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Seeking the Truth

United States | Member Since 2010

  • 19 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 1017 titles in library
  • 128 purchased in 2014

  • 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

    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"
    "What's happened to the REAL Lee Child?"

    Our ex-military genius and stud, Jack Reacher, and Lee Child's clever plots, are no more. The story begins where Lee Child's "Worth Dying For" left off, with our hero battered and bruised. But that's okay at first, because we know Reacher is tough and always gets battered and bruised somewhere along the story. But the reader quickly realizes that THIS Jack Reacher is somebody different -- someone we don't know -- a man who has succumbed to his years of loneliness, thumbing for hours or days or weeks on end in brutal environments, criss-crossing the US in cheap and soiled clothing, and reeking from days or weeks on end without a bath -- unless you count the time in this story where he spits into his hands and then cleans the blood off his face with his own saliva and slicks back his hair with the same spittle. Then we're painted the portrait of our man, standing on a dark highway at night in subzero weather, trying to hitch to Nebraska, with silver duct-tape across his face to protect his broken nose. Worse, although Dick Hill does the best he can with what he's been given by Lee Child, is that Reacher's once-commanding voice has been replaced with a weak and nasally sniveling because, as Lee Child writes, the soft tissues inside Reacher's broken nose are dangerously swollen, dried blood blocking any available remaining airway in his nasal passages, leaving him unable to breath through his nose, and Dick Hill is forced to narrate the entire story with the pitiful meow of a mouth-breather. Whatever sex appeal and powerful command of presence our hero once had have left the building. And I'm not sure we want him to return.

    Add to this once-powerful character the weak plot, flat and trite characters, a very long and boring car ride (hard to get much action happening with four people riding in a small vehicle on a nearly deserted highway), a totally unrealistlc scene in which one of the passengers -- actually, a young kidnapped woman -- blinks out complex messages with her eyes to Reacher, each staring at one another without the other passengers figuring out something is up, and you've got one mess of a story.

    This book is not worth a credit or money. It's hardly worth driving to your local library for. Better still, go outside, take a walk, play with your children, get to know your significant other again -- and hope that the real Lee Child shows up to write his next book.

    34 of 36 people found this review helpful
  • Death on a High Floor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charles Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On the 85th floor of a glittering high-rise in Los Angeles, Robert Tarza steps into the lobby of the Marbury Marfan law firm to discover his partner Simon Rafer lying in a pool of blood - an ornate dagger plunged into his back. Robert had worked with Simon for decades, and their relationship was fraught with conflict. But he never imagined he would wind up as the prime suspect for his colleague’s murder. As the evidence stacks up against him with frightening speed, he quickly falls from his respected position to that of a criminal dragged through the tabloids.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Excellent Mystery, Brilliant Narration"
    "Best Mistake I Ever Made!"
    Would you listen to Death on a High Floor again? Why?

    No, but ONLY because I never listen to the same book twice (so many books, so little time) and it is quite a long story. But this audiobook is one of the wittiest, most fun-filled who-done-its I have read or listened to in a long time. It's not a comedy, don't get me wrong; it's a legitimate mystery, but the interplay among the characters -- and the interpretation given to each character by the narrator -- is superbly done. You'll even smile when you get the meaning of the title of the story. I highly and wholeheartedly recommend this audiobook.

    Which character – as performed by Christopher Lane – was your favorite?

    All three attorneys for the defense: the murder suspect and his co-worker, both of whom are civil attorneys and know nothing about criminal law and courtroom drama, and the elegant, wonderfully articulate, perfectly narrated criminal attorney who worked with the pair with both patience and utter frustration (the "straight man", if you will).

    Any additional comments?

    I purchased this book by shear mistake. I was irritated when I realized what I had done but reluctantly turned the audiobook on while I was cleaning the kitchen. 30 minutes into the story when I was actually laughing out loud, I knew it was one of the best mistakes I had ever made. Admittedly it is a little slow at times (but never for very long) and it isn't really a "thriller" or "hanging by your fingertips" suspense novel. It is just a sophisticated, clever, darn good mystery that makes you feel good throughout the whole murder suspect's ordeal.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Calypso Directive: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Brian Andrews
    • Narrated By Ray Childs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For 155 days, Will Foster has been locked in medical quarantine without his consent. The doctors claim he is infected with a deadly virus, but this is a lie. Encoded in his DNA is a mutation that provides immunity from disease for all who possess it, source code that Vyrogen Pharmaceuticals aims to commercialize as a multi-billion dollar gene therapy. Against all odds, Foster escapes his laboratory prison and steals a virulent strain of bubonic plague as insurance. To help him unravel the mystery inside him, Foster contacts the only person he can trust - a former lover and microbiologist living Vienna - and the two become fugitives.

    Richard says: "A topical modern thriller"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book could never be a 4- or 5-star listening experience. None of the characters are believable, all of the characters are stilted and hackneyed, and the listener has no reason to like anyone in the book. The writing is horrid; for example, during a semi-romantic moment in the book, the author writes, "He ran his fingertips along her trapezius muscle . . . and they danced along her latissimus dorsi." Honestly; who writes like that?

    What was most disappointing about Brian Andrews’s story?

    His writing style. Mr. Andrews would do well to attend several creative writing programs before subjecting any reader to another novel.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Ray Childs’s performances?

    Oh, dear, no! Mr. Childs has a fairly decent voice, but he has no talent as an audiobook reader. His vocal range is extremely limited so that all of the characters sound exactly the same and sometimes not even like normal people. He reads with a slow cadence whether the scene is supposed to portray scariness, sadness, or excitement.

    What character would you cut from The Calypso Directive?

    The two brothers who are supposedly highly talented killers.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Riot: Peter Grant, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

    Nancy J says: "I LOVE this Book!"
    "Pass On Over This Book"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Frankly, I could not get past Part 1 of this book before I had to throw in the towel. I found it inane, totally unabelievable, and not the least bit humorous (other reviewers found the book hilarious, but it left me irritated). I suppose if one likes the idea of a new police recruit being able to speak to ghosts and learning to perform magic and wizardry while he's trying to solve a "mystery", it might have some appeal, but this was advertised as an adult mystery book, not for children, so it would have to be an adult with a child's mind. The new recruit's supervisor - who no one likes because he's too weird - is from some obscure division of the London Metro Police (ala X Files) and makes it a point to help train the new recruit. It's supposed to be like Harry Potter meets the X-Files, but it doesn't come close on either count, other than perhaps a little plagiarism.

    What could Ben Aaronovitch have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Ditch the concept for the entire book and try writing something else. The disparaging remarks about women certainly did not add any appeal on any level.

    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator at times read too quickly.,

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No. The author borrowed ideas from different movies and books and tried to make a mystery story from it. He failed miserably.

    Any additional comments?

    The book is not worth commenting on any further.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ashes: Project Eden Thriller, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brett Battles
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The hammer has fallen. The deadly Sage Flu has been unleashed. The scramble for survival is in full force.

    Martina Gable and her family escaped to a secluded mountain cabin in hopes of avoiding the death sweeping the desert valley below. But have they gone far enough? Dominic Ray, manager of a tropical, private island resort, has a dream job. The weather, the food, the drinks, the people - life couldn't be better. What he didn’t expect - what no one could have expected - was that his good life was about to disappear.

    John says: "what was i thinking"
    "Don't Bother"
    Would you try another book from Brett Battles and/or Macleod Andrews?

    Doubtful. I do not appreciate authors who try to advance the sale of their next book by creating novels that cannot stand alone but, rather, where the reader has to wait (and pay) for a follow-up novel to find out what happens next. If you've read the books "Outbreak" (inspired by the epidemic of Ebola in Africa during 1976), "Pandemic" (based on the SARS scare of 2007), "Outbreak and Contagion" by Robin Cook, "The Stand" by Stephen King, etc., it is obvious that the pandemic theme is not Brett Battles' genre. Weak plot, not enough intrigue, and poor character development (often the case in "series" where the writer knows he/she can possibly make up for it in the next installment). Battles should stick with The Cleaner, where he shines.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    What ending? It continues into book 5, much to the delight of the author's bankers.

    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narrator did a good job trying to make sense of the slow pace of the story. He's not in the top ten yet, but he'll get there.

    Could you see Ashes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    This theme is so tired and trite. It's been written about extensively since at least the 1990s. I suppose teenagers would enjoy a movie, but there is not enough action for a TV series.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Sound of Broken Glass: A James and Kincaid Novel, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the past... On a blisteringly hot August afternoon in Crystal Palace, once home to the tragically destroyed Great Exhibition, a solitary 13-year-old boy meets his next-door neighbor, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the tight-knit South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair forms a deep connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal. In the present... On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job....

    Kathi says: "Excellent addition to a consistently good series"
    What would have made The Sound of Broken Glass better?

    This novel is replete with advertisements, a new and underhanded scheme by the author, Deborah Crombie, which listeners must not accept. While the Crystal Palace (a plate-glass building quickly built in 1851, thus the reference to "broken glass" in the title) actually existed in English history, it is not critical to the theme of the book, and in fact its existence could have been completely omitted from the novel without changing any part of the story. However, the author repeatedly uses the words "Crystal Palace" as a reason to then cite the full website addresses of other authors' websites (even the BBC's) that cover the Crystal Palace's history and current status like a barker who attempts to attract patrons to an event they might otherwise pass by. It was very irksome to be listening to this mystery and suddenly have the narrator stop and clearly announce: "w w w dot Judy North dot com" (example only). Presumably the listener is supposed to think Deborah Crombie felt the need to give credit to other authors' thoughts about the Crystal Palace that Ms. Crombie pilfered for use in her own book, like footnotes in a thesis, rather than put the idea in her own words. But this is not a thesis; if the author felt compared to quote so much of other authors' works, she could have done so at the end of the story and all at one time. But since the Crystal Palace had no great significance to the theme of the book, why did Ms. Crombie want to interrupt her story with pointless website promotions about it? Did Ms. Crombie receive payment for each website announced during this novel? That's what it appears to this listener!

    What could Deborah Crombie have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Omit the promotion of other authors' works during the narration of the story.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    There was no scene that stood out as a favorite. The only thing that stood out was the blatant promotion of other authors' websites.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I don't know. I was too irritated with the "w w w dot Judy North dot coms" promotions to be able to pay the attention to whatever qualities the book may or may not have had to offer.

    Any additional comments?

    The narrator, Gerard Doyle, did his usual outstanding job.

    8 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

    Sparkly says: "Engaging, entertaining, and heartbreaking."
    "Hits You in the Head and Heart!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Beautiful Mystery the most enjoyable?

    The unique setting; the use of more humor than usual by the author but always in the right setting and which never takes away from the drama of the story itself; the well-defined characters and the interplay that occurs between them; and, as always in a Louise Penny novel but especially in this one, the feeling of evil wending its way throughout the story, maybe just around the next corner, but never where you expected to find it.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There were several great characters, as usual in a Louise Penny mystery, but in the end it was Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. His powerfulness of character, his intellect, and even his frailness are front and center in this novel.

    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    His performance never takes over the novel, never interrupts it; he is flawless.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cannot answer this question without giving away part of the plot, but I thought about this story -- am still thinking about this story -- long after I had finished listening to it.

    Any additional comments?


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind---and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation.

    Marilyn says: "Changed a Sixth-Grade Teacher's Life"
    "More than I Bargained for!"

    This brilliantly written audiobook focuses not on how to get your child into the right preschool or whether that three-hour dance lesson each week is enough to get your child onto Broadway; rather, this audiobook basically concentrates on how to keep from raising a sociopath. The authors present heartrending examples of emotionally traumatized children whom they've helped counsel over their long years of child psychiatric practice, then explain in layman's terms how a child's brain works and how the child can be remolded, if caught early enough, to heal and function well in society, maybe even happily. While this is more of a textbook than easy-listening material, the journey into the child's brain and how it works is fascinating, and the overall theme of the book -- about a human's critical need for "lasting, caring connections to others" -- is thought-provoking long after the audiobook has ended.
    "The Boy who was Raised as a Dog" should be required reading for all high school and college students -- and for all those parents and parents-to-be who think they know all about how to raise a successful child.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "Do not waste your time"

    A critic writing in indicated that Suarez was the heir apparent to Michael Crichton, which is why I brought this book. The critic was wrong. I did not have to listen very long to realize the Crichton and Suarez do not write about the same topics at all -- and Crichton would win out every time.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "The Challenge is On!"

    This is one of the best audiobooks of the past few years. Although there are other "mystery" books with more intricate plots, scarier themes, and, yes, more intellectual subjects, there are very few books that are as entertaining and that will touch your heart like this one. Don't read any more reviews, don't ponder over whether it's worth a credit: just get it! I dare you -- I double-dog dare you -- to be able to read it without, when it's over, saying out loud: Wow; what a great story!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Where oh Where Did the Editor Go?"

    A lot is missing from this book by Michael Connelly, including a competent editor and apparently enough time for Connelly to write a story with actual plot twists and turns. Add to that a narrator who put no heart into the story, as if he was reading an obituary to an empty room; the insipid Mendenhall character who seems to have had no purpose other than to irritate readers over her total lack of sense (e.g., she doesn't know a bullet from a stray piece of wood); and a lot of disconnect, such as the haphazard throwing in of Bosch's teenage daughter, his girlfriend, his girlfriend's son in prison, names of obscure jazz players, the 1992 LA riots, a viscious dog that isn't viscious, a military helicopter pilot who, for no reason given, flies into a house -- all of which (and more) seem to have been added for word count rather than actual mystery content.

    Perhaps it's time for Michael Connelly to take a vacation from writing to recover that wonderful passion he once had for Harry Bosch -- and to find a decent editor for his novels.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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