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Judith

Naples, FL, United States | Member Since 2002

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 63 ratings
  • 470 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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4

  • The Inner Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1305)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (677)

    When Clementine Kaye, archivist Beecher White's first childhood crush, shows up at the National Archives asking for his help, Beecher tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the president of the United States privately reviews classified documents. They accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact - and find themselves suddenly entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder.

    Lori says: "Inner Circle - another hit"
    "Meltzer at his best, but unresolved questions"
    Overall

    Brad Meltzer is one of my very favorite authors, especially when centered in and around Washington, and especially when read by Scott Brick. I highly anticipated this novel, as his last novel, an homage to his son, was the only one I was never motivated to read. This did not disappoint, with wonderful character development, intrigue, multiple plot lines, sinister politicos--but when it ended, several of those issues were left unresolved. I checked to make certain I had purchased the unabridged version, concerned too much had been edited out. But, no, it was unabridged. Perhaps he is taking a leaf or page from Steig Larssen's trilogy and intends on continuing the saga begun in this book. However; that is uncharacteristic of his writing so far. This is definitely worth the listen, and Scott Brick does his usual perfect job of characterizing each character just right. Meltzer is definitely at his best with his Washington thrillers. This is no exception.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Company Man

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Joseph Finder
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (162)

    Nick Conover, the son of a factory worker, is the CEO of a major corporation in a company town. Nick, once the most admired man in Fenwick, Michigan, is now, having presided over massive layoffs, the most despised. A single parent since the recent death of his wife, he's struggling to insulate his 10-year-old daughter and angry 16-year-old son from the town's hostility.

    James says: "Nail-biting suspense"
    "It seemed like a great book, if it were all there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read Finder before, and found his books deeply engrossing; if not paranoia-inducing. I was deeply engrossed in this one; then, an hour before the end of part 1, it automatically started again at the beginning. I deleted, redownloaded, etc., to no avail. I wrote tech support and they told me to redownload, which i did yet again. A chunk more was available; but it broke up again. It did the same on my iPad and iPhone; and I have downloaded literally hundreds of books without this problem. The tech even told me to download in a different format (which I don't want), then told me I can listen to it on my computer by streaming. That is NOT why I get audiobooks--to be tied to my computer! So, I went onto part 2 with a big patch of the plot missing. Then, at the precipice of the conclusion to the mystery, it suddenly started at the beginning again; again about an hour before the end of part 2. I'll bet it was good; but incredibly annoying that I'll never know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • By the Rivers of Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (212)

    Lod Airport, Israel: Two Concorde jets take off for a U.N. conference that will finally bring peace to the Middle East. Covered by F-14 fighters, accompanied by security men, the planes carry warriors, pacifists, lovers, enemies, dignitaries - and a bomb planted by a terrorist mastermind. Suddenly they're forced to crash-land at an ancient desert site. Here, with only a handful of weapons, the men and women of the peace mission must make a desperate stand against an army of crack Palestinian commandos....

    Patti says: "A good story, but a lot of characters"
    "Not the usual entertaining characters"
    Overall

    I have read everything that Nelson DeMille wrote, and I think he walks on water among writers. He, not only is a master of intrigue, character development and plot interest, but usually manages to bring levity to the most tense situations with a clever, articulate male protagonist. This one had virtually no character development, from my point of view, and almost read like a tragic documentary. It was a tragic historical thesis, and heroic on the part of the characters; but they were shallow--just political. I'm not sorry I got it, but was truly looking forward to a DeMille treat. I have read his books, admittedly, in reverse chronology; but am rarely disappointed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Chase

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1118)
    Performance
    (586)
    Story
    (580)

    A no-nonsense detective is on the trail of the sharpest and deadliest criminal mind he has ever encountered: a serial robber who murders any and all witnesses in cold-blood.

    Blackmac says: "quick easy listen"
    "It almost changed my mindset against Cussler"
    Overall

    I had serious misgivings about wasting money on what has been described to me as a "guy's writer". But, during a sale I decided to try this book of Cussler's, which appeared to have a traditional mystery plot with a historical context. I was really ready to admit my misgivings when the mystery was solved, the perp caught, and it was what I thought was the end of the book. It was an interesting concept. Then it went off track, seeming to change modes, dwelling at great length on the San Francisco earthquake for some unknown reason, seemed filled with corny lines and situations (coming up to his "love", whom he had seen all of a few times, while she was tending to the mangled and dying earthquake victims, with the line "can you help me? My arm is gone"). After that, it was a tedious plunge into the dynamics of railroad trains, and a silent movie-seeming implausibe and unbearably corny ending. I stand by my first impression--shallow characters, corney relationships, and lots of "man-stuff"--not deep

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4491)
    Performance
    (2508)
    Story
    (2487)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Bob says: "Compelling and difficult to put down"
    "Riding the wave of movie success, but a great read"
    Overall

    When "Lincoln Laywer" came out with a smirky Mathew McConnahy, I figured all Connelly's succeeding books would be written for the big screen, rather than the small reader. Even though there is a shameless comment about making a movie of the story with said McConnahy, the story line is sound, and perfectly suited for today's economic woes, and the cottage industries it creates to further milk us all. Of course, it is destined to be another movie, but still a great read on "the small page".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Live Wire: A Myron Bolitar Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (786)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (394)

    Myron Bolitar has always dreamed about the femme fatale walking into his office and asking for help. The woman standing in his doorway has killer curves all right: She’s eight months pregnant, which kind of ruins the fantasy. Former tennis star Suzze T and her rock star husband, Lex, are both clients, and over the years Myron has negotiated his share of contracts for the power pair. But now Lex has disappeared and Suzze is in tears, fearing the online rumors questioning the baby’s paternity have driven away Lex.

    Donald says: "The narrator is important"
    "He's back! Back from the darkness of recent books"
    Overall

    Wise-cracking Myron Bolitar and Win are more entertaining and articulate than ever in this long-overdue return to the witty reparte of Coben's sports agent/detective and his brilliant, beautiful, rich but madly psychopathic friend and protector. I actually stopped reading Coben for a spell, not wanting to wallow in the seemingly endless darkness and misery of kidnappings and child abductions. Wit and humor trump suffering and tragedy, and make for a much more enjoyable reading experience. Steven Weber is great as the narrator.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Deception: Dr. Jonathan Ransom, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Christopher Reich
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    Dr. Jonathan Ransom, world-class mountaineer and surgeon for Doctors Without Borders, is climbing in the Swiss Alps with his beautiful wife, Emma, when a blizzard sets in. In their bid to escape the storm, Emma is killed when she falls into a hidden crevasse.

    Dan says: "Too fantastic"
    "Thrilling and twisting plot"
    Overall

    This was one of those "nothing is what it seems" plots where a seemingly normal existence is discovered to be anything but that, after a doctor's wife dies in a skiing accident. Although I felt he was unnaturally naive throughout it, it made for a really good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Absolute Zero

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Chuck Logan
    • Narrated By J.K. Simmons
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On one of the coldest nights in Minnesota history, the difference between life and death is literally the blink of an eye for Phil Broker, until recently St. Paul's most successful undercover cop. That blink will convey the urgent warning of a comatose man who knows the dark truth binding Broker to a remarkable cast of characters: a weary anesthesiologist, a brilliant surgeon, a wealthy novelist, his ex-wife (a reformed exotic dancer), and her unrepentant pimp.

    Judith says: "Good plot, sounded like played on an old record"
    "Good plot, sounded like played on an old record"
    Overall

    While this narrator is a great character actor (on The Closer and others), he breathes no life into this potentially thrilling and harrowing plot. Everything is a laid-back speech pattern, with nothing inspiring the emotions appropriate to the story line. He just mosies along, sounding almost bored, no matter what was happening. To make matters worse, the sound was awful; like someone recorded it from an old hollow-sounding tape or record. Three stars for the predictable but frightening plot, but the narrator needs to stick to acting--or learn to convey some range of emotion when needed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • New York Dead: A Stone Barrington Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Robert Lawrence
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (123)

    Everyone is always telling Stone Barrington that he's too smart to be a cop, but it's pure luck that places him on the streets in the dead of night, just in time to witness the horrifying incident that turns his life inside out.

    Dennis says: "Surprised a Book Could be This Bad!!"
    "Bad narrator characterization, uninspired"
    Overall

    Another example of a ho-hum narrator putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong words, mispronouncing simple words, and generally appearing as though he was not an experienced narrator and/or hadn't read the book enough to get the gist of the dialogue. Also, Stone was "played" sounding like a scruffy street cop, even while using stilted but correct grammar at a morgue. He sounded seedy, which is the antithesis of his character. Woods' novels are always less than profound; but good narration would have helped this one a lot. Narrator occasionally gave certain characters another character's voice. This was made to sound like a cheap paperback gumshoe book, with Stone fantasizing about sticking his tongue in an attractive woman's ear. Probably old enough to avoid political correctness; but he just comes off sleazy. Barely worth the read unless you get it for a very low price. Don't waste a credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Extraordinary Powers

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Joseph Finder
    • Narrated By Christopher Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    Harrison Sinclair, director of the CIA, has been killed in a car accident. His son-in-law, Ben Ellison - an attorney and ex-agent - instantly hears rumors of sinister forces within the Agency. The hunt for the truth will rush Ben headlong into a web of conspiracy beyond his control, where he is compelled by an artful, inescapable maneuver back into the employ of the CIA, and lured into a top-secret espionage project in telepathy that will endow him with "extraordinary powers"....

    Bob says: "Disappointing"
    "Great story, better narrator needed"
    Overall

    Scott Brick would have nailed this book. But, as it was, the narrator seemed like the disembodied voice of a GPS some of the time (especially the beginning). This hurt the book, in that the emphasis was often put on the wrong or inappropriate word in a sentence or dialogue. Often, it was confusing, and sometimes even conveyed an entirely different meaning. While you were trying to figure out what the character was really trying to say, the audiobook advanced, and you either had to rewind or miss some of the dialogue. It would have served the narrator better if he had read the book, or read it more than once, so he was aware of the inflection and meaning of the sentence he was characterizing. He appeared to read with the same "voice up and down" pattern no matter what was being said. It was like simplified narration 101--put some inflection in your voice while reading--but the idea should be to do it when and where it is meaningful and suitable. Good authors like Finder should insist on well-versed and talented narrators who don't make their work suffer.

    3 of 4 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
    (2468)
    Performance
    (1764)
    Story
    (1756)

    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""
    "Witty, articulate, fascinating DeMille at his best"
    Overall

    Never seeming to run out of clever wisecracking reparte, DeMille additionally adds historical and geographical depth to this great read. Scott Brick makes it even more enjoyable.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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