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Beverly Babarovich

Avid audiobook listener... primarily suspense/thrillers. Escapism at it's finest.


  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie

    In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Disappointment on Multiple Levels"

    I'm amazed- and not in a good way. The story was mediocre and plodding. Harry Bosch has taken a wimpy turn. Other characters were shallow and in some cases unlikable (Maddy- the whiny daughter). The story plodded (redundant, I know, but the best adjective that applies) until the last couple of hours when some action started. Even then we're supposed to believe Bosch would stoop to forcing a made-under-duress confession that was so blatantly inadmissible that I wondered at the stupidity of the idea. In previous books, Connelly has shown us Harry's flaws but he was, at least, believable.. I didn't LIKE Harry much throughout this book. I kept waiting to get that previous admiration back but it didn't happen.

    The narration? The narration was just plain droning. McConnohie read it in a bored (and boring) monotone. I always suspect there's always some background drama (change of publisher, narrator wants a raise, etc.) when a series changes narrators. To their credit, Hill, Cariou and Giles each 'performed' their respective narrations- McConnohie simply read this book aloud. It didn't work.

    I pre-ordered The Black Box because after 17 great Harry Bosch books, I was positive # 18 would continue the tradition of excellence. I started reading it five minutes after it was released. Had they been available,I would have been shocked to see the current reviews- but after reading it I have to concur.

    Will I read # 19? Oh yes, absolutely. I'll give Bosch a chance to redeem himself in my eyes. In fact, over this long, gray, WA state winter, I'll go back to book one and read them all again. I want to like Harry again.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Die a Stranger: Alex McKnight #9

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Steve Hamilton
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Late one night, a plane lands on a deserted airstrip. Five dead bodies are found there the next morning. And now Vinnie LeBlanc is missing. Vinnie is an Ojibwa tribal member, a blackjack dealer at the Bay Mills Casino, and he just might be Alex McKnight’s best friend. He’s come through for Alex more than once in the past, and he never ever misses a day of work. So Alex can’t help but be worried.

    Mystery Addict says: "Alex is back"
    "I was prepared to love it but..."

    As a fan of the mystery/suspense genre I've read the entire Alex McKnight series and have enjoyed each novel. I was really looking forward to this outing but I was just plain disappointed.

    I'm not even sure i can say what was missing. I'm not a literary critic but I know what I like and it just wasn't there this time.There was none of the edge of your seat suspense or the early hook that grabbed your interest that was so characteristic of Hamilton's previous McKnight novels. The characters didnt seem as likeable as before. Alex was.... boring. I actually found myself wondering "Are we there yet?" End it already... and when it did (finally!) conclude, it was with a whimper and a feeble attempt at a surprise twist that fell flat.

    I'm hoping the next book is better. I like Mr. Hamilton and his Alex McKnight but in retrospect I wish I'd saved this credit for something else.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Covert Warriors: Presidential Agent Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth
    • Narrated By Dick Hill

    At a Mexican roadblock, a U.S. Embassy SUV is stopped at gunpoint, three of its passengers murdered, and a fourth kidnapped. Everything points to the drug cartels, especially when the kidnappers say they will return the hostage if a cartel kingpin is released from U.S. federal prison.But when word gets to Charley Castillo and his group of “retired” spies and special operators, they have their doubts.

    Richard Tabisz says: "Disappointing"

    As an avid Charlie Castillo fan, I couldn't wait to get my hands (ears?) on this new book. Another reviewer called it ragged and I have to agree. The authors' styles didn't mesh very well... and whoever was in charge of crafting the ending-- well, I hope he does a better job on the next one. Even with a sequel in mind, too many loose ends stayed unravelled to call this book enjoyable. Sure, it left me wanting more- but not in a good way... much like dropping the last, best bite of your jelly donut on the floor. The good news: narrator-extraordinaire, Dick Hill NEVER disappoints.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Affair: A Jack Reacher Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Everything starts somewhere. For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997. A young woman is dead, and solid evidence points to a soldier at a nearby military base. But that soldier has powerful friends in Washington. Reacher is ordered undercover - to find out everything he can, to control the local police, and then to vanish. Reacher is a good soldier. But when he gets to Carter Crossing, he finds layers no one saw coming, and the investigation spins out of control. Local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux has a thirst for justice - and an appetite for secrets.

    Melinda says: ""All Aboard!""
    "Premature review?"

    I am a rabid Reacher fan and was SO looking forward to The Affair. I've still got 3 hours of listening left but so far I'm a little disappointed. It's as though Mr. Child is just phoning it in. I can't quite put my finger on what's missing. It's not the same high quality, edge-of-your-seat story that we've seen in all the previous Reacher books (all of which I've listened to twice). I keep waiting for.... more... but more what, I can't say.

    I DO know I wasn't waiting for more sexuality- even as mildly graphic as it was. Where did THAT come from? Did the publisher say "C'mon Lee, you need to sex it up!" I've thought of Reacher as a private guy and now he's describing his sexual events to me. Too much information, Jack! I guess I was expecting a military type affair, (requiring Class A uniform) rather than one conducted (entirely out of uniform) beside the railroad tracks at midnight. (was that a spoiler?) sorry.

    The fact that everyone is raising hell with the casting of Cruise as Reacher should tell Mr. Child -and his publishers- that the previous 15 books strongly established Reacher in the readers' minds as the epitome of the strong, silent type ("I said nothing") and we can't easily accept or adjust to radical changes in his physical appearance or personality.

    Having said that, I'll listen to the end with the hope that I'll be pleasantly surprised and will have to eat my words.

    As for Dick Hill... I'd listen to him read the back of a cereal box. He's simply the best narrator out there, period...and I'd be willing to bet the farm that NO ONE thinks of Tom Cruise when they hear Dick Hill's voice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Hangman: A Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Faye Kellerman
    • Narrated By Mitchell Greenberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fifteen years ago, high school senior Chris Whitman went to jail for murdering his girlfriend, Cheryl Diggs. Propelled by a misguided sense of chivalry, he confessed, determined to save another classmate, the beautiful and vulnerable Terry McLaughlin, from having to testify at his trial. When the truth came out, Chris was released from prison, married Terry - pregnant with his child - and changed his last name to Donatti. He also became a professional killer.

    Babs says: "Felt as if she ran out of time"
    "Not credit-worthy"

    What a disappointment this was. Instead of guiding the reader (listener) through well thought out clues & action, the plot is resolved by a detective's narration in the last 45 minutes of the book. Had I known I could have fast-forwarded & saved having to (force myself to) listen to several plodding, convoluted hours. I'm a Jack Reacher/ Harry Bosch/JP Beaumont fan so maybe I set the bar too high. The characters were well drawn but that was all I found enjoyable. To be fair, I'll try one more of Kellerman's books but I'll get it from the local library. I won't risk wasting another credit

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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