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Richard

Cambridge, MA, United States | Member Since 2006

73
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Rain Gods: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1058)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (345)

    When Hackberry Holland became sheriff of a tiny Texas town near the Mexican border, he'd hoped to leave certain things behind: his checkered reputation, his haunted dreams, and his obsessive memories of the good life with his late wife, Rie. But the discovery of the bodies of nine illegal aliens, machine-gunned to death and buried in a shallow grave behind a church, soon makes it clear that he won't escape so easily.

    Richard says: "Dynamic Duo"
    "Burke never fails to entertain"
    Overall

    The more I read Burke, the more I appreciate his sensibilities. He puts thought into his characters, his plots, and his writing. As a keen observer of the natural world, his settings invariably serve as a stark foil to the human machinations at play. The hobbled dignity and isolation of his protagonists serve the genre well, and the reader always learns from them. Will Patton is outstanding as a narrator. Burke has done it again with a great "read"....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Drop: Harry Bosch, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3088)
    Performance
    (2514)
    Story
    (2484)

    Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two. DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer, or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics....

    Joanne says: "A completely satisfying listen"
    "Never a disappointment..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Whenever I spot the new release of a Mike Connelly book, I download it immediately. 'Tis a matter of reflex. And I am never disappointed. "The Drop" is a great listen, augmented by Cariou's flawless narration.

    Connelly's economy of language, clarity, and tightly crafted plots keep the listener engaged without effort. He is meticulous and credible on police procedure. And his characters always emerge, to a great extent, by default - that is, as a function of the compelling settings he creates.

    I usually listen to his books when exercising. I hate to shut off the narration when I stop. And the thought of picking it up again gets me out when I don't want to go.

    "The Drop"'s story line suggests that the shelf life on Harry Bosch may be good for another five years. This reader hopes that will translate, at a minimum, into five more Bosch-oriented books.

    What Louie L'Amour was to Westerns, Mr. Connelly is to the Detective genre. But he is a better writer.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4958)
    Performance
    (2069)
    Story
    (2061)

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "Solid Story Telling..."
    Overall

    I downloaded this book based upon a recommendation by Audible. It was a good choice. Littell parallels near all the better known events attending the Cold War, and does so in compelling fashion through the prism of the CIA. His characters, many of whom are historically familiar, are nicely brought to life in their difficult and self-imposed isolation. Their interactions with the events of the era are thoughtfully plausible, and he is deft at sustaining the tension-filled momentum over four-plus decades - no small task. There really wasn't a dull moment. Kudos to Audible for putting it on their "must" listen list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4533)
    Performance
    (2546)
    Story
    (2524)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Bob says: "Compelling and difficult to put down"
    "Always on the mark..."
    Overall

    Connelly's confident economy of language, well-crafted plots, and skillfully revealed characters always add up to a great listen or read. In this murder trial drama, one comes to appreciate the vicissitudes of a game well played by all the legal participants. Connelly's thorough grasp of courtroom procedure is an education unto itself. Once again, he shows himself to be the premiere crime writer of the day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5280)
    Performance
    (2797)
    Story
    (2805)

    Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorists worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world . . . and then tragedy struck.

    Lesley says: "Flynn never disappoints"
    "Great Narration...."
    Overall

    George Guidal is testament to the power of narration in taking a good story across the finish line..........thoroughly enjoyed Flynn's latest page turner.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark, No Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2264)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1016)

    "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

    Parusski says: "Eerie, honest, frightening!"
    "Diverting, but...."
    Overall

    King's rather defensive pontificating at the end of these three stories detracts from his effort. All seemed a tad formulaic. The first was simply too long and hampered by an affected, sing-song, adolescent narration. The other two held together better, but one never gets a good sense of what it is about these women's characters that led to their reacting as they did.
    I was thoroughly engaged by King's lengthy "Tower" series, a real tour de force of the imagination. It appears he was just "mailing these in". Perhaps that explains his over earnest personal comments to the reader as a post script.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3850)
    Performance
    (2867)
    Story
    (2844)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Jason Spencer says: "Action packed, edge of your seat "page-turner""
    "Utterly unbelievable, but very good..."
    Overall

    If there is an espionage counterpart to Peter Benchley's "Jaws", this would seem to be it. The author serves up an unpretentious, fast-paced thriller featuring Court Gentry, a white knight assassin with more lives than Rasputin. Don't look for a lot of nuance here. But if you are going for a page turner, capably executed from beginning to end, this is it...

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (7866)
    Performance
    (4582)
    Story
    (4568)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "Good concept; bad execution"
    Overall

    According fictional characters iconic status for the purpose of historic relevancy is a risky business. Follett takes his chances here and falls flat. The players in this story are shabbily drawn. They do little to engage listener interest or empathy. In his attempt to touch all the bases attending Western society up to and through WW I, his reliance upon coincidence is self-consciously overwrought. The more historically-minded will appreciate a tolerable deference to the accuracy of events as they unfolded - particularly in Russia - but in his effort to represent a comprehensive chronology, he sacrifices plot and character. Good concept; bad execution.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4188)
    Performance
    (2358)
    Story
    (2359)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "A tale well told...."
    Overall

    Marlantes grips the reader as he combines a solid plot line with exceptional character interaction. He chronicles with skill a young second lieutenant's path to a maturity of sorts as the latter confronts the fecklessness of circumstance in a war guided by disparate layers of politics - interpersonal, institutional, and national. Bravo Company pays a heavy price at the nexus between this reality and an unforgiving jungle terrain inhabited by a motivated enemy. The author gives credence to what a rough tutor terror and deprivation can be in forging human bonds and a modicum of wisdom. The tale is well narrated by Mr. Pinchot, and for this listener, proved utterly absorbing

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Black Cherry Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    Overall
    (702)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (414)

    Dave Robicheaux had begun to put the pieces of his broken life together again when an old friend turned up on his doorstep, dredging up old memories and new threats.

    Geoff says: "Fantastic"
    "His best in my experience..."
    Overall

    Kudos to narrator, Mark Hammer, for taking a great book and making it better with his thoughtful pacing, accent, and inflection. He makes this book sing. And Mr. Burke is on top of his form. His capacity to use the natural environment as an omnipresent counterpoint to an intriguing plot stands out. Burke's dialogue is masterful even as it serves to reveal characters of substance. Readers of this genre will not go wrong with this one.The quality of the writing sets a high bar for his contemporaries....thoroughly enjoyed it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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