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Elkay

ratings
77
REVIEWS
33
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
20
HELPFUL VOTES
97

  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1798)
    Performance
    (1523)
    Story
    (1503)

    In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

    Priscilla says: "Disappointing"
    "Okay, but not my favorite Bosch."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe. Die-hard Connelly/Bosch fans will enjoy this, but it was lacking a bit in suspense and excitement. Maybe it was the narrator - he was fine, but he really just read the book out loud without a lot of emphasis on characters and individual voices.

    In previous Bosch novels, tension builds as Bosch gradually pulls together the evidence and the truth starts to take shape. Here, the mystery wasn't very complex, and each of Harry's steps in the case seemed more like tedious obstacles on the way to a foregone conclusion.

    There was a little character development between Bosch and his daughter Maddie, but nothing earth-shaking. An even smaller arc with Hannah, Bosch's ladyfriend from The Drop. Some very minor departmental politics that barely even register when compared to Bosch's old nemesis, Irvin Irving. In all, this was good, but didn't quite live up to my excitement for a new Bosch novel.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Connelly? Why or why not?

    Absolutely! Everything else of his I've read/listened to, I've really enjoyed.


    What didn’t you like about Michael McConnohie’s performance?

    It would be hard to find a more perfect voice for Bosch than Len Cariou, who read several earlier entries in this series. The narrator was okay, but didn't knock my socks off.


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

    Maybe. I have a feeling if they ever tried to make these books into movies I'd hate them. Still, I liked "The Lincoln Lawyer," based on another Connelly novel, so who knows?


    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Illusion

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    Irish immigrant and private detective Molly Murphy is thrilled to have a ticket to see world-famous illusionist Harry Houdini. But before he can even take the stage, the opening act goes horribly wrong—and the sensational Signor Scarpelli’s lovely assistant is sawed in half. In the aftermath, Scarpelli accuses Houdini of tampering with his equipment. Who else but the so-called Handcuff King could have got a hold of his trunk of tricks, which he keeps under lock and key?

    Elkay says: "Stop Taxing Your Delicate Ladybrain"
    "Stop Taxing Your Delicate Ladybrain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've mostly enjoyed this series - there is definitely a formula at work here, but it results in a good, light story with attention to historical detail. However: I flat-out HATE Daniel Sullivan, the main character's love interest, and I'm quickly losing respect for Molly as she seems to be oblivious to his unrelenting sexism. Also, Daniel and Molly keep having this conversation:

    Molly: I need you to use your police skills to find out X.
    Daniel: I will not, because I disapprove of your pursuit of your career, and also I think you are a hysterical female and no crime has actually occurred, you just think there is one because you are so fantasy-prone.
    Molly: But (however many) people have died, and someone tried to kill me!
    Daniel: Then your work is too dangerous and I forbid you to pursue it. Also, you're just imagining things.
    Molly: I've also been receiving threatening letters/been poisoned/been locked in a trunk and thrown in the river, etc.
    Daniel: Your delicate ladybrain is just overwrought (pats hand patronizingly). When we are married, you will not have to think anymore, you will just do what I say. Won't that be easier? Also, stop pursuing this dangerous career, which is full of terrible danger, even though you have imagined all this danger.

    Adding to his terribleness, Daniel hates Molly's friends and actively works to keep her away from them, is embarrassed by her whenever he is with any of his friends or colleagues, and frequently mentions how once they are married, she will be too busy doing laundry and raising babies to do anything outside the home, in a "joking-not joking" kind of way. At the beginning of the series, there was some nice romantic tension between these two, but at this point I think the best thing that could happen would be for Daniel to die and for Molly to run off with Sid and Gus to start some sort of lesbian commune for artists and detectives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (3778)
    Performance
    (3195)
    Story
    (3184)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Coffee Lover says: "Joy, Joy, Joy!"
    "Fun and Brilliantly Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have recently finished this entire series, and I pretty much loved the whole thing. These are deftly written, a lot of fun, and I honestly think they were made to be read by Katherine Kellgren. I don't think I'd have enjoyed them half so much without her narration. Are the stories a little contrived, a little formulaic after a while? Sure. But the characters are charming, the prose effortless, and the mysteries compelling enough to carry the whole thing off.

    I thought these might be a little too cute for me, but they're actually reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works from the 1930s, to which they consciously pay homage. Bowen's books come by their high ratings honestly, so go ahead and give it a chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter People: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jennifer McMahon
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (144)

    West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, 19-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary....

    Susie says: "Atmospheric, Haunting, and Addictive"
    "Deliciously creepy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is such a original, compelling, and flat-out freaky story. All the elements of a classic haunting story are here: something terrible in the woods, a tragic and violent historical event (or series of events), a teenager and her innocent young sister left alone in a spooky farmhouse out past the edge of town, unexplained deaths...but McMahon has assembled all these familiar elements into an unsettling, dark story that is fresh and unpredictable.

    The story unfolds in two time periods: 1908, in the pages of Sarah Shea Harrison's diary and descriptions of events from the points of view of other characters, and in the present day. This is a twisty, complex story, but the pace builds and the spookiness escalates as the reader/listener and the protagonists gradually piece together the clues and start to figure out what's really going on.

    I stupidly started listening to this while I was alone in the house for the weekend, and the spooky atmosphere definitely had me steering clear of the basement and double-checking the closet doors - but at the same time, I couldn't stop listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (5851)
    Performance
    (4221)
    Story
    (4239)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Totally heartbreaking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a really beautiful story, but be warned: it's almost impossible to stop listening, and even though the narrator warns you in advance about how terrible everything will be, it's still worse than you expect somehow. The ending is pretty hopeful, all things considered, but I still finished this book in tears and had to go off by myself for a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laura McHugh
    • Narrated By Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (160)

    The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

    John S says: "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    "Intriguing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is fascinating and suspenseful, and I enjoyed it, but the end left me feeling a little unsatisfied. The plot resolves about 3/4 of the way through, but it takes a while to realize, "Oh, that's it then." The last quarter feels like another major revelation should occur - instead, things simply wind down and the book ends.

    This is still a good read, with well-drawn characters, a compelling plot, and lovely writing. Happy I took a chance on this.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1722)
    Performance
    (1586)
    Story
    (1589)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Jefferson says: "Fine Romantic Urban Historical Immigrant Fantasy"
    "Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wonderful story, characters, writing and narration. So happy I finally took a chance on this one! This book actually made me wish my commute were longer!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Plum Island

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2348)
    Performance
    (1653)
    Story
    (1647)

    Wounded in the line of duty, NYPD homicide cop John Corey is convalescing in rural eastern Long Island when an attractive young couple he knows is found shot to death on the family patio. The victims were biologists at Plum Island, a research site rumored to be an incubator for germ warfare. Suddenly, a local double murder takes on shattering global implications - and thrusts Corey and two extraordinary women into a dangerous search for the secret of Plum Island....

    DERALD says: "Great on par with" LION'S GAME""
    "Unappealing Main Character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had just listened to, and really enjoyed, both "The Gold Coast" and "The Gate House," and was in the mood for another long listen in the same vein. I was attracted to this title because I like detective novels, pirates, and murder mysteries - this promised all three.

    The mystery was satisfyingly twisty, but I would have enjoyed it more if the procedural part of the plot had moved along a bit more quickly and if the main character had been less of an ass.

    I like an irreverent hero, but John Corey's nonstop chest-thumping macho sarcasm and lame sex jokes got old fast. If I had read this book as a paperback, I might have skimmed over some of the pointless banter and not been quite so bothered by it - but having it narrated really underscored the character's annoying mannerisms. I kept reminding myself that this might be an accurate take on the internal monologue of a NYC cop 16 years ago - even so, it was irritating. I tried to believe Corey when he said he manufactured some of his stupid jokes and slow-witted remarks to throw his enemies off, but his internal monologue seems more "perverted inappropriate uncle" than "wily genius" to me.

    The final chase/confrontation scene takes hours to unfold. I listen to books while I walk my dogs, and I was very frustrated when, after a couple days and hours of dog walks, I was still waiting for the denouement.

    Others may find Corey less exhausting than I did, and there is a solid story under all the incredibly long descriptions of antagonistic interviews and scenes of pursuit. I've heard that the Corey series improves in successive volumes, so I'd suggest picking this one up during one of Audible's "First of a Series" sales, or maybe starting with one of the later installments.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2048)
    Performance
    (1810)
    Story
    (1800)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Jane says: "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."
    "Surprisingly "Meh.""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Michael Connelly, have read everything he's written, and, for the most part, enjoyed it. "The Gods of Guilt" was a real disappointment.

    The story is complex and, if this were up to the standard of Connelly's previous work, I think it would be satisfying - but the detail, the characters, the driving suspense that I expected were all absent here. This came off as a straight-to-screenplay outline for the next "Lincoln Lawyer" movie, which, extrapolating from the afterword, is exactly what it is.

    Still, it's a Connelly novel and wasn't awful. Peter Giles is a solid narrator, if not terribly nuanced. If you like Connelly and have enjoyed prior installments in this series, it might be worth a credit.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • My Sweet Folly

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (138)

    Through their innocent correspondence, a lonely young wife grows to love an imaginary man thousands of miles away. But when he returns to England from India, her idea of reality is turned upside down. Drawn from a safe world of tea and parlor chat into madness and mystery, she cannot find her own cherished Robert in the frightening stranger who claims her love. Laura Kinsale personally chose the exceptional talent of Nicholas Boulton to voice her favorite heroine, sweet, witty Folie with her ferret, Toot.

    DARA says: "Delightful Journey of Romance vs Reality"
    "Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Many other reviewers have remarked that "Folly" is like two entirely separate books, or that the plot somehow got out of hand along the way. To me, this felt like a wonderful cohesive adventure, but I can also see how this story could seem disjointed.

    We begin with a series of charming letters exchanged by two lonely strangers who clearly form a connection - and then, with very little explanation, that connection is abruptly and cruelly severed.

    Years pass, and the two are thrown together by circumstance. Folie, the heroine, is likeable and relatable - practical, levelheaded, optimistic and intelligent. When we finally meet Robert...he's basically completely bonkers and is THE WORST. But I LOVED this part of the book because it was a terrific homage to the gothic novel- think Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester and you'll get the idea.

    I enjoy Laura Kinsale's plots for the most part; this one was complex and compelling; there are many mysteries here: the obvious questions about what has happened to Robert, who did it and why, but also the many complexities of his and Folie's relationship that get puzzled out along the way.

    There were some steamy scenes and most of these were actually unpleasant - on purpose.
    They advance the plot, tell us something about the characters, and contribute meaningfully to the story. The heroine is long-suffering and incredibly forgiving, but I found that very believable - we see just enough of Robert's underlying qualities to know that she is not just being a doormat when she puts up with his nonsense.

    Having read some lukewarm reviews, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. It wasn't quite as good as "Flowers from the Storm" or "Prince of Midnight," but it was still very, very good. Worth a credit!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Midnight

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (256)
    Story
    (255)

    He was once a legendary highwayman. Now he's a recluse in a ruined French castle, with only a half-wild wolf for a companion. When Lady Leigh Strachan comes looking for a man to aid in her revenge, she's disillusioned to find that the famed Prince of Midnight couldn't help even if he cared to - which he doesn't. S. T. Maitland wants nothing to do with his legend, or with this fierce, beautiful, broken woman... until the old thrill of living on the cutting edge of danger begins to rise in his blood again.

    Robbie says: "Imagine My Joy!"
    "Sublime Romance/Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is just so much fun! As usual, Kinsale takes a familiar plot (young impressionable damsel in distress, rakish highwayman with heart of gold) and twists it into something infinitely more complex and delightful. S.T. is basically my favorite romance novel hero of all time - Kinsale does tortured, flawed, impossibly romantic heroes like nobody else. The heroine, Leigh, might initially seem frustratingly cold and unresponsive, but given her deeply traumatic past, this makes sense.

    There are plenty of wildly improbable things about this story, but when the narration is this good and the characters so beautifully drawn, who cares?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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