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Charles Atkinson

A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...

Greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2005

1325
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 312 reviews
  • 590 ratings
  • 1193 titles in library
  • 120 purchased in 2014
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  • The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1929)
    Performance
    (1746)
    Story
    (1749)

    During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

    FanB14 says: "Eagles Victory"
    "One Exceptional Experience!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Silver Linings Playbook?

    Here is a masterpiece and maybe the best book I have found on Audible, yet it deals with perhaps the hardest subject matter there is in modern literature. There are so many reasons I love this book, its hard to rank them.

    But let me start with Ray Porter's narration.I have listed him before in my top 3 performers, but there is no question this one makes him the top narrator on Audible. And that is from a library of over 800 titles. There are alot of emotions and even deadpan dialect within this book and Porter captures it all perfectly.

    The story revolves around mental illness, a very sensitive and often tragic subject matter. It does not burden us with diagnosis, yet it blesses us with the healing power of excellent therapy. And there is the perfect amount of humor to keep us interested.

    Perhaps what I loved most was Quick's use of classic American literature to provide clever and penetrating metaphors to tell us what the hero is actually facing and/or running from.


    What other book might you compare The Silver Linings Playbook to and why?

    The Help. Its groundbreaking literature exmaning mental illness as opposed to race to reveal true human experience.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Fourth Motive: A Farrell and Kearn Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Sean Lynch
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Deputy District Attorney Paige Callen is being stalked, and the man stalking her is motivated, methodical, and relentless. The police aren’t merely one step behind Paige’s stalker; they’re stumped. So Paige’s father, retired Judge ‘Iron Gene’ Callen, instead hires retired San Francisco P.D. Inspector turned private investigator Bob Farrell, to the dismay of the local police. The cops know all too well Farrell’s reputation as a reckless wild card.

    Meggin says: "I'll Try Another Farrell & Kearn Thriller"
    "Not as good as the first, bu still good..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is second Farrell and Kearn novel and the plot is a continuation of the first installment. A year has gone by since retired cop Farrell duped young deputy Kearn into joining him on an illegal, nationwide manhunt for a serial child killer. While all of their crimes were wiped clean after that affair, they still have a bad reputation with Bay Area police forces.

    A powerful retired judge hires the pair as body guards for his daughter after she is attacked and nearly killed by a stranger. The judge had read their files and knew the two heroes were better equipped to protect and pursue the unknown, deadly adversary.

    This is another fast read with plenty of action, violence and tragedy. However, it lacks the wonderful humor of its predecessor and it ends abruptly.

    Jeff Harding is awesome once again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wounded Prey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sean Lynch
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    It's time to finish what he started... A young girl is snatched in broad daylight from outside her school and later found brutally murdered and hanging from a tree. When recently retired San Francisco Police Inspector, Bob Farrell, sees this on the news, he realises his worst nightmare has just come true. The same brutal killer a government agency stopped him from putting away twenty years before is once more on the loose....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Awesome Gritty Renegade Cop Story"
    "Awesome Gritty Renegade Cop Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm often critical and turned off when an author's main detective character goes rogue. But Lynch creates a believable scenario where his retired cop had special knowledge of who the killer was from his tour in Vietnam 20 years earlier. The Iowa police are stymied because they have no knowledge of who the killer is and how to find him. All they know is out of nowhere a man abducted an 8 year old girl in front of 20 witnesses and shot and killed her teacher.

    There's so much more, including humorous run ins with an overbearing, tactless FBI agent who is repeatedly thwarted from getting involved in the case. Suffice to say there is good reason why the police and FBI cannot be the best chance of finding te killer.

    Jeff Harding seems new to me as a narrator. I should have researched him in my library before this writing. He delivers an outstanding performance, one of the best I've encountered.

    Be prepared to be on the edge of your seat from the opening chapter on this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • White Sister: A Shane Scully Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Stephen J. Cannell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (99)

    Leaving L.A.'s Parker Center, Shane Scully and his wife, Alexa, agree to meet at home in one hour. Shane gets there; Alexa doesn't. In the middle of the night, he's called to a crime scene on Mulholland Drive: The African-American victim, who appears to be a Crip gangbanger, has been executed gangland style. Shockingly, the body is in Alexa's car and her gun is found nearby. But Alexa is missing.

    Lisa says: "Sad it's over"
    "Starts Great, Quickly Fades"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first couple of chapters find detective Shane Scully in a humorous, if not embarrassing predicament with a funny homeless guy. I loved the awkward angle and felt sure I'd found a winner. But suddenly Shane's wife suspiciously disappears and that's exactly where I got off the bus.

    A seasoned detective, Scully immediately disrupts any hope of a good police investigation, making the lead detectives chase him instead of the case. Cannell is banking on fans of Scully as a super hero to believe only Scully can find his wife. So the detective throws all procedures aside, breaks the law numerous times himself to show up his inferior cop peers. I'm sure there's some redeeming value past the first 10 chapters, but I didn't care to stick around.

    Scott Brick does a great job. As the title implies, there is a beautiful white woman at the center of the mystery. She talks rap and plays herself off as a black ghetto girl, and it constantly grated on my nerves.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man: Book 1 of the Repo Man Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. Bruce Cameron
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (24)

    Ruddy McCann, former college football star, has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now Kalkaska, Michigan’s full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. His best friend is his low-energy Basset hound Jake, with whom he shares a simple life of stealing cars. Simple, that is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head. The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. Ruddy isn’t sure if Alan is real, or if he’s losing his mind.

    Charles Atkinson says: "As Good As It Gets"
    "As Good As It Gets"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bruce Cameron has combined remarkable wit with uncanny dialogue to create one of the best new heroes and most fun novels ever. I loved every character, every scene every moment of this book. Narrator George Wilson's performance and timing is flawless here. I'd put him in the top 5 narrators.

    Ruddi McCann, ex football star, ex con turned repo man has a peculiar problem. He hears voices. I'd go further, but it would spoil too much of the story.

    In some ways he is a combination of Jack Reacher and one of Carl Hiasson's quick witted stars who is surrounded by a bizarre set of characters in an even more bizarre set of circumstances. I laughed and smiled through the one day it took to finish the book

    I'd put this book up on the same level as Big Little Lies, and that should be enough said.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Disappearance

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By J. F. Freedman
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    On a soft summer night, she vanishes. With her friends sleeping nearby, with her parents’ wealth and power guarding her, someone walks into her bedroom and takes 14-year-old Emma Lancaster away. That is the first crime....

    Henry says: "Couldn't put it down!"
    "Truly great legal thriller..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great mystery for a legal thriller with just a few minor flaws. It features a great main character with a great storyline.

    I wish more had been exposed about the defendant. His personality was never revealed and his character wasn't developed at all. And the abrupt and overdone ending was a tad disappointing as well. Still, the conflict of a returning exD.A. to defend a client against his protege and the police force he'd worked with for years is a new angle for me.

    Patrick Cullen was outstanding, he is responsible for taking my rating from 3 to 4 stars.

    Though Freedmans works are older, this one is 1999, they seem to be new to audible. I'm definitely gong for a third novel of his, so stay tuned...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bird's-Eye View

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. F. Freedman
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The novels of New York Times best-selling author J.F. Freedman combine gritty realism with gripping suspense. Bird’s-Eye View is a vivid thriller that will keep listeners enthralled from start to finish. Ex-collegiate professor turned loner, Fritz Tullis dropped out of academia for all the right reasons. He now spends his time thinking, drinking, fishing and photographing birds from a sweltering, screen-windowed shack at the edge of a swamp in southern Maryland.

    Charles Atkinson says: "A Riveting Tale Read Masterfully"
    "A Riveting Tale Read Masterfully"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story features one of the most unique and rogue heroes I've encountered in modern novels. Fritz Tullis, a disgraced history professor at University of Texas, mopes home to the backwoods of Maryland's eastern shores to live with his wealthy 83 year old mother. He's the youngest of 3, born 18 years after his next oldest sibling. Spoiled, unappreciative and known as a careless thrill seeker, he makes a rundown shack on the property into a livable home.

    A rare bird and a simple white lie to protect a lover's feelings lead him to stumble into a murder. From there it becomes a cat and mouse adventure, only who is the cat and who is the mouse.

    One of the first novels I listened to on Audible was No Country For Old Men, read by Tom Stechschulte. I loved him then and he is equally wonderful here.

    It's a fast read, an easy 4 star rating for me.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Strip Tease

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (704)
    Performance
    (571)
    Story
    (581)

    No matter what you heard or thought about the movie version of Strip Tease, forget it. Film simply can’t catch the layers of humor, satire, and imagination that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Hiaasen creates in each of his novels.

    Edmond Clement says: "A total delightr"
    "Saw the Movie, The Book is Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is just a fun and funny romp through the darker side of Florida politics, judicial system and the always seedy world of strip clubs, If you are looking for 5 star entertainment until the next great detective series, Strip Tease is the book for you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 21 Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Dustin Stevens
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Felix "O" O'Connor is an ex-con from central Ohio who has spent the last seven years working on a ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Rarely does he venture out into the world and never does it come looking for him. Both of those things change when his twin sister, Alexa "Lex" Borden, calls from Columbus, Ohio, to ask for his help.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Another Super Tough Guy Tale"
    "Another Super Tough Guy Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This starts with a 23 year old ex-con who has 21 hours to find his kidnapped niece, A quick and obvious chain of formula driven conflicts ensues. Columbus Ohio cops are useless, his prison experience gives him leads cops will never have, he has to fight a giant to meet a bad guy. It only gets worse from there.

    The narrator's voice is droll and mundane, though to be fair this books reads like a noir movie.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Tight

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1079)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (407)

    This novel by Carl Hiaasen, author of Tourist Season and Native Tongue, begins as most thrillers do, with a killing. But this is no everyday, hum-drum, garden variety killing. Our hero, Nick Stranahan, a 42-year-old private investigator who has killed five men and been married five times, skewers his attacker's aorta with the razor-sharp bill of a stuffed marlin.

    Chris says: "Skintight"
    "Another Fun Romp Into the Absurd"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is another fun novel featuring former cop Mick Stranahan, a man who has killed as many men as he has former wives. That would be 5 , at least in this novel. Mick is gifted with an overwhelming amount of common sense along with an uncommonly accurate ability to size people up quickly.

    As is the case with many gifted heroes in literature , he has an equally extreme weakness that keeps his ego in check. He has the lowest possible immunity from falling in love with whoever he sleeps with. Thus he has had 5 ex wives, all cocktail or diner waitresses.

    Another common trait of Hiasson novels the absurd lives of his villains. In this case the story begins with a former nurse scheming to extort money from her former employer, an unethical quack plastic surgeon, by threatening to expose his killing of a young college girl several years back. To validate her claim while diverting attention away from her actual scam, she plays on the vanity of an egocentric investigative reporter and points all involved parties to a former detective who worked the case years ago. One Mick Stranahan.

    Suddenly we are in the world of plastic surgery as viewed by a wonderfully talented, cynical humorist, an ex reporter, turned columnist turned novelist. Let's face it, it is a world of extreme vanity, sexually charged, enormous egos, even larger insecurities...and little oversight by the medical community. There is no shortage of material here for Hiasson to work with.

    I love the characters, the humor, the relationships and most of all I enjoyed the whole experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Dip

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (2415)
    Performance
    (654)
    Story
    (665)

    When Chaz Perron's wife discovers that he is running a scam (posing as a marine biologist to doctor water samples so that an agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the Everglades), he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner. Unlucky for Chaz, Joey survives clutching a bale of Jamaican pot. Rescued from the Atlantic by a former police officer, Mick Stranahan, she decides not to report him but instead haunt and taunt him, with Mick's help, by playing dead.

    Phillip says: "Summer's Best Read"
    "Cupboard bare? Time for Hiasson!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is my second review, because somehow the first, a brilliant effort, just disappeared. So forgive my brevity.

    I'm really struggling trying to find new authors and series in mysteries and thrillers. Then I remembered how much I liked Double Whammy and Striptease. Skinny Dip is just as much fun.

    I was 100% invested in all the characters. It is one of best stories I've come across.

    Again, I just don't have the stamina to rewrite a decent review, what you should know that I loved every second of this book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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