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Rollin

Cholula, Mexico | Member Since 2006

ratings
121
REVIEWS
57
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
101

  • Red Heat: Conspiracy, Murder, and the Cold War in the Caribbean

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Alex von Tunzelmann
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    The Caribbean crises of the Cold War are revealed as never before in this riveting story of clashing ideologies, the rise of the politics of fear, the machinations of superpowers, and the daring of the brazen mavericks who took them on. The superpowers thought they could use Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic as puppets, but what neither bargained on was that their puppets would come to life.

    History says: "Interesting, not extraordinary."
    "Fascinating history, badly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are interested in recent history of Latin America and the US, you'll probably enjoy this well researched book on Cold War conflict between the US, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. The author's case that it's necessary to look at all these countries together is quite convincing and novel (for me, anyway). She provides fascinating detail and insight into the principal players, from Toussaint l'Ouverture all the way down to Fidel Castro and including the Kennedys and the sinister Papa Doc. She also makes the important point that knee-jerk anti-Communism in the US provoked irrational reactions to nationalist (non-Communist) movements in the Caribbean, setting the stage for military dictatorships in the region. Experts as well as the general public will, I think, enjoy this book. However, a major drawback is Sarah Coome's narration. I generally like the English accent, but she overdoes the pauses and lilts. Her horrendous pronunciation of names in Spanish and French turned me off completely. I don't expect a narrator of Latin American history to speak French or Spanish well, but I do expect her to get advice on not mispronouncing hames in these languages in the egregious manner of Sarah Coomes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Istanbul Passage: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Joseph Kanon
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (188)

    A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has spent the war as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even American businessman Leon Bauer has been drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs for the Allied war effort. Now, as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, he is given one more assignment, a routine job that goes fatally wrong, plunging him into a tangle of intrigue and moral confusion.

    Maine Colonial says: "What choice do you make when all options are bad?"
    "Not up to Kanon's standards"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Joseph Kanon and/or Jefferson Mays?

    I've read other very good books by Kanon and had high expectations concerning Istanbul Passage. But it turned out to be a very disappointing experience. The plot is quite interesting, but the novel never really gets off the ground. I believe Kanon was aiming for a novel about a reflexive, postmodern, spy in post-war Istanbul. But it turned out to be too reflexive for my taste, with very slow and artificial dialogue and halting action.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Probably a book by William Lashner or Joseph Finder.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jefferson Mays?

    I think Scott Brick would have done a great job.


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

    The problem that the plot hinges on is quite interesting: how to get an ex-Romanian fascist with a lot of knowledge on Russian intelligence out of Istanbul and into the hands of the CIA.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nox Dormienda (A Long Night for Sleeping): An Arcturus Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kelli Stanley
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Nox Dormienda is the award-winning debut novel of critically-acclaimed author Kelli Stanley (City of Dragons), and the first of a series in a new genre: Roman Noir. Featuring Arcturus, a hardboiled protagonist in the best Philip Marlowe tradition, Nox is a different kind of historical mystery, a suspense thriller that combines a classic noir style with the rich texture of the ancient past.

    Rollin says: "Very disappointing whodunit in ancient Brittania"
    "Very disappointing whodunit in ancient Brittania"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    He could have equated the seriousness of the plot (Emperor Domitian scheming to bring about the downfall of Governor Agricola in Britannia) with a more adult and crafty main character.


    What could Kelli Stanley have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Although there is rich description of ancient Londinium and an interesting political background to plot, the character himself is rather sophomoric and not very believable. Character development is very unsubtle: the female character very suddenly falls in love with the main character (after slapping him in the face).


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Ray Porter could have refrained from sounding like a 21st century teenager.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm afraid I won't download any more of Stanley's books.

    1 of 1 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
    Overall
    (558)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (491)

    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"
    "A highly entertaining lawyer-courtroom drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Death on a High Floor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's not number one but it is one of the most enjoyable audiobooks I've listened to recently.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The complexities of a murder case and the fascinating solution the defense lawyers use to acquit their client.


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

    Oscar, the veteran and astute lawyer.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Actually, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll keep my eyes (and ears) open to more Rosenberg books.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Field of Prey: Lucas Davenport, Book 24

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1158)
    Performance
    (1018)
    Story
    (1016)

    The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson, Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky.

    He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was...something smelled bad - like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another. By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to 15 bodies and counting.

    J. Eastham says: "It is sad (Spoilers)"
    "Great story, dreadful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Sandford and/or Richard Ferrone?

    I love Sandford's books which I've read in paperback. But this audio experience was very disappointing:


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Field of Prey?

    The fascinating unravelling by Lucas Davenport of a ghastly multiple homicide.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Ferrone sounds like a tired old man, drawing out words and sentences in an unpleasant drawl. It's just plain tiresome to listen to, especially for a whodunit.


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

    Yes, of course.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll stick to reading Sandford in paper, since all of his audiobooks are narrated by Ferrone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Never Look Back

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Clare Donoghue
    • Narrated By Karl Prekopp, Imogen Church
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    Three women have been found brutally murdered in south London, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver.... Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it’s the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level. DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents.

    A says: "Reads exactly like a BBC mystery script"
    "Thriller? Whodunit? Neither"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It might be OK for someone really interested in the inner life of police officers and victims dealing with violence on a daily basis.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Probably a historical novel


    How could the performance have been better?

    The male narrator does a good job but I fear the female narrator is a bit whiny.


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

    The plot doesn't hold together but the chief inspector's character is well portrayed.


    Any additional comments?

    Please note that my critical comments are born of misplaced expectations: I expected a police thriller but got a psychological novel.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (126)

    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. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

    Bruno says: "Fantastic"
    "Outstanding Connelly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Gods of Guilt?

    The ins and outs of political and legal battles faced by Haller in his defense of his client.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Absolutely. The plot is full of unexpected but credible twists and turns.


    What about Peter Giles’s performance did you like?

    Actually, I wasn't overwhelmed by his performance. He does a very good job using different voices but tends to be whiny.


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

    It just kept me on the edge of my seat.


    Any additional comments?

    I've read and enjoyed all of Connelly's Bosch series but am enjoying the Mickey Haller books even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colours Aloft

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Alexander Kent
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho finds himself the new master of the Argonaute, a French flagship taken in battle. With the Peace of Amiens in ruins, he must leave the safety of Falmouth. What lies ahead is the grim reality of war at close quarters - where Bolitho will be called upon to anticipate the overall intention of the French fleet. But the battle has also become a personal vendetta between himself and the French admiral who formerly sailed the Argonaute.

    Rollin says: "Very disappointing"
    "Very disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Alexander Kent and/or Michael Jayston?

    I'm afraid not. I've enjoyed his Bolitho series but this one is quite boring, with long asides about Bolitho's nostalgia for his wife and his feelings for his officers and men, which is fine as a human being but isn't this supposed to be an adventure about fighting Napoleon on the high seas?


    What could Alexander Kent have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He could have focussed more on naval action.


    Did Michael Jayston do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, he is a good narrator.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't finish listening to the whole book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cairo Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (222)

    Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

    Darwin8u says: "In the widening gyre"
    "Outstanding spy fiction set in contemporary Egypt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Cairo Affair rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    That's hard to say (I've listened to so many!). But compared to other spy stories, such as Daniel Silva, this is certainly superior.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sophie Cole and John Calhoun. Both are complex and interesting characters who evolve as you read.


    What does Edoardo Ballerini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Unlike other US narrators, he stays away from American twang and maintains a stable tone throughout. I'll certainly look for other narrations by him.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were several, but one that stands out was Joe Calhoun's (a supposed tough guy contracted for dirty jobs by the CIA) love of poetry and his connection to Beth.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first experience with Steinhauer. It won't be my last!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (545)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (471)

    International superstar Jussi Adler-Olsen, with more than fourteen million copies of his books sold worldwide, returns with the fourth book in his New York Times best-selling Department Q series, about a perplexing cold case with sinister modern-day consequences. In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her in her youth, including Curt Wad, a charismatic surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in 1950s Denmark.

    Charles Atkinson says: "It's a 5 Star Story of Revenge"
    "A truly outstanding whodunit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Purity of Vengeance in three words, what would they be?

    Original, complex but also funny


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Purity of Vengeance?

    The flashbacks to the 1980s when a group of right wing eugenicists imprisoned and operated upon so-called "fallen" women are disturbing and well written.
    Also, the quirky relationship between the Danish Inspector and his Syrian assistant, Hafez al Assad (the name of the previous Syrian president!) is weird, funny, and an extremely important part of the investigative process.


    What about Graeme Malcolm’s performance did you like?

    His tone and his capacity to shift voices among different males and females make for a lovely listening experience.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It's too long for that but it's certainly thrilling enough to want to gobble it up in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Jussi Adler-Olsen is proving to be a better writer with each new novel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tatiana: An Arkady Renko Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    One of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, Arkady Renko - cynical, analytical, and quietly subversive - has survived the cultural journey from the Soviet Union to the New Russia, only to find the nation as obsessed with secrecy and brutality as was the old Communist dictatorship. In Tatiana, Martin Cruz Smith’s most ambitious novel since Gorky Park, the melancholy hero finds himself on the trail of a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia herself.

    Richard Delman says: "Extremely disappointing. Renko fades away."
    "Interesting story but terrible narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A completely different narrator would be crucial.


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

    I never finished the novel.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Henry Strozier narrates like a tired old man with a maddeningly slow pace and excessive emphasis on certain syllables.


    Any additional comments?

    I've enjoyed Martin Cruz Smith's novels in the past, but I'm afraid this experience has turned me off to him

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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