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Candace Russell

Member Since 2015

106
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 44 reviews
  • 715 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 86 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Emperor's Tomb

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1205)
    Performance
    (506)
    Story
    (503)

    The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why? That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address.

    Jackie says: "Fascinating Ride!"
    "Could have been interesting"
    Overall

    I usually enjoy books with historical and cultural themes, though don't need a lot of detail in descriptions of fight action (read: a bit much in this book). Also, I think Scott Brick's woe-be-gone reading style was a serious detractor. I actually think some of the material could have been light-hearted, and most wasn't intended to seem sad. I think Mr. Brick is technically a very good reader, as he sounded pretty good when reading the addendum material, but the novel itself really needed a wider repertoire of emotion, if any was called for at all.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Ashes to Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (183)

    He performs his profane ceremony in a wooded Minneapolis park, anointing his victims, then setting the bodies ablaze. He has already claimed three lives, and he won't stop there. Only this time there is a witness. But she isn't talking. Enter Kate Conlan, former FBI agent turned victim/witness advocate. Not even she can tell if the reluctant witness is a potential victim or something more troubling still.

    Paula says: "Too Brutal, Grisly, Graphic for Me!"
    "Could have been good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have other Tami Hoag books that I thought were pretty good, but maybe they were abridged. Seems likely, if an editor had removed all the porn and the parts that can't be played while eating dinner, this might have been quite an interesting mystery. IMHO, when I purchase a mystery, that's what I hope to get, without a lot of verbiage wasted on adventures that aren't even realistic. I would hope Ms. Hoag will eventually find a publisher that doesn't put an orgasm quota in her contract.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Agent Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Morten Storm, Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (234)
    Story
    (236)

    Morten Storm was an unlikely Jihadi. A six-foot-one red-haired Dane, Storm spent his teens in and out of trouble. A book about the Prophet Mohammed prompted his conversion to Islam, and Storm sought purpose in a community of believers. He attended a militant madrasah in Yemen, named his son Osama, and became close friends with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born terrorist cleric. But after a decade of Jihadi life, he not only repudiated extremism but, in a quest for atonement, became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence.

    Michalis Petrou says: "Extremely interesting and revealing"
    "Fantasy/reality check?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ordinarily I'd complain that it's too grotesque and unrealistic for a street-wise punk to decide to accept a "god" that expects to be feared, but needs the help of violent, unruly youths to destroy what the god had created. Really, who would do that? But apparently this story is true, so I'll try to limit myself to reviewing the book as literature.

    First, IMHO, it could have been a lot shorter. It seemed like the book was about half over before anything really interesting happened. I can't recommend anything as far as to how to abridge it, but I think it would benefit from the services of an editor with a sharp red pencil.

    Second, the spycraft seemed too amateurish. I've suggested to other authors that their stories might benefit from consulting with professionals in the fields portrayed in their books. I suppose it's hard to get spies to talk, but if you claim to have worked with three countries' intelligence agencies you ought to be able to find somebody to make the report sound more solid.

    Note: I think Cruickshank and Lister did well enough as ghost writers, but their forte is probably not the mystery/thriller genre that seems suited to this work. I personally often listen again, after a year or two, to books that I think were really well-plotted and well-written. No offense, but I can't see that happening with this one.

















    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unseen: Will Trent, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (942)
    Performance
    (817)
    Story
    (815)

    Bill Black is a scary guy: a tall ex-con who rides to work on a Harley, and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. In Macon, Georgia, Bill has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer and his cunning girlfriend. They think Bill might be a useful ally. They don’t know that Bill is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent named Will Trent. Or that he is fighting his own demons, undercover and cut off from the support of Sara Linton - the woman he loves, who he dares not tell he is putting himself at such risk.

    Kim Venatries says: "Another Win!"
    "Sounded like such an interesting plot ....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    but it would be hard for any author to move the story forward when all the characters seem to be mired in a bog of hyped hormones and over-dramatic interpersonal relations. I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd resolved all their issues by just shooting each other in the last chapter. Fortunately I fell asleep somewhere in the middle, and didn't think it worth backing up to the point when I drifted off, though I was just barely interested enough to finish it to see who survived.

    Another gripe - the chronology jumped around in a way that really didn't make any sense. Actually, the book may have been better if some of those jumps were just omitted. Possibly an abridged version would correct some of these problems.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Housewife Assassin's Handbook: The Housewife Assassin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Josie Brown
    • Narrated By Melissa Moran
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (528)
    Story
    (524)

    Every desperate housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone has one - and it happens to be government-sanctioned. But Donna earned it the hard way: Her husband was killed the day she delivered their third child. To avenge her husband's murder, Donna leads a secret life as an assassin. But espionage makes for strange bedfellows, and brings new meaning to that old adage, "Honey, I'm home...."

    kimberlee says: "Unique"
    "Lame"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    1. Your "housewife" accomplished very little in her career as an undercover antiterror operative. I shudder to think how doomed we'd all be if she were typical.
    2. Though I guess if it were true that "truth serums" and keychain dongles were for real, it would actually be possible for someone so stupid to act in an intelligence role.
    3. But then, she does make some use of her training - like breaking into the cupcake shop to pick up her order after closing. Not even very good at normal "housewife" chores, then, is she?
    4. I thought it was only male characters who were supposed to be misguided by their . . .
    5. I can't go on with this. Too annoying.

    I thought I'd just give this a try, since I've enjoyed several Mrs. Polifax books and thought this might be of the same genre, or at least clever and amusing. Not. If I hadn't fallen asleep for about the middle half, I never would have reached the end. I obviously need to come up with a better routine for screening audio books before I buy them.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The First Law: A Dismas Hardy Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By Robert Lawrence
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (55)

    At last recovered from a near-fatal gunshot wound, Lieutenant Abe Glitsky is back at work. But instead of returning to his old job as chief of homicide detail, he's assigned a desk job in the payroll department, where he has no business investigating murders -until his father's closest friend is shot dead in a downtown pawn shop.

    Pam Sturgess says: "Good book + horrible performance = waste of money"
    "Almost 5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would have rated this higher if Lescroart had imagined a way to crash that helicopter before the a*******s started shooting. Depictions of animal abuse always harsh my buzz, even when enjoying an otherwise great listen. That being said, this one contained an uncharacteristic level of raw violence for a lawyery book. I'd say this was Robert Lawrence's best performance of the three, and he's improved a lot. His voice was really well suited to the subject matter here. All in all, in my opinion, this was the most gripping of the series so far, and yes, I am a fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hearing: A Dismas Hardy Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By Robert Lawrence
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (100)

    The call comes at midnight. It looks like a tragic and petty murder - a rising star in San Francisco's legal firmament found shot in a dark alley. But for homicide lieutenant Abe Glitsky, the crime cuts horribly close to home - unknown to anyone, the victim was his daughter. Seething, Glitsky leans hard on his only suspect - a homeless heroin addict found lingering over his daughter's body, with her jewelry in his pocket and a smoking gun in his hand.

    Snoodely says: "Excellent, despite reader"
    "Distracting narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert Lawrence has a great voice, but sounds like he's reading from a poorly-paced teleprompter and paying no attention to punctuation. His female voices are terrible; all sound whiny or weepy, no matter the subject matter. He may be one of those male readers who simply cannot "do" female voices, though I think all of these problems could improve, if he tried. In the meantime, it's too bad that the narration is the most memorable thing about this presentation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Faces of the Gone: Carter Ross, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Brad Parks
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (148)

    Four bodies, each with a single bullet wound in the back of the head, stacked like cordwood in a weed-choked vacant lot: That's the front-page news facing Carter Ross, investigative reporter with the Newark Eagle-Examiner. Immediately dispatched to the scene, Carter learns that the four victims - an exotic dancer, a drug dealer, a hustler, and a mama's boy - came from different parts of the city and didn't seem to know one another.

    Terry says: "Recommended for mystery lovers who like humor"
    "A lot of weak points"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was following along fairly comfortably for about the first half, in spite of some shortcomings; but then, it occurred to me that he was neglecting his pet cat, and really showed no concern for it until he decided to "play the cat card" to gain sympathy for himself. But even without my hypercritical arousal, the end fell flat all on its own. It almost seemed as if someone else wrote it. I'm not saying something like that couldn't happen, but it needed more foundation to make it plausible. Like, more than the cat was neglected. Anyway, as far as it goes, at least it's a story. I'm sure Mr. Parks has his fans.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Maybe This Time

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1540)
    Performance
    (900)
    Story
    (900)

    When Andie tries to gain closure with her ex-husband, he asks one final favor of her. A distant cousin has died and left North the guardian of two orphans. When Andie meets the two children, she realizes the situation is much worse than she feared. Carter and Alice aren’t your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. Complicating matters is Andie’s fiancé’s suspicion that this is all a plan by North to get Andie back.

    Jessica says: "Loved This Book"
    "Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have several other Jennifer Crusie books that I really enjoyed, but this one, though some of the dialogue was fun, just dragged on way too long. I had thought Jennifer Crusie could probably make anything entertaining, but I guess there's only so much you can do with a bunch of dead people as your cast of characters. Kids that are either sulking or screaming most of the time don't help the situation, either. I got halfway through, though, so perhaps would have finished if most of the nonessential moaning and blubbering and bed-hopping were removed to make a book of half the current length. I guess I'll give up on Jennifer Crusie, though. Just not consistent enough to be in my "favorite author" category.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unintended Consequences

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Marti Green
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (96)

    Nineteen years ago, Indiana police found the body of a young girl, burned beyond recognition and buried in the woods. They arrested George Calhoun for murdering his daughter, and his wife testified against him at the trial. George maintains he didn’t do it. That the body isn’t his little Angelina. But that’s all he’s ever said—no other defense, no other explanation. The jury convicted him. Now his appeals have been exhausted, and his execution is just six weeks away.

    Jerrilynn says: "In the words of Bartok, "I tell you what, Wow!""
    "Simple-minded"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    They say authors should write what they know, and I assume Marti Green did some of that, but not the parts that interested me. I thought the premise sounded promising, with murdered children in the woods and someone facing execution for it; but the parts dealing with the legal proceedings and private investigations were disappointingly weak, while most of the book focused on the humdrum dealings of working and stay-at-home moms dealing with disabled and diseased offspring. There are good books out there dealing with those subjects, but I wasn't expecting it in a murder mystery. All that aside, it was just appalling how inept virtually all the professionals seemed. Total amateurs. I like to learn something from legal, medical, and police procedural novels that I read, though I know they are fiction; but this one taught me nothing. And I knew whodunit almost from the start. No challenge.

    As for the narrator: though I usually really like that kind of light fast-paced voice, NOT when it's having to strain that much to differentiate a bunch of male voices. It kinda hurts to listen to that. They do make computer equipment that can simulate voices, if she really thinks she needs to sound like a man. Seems like it would be a good investment, if for no other reason than to protect her own perfectly lovely voice. Really, you can get nodules on your vocal cords fooling around like that.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cop Town

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1097)
    Performance
    (925)
    Story
    (933)

    Atlanta, 1974: It's Kate Murphy's first day on the job, and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she's not cut out to be a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can't handle a gun, and she's rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt she'll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind.

    Ronna says: "Women cops in bigoted 1974 Georgia"
    "Pros and cons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a really interesting book, but I never would have bought it if I hadn't realized how to deal with the reader. It wouldn't be the first time I'd have opted for the print version, or passed altogether based on a response to the audio. I really disliked her, and noticed some other reviewers had the same reaction. So I was going to put her on my list of readers to avoid, but then realized I had another book in my library read by her, and had rated her just fine. Then I realized that I'd accelerated the playback speed somewhere between 30 and 50 percent on that book, and for some reason that totally fixes her. That aside, I found that looking back on that era was quite sobering. Could it be only 50 years ago that this country was as bigoted as some of the countries we sneer at now for their backward societies? Well, shake it off. It was quite a story, and parts were even lighthearted and very entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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