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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

1038
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 266 reviews
  • 342 ratings
  • 651 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
137

  • Stripped

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Brian Freeman
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (57)

    Jonathan Stride and Serena Dial are both investigating high-profile murders in Las Vegas. A celebrity is assassinated during a fling with a prostitute, and a young boy is killed in a brutal hit-and-run incident. When the cases converge, Jonathan and Serena find themselves racing the clock against a determined serial killer and searching for a connection to the unsolved murder of a showgirl years earlier.

    Ted says: "Bumbling Geniuses? Hmmmm...."
    "Bumbling Geniuses? Hmmmm...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To build tension and distress, Brian Freeman asks us to believe that his cops are sort of dim bulb-ish. Well okay, most of us are and it’s charming to have detectives that are like you and me. Problem is, they wind up solving a multi dimensional criminal plot here that’s buried in a half century of Vegas bloody cover-up. Well, okay… it’s an intriguing puzzle and sort of ingenious. It's the kind of plotting that many of us read these things to enjoy. Yet it’s hard to suspend disbelief when these people who are perilous serial blunderers flash the penetrating deductive insight of Goren and Eames from Law and Order’s Criminal Intent.

    But… but… the real talent of Brian Freeman is his dissection of human commitment, promise, loyalty, gender, freedom, lust, and love. Freeman doesn’t judge, he shows. That theme is what will make me download the continuing growth of Detective Jonathan Stride. I want to know what happens next in this guy’s struggles to bring meaning to his life and the ensemble cast he moves among.

    I’m glad I started with the first in this series, “Immoral”, and almost demand that you do to. This isn’t a novel; it’s an installment in an epic tale of this guy’s life. Oh yeah, Joe Barrett is exactly the actor to bring this all together. Uh-huh, you might complain about his female voices, but whuddahell… get over it. Barrett sings the music of Stride’s life.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Valley of Bones

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Michael Gruber
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes, Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    The setting is Miami. Rookie cop Tito Morales arrives at the Trianon hotel to investigate a routine disturbance call and, to his shock and horror, watches as a wealthy oil man plunges ten stories and impales himself on a nearby fence. Soon Morales is joined by detective Jimmy Paz, famous throughout the city for solving, or at least providing a plausible solution to, the so-called Voodoo Murders that left Miami burning months earlier.

    Timothy says: "Spies Thugs in a World of Intrigue, Mystery"
    "Hagiography: "A Book About The Life Of A Saint""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Haven't read one of these stories since Sunday school. OK, this is a fictional saint, but then again, most hagiographs are probably as fictional as this one. So Gruber's made one up that's as fit into our modern moment as the writers of the early Christian era fit their stories into their moments. How'd he do that? Well that's what makes this an unusual book. Any more description will kill this complex story's mystery.

    And like every hagiograph... There have to be miracles, and blood, and martyrs, and bad... bad... satanically baaaad villains. They're all here. Oh, and there's a murder along with detectives and sex.

    And had I known this was going to be a hagiography, I'd not have bought it. But, it was weirdly interesting particularly since Gruber's a terrific writer and Forbes and Davis are pros. And of course it all comes together in the end because, well... God works in mysterious ways :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3195)
    Performance
    (2755)
    Story
    (2776)

    Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie....

    G. House Sr. says: "Obsession, mystery, and you're hooked!"
    "Love Besotted Professor Acts Stupid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jake Fisher, is the dumbest man in mysteries. Odd, since we're to believe he's a tenured (?) PhD professor in a New England College that's at least as prestigious as Williams. Oh, and he's surrounded by equally idiotic decision makers.

    Have you seen the TV ad where kids escaping a horror villain hide behind the power saws? Yeah? Well their decision making is light years ahead of those which Jake Fisher keeps repeating throughout this perplexing plot. Was this early Coben? The authorusually stops short of asking readers to accept that a guy with all of these "smart-credentials" can be dumber than a drunk monkey.

    You know the way a magician tries to distract with his left hand so you won't notice what his right's up to? Well maybe the frazzle headed oafishness of Jake Fisher was meant to distract me into ignoring the torrent of coincidences Coben demanded I accept to make the plot sensible. No way that could happen.

    Scott Brick gives a less-than-over-the-top reading this time which makes it one of his best that I've heard.

    Can't recommend Six Years, hope it hasn't turned me off on Coben.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Back on Murder: A Roland March Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By J. Mark Bertrand
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (103)

    Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details until an unexpected break gives March one last chance to save his career. And his humanity. All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track: a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything.

    Thomas Allen says: "Great murder mystery, but why all the preaching?"
    "Strangely Clever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mark Bertrand teases. He reveals Roland March slowly, using foreshadowing much like a potter might use his fingers. For a time I thought I'd missed an earlier book in this series since the plot seemed to feed upon facts not in evidence. And yet, much like a morning mist dissolves, things clarified and somewhere deep inside I muttered, "Of course".

    "Back On Murder's" worth the time and I'll buy more of Roland March's adventures. Look forward to them. Oh, Mel Foster's OK, but he faced a particular challenge with the book.

    There are too many characters with useful speaking parts in this story. I wish Bertrand had cut away at the supporting ensemble. Unlike a print version, it's hard to go back and recall who each character might be, hence the reader/actor has to create a uniquely differentiated ensemble. Foster does it OK, but perhaps it's not his fault that I can't say, "He done it reeeeely good." Y'know?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christine Falls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Benjamin Black
    • Narrated By Timothy Dalton
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (403)
    Story
    (398)

    It's not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It's the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse, and concealing the cause of death.

    Stephen McLeod says: "Great Listen"
    "Okay... I Give Up. What's the point here?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Four hours of heavy tedium have caused any interest I've got in listening to this... this... thing reveal what it's about to dissipate like a parking lot puddle in searing heat. Nope, bad metaphor. This book and the word "heat" should never appear in the same sentence. It is cold and not even interesting enough to be called boring.

    Perhaps this is a "literary" author's attempt to become more commercial by having his book marketed as a "mystery" or a "thriller"? The mystery here is what went through the publishers' minds when they green lighted this thing. Maybe they acted on a pitch instead of actually reviewing a manuscript and once granting an advance found themselves stuck?

    Dunno. But I do know that Benjamin Black is on my, er, blacklist. I'll return this book, but no way that Audio can give me back four hours of my life. Pity.

    Oh, and Timothy Dalton? His read was as uninspiring as the text. They made a good match.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • NYPD Red 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Marshall Karp
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini, Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (404)

    When NYPD Red arrives at a crime scene, everyone takes notice. Known as the protectors of the rich, famous, and connected, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in only for New York City's most high-profile crimes. And Detective Zach Jordan is the best of the best, a brilliant and relentless pursuer of justice. He puts professionalism above all, ignoring his feelings for his partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald, the woman who broke his heart when they first met in the academy.

    Ted says: "GUSH! 15 Stars!But don't read this.... FIRST!"
    "GUSH! 15 Stars!But don't read this.... FIRST!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    GUSH! Uh-huh, I'm in the mood to gush over the fun that Edoardo Ballerina and Jay Snyder create in this series. Patterson's brand has had a steroid rush from the invention of NYPD RED.

    Warning... warning... warning... There is a "2" in this title. You must read NYPD RED 1 first. Or else this book is one long spoiler alert that will asphyxiate your satisfaction in listening to the first in this series. I gushed over that book... So let me write that this is in every way as good. Better? Hmmmm....

    Wuddaya want from a police procedural set in Metropolis? It is all here paced by Patterson and Karp to keep you in the driveway listening after a long commute. It's designed to make you earbud-anti-social for hours so that you can let the story anesthetize away life's tensions.

    This is snarky entertainment... Start with NYPD RED 1, read this then, like me... go onto the waiting list for the next Zack Jordan, Kylie MacDonald adventure...

    The only mystery now is whether Patterson and Karp can keep popping fifteen stars out of me with each new NYPD RED. Can't wait to find out.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • NYPD Red

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Marshall Karp
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini, Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (994)
    Performance
    (838)
    Story
    (845)

    It's the start of Hollywood on Hudson, and New York City is swept up in the glamour. Every night, the red carpet rolls out for movie stars arriving at premieres in limos; the most exclusive restaurants close for private parties for wealthy producers and preeminent directors; and thousands of fans gather with the paparazzi, hoping to catch a glimpse of the most famous and beautiful faces in the world. With this many celebrities in town, special task force NYPD Red is on high alert - and they can't afford to make a single mistake.

    Ann M. Lambert says: "one of the best, if not the best audio books ever"
    "Yeah… Taut As A J-Lo Dress"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Too often big-foot writers outsource something to smaller-shoe collaborators and the results read like a camel instead of a horse. Not here. I don't know how much of this is Marshall Karp's doing but the mix WORKS!

    Zack Jordan and Kylie MacDonald are tugged and fit together like Jennifer Lopez's red-carpet outfits. The plot in NYPD Red's like a NASCAR engine… purring at warp speed yet quietly and confidently. This will be a new series, right? Got to be.

    BTW, don't know the story about the two readers or which is which but it seemed that a substitution was made about 80% of the way in. The replacement carried the ball to score.

    Here's what I want in an Audible mystery/thriller…characters, plot-driven AND driving action, and a puzzle that's intelligently solved at the end. Oh, and a buzz of sexual tension's a useful blob of epoxy to hold my attention. NYPD Red's got it all.

    MORE! MORE!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    Overall
    (1444)
    Performance
    (944)
    Story
    (941)

    In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters.

    Maggie says: "Great entertainment!"
    "Cute For 5 Min Then... UGH!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "I've gotta'n idea, we write this book through the eyes of the dog and ba-zing-ga!"
    "Duuuude!? That's not an idea, that's whacked."
    "No.... no... There are readers who'll love it. How many dog owners are there?"
    "You want to write a whole book though the brain of a dog? A DOG!"
    "Yeah, cool huh? We'll make a series out of it."
    "Cool? No, weird. Who'd publish something like that?"

    The answer is Aria brooks, and they've stretched a writing class trick into a seven book series. Which means I will not read 7 3/4 of them since I stopped when it went WAY OVER THE SHARK for me about a quarter of the way in.

    ***

    "Hey, I gotta'n idea, let's write a book through the eyes of a shark that writers leap and ba-zing-ga!"
    "Duuuude!? That's not an idea, that's whacked."
    "No.... no... look how many people liked that dog thing. How many sharks are there in publishing?"

    If you get off on this stunt, I'm thinkin' you could reeeeeeely like the Chet and Bernie series. I didn't so it's Dog-Gone... y'know?

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Savannah Project: Jake Pendleton Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Chuck Barrett
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (187)

    Terrorism, duty, and personal safety collide when Jake Pendleton, an investigator for the NTSB, is called to investigate an aircraft accident in Savannah, Georgia during the St. Patrick's Day celebration. The accident, which at first appears to be quite run-of-the-mill, turns out to be anything but. Since Jake is not willing to pretend there are no suspicious circumstances and more than the usual share of rather unlikely "coincidences," he sets off a veritable avalanche of secrets, violence and treachery.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Even Scott Brick couldn't save a story arc"
    "Gigglingly Awful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You might not believe it but scores of folks in Savannah ire maniacal IRA killers. I know it's Savahanna because Chuck Barrett's read a tourist map of the place... One of those that lists a couple of sentences about every... And I mean EVERY... Historical marker within three blocks of River Street. And for no reason at all, insists upon reading them back at us during pointless chases.

    Both he a nd Scott Brick have the magical ability to turn this explosively baaaaad eleven hour plot into a seemingly sixty hour experience even when you crank up your iPod to 2X. Oh, and just when it should end, Barrett sends his rag-tag cast off to Ireland. That's when I left to return this mess to Audible.

    Savannah should sue.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Depraved Indifference: Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Robert K. Tanenbaum
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    Butch Karp has never shied away from a difficult case, and when Croatian terrorists hijack a plane and kill an NYPD bomb squad cop in a bomb blast, he’s eager to prosecute the high-profile killers. But Karp’s aggression puts him at risk when his investigations uncover messy government secrets. Certain elements of the FBI and CIA don’t want the trial to go forward, and are willing to go to extremes to sabotage Karp's case.

    Ted says: "ROFL!"
    "ROFL!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a farce. Nope, not an indictment, a definition. Whoever wrote this book, and there's a bunch of controversy over that (Was it someone named Tanenbaum? Does anyone named Tanenbaum exist? Was it some guy named Michael Gruber? Does he exist? My head's going to explode... Go Google 'em and you decide.) But I digress...

    Listen to "Depraved Indifference" as a slow-starting, over the top, jump the shark, broad and blue-humored FARCE! Do that and this book's fun. Oh, it's dirty as a 1970s Red Foxx at work in a smokey grownups' supper club... Adult stuff. And if you watch life through a PC filter... Don't... I'm warning ya'.... DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS BOOK! You will be sooooooo offended that you will become incontinent for weeks.

    Me? I'll probably get the next book in this series :-}

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Jury Master

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Robert Dugoni
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    David Sloane is the best wrongful death attorney in San Francisco. He's a lawyer who can make juries do anything. But despite his professional success, he's plagued by a nightmare of a childhood he cannot consciously remember. When he receives a package from a White House confidant who then turns up dead by apparent suicide, the contents reveal a history he never could have imagined.

    Ted says: "80% Riveting 20% …. Huh?"
    "80% Riveting 20% …. Huh?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert Dugoni's a powerful writer. But like Phillip Margolin, he cannot end a story with much less than contempt for his readers. I've written before about the cheap trick of the ancient Greeks called Deus Ex Machina. Where a playwrite'd work himself in to an impossible situation only to have a god appear in a chariot, and abruptly solve all the mystery. Well that is exactly what Dugoni does here, entirely cheating his readers. Nope, you didn't see that coming, because it wasn't! Once upon a time, I'd put this down to an early novel and try the author's next attempt in hopes that he'd really have a plot the next time.

    Unfortunately I did that with Margolin and got burned with his awful "Ties That Bind". It taught me a lesson about wasting time and treasure in hopes that a bad author but a good writer might discover his craft on my dime.

    You want spiritual improbability? Join up with Scientology, or maybe some cult political movement. Don't spend money on "Jury Master."

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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