formatting. My reading was interrupted by the arbitrary breaks which ended up dividing sentences partway through them, placing dialogue from two different characters on the same line. If the formatting is corrected this will be a very good read.
The author has a unique writing style and I look forward to reading more of his books featuring Detective Darriteau. If you like an English murder/mystery you will definitely enjoy this read.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Enjoyed a good urban mystery novel filled with action, intrigue and suspense.
Recommending to my friends and giving out as gifts.
In "The Sound of Sirens" Inspector Walter Darriteau is faced with one tough crime. A young man, gunned down onstage in a local pub by a hitman, who has just killed the wrong person. There are suspects galore, and clues leading this way and that, leaving the reader wondering until the end, "Whodunit?"
"The Sound of Sirens" is my first introduction to Inspector Walter Darriteau, but I felt as if I was greeted by an old friend. His character is very well developed, and though he appeared in a previous book ("The Murder Diaries Seven Times Over"), the reader can pick up this book without fear of jumping in the middle of a story.
All of the characters, in fact, are three-dimensional and interesting. As each character is introduced, their role in the tangled web of murder for hire and other such nasty business is carefully revealed, leading to multiple "ah-ha!" and "oh no, no, no!" moments for the reader.
The familiar mystery theme is well-done and contagious, reminding me of all my favorite mystery writers. The truth behind the murder at the beginning of the story is slowly leaked over the course of the story, and the pacing is beautifully set. I couldn't help but turn the page long past bedtime, hungry for that next clue. Though there are a few subplots, they are tied directly to the main plot so that they do not disturb the reader as they race with Walter to solve the crime.
David Carter's writing style is unique and intriguing. Fragmented sentences shouldn't work in a book, that's what all writers are taught, but Carter uses them in such a way that his writing has a tempo of its own, much like a familiar song that soothes one's soul. He masterfully weaves words in and out of the story, planting a perfect picture in the reader's head.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is fun, exciting, humorous at times, and bloody and shocking in all the right moments. If you're salivating for a new crime-solving hero, look no further than Inspector Walter Darriteau.
I must say that I had some difficulty in determining how to “rate” this read in terms of stars. The story moves along and was well thought through, but I had one issue with it that I just couldn’t let go. Specifically, that was the author’s common use of incomplete sentences, which made the reading a bit difficult for me.
There seems to be a current trend, a fad almost, to write in a style I find somewhat akin to (for lack of a better description) “stream of consciousness.” I know the traditional description of this form means that the writing itself is often just a stream of words, likely even lacking punctuation—which is not the case here. But, I find the author’s style similar in that the work draws the reader to follow the narrator’s “thoughts.” This style does work—particularly for a story told from a single perspective and in first person. It gets the reader right into the action, allowing him (or her) to follow along with the character’s internal musings. It can even set a mood, which I must admit, it did do in the opening scene of The Sound of Sirens. Even so, I find the style a bit . . . frustrating, as I long for the complete sentence. Further, this style, on occasion, shifted the scene in The Sound of Sirens rather suddenly from one viewpoint to another.
All that said, I did not find myself floundering around, trying to determine what was happening, as is often the case when things are written in cryptic little spasms. (Consider: “Moonless night, dry too, a hint of June balminess in the air.” “Pulled back into the shop doorway, took a drag on the fag.” “Didn’t speak.” “Took out the handgun.” “Gleamed in the moonlight.” These are just a few examples and they all come from the first page/scene of this read.) As I said, I always knew what was happening. I just found my reading halted at every semi-sentence. It is as though there is a little signal in my head somewhere that flashes “Error! Error!” whenever I read things in this style. I guess I’m old school . . . (longing, as I said, for the complete sentence). Having said that, I repeat: the author never left me wondering what was happening.
The Sound of Sirens is a story that includes a vast array of well drawn characters, including Walter Darritreau, the lead investigator; Luke Flowers, a contract killer; Gerry Swaythling, a wealthy man whose son had been Luke Flowers’s intended hit; Langley Wells, a loan shark; and many more. The cast included both heroes and villains, all of which were well drawn. The characters were varied and interesting. I also appreciated the manner in which Carter spoke of a murder that some might dub an “honor killing.”
I did find Inspector Walter Darritreau’s resolution of the case a bit odd in that he used information theretofore unknown to the reader—or at least to this reader. (Did I miss something?). Had some of the details been scattered about throughout the story at earlier times, Darritreau’s summation would have been even more fulfilling for me, as I would either have surmised some of the details myself, or I would have chastised myself for having missed them! Thus, in some ways, the summation seemed a bit too convenient.
All in all, The Sound of Sirens engaged me. I rooted for the good guys and was rightfully irritated by the bad guys. For me, one good way to determine how to “rate” a work is to consider whether I would read more by this author. When considering the story in that light, I would have to say that I most definitely would read more from David Carter. Thus, I have attached to this read, a four-star rating.
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