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Tracey

I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)

Danville, AR, United States | Member Since 2007

473
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 68 reviews
  • 920 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 125 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
79

  • Nightstalkers: An Area 51 Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bob Mayer
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (59)

    Staff Sergeant Winthrop Carter only enlisted in the army for the steady pay. When he cheated on the Special Forces’ final exam, he never expected his actions would get him drafted into the Nightstalkers - an elite team with a mysterious mission and even more mysterious leader. For decades, Rifts have been opening and unleashing bloodthirsty alien life forms into our reality. The Nightstalkers’ goal is to shut down these breaches and stop the beings that emerge from rampaging out of control.

    Tracey says: ""We don't need no stinking lawyers""
    ""We don't need no stinking lawyers""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading some of the spotty reviews about the previous Area 51 books, I was hesitant to purchase this. But I was in a mood for some military scifi. Whereas this is in no way a John Ringo style military sci-fi book, it is a fun read. I listened to it in "one go". It is a bit slow in the beginning (delivering all of the necessary setup and background), but I found it fun throughout and especially loved all of the 70's pop references (e.g., Warren Zevon and M*A*S*H inspire 2 of the sobriquets of the team members.) In that vein, I liken this to an "A-Team" romp with aliens (or "fireflies" the entities making it through the rifts) and better guns (and an actual plot.) The book isn't as cheesy, but it had some amusing dialogue and one-liners and was just fun. Despite the female team commander (Moms) and the female teenager local asset (Scout), the book didn't have any romance thrown in -- which is refreshing! Besides, how creepy would it have been for romance to blossom between a fellow team member and one with the moniker "Moms"? And sure, Scout was a little too good to be true, but hey, they are fighting alien entities, so suspension of disbelief is in order. So, I just had fun with the character, which is unusual for me (I generally HATE the teenage/child "add-on" characters.)

    The narrator differentiated the players well and did equally well with female and male characters, giving personality to them. And, continuing with the 70's theme, his voice reminded me a bit of Lee Majors at times (but in a good way, reminiscent of "6 Million Dollar Man" and not of his recent hearing aid commercials.)

    I recommend this to anyone wanting a light military sci-fi read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Where Monsters Dwell

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jørgen Brekke
    • Narrated By David Menkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    A murder at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, bears a close resemblance to one in Trondheim, Norway. The corpse of the museum curator in Virginia is found flayed in his office by the cleaning staff; the corpse of an archivist at the library in Norway is found inside a locked vault used to store delicate and rare books. Richmond homicide detective Felicia Stone and Trondheim police inspector Odd Singsaker find themselves working on similar murder cases, committed the same way, but half a world away.

    Tracey says: "This isn't Texas"
    "This isn't Texas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brekke has done an excellent job (and kudos to translator) in this police procedural. It was sometimes difficult (especially at the beginning) to remain engaged in the transitioning narrative (from 1500's Europe, to 21st century Norway and Virginia) and I didn't find the story in Virigina (outside the Poe Museum, that is) as engaging as the other 2 narratives, but by the middle, I was hooked -- and missing sleep.
    Best moments occur after the 2 police detectives unite in Norway (and my favorite line "This isn't Texas" from Odd Singsaker, the Norwegian detective). It was a bit redolent of those buddy cop films, but I loved the interaction between the characters (and styles.)
    I especially loved the inclusion (however indirectly) of Poe trivia into the plot.
    The characters were well-developed and the plotting intriciate.
    If you are a fan of Nesbo or Fossum (or other Scandinavian mystery writers), you will not be disappointed with this book.
    David Menken does an excellent job with the narration, especially well with the Virginian accents, which can easily be overdone. I liked that the only other accents were when speakers were not speaking their native langauges (I find it baffling when narrators give people speaking their native languages -- albeit, translated for the "readers" -- foreign accents.) Odd does not pick up his endearing accent until he needs to speak English with his new "partner", Felicia Stone (the Richmond detective.)

    I am looking forward to many more novels from Brekke!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Cozen Protocol

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Mitchell Nevin
    • Narrated By George Kuch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Mitchell Nevin is a master at developing characters, listeners will empathize with, even the bad guys. Nothing is as it seems - listen to find out, who's good, who's bad, who's dead, and who survives. The Cozen Protocol is an intricately woven story, perfect for any crime lover. Take a ride in the front seat with Milwaukee's finest and view the world as you have never seen it before; by walking-a-mile in the shoes of everyday street cops as they carefully balance the ebb-and-flow of justice and politics.

    Tracey says: "Well Crafted Police Procedural"
    "Well Crafted Police Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book hooked me from the opening scene, and was difficult to put down.

    In retrospect I wished I had purchased the kindle version of this as well, as there are so many characters and interrelated plots, I found myself wanting to refer to a flow chart. I felt mollified when I did a search for this book on Amazon to find there is a Kindle "Cliff's Notes" type summary of this book available for purchase.

    Nevin has a great facility with character AND plot development, while keeping the lingo amount the police characters quite realistic.

    George Kuch does an excellent job with the narration, especially helpful with the constantly shifting scenes and characters.

    I rarely listen to books twice, but this is one I will probably listen to again -- it's that good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Cambridge Blue: DC Goodhew, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alison Bruce
    • Narrated By Jonathan Broadbent
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (31)

    DC Gary Goodhew is intelligent, intuitive, and the youngest detective at Cambridge's Parkside Station. He is the first on the scene when the body of a young woman is discovered on Midsummer Common and for the first time in his career is given the chance to work on a murder investigation. Soon there is an identity for the victim: Lorna Spence. Richard Moran, her boyfriend and employer, has reported her missing and is distraught to discover that she has been killed.

    Tracey says: "Tense British police procedural"
    "Tense British police procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent police procedural set in Cambridge, UK featuring 25-year old DC Gary Goodhew, a new detective, who is viewed with mistrust and envy due to his quick rise to the DC role.

    The book follows the stories of suspects, victims and police, showing the varying point of views (POVs) as we seek to unravel this complex mystery.

    DC Gary Goodhew is a bit of a maverick at the station, following his own methodologies and uncanny hunches, much to the chagrin of his boss, DI Marks who is determined to make Goodhew a team player or let him go.

    I loved the writing, especially how well all of the characters were fleshed out and the intricate relationships between the families and the co-workers.

    Jonathan Broadbent did an excellent job with the narration, although his pacing can be a bit "off-putting" at first.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in Thrall

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Anne Cleeland
    • Narrated By Marcella Riordan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    First-year detective Kathleen Doyle is a plucky Irish redhead of humble origins and modest means. Chief Inspector Michael Acton is her antithesis: a British lord turned cop. He's tall, handsome, and enigmatic - to a fault. He also has a knack for solving London's most high-profile crimes. Acton selects Doyle out of the newbie squad to partner with him on a series of investigations because she always knows when someone is lying - a trait that comes in handy when interviewing suspects and witnesses.

    Tracey says: "Great new entry into British mysteries"
    "Great new entry into British mysteries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found it difficult to truly classify this book and found that to be a positive aspect of this unique new voice to British mysteries. This is part police procedural, part romance (with a slightly creepy bent) and part quasi-paranormal.

    Newly promoted DC Kathleen Doyle, with her lilting Irish accent and the fey ability to "read" the truth in people becomes the protégé of DCI Michael Sinclair, an English lord called Holmes behind his back for his uncanny ability to solve the most complex of mysteries.

    The mystery is moderately complex, but the true joy in this book is the unique voice of the protagonist. I look forward to reading more of Cleeland's novels, as she begins to make her mysteries more taut, because her characters are already "spot on."

    Marcella Riordan's narration is superb, especially her delivery of Doyle's Irish voice!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Cut Short: Geraldine Steel Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Leigh Russell
    • Narrated By Lucy Price-Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    When DI Geraldine Steel relocates to the quiet rural town of Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be somewhere where nothing much ever happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private. But when she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women, she quickly discovers how wrong she is....

    Tracey says: "Decent debut British Police Procedural"
    "Decent debut British Police Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From the blurb, I thought I would love this novel, as I am a big fan of British mysteries, especially police procedurals. However, I never really related to any of the characters and there was no "mystery," as we are introduced to the villain's point of view (POV) early on. The shifting POV was a bit jarring occasionally (from victim to police to villain to witness and back to police) and the narrative voices seemed a bit unrealistic at times.

    Despite the choppy writing and the underdeveloped characters, I would probably purchase the next book in this series, as I believe the writer will continue to improve her product.

    Lucy Price-Lewis, the narrator, did a good job of differentiating the many characters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lambs to the Slaughter: DCI Monika Paniatowski, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Sally Spencer
    • Narrated By Penelope Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The colliery village of Bellingsworth is already divided over an impending strike, so the last thing it needs is a murder - but that's exactly what it gets, when a retired miner called Len Hopkins is found battered to death in his outside lavatory. Detective Chief Inspector Monika Paniatowski, called in to track down the killer with all possible speed, finds herself working in an atmosphere as thick with suspicion and distrust as the mine is with coal dust.

    Tracey says: "Spencer scores again!"
    "Spencer scores again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With some serials, the output diminishes over time, with the writing becoming formulaic and staid. However, Sally Spencer (nom de guerre of Alan Rustage) continues to deliver taut, suspenseful police procedurals.

    "Lambs to the Slaughter" is the 5th entry in the series (25th if you consider the 20 books in which DCI Charlie Woodend is the primary protagonist and Paniatowski is his protégé) , set in 1970's Northern England. This book revolves around a potential coal strike and a murder in the town of Bellingsworth.

    The mystery itself is complex. However, the hallmark of this series is the continued development of the police team. I look forward to many more books in this wonderful series and anticipate more intricate mysteries and more windows into the characters.

    Another great joy is the brilliant delivery of Penelope Freeman. She captures wonderfully the accents and characters of the book, male and female.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kitty in the Underworld: Kitty Norville Series, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Carrie Vaughn
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (185)

    As Denver adjusts to a new master vampire, Kitty gets word of an intruder in the Denver werewolf pack's territory, and she investigates the challenge to her authority. She follows the scent of the lycanthrope through the mountains where she is lured into a trap, tranquilized, and captured. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a defunct silver mine: the perfect cage for a werewolf.

    Tracey says: "Kitty lite - might have worked better as a novella"
    "Kitty lite - might have worked better as a novella"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am sure I will be in the minority again on this one, but, having ready every single Kitty book and short story (in addition to Vaughn's other tomes, such as "Discord's Apple"), I am becoming increasingly disappointed with each new entry in this series. The last volume seemed to be light in action, but it did have the saving grace of the supporting characters (namely Cormac and Rick.) I kept waiting for something (anything) to happen in this one. Kept checking the time stamp, thinking "when would this end?" I am not a quitter though, so kept listening. A lot (A LOT) of internal monologues (have you ever wondered how supple and kissable a human's lips are? -- well, Kitty has) but not much happens here and the book doesn't really move the grand story arc along.

    Gavin's performance, as usual, is engaging, but even she couldn't breathe life into this entry into the Kitty Norville series.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (4842)
    Performance
    (4409)
    Story
    (4420)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The protagonist, Cormoran Strike, is an ex-military policeman who lost a leg during service and is now trying to make ends meet as a PI in London. His "girl Friday", a temporary secretary named Robin whom he can't afford (but can't seem to turn away) arrives on a day his life's ebb hits a low point. I loved the rapport between these 2 characters.

    I can't overstate how much I enjoyed this novel. One would never know by the lyrical writing, the twisty plot line and well-developed characters that this is a debut for Robert Galbraith.

    My only disappoint is that the book ended and I didn't have anything else by Galbraith to read! I anxiously await his next book, which I hope continues Strikes' story.

    Robert Glenister's narration is perfect!

    140 of 148 people found this review helpful
  • Red Moon: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Benjamin Percy
    • Narrated By Benjamin Percy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (64)

    They live among us. They are our neighbors, our mothers, our lovers. They change. When government agents kick down Claire Forrester's front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different she is. Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and hours later stepped off it, the only passenger left alive, a hero. Chase Williams has sworn to protect the people of the United States from the menace in their midst, but he is becoming the very thing he has promised to destroy.

    Tracey says: "Snakes on a plane don't deem quite so bad...."
    "Snakes on a plane don't deem quite so bad...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The opening is great (especially the plane violence) and I immediately became engaged to the 2 protagonists, especially Patrick.

    However good the story and concept was, the plotting and writing doesn't hold up.

    Several characters are introduced and dropped (or killed off) soon thereafter. One potential great adult female character is introduced but never really developed and just disappears. Some plot lines peter out (Claire's involvement with the immigrant group?)

    With some serious editing (this might have been a tight, 8 to 10 hour thriller) and tighter plotting, this could have been a great thriller. Although it was still a fun read, it could have been so much more.

    The narrator, who is also the author, has a deep, resonating voice, but after several hours, it can be very distracting, detracting from the enjoyment of the story.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2467)
    Performance
    (2257)
    Story
    (2259)

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Charlaine Harris has won numerous awards for her Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series, which has been adapted into the hit HBO show True Blood. In this 13th and final book, a murder rocks the town of Bon Temps and Sookie is arrested for the crime. After making bail, she sets out to clear her name - but her investigation only leads to more deaths.

    k says: "Bitter ending? Cleanse your palate."
    "Satisfactory, if not unexpected ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is definitely not the best book in the series, but was still an enjoyable read. I think a lot of the inconsistency is due to Ms. Harris trying to give a cameo to as many of the pertinent characters in the series as possible, which led to some odd transitions in place, time and point of view. I was afraid that Ms. Harris would present a Seinfeldesque trial with all the past characters appearing in court, but at least we were spared something that derivative (although I did chuckle at Sookie's reminisces in jail of all the people she had killed.)

    I think this will be a enjoyable read to anyone fan of the series who doesn't have an emotional investment as to the outcome. Yes, the plot was a bit contrived, the loose ends all tied up a bit too neatly (and everyone seems to be getting married or birthing babies, so may come off as a bit saccharine to those of us who like a bit more sauce or action in our books.) But, if you lower you expectations and enjoy Johanna Parker's stellar delivery, especially of those very Sookie phrases (e.g., "someone pushed the perc button on their ethical coffee maker"), this will be a credit you will not regret spending.

    Although this may be the last Sookie Stackhouse book, I would not be shocked if Ms. Harris features some of the characters in future books outside of Bon Temps (much like Kelley Armstrong has created 2 YA trilogies in her Otherworld milieu.) Still, I will miss the unique voice of Sookie in future books. I am fond of Ms. Harris's other works (especially the Harper Connelly series), so I look forward to her future efforts.





    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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