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Julie Campbell

critic at large

ratings
259
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
31

  • Serpent Gate

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Michael McGarrity
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Serpent Gate portrays former Santa Fe policeman Kevin Kerney in a perilous struggle against corrupt officers, New Mexico politicians, and a deadly enemy from the past. Recruited for the State police by the new chief, Kerney searches the mountainous countryside for a patrolman’s killer. Quickly solving the months-old murder, he takes on a more challenging assignment: recover the priceless art collection stolen from the governor’s office.

    Julie Campbell says: "Kevin Kearney and George Guidall = a perfect match"
    "Kevin Kearney and George Guidall = a perfect match"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a series that I haven't read in order so I've gone back to read the ones I've missed.
    This entry has two simultaneous but unrelated storylines. In one, Kearney is trying to
    find out who killed a small-town cop, and in the other he's working to solve the theft of
    priceless art works from the governor's office. It took me half the book to keep straight
    which characters belonged to which storyline but that was more "operator error" than
    a problem with the writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Killing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Luke Delaney
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (28)

    Detective Inspector Sean Corrigan is not like other detectives. An unthinkable childhood left him with a fierce determination to protect the innocent. But it also marked him with an ability to identify the darkness in others - a darkness he recognizes still exists deep within himself. When a young man is found brutally murdered, Corrigan, responsible for South London's Murder Investigation Team, takes the case.

    John says: "It teeters on the edge"
    "Are you kidding me?!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing is actually quite good in this debut. I'm not a fan of murder mysteries that spend an inordinate amount of time in serial killers heads but I could have forgiven that. What I can't forgive is advancing the plot by having the detective make "intuitive leaps" based on nothing. If I hadn't been listening to this on my iPod, I would have thrown it against the wall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (102)

    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?"
    "The Beginning of the End of the Republic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this had been written as an historical novel I would have rated it four stars. The history, the anthropology were great. But it was sadly lacking in mystery. Still, I enjoy the writing enough to go on to book three in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Say You're Sorry

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (222)

    When pretty and popular teenagers Piper Hadley and Tash McBain disappear one Sunday morning, the investigation captivates a nation but the girls are never found. Three years later, during the worst blizzard in a century, a husband and wife are brutally killed in the farmhouse where Tash McBain once lived. A suspect is in custody, a troubled young man who can hear voices and claims that he saw a girl that night being chased by a snowman.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Robotham is the real deal!"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Three years ago two 15 year old girls vanished. There is a police investigation but they are thought to have run away to London. Until the body of one of the girls is found after a blizzard, barefoot and sexually mutilated. Joe O'Loughlin is asked to review the original investigation in light of the girls obviously not having run away. Told by both Joe, and Piper Hadley, the surviving teen, Robotham writes yet another perfect suspense-filled mystery.

    And, as always, Sean Barrett is the perfect narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gianrico Carofiglio
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (722)
    Performance
    (634)
    Story
    (634)

    A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

    dumbclub says: "Excellence"
    "One of my top ten reads for the year."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't care for legal mysteries but this will make my top ten reads of the year. More than half the book is about Guido Guerrieri, the Advocato in the criminal courts. The case he is defending is one of a Senegalese peddler who is accused of kidnapping and strangling a small Italian boy whom he was friends with. The case hangs, not on proving someone else did it, nor even proving the accused did not do it. Instead, in a brilliant piece of writing, Guido offers in his closing argument a monologue on the multiple natures of "truth".

    Special kudos to Patrick Creagh, the translator. So perfect is his translation that the reader would never guess the book had been written in Italian.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Eye of the World: Book One of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (9207)
    Performance
    (5255)
    Story
    (5301)

    When their village is attacked by trollocs, monsters thought to be only legends, three young men, Rand, Matt, and Perrin, flee in the company of the Lady Moiraine, a sinister visitor of unsuspected powers. Thus begins an epic adventure set in a world of wonders and horror, where what was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

    Greg says: "This Series Rocks"
    "Can we get everyone on the same page please?"
    Overall

    Other than this being a very long book, I don't understand the reasoning behind splitting the narration between two readers. Even less do I understand why everyone wouldn't sit down beforehand and agree on the pronunciation of all the proper names. Kate Reading makes no attempt to differentiate the voices of the various characters (as does Michael Kramer), which makes her alternate pronunciations all the more jarring. I gave the book three starts simply because I read it in a paper version and enjoyed it. I cannot recommend the audio version at all.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Deceit

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Clare Francis
    • Narrated By Frances Tomelty
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Always a loner. Harry was missing at sea - presumed dead. At her husband's memorial service Ellen's doubts about Harry start to take shape.

    karen says: "Masterpiece -- and also the most frustrating"
    "My favorite audiobook this year"
    Overall

    Ellen's husband, Harry, goes for a sail in his yacht and never returns, presumed lost at sea. When the boat and body are recovered, more questions are raised than answered. You, as the reader, know Ellen is lying. But about what? What is already a great story is only enhanced by the superb reading of Frances Tomelty.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Denise Mina
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    From Scotland's most exciting up-and-coming mystery novelist comes a story of Lachlan Harriot, a man who refuses to believe his wife, Susie, is a killer, even though she had been working with Andrew Gow, a paroled serial killer, as his court-appointed psychologist, when she was found covered in blood near the spot where his and his wife's bodies were discovered. Desperate to clear his wife's name, Lachlan searches her home office for proof of her innocence.

    Julie Campbell says: "Realistic and riveting"
    "Realistic and riveting"
    Overall

    It's funny that those stories that are predictable are the most unrealistic. You find you know what the characters are going to do, not because you would do the same in their place, but because you know what this type of character does in this type of situation. Denise Mina has written a good story with a believable twist AND her characters act like real people. The husband goes back and forth between I trust her/I don't trust her, she did it/she couldn't have done it. The reader is superb with no jarringly false voices. I look forward to more books from Ms. Mina.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Close to Home

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Peter Robinson
    • Narrated By Ron Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (38)

    Peter Robinson is the critically acclaimed New York Times and London Sunday Times best-selling author of the Inspector Alan Banks series, as well as a winner of the 2001 Anthony and 2001 Ellis Awards. Close to Home traverses the difficult landscapes of a painful past, and an uncertain future for Inspector Banks. Two 15-year-old boys are lost, and the circumstances of their disappearances seem oddly parallel save one detail. The first boy disappeared and was presumed dead 35 years ago.

    Kev says: "Golden Age of Mystery"
    "better with earplugs"
    Overall

    I have this book in hardcover and tried to read it but had trouble getting into it. I thought listening to it might be easier. It wasn't. I might have given it three stars even though the story is rather boring (and Robinson's writing seems like he is getting bored with the series as well) but I had to drop my rating to two stars because of the reader. I can't quite put my finger on what I found annoying overall about his reading, but can say that the over-the-top phoney voice he uses for Banks was jarring and irritating.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in the Museum

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Simon Brett
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The Elizabethan house of Bracketts is about to be turned into a museum. It had once been the home of the celebrated poet Esmund Chadleigh and is to become a shrine to his life and poetry, but the transition is far from smooth.

    Paula says: "A bit predictable, but still highly enjoyable!"
    "A treat for the ears."
    Overall

    It is what it is, and an English cozy will never be literature. But it is an enjoyable story with characters you come to care about. The best thing about it, though, is having Simon Brett doing the reading. In my opinion, he is up there with Donada Peters as one of the best readers in the business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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