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  • The Racketeer

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By J.D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.... Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

    Charles says: "Eh."
    "Listen to this one at 2 x speed"
    What does J.D. Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Grisham is always top notch and like so many listeners, once I start, I can never put down his stories. But while J.D. Jackson is the pitch-perfect narrator for this audiobook, playing it at 2 x speed really helped me stay with his otherwise over-comtemplative pace.

    29 of 36 people found this review helpful
  • The Director

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Ignatius
    • Narrated By George Guidall

    In David Ignatius' gripping new novel, spies don' t bother to steal information...they change it, permanently and invisibly. Graham Weber has been director of the CIA for less than a week when a Swiss kid in a dirty T-shirt walks into the American consulate in Hamburg and says the agency has been hacked, and he has a list of agents' names to prove it. This is the moment a CIA director most dreads. Weber isn' t sure where to turn until he meets a charismatic (and unstable) young man named James Morris who runs the Internet Operations Center.

    Charles says: "Well Done."
    "Lucky Ending"
    What disappointed you about The Director?

    I could never be confident I knew who the story was about. There were several--several--interesting, well developed and intriguing characters. But whose story was it? In the end, this was cleared up but I'm talking the VERY end. And when it was, all the other interesting characters that I had invested in just sort of melted. The ending? Well, let's just the guy who turned out to be the main character got really, really lucky.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was the guy who had to make the hard moral choices. Readers often expect such characters to be the main character. This guy kind of was until he wasn't anymore.

    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    The national information czar, the director of national intelligence. That was the other confusing thing. The Director. There were three of them. I'm sure this was intentional, but it also contributed to the gnawing uncertainty that there might not have been a main character.

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

    I thought the subject matter was fascinating, current, credibly portrayed. The main technical flaw in the cyber-security plot was that ALL systems these days are archived and can be re-created. But that turned out to be OK because the real issue was the timing. It takes time to put such things all back together and the operators struck in the interim.

    Any additional comments?

    The book felt like an exploration into multiple characters without really a coherent plot. The villains were unmarked. The implicit threat was vague. The motivation was, in some cases, irrational. I found myself often looking for a place to put my foot, a perspective from which I could evaluate the stage. That kept shifting which might have been intentional abut it didn't work.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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