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Ted

Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

1158
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 280 reviews
  • 356 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
144

  • SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (132)

    It was a summer of glorious triumph for the mighty Roman Republic. Her invincible legions had brought all foreign enemies to their knees. But in Rome there was no peace. The streets were flooded with the blood of murdered citizens, and there were rumors of more atrocities to come.

    Ted says: "Darn... Want more in this series. Please?"
    "Darn... Want more in this series. Please?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    SPQR I is the first part of this story. Listen to that first and you will be hooked. Listen to this book and you will immediately suffer withdrawal pangs.Totally bummed that this astonishing trip to ancient Rome can't be continued. Sigh.... Um... if when you read this there is another John Maddox Roberts read by Simon Vance available as an AudioBook... Er.... Lemme know, K? I'll buy it in a Roman minute.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Mark Sullivan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (469)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (413)

    Two years ago, Robin Monarch was a top level CIA operative—perhaps the best they had when it came to black bag operations. Then one day, in the middle of an operation, with his team around him in the field, Monarch walked away, leaving his old life and friends behind without a word of explanation. Now this ex-soldier, ex-operative, and orphan with a murky past is a thief, stealing from the super-rich and has surfaced in St. Tropez.

    Eliezer Wagner says: "Great Story, great characters!"
    "Corny Calumny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Corny: old-fashioned, trite, or lacking in subtlety. Yeah, that's got it. Calumny: a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something. Uh-huh, laser focused.

    Mark Sullivan's plot's dead're than Ian Flemming. Worse, this guy figures if one stereotype is useful, he'll treble's every one. Of course the hero.. Robin... as in hood... is plucked from those cartoons where characters run over by a 20 ton roller truck, re-inflate like air-bags and run marathons.

    Holes in the plot? Well, duh.Odd that it's not labeled "Made In Switzerland." There's a law, right? But worse, once again a US writer hates his country. Imagine, this is an international thriller and the engine of evil is a senior exec with the American government. Well, no need to imagine - go watch any of the Bourne movies. Moral... America leadership's a corrupt puppets of sinister billionaires. Sigh. Mark Sullivan checks that box... over and over. And the rest of the cast... the "good guys" are all fallen-way patriots. Hey, maybe they'll make this into a movie so we can export the message world wide, huh? Calumny.

    Jeff Gurner reads good. Look for him, stay away from Sullivan. Unless you're 12 and never read or heard any of this a couple of thousand times.

    3 of 3 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
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    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.

    Ted says: "Terrific But READ "WOUNDED PREY" FIRST!!"
    "Terrific But READ "WOUNDED PREY" FIRST!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you haven't read first in this Sean Lynch series, stop this review now and look for "Wounded Prey"! This is the second in what Sean Lynch describes as a trilogy in a Bob Farrell and Kevin Kearns hard boiled private eye epic. While this book stands on its own bottom, it will ruin "Wounded Prey" for you… Don't let that happen, K?

    In a way, I found "The Fourth Motive" better than "Wounded Prey" largely because first novels have to allow the new writer to discorge so many thoughts s/he've had in thinking up the first go at getting a publisher's attention. In "The Fourth Motive" Lynch is freed to build upon the dense characterizations of his tough-guy heroes and their motivations. Which allows even more pace to get packed into the narrative.

    This book is faster (not shorter - faster) than the first but leaves you coughing up GSR, eye-dazzled from flashing gun muzzles. The book's violent, just, and satisfying if a BIG TAD non-PC.

    If you can live with a Batman who works on the the darker side of the law… You'll live contentedly with Farrell and Kearns. I'm going to preorder "Officer Involved" the third in this trilogy due out this Spring.

    Can't wait for another Jeff Harding creation of a Sean Lynch ensemble. Harding rocks!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wounded Prey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sean Lynch
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    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....

    Ted says: "New Favorite Author. Read This One First, K?"
    "New Favorite Author. Read This One First, K?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here's a series that needs starting at the beginning, and this is IT! Wuddan' openert! Here's the private eye that the great authors of the 30s, 40s, and 50s should have imagined if the censors and cultural gatekeepers would have permitted. Bob Farrell is HARD BOILED and his sidekick Kevin Kearns is tougher than a diner's 2 buck blue plate steak.

    Yeah, there's a lot of gore, gristle, and groaning in scenes fogged grim in gun smoke and blood spatter. And then there are the rules… Well, that's the point… There ain't no rules. Just vigilante crowbars prying through the thick doors of procedure, hardened steel of judicial precedent, and impregnable cop culture.

    I just finished the second in the Farrell/Kearns epic… "The Fourth Motive"... since I couldn't wait to listen to Jeff Harding read these two books in succession. In a lot of ways, "Fourth" is a sequel to "Wounded Prey" and may be a tad better. Which is high praise, I enjoyed "Wounded Prey" that much.

    Oh, if you're squeamish, maybe you'd like something else. Fair warning, eh?

    Yeah, there're grissley moments here. but unlike some authors who wallow in the stuff (getting off on the cretin's pleasure) you won't find a sadist's high in either "Wounded Prey" or "The Fourth Motive."

    Here's tough stuff from a new favorite author of mine.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Immoral Certainty: Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert K. Tanenbaum
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    Butch Karp's career prosecuting New York's worst criminals takes a chilling turn when a series of ghastly child murders opens a window into the city’s hellish underworld. Karp and love-interest Marlene Ciampi pursue a psychopath known to his young victims as the Bogeyman, but what they find is more threatening than a lone predator. To stop the evil they unearth will take more than just courage in the courtroom; the two will need to follow a sinister trail into New York City's darkest corners, where the law is powerless to protect them.

    Ted says: "Ordinary"
    "Ordinary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike a lot of reviewers I enjoyed the first two books in this series enough to track down and read the ghost writer of the early Tanenbaum books (Michael Gruber). This time, not so much. Okay, the plot's so far over the top that my nose bled. But hey, that's true of the first two in this series that I'd liked. And yeah, once again Gruber has written a high farce, which like puns, appeal to a thin audience. Hey, I like them both.

    The problem with shark jumping though is that a tooth can snag, tear, and release all of a plot's air. That happens here and unlike its predecessors, "Immoral Uncertainty" is just ordinary. But hey, ordinary's a lot better than mediocre, bad, or awful, right? I recommend that you start this series with "No Lesser Plea" and decide if you have an appetite for the bombastic Michael Gruber. It's an acquired taste and one that after "Immoral Uncertainty" I think I've lost.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Live by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (287)

    Boston, 1926. The ‘20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

    Christopher says: "bad narrator choice"
    "You may like this, sadly I haven't"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dennis Lehane is a brilliant writer to whom I've given passels of stars in the past. "Live by Night" is probably better crafted with more character insight than many of his books I've previously read. But…

    In the past two years since downloading "Live by Night" I've thrice restarted the work from its beginning, hoping each time it'd fire my imagination. But frankly I disliked every one of the characters in the book. I find them grim and complexly depressing. The novel begins with what appears to be the assassination of the protagonist in the first moments followed by hours of flashbacks to his path to this opening moment.

    Perhaps, if it began with his execution and ended right there… Well it doesn't. And so each time I revisited "Live by Night" I gave the book another five or six hours, and each time I left these people overwhelmed by melancholy. This time I asked "Why you doing this Ted?" The answer? Hit the stop button on my iPod followed by dropping this title from the little machine.

    But, you might really find this a masterpiece in characterization and sense of place (early 20th century Boston among others). A masterpiece masterfully performed by Jim Frangione. If so…

    Me, I'm off to enjoy shallower characters with socially redeeming characteristics that overwhelm their ability to coat my feelings in a thick syrup of darkness. Call me an optimist while I call "Live by Night" sadder than a pessimist who finds his dark dreams come true.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The St. Paul Conspiracy: McRyan Mystery Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Roger Stelljes
    • Narrated By Johnny Peppers
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    Thirty-two-year-old, fourth-generation St. Paul Homicide Detective Michael “Mac” McRyan thought his day was going to be less stressful. His day would involve paper work, coffee, and maybe even an early trip to the pub. Then his cell phone tells him his day is about to change. A body has been found in a high-end condominium between Summit and Grand Avenues; and it's not just anyone.

    Ted says: "A REEEELY Radical Police Procedural Idea Here"
    "A REEEELY Radical Police Procedural Idea Here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here' the story. Murder happens. Police investigate. THEY WORK AS A TEAM! Bad guys are totally bad.

    Reeeeely different from everything else in this genre? Well yeah… See that third point… The one where the police work as a team? Where the lead detective doesn't get more grief from his or her bosses than from the really bad guys? Where he's actually supported? Now that's refreshing. Imagine, the brass and the detectives and the beat cops all liking and supporting and professionally interacting like… like… friends? Well that's astonishing.

    Yet odd as it is to the police procedural, Roger Stelljes makes it work. I mean… it's almost revolutionary. Makes me wanna get another Mike McRyan book. Hey! I will, especially if it's read as well as Johnny Peppers performs this one.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ashes to Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (169)

    He performs his profane ceremony in a wooded Minneapolis park, anointing his victims, then setting the bodies ablaze. He has already claimed three lives, and he won't stop there. Only this time there is a witness. But she isn't talking. Enter Kate Conlan, former FBI agent turned victim/witness advocate. Not even she can tell if the reluctant witness is a potential victim or something more troubling still.

    Paula says: "Too Brutal, Grisly, Graphic for Me!"
    "Damsel In Distress Romance Torture Novel. Ho-Hum"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Never listened to Tami Hoag before, but kept getting recommendations from Audible. Soooo.... I figured that with David Colacci reading it might not be aimed entirely at a bodice buster market.

    Nope, wrong. Square jawed FBI super-star but tragically-at-war-with-his-inner-angst-hunk John Quinn, and drop-dead-gorgeous-blonde FBI agent turned fiesty victim/witness-advocate Kate Conlan are THROWN together in Minneapolis to look too far-and-wide (when they should have looked near-and-dear) for the ghastly cretin, THE CREMATOR. And (startle, surprise) they seem to ignite old embers of a long ago love which - inexplicably to me - went cool in Washington.

    Is there a surprise anywhere in all of this? Well yeah, Hoag's bad-guy is made so predictable to make room for multi-page make-up sex scenes that are a sort of squishy fem-porn.

    Okay, this wasn't aimed at male readers. And judging by Hoag's sales, there are lots of ladies who get off on this stuff. So if you do, and like your love rough... Hey, enjoy. Me? Not so much.

    Oh Colacci reads well, keeps the characters in their own spaces, but lapses from time to time into a Scott Brick impersonation. I don't think that's a recommendation, but lots of folks do... So, it's your call. Mine is to never listen or read another Hoag.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wrongful Death

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By L.J. Sellers
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    On a chilly Oregon morning, a policeman is found slain near the homeless camp where he'd been passing out blankets the night before. When Detective Jackson is called to the scene, witnesses point to a pair of mentally ill street twins as the likely perpetrators.

    Ted says: "Audible's Got A Weird Computer Error Here"
    "Audible's Got A Weird Computer Error Here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just listened to Patrick Lawlor narrate, L.J. Seller's novel named "Wrongful Death". Which Audible/Amazon's computers have confused and mixed with reviews of Dan John Miller's read of Robert Dugoni's book entitled, "Wrongful Death". So this is a review of Seller's novel about a cop murdered outside of a homeless settlement. It's a police procedural that's just OK.

    There are some interesting twists, but Seller's is interested in dramatizing alleged harassment of America's homeless by police. He's also very uncomfortable with social drinking as a gateway to alcoholism. Oh, and he's uncritical of the political correctness movement in general. Now each of these can make for interesting cultural tension and riveting plot while paying off the larger narrative.

    Unfortunately Seller's narrative wags the dog of plot producing predictable results. And Patrick Lawlor's flat reading doesn't help much to add tension to the various (and not particularly interesting) sub plots designed to either develop unnecessary character depth or pad out what really is a short murder mystery..

    OK, the book was a kind of elevator music while I did chores, and kept me listening until the end. But I wish I'd invested this credit more wisely.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • NYPD Red 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Marshall Karp
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (240)

    NYPD Red is the elite, highly trained task force assigned to protect the rich, the famous, and the connected. And Detective Zach Jordan and his partner, Kylie MacDonald - the woman who broke his heart at the police academy - are the best of the best, brilliant, and tireless investigators who will stop at nothing to deliver justice.

    Ted says: "45 Stars So Far For NYPD Red!!"
    "45 Stars So Far For NYPD Red!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wealth is a heat seeking missile.

    Once again, Patterson and Karp cranked up the heat. Look, start this series at the beginning with NYPD/RED, then NYPD/RED2 before kicking up the volume on this installment. The relationship between Detectives Zack Gordon and Kylie MacDonald deserve to get savored from the start.

    Except for that old… "The rich are different from you and me because they can afford to be" theme, there're are no cosmic issues here, no tours through the human psych, no complex internal monologues and dark introspection. Nope… These are forgettable fun police procedurals written by two gordo commercial artists at the peak of their powers.

    There ain't nothin' NOT to like here if one of the reasons you read thrillers is to turn off the world for a time and let craftsmen (including the brilliant Edoardo Ballerini) entertain you.

    Recommendation… Get it, listen, then pre-order the next installment of NYPD/RED. It's my fave series du jure.

    My score so far… 15 stars for each book X 3 = 45 stars. Whoa!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Pattern of Wounds: A Roland March Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By J. Mark Bertrand
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (39)

    It’s Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman’s brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison 10 years ago. Is it a copycat - or did March convict the wrong man? Alienated from his colleagues, and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives a series of taunting messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home.

    Ted says: "So Much Tension… Whew!"
    "So Much Tension… Whew!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's Bertrand's thesis that the Huston Police Department's a dysfunctional family. Oh, and that Roland March, his lead character, has a dysfunctional family. And that the society around him is, well, dysfunctional. March's life is a schizzo's irritating dreamworld. Mrch is essentially without emotional support from anyone. And yet…

    Bertrand is a powerfully strong writer. The characters are deeper than saucepan grease, and get heated sufficiently to sizzle the story into your appetite to keep on listening. Still, it's such a cliché to include the detective's bosses among a book's heavies. It'd be nice to read a procedural novel today where the team supported one another.

    MAJOR ALERT… This is Part Two of an epic novel which Bertrand started in "Back In Murder" a book I enjoyed. But, this plot is so dependent upon the earlier novel that YOU MUST READ IT FIRST, and perhaps review it before starting "Pattern Of Wounds". I'm a busy guy and frankly the dependence of this book upon that one really reduced my enjoyment since, well, I didn't want to work so hard to review all of the characters and details to follow this one.

    So, on balance, I may buy another Bertrand book. But if he waits too long to write the next Roland March novel, I'll probably pass… I know that I'll forget too much of the plot to make the next in this series accessible.

    Mel Foster did an OK job, but once again, the list of characters is sufficiently large that Foster had difficulty keeping their voices sufficiently distinct.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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