Monday, June 14, 2010

Burn Notice by Kyle Mills and Other Book Reviews

Burn Notice, a fictional story by Kyle Mills (2001), features Quinn Barry, an FBI computer analyst who is blamed for a glitch in a forensic computer program then is quickly whisked away to another position while the FBI’s “clean up” crew attempts to put a lid on the Pandora’s Box she’s just opened.

A more thorough summary (talk about your oxymoron) is available at http://www.amazon.com/Burn-Factor-Kyle-Mills/dp/0061098035.  In the meantime, I merely want to make my observation that I found the plot very predictable, the characters unrealistic, and it difficult to visualize their “world” probably due to my lack of effort.

I enjoy listening to audio books when I walk and I should devise a scale based on how far I walk each day and if I am interested in continuing to listen to the book when I get home.

I typically walk one to two miles.  If the book is interesting, I have walked up to four miles at a time (Sweet Potato Queens written and read by Jill Connor Browne) or continue to listen to the book when I get home until it is complete (anything by James Lee Burke especially those read by Will Patton).

It took me a while to finish this particular audio book because I would only listen to it every now and then.  It did not hold my interest.  In fact, I set it aside for about a month and opted for talking on the phone while walking or just enjoying the sounds of nature.  

I even switched to two other audio books (Traitor’s Gate and Pentecost Alley by Anne Perry) that are short, held my interest, the characters are interesting and are performed with a variety of masterful accents by David McCallum.

When I did listen to this audio book, I was more interested in the serial killer (and that is pretty sick) than the pedantic relationship budding between Quinn Barry (the antagonist) and her love interest/accused killer.

I really did not care for the choice the reader, Michael Kramer, made in styling the voice of the serial killer after that of Hannibal Lector (Hannibal and Silence of the Lambs) and the “redneck” accent of Barry much like that of Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs).  It only gave power to my new found “psychic” abilities to predict the characters’ behavior and know EXACTLY where the story was going.  Psychic powers or déjà vu?

I like a challenge.  This book offered none.

Would I read Kyle Mills work again?  Perhaps, but probably not.  However, if you have not already saturated your brain with some the greats like James Patterson, Clive Cussler, Ken Follet, Robert Ludlum and John Grisham, by all means, pick up one of Mills' Mark Beamon series and tell me what you think!