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Polly

An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

104
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 77 reviews
  • 138 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
15

  • Until Proven Guilty: J. P. Beaumont Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance
    • Narrated By Gene Engene
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (211)

    Lurking in the dark corners of J. P. Beaumont's bizarre case was not just a demented mind obsessed with murder, but secrets so deadly that even a street-tough cop could die guessing.

    Jean says: "Until proven guilty"
    "Tough Guy Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So, I love the tough guy, as long as he is honest and respectful of women. And J.P. Beaumont fits the bill perfectly. This series centers around a crime and J.P. Beaumont and his pals. There is usually a drop-dead gorgeous woman involved. But in spite of these cliched elements, the stories are good and the narration is excellent.

    I highly recommend this series.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1221)
    Performance
    (1093)
    Story
    (1111)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "Good Story but not at all Scary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am amazed at the number of reviewers who said this book would make you grab your pillow, have sleepless nights, get goosebumps. Not at all. Is it interesting? Yes. Are there many moments when I am not sure what is real and what isn't? Yes. But not scary.

    (If you want to be scared, read "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King, or read "Relic" and "Reliquary" by Preston & Child.)

    I enjoyed it, I recommend it, and I will miss the main characters, especially Nora.

    P.S. If you like narratives that tie up all loose threads by the final pages, do not read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (570)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (517)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Amazon Customer says: "Romance novel mislabed as an historical epic."
    "History of My World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is part 3 of another fabulous Follett series, "The Century Trilogy." I highly recommend them all. Especially now that part 3 is available, I envy anyone who is just starting the set with book 1 "The Fall of Giants."

    The story follows the characters in families in England/Wales, Russia, the U.S. and Germany from the very beginnings of WWI through the election of Barack Obama. An overwhelming task, definitely fiction, but including and based on historical facts.

    The only criticism I have is that the stories are just a bit too positive. There certainly was tragedy and loss for each family, but it bothered me that so many of the characters become movie stars, elected officials, famous writers, etc. Narrator Lee excels at all accents except American, but I still love the series.

    VERY long - loved that too!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3361)
    Performance
    (3116)
    Story
    (3111)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "A Modern Hero: Cormoran Strike"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had serious doubts when I read Robert Galbraith's first novel, "Cuckoo's Calling." It was hard for me to imagine that RG -- widely known to be the pen name of J.K. Rowling -- could write something so different from the complex fantasy of the Harry Potter series. But she/he did, and it was excellent.

    In this second of the series, the characters of detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin have grown. I know and like them even more than I did before.

    The plot is just complex enough to make the mystery difficult to solve, but not so complex that I am confused and lost.

    The narrator, Robert Glenister, is one of the best I ever heard. He uses various types of British accents, and he perfectly represents one character who is British but spent a lot of time in the U.S. Absolutely superb.

    I STRONGLY RECOMMEND. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (566)
    Performance
    (521)
    Story
    (517)

    Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

    David Walker says: "Back in 3 Pines"
    "Still Love Three Pines and Inspector Gamache"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series is second-to-none. Read ALL of these novels, but you MUST begin with the first one. (This is book 10.)

    EXCELLENT! Narrator, writing, plot, character development ... everything.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold, Cold Ground

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1359)
    Performance
    (1176)
    Story
    (1171)

    Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.

    Alan says: "What a stunning book"
    "Just not my Taste"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a badly written book. However, it simply did not hold my interest. I waited several weeks to write this review because I was not sure what to say.

    The bleak and battered Irish towns, the tormented main character ... just not my style. If I had to label it, I would say this book reminded me of a film-noire movie. If that appeals to you, please read this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Test of Wills

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Samuel Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (145)

    Ian Rutledge returns to his career at Scotland Yard after years fighting in the First World War. Unknown to his colleagues he is still suffering from shell shock, and is burdened with the guilt of having had executed a young soldier on the battlefield for refusing to fight. A jealous colleague has learned of his secret and has managed to have Rutledge assigned to a difficult case which could spell disaster for Rutledge whatever the outcome. A retired officer has been murdered, and Rutledge goes to investigate.

    Carol says: "Difficult to follow the narrator"
    "Confusion of Characters and Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really expected to like this book because one of my favorite Audible.com reviewers did. However, I can't recommend it.

    There is one well-drawn character in this book, and that is Hamish, the Scottish soldier who "haunts" main character Ian Rutledge. It is a brilliant and effective technique for author Todd to use, and I applaud him. However, I couldn't distinguish between any of the female characters or most of the male characters. I never developed any real picture of them, never developed opinions or attachments or interest, and was often confused. ("Which character said/did that?") I am not sure if a different narrator would have made a difference, but I doubt it.

    And, the ending. Wow. It was out of left field, in a way that made me roll my eyes. I won't spoil it for you, but I'll say that what Todd wants us to believe is outrageous and unlikely in the extreme. Puleeze.

    Don't bother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1182)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1066)

    Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

    Nancy J says: "Welcome Home!"
    "A MUST-READ"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are unfamiliar with this series, stop NOW and start with the first book "Still Life." You must read these books in order.

    The Chief Inspector Gamache novels are police mysteries that take place in or near a small village in Quebec. (There is a bit of French tossed in, but knowledge of the French language is absolutely not required.) A murder will be solved by the end of the book, and I always enjoy the "mystery" aspect of these books.

    But the characters and the complex plots are just as important.

    Louise Penny has created a world with characters I know well and care deeply about. She has developed a main character (Armand Gamache) who has quickly become one of my favorites, ever, and I am a life-long reader. And she has woven the intricacies of storyline from book one to book nine (book 10 is about to be released) in such a way that I have to believe she saw the entire tapestry right from the beginning.

    Add to these accolades the perfect narrator (Ralph Cosham), and you can see why this series is so special.

    These books have EVERYTHING! Excellent writing, humor, drama, fascinating characters, mystery ... Start this series today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maisie Dobbs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Rita Barrington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1560)
    Performance
    (975)
    Story
    (974)

    Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS. But her very first assignment soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

    A User says: "A delightful discovery"
    "Fairly Interesting but Too Slow for Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know very little about WWI and the British world at that time. "Maisie Dobbs" filled in some of that knowledge gap, and for that I am grateful. However, there isn't much of a story here, and the pace is very slow.

    I liked the characters, but I didn't love them, and if I never found out what happened to Maisie, that would be OK.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Town: Wayward Pines, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (426)
    Performance
    (396)
    Story
    (391)

    Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho, three weeks ago. In this town, people are told who to marry, where to live, where to work. Their children are taught that David Pilcher, the town's creator, is god. No one is allowed to leave; even asking questions can get you killed. But Ethan has discovered the astonishing secret of what lies beyond the electrified fence that surrounds Wayward Pines and protects it from the terrifying world beyond.

    justin says: "TWO/THREE star review within 3 hours ? RIDICULOUS"
    "Part III Did not Disappoint"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    DO NOT READ THIS BOOK (or this review) WITHOUT READING PARTS I AND II FIRST.

    I had to reread my reviews of part I and part II before I wrote this one. Of course, because the first two books eventually reveal the truth about the mysterious little town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, "The Last Town" does not have as much tension as the first two book, the tension that comes from doubt: "are the citizens being kept in, or is something being kept out? And why?"

    "THE LAST TOWN" is about how the various characters respond to the truth. It also reveals a little bit more about the past lives of this group of people who seem to have been arbitrarily thrown together. I like seeing the final few pieces of the puzzle put into place, so that was satisfying.

    A new problem is presented to the townsfolk, and the solution is a BIG surprise. (No spoiler here.) I applaud Blake Crouch's creativity, and I can't wait to watch the TV series that is supposed to air sometime this year on FIX TV.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1243)
    Performance
    (1088)
    Story
    (1080)

    No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

    Sparkly says: "Engaging, entertaining, and heartbreaking."
    "ANOTHER HOME RUN"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Louise Penny (author) is truly gifted. She has written a series of books (this is book 8 of 10 ... so far) that intricately and naturally intertwines the lives of a myriad of characters, most of whom I love. She has created a town in Canada where I'd like to live, or at least vacation, and neighbors I'd like to live near. And yet there is always a murder.

    Penny explains the number of murders associated with the town and/or with these characters in a way that is credible and interesting. She also has a way of pulling the rug out from under the reader; not in an abrupt way, but by ignoring what are normally accepted rules of story telling. For example - and this is not really a spoiler - in one of the books, a beloved, main character turns out to be the murderer!

    Her primary character, Armande Gamache, is a brilliant detective, a man of integrity, and a wonderful husband and father. I miss him in between books.

    I cannot recommend this series enough. READ THEM IN ORDER!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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