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Barry P. Press

New York | Member Since 2011

ratings
12
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
20

  • Die a Stranger: Alex McKnight #9

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Steve Hamilton
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (45)

    Late one night, a plane lands on a deserted airstrip. Five dead bodies are found there the next morning. And now Vinnie LeBlanc is missing. Vinnie is an Ojibwa tribal member, a blackjack dealer at the Bay Mills Casino, and he just might be Alex McKnight’s best friend. He’s come through for Alex more than once in the past, and he never ever misses a day of work. So Alex can’t help but be worried.

    Mystery Addict says: "Alex is back"
    "A Good Addition to the Alex McKnight Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always enjoyed the Alex McKnight series by Steve Hamilton. Although not one of the best installments, "Die A Stranger" is still a worthy entry for this series. This book starts off slow, but I became fairly engrossed by the middle chapters. Dan Miller does a good job at narration, and this novel spends more time exploring personal relationships and histories, compared to some of Hamilton's earlier books. I would definitely recommend this novel for true followers of the series. If you have not yet read an Alex McKnight book, I would first recommend "Misery Bay" (the best book of this series). That said, they are all good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Misery Bay

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Steve Hamilton
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (112)

    On a frozen January night, a young man loops one end of a long rope over the branch of a tree. The other end he ties around his neck. A snowmobiler will find him 36 hours later, his lifeless eyes staring out at the endless coldwater of Lake Superior. It happens in a lonely corner of the Upper Peninsula, in a place they call Misery Bay, a good 250 miles west of Paradise.

    Marci says: "Boring"
    "The Best Entry of the Alex McKnight Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Misery Bay is an outstanding novel. Steve Hamilton is at the top of his game here, and the narration by Dan John Miller is also excellent. I have enjoyed all of the Alex McKnight books, although I would rate the majority of this series as "4 stars" (out of 5).
    Misery Bay is the exception. I have actually both listened to and read this novel, which is something that I rarely do. Mr. Hamilton's ability to use the UP setting in Michigan to help set the tone of the story is quite impressive, and the supporting characters are very well developed. Sheriff Roy Maven is one of the most memorable characters that I have come across in a long time, and Mr. Miller does an outstanding job with narrating the Sheriff's dialogue. To some degree, the police investigation is actually a subplot to the central theme of this novel - the relationship between Maven and McKnight, and how their friendship develops in the face of adversity. Don't miss this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghostman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Roger Hobbs
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (304)

    When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who's occasionally called Jack. While it's doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he's still alive, he's in his mid-30s and lives completely off the grid, a criminal's criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with.

    Hassan says: "Authentic And Full of Action!!"
    "Enthusiasm for the Main Character Wanes over Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For a first novel, Ghostman is entertaining with an interesting caper. The plot moves along at a good pace, and the action scenes are well-written. Plenty of attention to detail, and Jake Weber does a good job overall with the narration. However, my enthusiasm for the main character (the "Ghostman") waned over time. I felt that this book was a little too over-hyped prior to its release.

    Mr. Hobbs has created a protagonist that is difficult to form an emotional connection with, in my opinion. The main character comes across somewhat "flat", and I found myself not caring as to what happens to him by the end of the book. That said, I would try another book by this author as I do feel that he has talent and ability. If you like characters such as Jack Reacher, Joe Pike, John Puller, etc. then you will probably find this book reasonably entertaining, albeit a notch or two below the level you might be hoping for.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hit Me: Keller, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (90)

    The conclusion of Hit and Run found Keller living in a big old house in post-Katrina New Orleans' Lower Garden District, with a new name (Nicholas Edwards), a new wife (Julia), a new career (rehabbing houses), and a baby on the way. It certainly looked as though he was done killing people for money. But old habits die hard, and when the economic downturn knocked out the construction business, a phone call from Dot draws him back into the old game.

    Parusski says: "Killer of a story!"
    "Disappointing Addition to the Keller Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a big fan of Lawrence Block over the years, I was disappointed with this latest entry for the Keller character. I felt as though Mr. Block was just "mailing it in", so to speak, with this book. Very thin story line and a too-abrupt ending, although I guess you could describe the novel as "light-hearted" and mildly entertaining at times, I simply had higher expectations for this novel, especially after the previous Keller book (which was very good). Mr. Poe was fine as a narrator, although he did not have a lot to work with here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow and Bone

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Leigh Bardugo
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (577)
    Performance
    (525)
    Story
    (525)

    Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

    Norma says: "Great Listen!!"
    "Enjoyable Fantasy with an Excellent Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to 'Shadow and Bone' during a long drive, and I was happy with my purchase. This fantasy novel was an enjoyable listen, and I will probably also get the sequel. Lauren Fortgang did an excellent job with the narration, and this story has appeal from teenagers to adults. A very likeable protagonist, and pretty good supporting characters... The ending is somewhat of a cliff-hanger, and the plot had me guessing at times.

    Although I definitely recommend this book, I felt that it borrowed a lot from an earlier (and superior) novel entitled "Daughter of Smoke and Bone". Still, this is fantasy fun so my critique is fairly minor. Shadow and Bone is well worth a listen - if you enjoy this genre.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Talking to the Dead: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Harry Bingham
    • Narrated By Siriol Jenkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (83)

    At first, the murder scene appears sad, but not unusual: a young woman undone by drugs and prostitution, her six-year-old daughter dead alongside her. But then detectives find a strange piece of evidence in the squalid house: the platinum credit card of a very wealthy - and long dead - steel tycoon. What is a heroin-addicted hooker doing with the credit card of a well-known and powerful man who died months ago? This is the question that the most junior member of the investigative team, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, is assigned to answer.

    mindusq says: "Not the best thing I've ever read, but..."
    "Good Detective Novel With a Unique Lead Character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Talking to the Dead" is a very interesting detective novel about a young policewoman (Fiona Griffiths) who is dealing with a debilitating, mental illness while still having to perform her investigative duties.

    I enjoyed this book. I found the lead character to be someone who I wanted to learn more about... a person that I wanted to know. The story revolves around the killing of a prostitute and her daughter, and the sex trafficking in Europe. Throughout the story, I was fascinated by Fiona's 'unique' reaction to events unfolding around her. Fiona has her own methods of detection, and they do not always conform to standard police procedure and protocol (which does nothing to endear her to her colleagues). That said, Fiona's quirks actually help her to be an excellent detective, adding a level of intrigue to the plot.

    This novel has been compared to the books by Stieg Larsson, and not without justification. Although I found Bingham's writing not quite up to the very high bar set by Larsson, this book is still quite well-written. The ending of "Talking to the Dead" was very suspenseful and powerful. Siriol Jenkins does a superb job with the narration, covering a wide range of voices extremely well. Harry Bingham has created a character that I hope to see again, very soon. Don't miss this one!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Days of Blood & Starlight

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    Overall
    (990)
    Performance
    (905)
    Story
    (913)

    In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

    Katheryne says: "No Sophomore Slump here...Just wow!"
    "An Interesting but Somewhat Lackluster Sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    "Days of Blood & Starlight" is generally well-written with good plotting, and Khristine Hvam again does an excellent job at narration.

    However, I found this sequel to be somewhat lackluster, especially in comparison to the "Daughter of Smoke & Bone". This audio book did not hold my interest the way the first novel did, and the early chapters of this listen unfolded very slowly in a somewhat repetitive way. To some degree, almost all sequels suffer in comparison to the original, but I was really hoping for more "passion" in this book.

    Overall, this novel felt more like a bridge between the first and next book, than a critical part of the overall story. (It wouldn't stand alone without its predecessor.) That said, Ms. Hvam's performance really elevated this sequel to the degree that I am looking forward to the final installment of the series.




    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve: A Novel: The Passage Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (2817)
    Performance
    (2486)
    Story
    (2485)

    In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as "Last Stand in Denver", has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin.

    Amanda says: "Expanding The Story In Every Direction"
    "A Fairly Good Sequel, but Overly Long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I recommend re-reading "The Passage" before listening to "The Twelve" - especially if it has been more than a couple of months since reading the first novel. This sequel was a pretty good listen overall, but too long in my opinion. As usual, Scott Brick does a good job at narration, and he was very effective with the lead character, Amy. The ending caught me somewhat by surprise, which I enjoyed.

    The main characters continued to be well-developed in this novel, but too many peripheral characters were introduced, without really adding much to the overall story line. The first half of this story was a bit slow, dragging along in some chapters. The book picked up speed in the second half and ended very strong. I enjoyed some of the flashbacks in this sequel, and I thought that the author did a pretty good job in moving through several different timelines. Overall, "The Twelve" was not as good as "The Passage", but still a worthy read (or, I should say, a worth "listen").


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Wanted Man: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2308)
    Performance
    (1970)
    Story
    (1959)

    Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there. All Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride.

    Bill says: "Wanted Man is Wanting ~ And I Want 14 Hours Back"
    "A Rare Miss for Lee Child"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I usally find most Jack Reacher books to be page-turners, and I had literally circled my calendar for the release day of this novel.

    As a long-time Reacher fan, I cannot recommend this book to anyone. "A Wanted Man" was a big disappointment to me. Up unil now, most of the other Reacher books were excellent (with the notable exception of "Nothing To Lose", which I would classify as Lee Child's only other weak entry in this series).


    What was most disappointing about Lee Child’s story?

    Although this book was more nuanced than most of the other Reacher stories, the plot felt old and stale (and, too slow-paced). The bad guys are cliches and one-dimensional, and the good guys are not developed well. I was especially disappointed by the ending. The book ends somwehat abruptly without a satisfying conclusion (almost as if Lee Child could not think of a good ending for this novel).


    Did Dick Hill do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes. I have always enjoyed Dick Hill's performances in this series, and dealing with Jack Reacher's broken nose (i.e. a nasal-sounding voice) was not an easy feat to pull off. Hill's main strength is with his portrayal of Reacher, and he does an adequate job with the supporting characters (including the female voices).


    What character would you cut from A Wanted Man?

    For me, it's not really a question of cutting any characters. Rather, I would have enjoyed more development with the supporting characters, giving them a more realistic feel.


    Any additional comments?

    For any new readers to this series, I would highly recommend going back to some of Lee Child's earlier books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Little Falls: A Mike Bowditch Mystery, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Paul Doiron
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent into exile, transferred by his superiors to a remote outpost on the Canadian border. When a blizzard descends on the coast, Bowditch is called to the cabin of a terrified couple. A raving, half-frozen man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost in the storm. But what starts as a rescue mission in soon becomes a baffling murder investigation. The dead man is a notorious drug dealer, and state police detectives suspect it was his friend who killed him. Bowditch isn’t so sure, but his vow not to interfere in the case is tested when he finds himself powerfully attracted to a beautiful woman....

    Kathleen says: "No. 3 in the Mike Bowditch series."
    "A DECENT NOVEL, BUT NOT AS GOOD AS HIS FIRST BOOKS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Paul Doiron writes a pretty good story using the atmosphere of the Maine wilderness and the 'quirky' characters who live there.

    I really enjoyed his first two books ('The Poacher's Son', 'Trespasser'), which were better than Bad Little Falls. Still, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a "C.J. Box" type of mystery.

    Overall, I found this novel to be a bit too much like his first two books, and I hope that Doiron can find some new ground with Mike Bowditch in his next novel.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Doiron? Why or why not?

    Yes, I do enjoy the Mike Bowditch series. Paul Doiron has a talent for accurately describing the Maine wilderness and the readers do a very good job of bringing his characters to life.


    What does Henry Leyva bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Henry Leyva gives a very good performance in reading this book. He brings a lot of energy and realism to the characters. Mr. Leyva actually lifted the overall quality of this story, in my opinion.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Not sure. I might wait for a few friends to recommend it. I think his previous book (Trespasser) would make a very good movie.


    Any additional comments?

    This series reminds me a lot of the C.J. Box and Steve Hamilton series of books. If you like Paul Doiron, then I highly recommend the Joe Pickett series by Box.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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