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D. Engle

Member Since 2001

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 130 ratings
  • 560 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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  • The Fear Index

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (228)

    Dr. Alex Hoffmann’s name is carefully guarded from the general public, but within the secretive inner circles of the ultrarich he is a legend. He has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But one morning before dawn, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of his lakeside mansion, and so begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence.

    Ted says: "The Book Dan Brown Wished He Wrote"
    "Disappointing novel from a talented author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've loved several of Robert Harris's books and I'm a techie nerd, so I expected to love this book. Disappointing from the first chapter, I hung on, hoping it would get better. It did not. The protagonist is referenced as brilliant and a clear, fast thinker--frustrated because no one around him can keep up with the speed of his mind. You would not know it from the plot. The "culprit" is clear nearly from the start and the ending is completely nonsensical. There wasn't a single character in the novel with whom I connected with as a reader. What did stand out: the narration, descriptions of Geneva, little pieces of CERN history, and a mini-education on hedge funds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cleaner of Chartres

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Salley Vickers
    • Narrated By Pamela Garelick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    There is something very special about Agnès Morel. A quiet presence in the small French town of Chartres, she can be found cleaning the famed medieval cathedral each morning and doing odd jobs for the townspeople. No one knows where she came from or why. Not Abbé Paul, who discovered her one morning 20 years ago, sleeping on the north porch, and not Alain Fleury, the irreverent young restorer who works alongside her each day - and whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes and elusive manner. She has transformed each of their lives in her own subtle way, yet no one suspects the dark secret Agnès is hiding.

    KP says: "Not my favorite S.Vickers, but worth reading!"
    "Beautiful characters, strong plot, weak ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved nearly everything about this novel. Each character is finely drawn and the slow pace of the plot with a converging timeline draws out the tension. The narrator's pacing is flawless. When I could feel the novel drawing to a close, I became sad for it to end. While I felt the ending was weak, almost as if the author didn't know how to close the novel, it didn't detract from my enjoyment. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Intelligence: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Susan Hasler
    • Narrated By Susan Hasler, Joe Barrett, Rachel Butera, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (196)

    Maddie James and her colleagues are terrorism experts working in a crumbling intelligence agency. They are certain another terrorist attack is coming, but in a post-9/11 election year the Administration is stressing its victories in the War on Terror - and few want to hear the team's warnings. Reluctantly, Maddie's given a team of five analysts to focus on the impending threat. The crew labors through bureaucratic obstacles, personal problems, and a blossoming romance between its senior members. They come heartbreakingly close to stopping the attack....

    Julia says: "Not your typical spy novel...."
    "Plot takes backseat to anger, apology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to like this book. I'm a big fan of both fiction and non-fiction espionage. I'd heard the author interviewed twice and found her interesting. But the book traded plot for rage at the bureaucracy that partially enabled the terrorists and apologies for not being able to work more effectively. Much of the dialogue is internal, switching from character to character. Mid-novel, I was tired of hearing their every thought and just wanted something to happen. When it did, it was too late and too sparsely described for me to care. It is "a novel of the CIA" as workplace rather than a center of intelligence. While there was one, possibly two, "darkly humorous" threads, they were not enough to save the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bones of the Barbary Coast: A Cree Black Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Daniel Hecht
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    In this third novel of the Cree Black mystery series, a friend and homicide inspector asks Cree to help investigate a human skeleton recently unearthed in the foundation of a fine Victorian home, apparently the bones of a victim of the 1906 earthquake. The bones have intrigued the forensic anthropology team at UC Berkeley with their peculiar anatomical deformities. They call the skeleton "Wolfman". Who was the Wolfman?

    C. Pursell says: "Superb"
    "Not What I Expected..."
    Overall

    I loved the first two Cree Black novels, so it was disappointing to discover in the introduction that this wouldn't be a "supernatural" mystery like those first two novels.

    All in all, Bones of the Barbary coast was just okay. I was mesmerized by the historical thread, a journal from the years leading up to the 1906 SF quake. But, the modern-day characters were uninteresting to me, except in the very final scenes, and often unlikable.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Bourne Legacy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Eric Van Lustbader
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1042)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (355)

    In Robert Ludlum's ground-breaking career, no other character so captured the world's imagination as Jason Bourne. He appeared in three of Robert Ludlum's own best-selling novels, his best-selling works to this day. Now, with the major motion picture adaptation of Ludlum's The Bourne Supremacy, the Ludlum estate has finally acceded to the demands of readers around the world, turning to best-selling writer Eric Van Lustbader to create a brand new Jason Bourne novel, The Bourne Legacy.

    Linda says: "It sure reads like a Ludlum book!"
    "Betrayal of the Bourne Legacy"
    Overall

    The Bourne trilogy is an amazing arc, one I've read and re-read several times. The stories are mystery, suspense and non-stop action centered around David Webb/Jason Bourne, a man nearly broken by his past who manages to find his way forward with and for his beloved Marie. Unfortunately, the Webb/Bourne in this book is in no way related to the all-too-human man we met in the original trilogy. Marie is largely forgotten. There is zero tension between the two minds of Webb/Bourne. The storyline is also sadly lacking. About the best I can say is that there is quite a bit of action. The action just doesn't go anywhere, which is all the more disappointing for having let down admirers of the "Bourne legacy" with such a dud. Bourne fans: beware!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Romanov Prophecy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (464)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (189)

    In 1917, Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia, was executed by revolutionaries. Now, in response to the collapse of the country's economy, the people have voted to instate a new Tsar, one who will be chosen from the descendents of Nicholas II. But a powerful group of Western businessmen want to make sure he is a candidate they can control, and hire African-American lawyer Miles Lord, with his knowledge of Russian language and history, to check the background of their chosen man.

    Christopher says: "This was well worth it."
    "Ludlum-esque historical suspense"
    Overall

    The narrative alternates between the last days of Russia's last Romanov Tsar and an alternate "present day" Russia about to resurrect the line of the Tsar. It's an interesting premise with a very "Ludlum-esque" plot and pacing. Although I did very much enjoy the story, like many of Ludlum's, it can be quite unbelievable at times. The political view of Russia espoused also seem greatly oversimplified, however much it had to be for the plot to work. In spite of these small failings, I'd still recommend it. It certainly kept me listening, and even inspired me to do some more research on Rasputin and the Romanovs.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Bombmaker

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Stephen Leather
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (2)

    Ten years ago, Andrea Hayes was the best master bombmaker in the business. Young, beautiful, and deadly, she was the favorite of her Irish republican masters. Then it all went wrong. Five children were killed, when disruption was all that was intended. It all became too much, and she turned away from her trade.

    D. Engle says: "Excellent suspenseful read"
    "Excellent suspenseful read"
    Overall

    I took a chance on this novel, never having even heard of the author or book before, and am glad I did. The characters were well-drawn, although the pace was a little uneven. The book starts off quickly then seems to slow a bit, but hit the suspense mark again midway through the narrative. The finish is excellent, although there was one disturbing (but intentional) "loose end." It's hard to say much more without giving away the twists and turns in the plot...much better to let the characters and plot unfold as you're listening!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • City of Masks: A Cree Black Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Daniel Hecht
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (557)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (217)

    Daniel Hecht has created a plausible, heart-stopping ghost thriller. Relying on the science of parapsychology to spine-tingling effect, he brings to life a remarkably compelling character in Cree Black, as well as the ghosts she confronts.

    JoAnn Marcon says: "Unusual thriller"
    "Charmed in New Orleans"
    Overall

    Part suspense, part romance and all supernatural, this is a charming novel. The protagonist, a "ghost psychologist" with a troubled past involving the paranormal, is surprisingly believable. Her closest associates are also well-drawn, and New Orleans is lovingly and richly detailed. Like others, I found the romance lacking, but thought the suspense in shifting through the layers of history and family relationships to get to the heart of the ghost was well worth the time spent. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    Overall
    (591)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (248)

    The saga begins in tribal, pre-Christian Ireland during the reign of the fierce and mighty High Kings at Tara, with the tale of two lovers whose travails cleverly echo the ancient Celtic legend of Cuchulainn. From that stirring beginning, Rutherfurd takes the reader on a powerfully imagined journey through the centuries. Through the interlocking stories of a memorable cast of characters we see Ireland through the lens of its greatest city.

    jack rose says: "FANTASTIC!"
    "Lovely Summer Read"
    Overall

    This novel is a series of stories tracing Irish history over a number of centuries. The stories are woven together by place and by characteristics or belongings ascribed to each family that travel down through the generations. In fact, Dublin itself is as much a character as any of the people in the stories. Although some of the human characters could have used more depth, the overall historical impact makes it well worth the time spent.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Pompeii: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1231)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (304)

    All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared.

    Marty-Seattle says: "Brought my visit to Pompeii back to life"
    "As Labyrinthe as the Aqueducts"
    Overall

    Harris' marvelous novel successfully layers history, science and a good story. He has taken what we know of the Roman citizenship, of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and of Vesuvius, and brought them to life with personality. Yes, we all know how the story will end, but the journey remains somehow both interesting and full of suspense.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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