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Mel

Baby Boomer in Raleigh NC. Faves include James Lee Burke, CJ Box, Baldacci, Flynn, Child, DeMille, Crais, Connolly, Thor, Coes, L'amour. Average two books/week.

Raleigh, NC, United States | Member Since 2011

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 765 titles in library
  • 94 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • A Stained White Radiance: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (210)

    Cajun police detective Dave Robicheaux knows the Sonnier family of New Iberia - their connections to the CIA, the mob, and to a former Klansman now running for state office. And he knows their past - as dark and murky as a night on the Louisiana bayou. An assassination attempt and the death of a cop draw Robicheaux into the Sonniers' dangerous web of madness, murder and incest. But Robicheaux has devils of his own. And they've come out of hiding to destroy the tormented investigator - and the people he holds most dear.

    Mel Topping says: "Burke Never Disappoints"
    "Another JLB Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every Burke story & narration is great prose and spoken (whether by Hammer or Will Patton) in a truly believable dialect.

    Most of my favorite authors deliver reliably solid stories but none as consistently as James Lee Burke. OK, maybe CJ Box and Baldacci are as solid too.

    Buy it - Listen - Enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (578)
    Story
    (575)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "My First Courtenay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Bryce Courtenay, won't be my last. It's a long one - 26 hours so be prepared to make an investment of time. Great story that reminded me of some Sidney Sheldon epics from the 70-80s.

    Jack's youth and his Vegas experiences are detailed and comprise 85% of the book. His African experience is hurried and compacted. The reader learns in the epilogue why that had to be the case. Courtenay's health.

    Jack's Vegas days reminded me of the movie - Casino. Crazy Sammie was Joe Pesci's character in Casino.... quite insane and scary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • House Blood: A Joe DeMarco Thriller, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mike Lawson
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    In House Blood, Lawson introduces us to Orson Mulray, CEO of Mulray Pharma, a cold and calculating man obsessed with profit and prestige. Mulray believes he has discovered a drug that could prevent a previously incurable disease. It could be the salvation of millions of people and earn him billions of dollars. But the drug needs to be tested on human subjects, and Mulray needs more than blood samples - he needs autopsy results. When DeMarco is asked to look into the murder conviction of a lobbyist, he has other worries on his mind....

    John says: "Finally - A book I can write a positive review for"
    "Best DeMarco so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my 7th Joe DeMarco story and maybe "the best". I am already sad that there are only two more in the series. Mike Lawson, I hope you are hard at work on #10.

    This one did not focus so much on "The Speaker's" corruptness. I hear enough about corrupt politicians in the daily news. I don't need more proof in my recreational reading.

    I suppose this series can be picked up at any point, but I chose to read them in order. Among my favorite Audible series along with Harlon Coben's Myron Bolitor, Brett Battles' Jonathan Quinn and Connolley's Bosch and Mickey Haller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (711)

    In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable, but not my favorite"
    "I'm hooked on Pendergast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hesitated to start this series for several years thinking it was horror genre which I don't go for. In a sense I suppose it is "horror". But the unique character of Agent Pendergast is so entertaining I am now going thru the entire series. This was my 3rd.

    Pendergast is a modern-day "Sherlock" for sure but with some Dirk Pitt and maybe even some Doc Savage mixed in. Definitely NOT "Reacher". There is no sex in this series, that I've found. Pendergast's eccentricities have carried each of the books I've read. P&C do go in for the ghoulish with regularity.

    My narrator preference is Rene but the others are fine. There is some chronological order to the series but it is not critical. P&C treat each book as if the reader is just meeting "the man in the black suit" for the first time.

    Pendergast is so unique I cannot imagine who might play him in as movie. You really should get to know him.... as much as anyone "gets to know Pendergast". :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Equalizer

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Michael Sloan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

    shelley says: "THE EQUALIZER is truly worthy of an AWARD!!"
    "Read The Book.... See The Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    EXCELLENT Book. Rather long (20 hours) for the genre. Could have easily been 2-3 separate books. Fans of Charles Bronson's Death Wish movies will especially enjoy Robert McCall, former top secret ops guy as an urban vigilante of sorts dealing with NYC street thugs AND "the Russian mob".

    All the Russian names do get confusing. If the names have Ks, Vs and Ds they are really bad guys. A movie starring Denzel Washington comes out Sept 2014.

    As with all stories of this genre.... obvious comparison to "Reacher" apply here too. Easy to imagine a series with McCall.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • State of Emergency

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Marc Cameron
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Two agents, Russian and American, are brutally murdered. College students, working as drug mules, die gruesome deaths from radiation poisoning. Powerful dirty bombs explode minutes apart in San Francisco and St. Petersburg, Russia - slaughtering citizens and spreading blind panic throughout the world. But this is only a warning. The next attack will be nuclear.

    Jason says: "The series matures"
    "Having now read all three"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just discovered Jericho Quinn a week or so ago.... and immediately ordered / listened to all three IN ORDER. Definitely read in chronological order as each adventure builds on the earlier ones.

    The narrator for the first two books was (IMO) preferable to this one. This one was too much "mouse and squirrel" with his accents. But this narrator did not detract from my enjoyment. This narrator's "Zamora" did drip pure psycho-evil.

    Comparisons to more established action heroes is easy and obvious. Quinn may be closer to Mitch Rapp than many others. Looking forward to more of Jericho (and friends) from Marc Cameron.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • National Security

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Marc Cameron
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (100)

    When terrorism goes viral, one man goes ballistic. They can strike anytime, anywhere. A public landmark. A suburban shopping mall. And now, the human body itself. Three Middle Eastern terrorists have been injected with a biological weapon, human time bombs unleashed on American soil. They are prepared to die. To spread their disease. To annihilate millions. If America hopes to fight this enemy from within, it needs a new kind of weapon. Meet Special Agent Jericho Quinn.

    John says: "Excellent!"
    "A New Top Five Hero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm putting Jericho in the hero pantheon with Reacher, Rapp, Bauer, Harvath, Andreas, et al. This guy may be closer to Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp than the others.

    I look forward to completing the series over the next week. Keep'em coming Mr Cameron.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Target

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2653)
    Performance
    (2354)
    Story
    (2347)

    The president knows it's a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel. Together, Robie and Reel's talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don't trust the pair.

    L.W. says: "Several Stories in One Book..So Good!"
    "A Many-layered Classic Baldacci"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Will and Jessica save America three or four times in this one. A classic Baldacci espionage thriller that is all I ask. "Wish You Well" is my all-time Baldacci favorite which is NOT classic Baldacci at all.

    If you're considering North Korea for a possible vacation, this listen might change your mind.
    I'm going to give the author credit that his research on conditions in NK are as gruesome as he details. ..... SCARY!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting Season

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (788)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (307)

    When college kids hiking near an abandoned military industrial complex in West Virginia mysteriously disappear, special agent Janet Carter - earnest, honest, and fed up with the stifling chauvinistic environment at the Roanoke FBI headquarters - is called in to investigate. Unfortunately, there are no leads - it's as if the three just vanished into thin air.

    Sharon says: "Hunting Season"
    "An Iconic Rogue Hero ......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fans of BobLee Swagger, Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp and Dewey Andreas - meet Edwin Kriess.... and Kriess is angry and on the hunt. Uh oh!

    I became a Deutermann fan several months ago and went thru his 4-book Cam Richter series in several weeks. This one is a stand-alone but could be a series. I guess the term "formula plot" is supposed to be a negative but not for me. With the familiar voice of Dick Hill, I am in familiar territory with a rugged iconic "operative" who has run afoul of the bureaucrats..... sound familiar?

    Some reviewers analyze books like they critique wine. Not me. I like the story - the characters - the narrator. If you like those characters I noted above, I think you will like Hunting Season too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwalkers

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (87)

    Cam Richter, needing a break from his too eventful detective career, is in search of more peaceful pastures in the North Carolina countryside. He buys a 700-acre antebellum plantation, the perfect location for restful solitude, but it doesn't take long for him to discover that his new locale is not as quiet as he'd hoped. Almost immediately, Cam finds himself caught up in mischievous pranks around his land, the site of a Civil War-era massacre.

    Pam Sturgess says: "Change of pace for Cam via small Confederate town"
    "Another Winner for PT and Cam...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just discovered Deutermann a few weeks ago and have now read the 4-book Cam Richter series. More please! Being in North Carolina I enjoy his NC settings for all four. Pretty easy to guess his locales.

    With Dick Hill's voice, its easy to compare Richter to Reacher.... if Reacher had Frick and Frack (and Kitty). Yes, there is a formula to the series.... nothing wrong with that. MUST read in order - Cat Dancers, Spider Mountain, Moonpool then this one. Now I will be reading Deutermann's non-Richter stories. Suggest you do too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spider Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (149)

    Summoned by a friend, ex-cop Cam Richter agrees to do a favor: investigate the assault of a young woman in a remote area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cam knows the misty hills and shadowed hollers of the park, and his outdoor skills might break a case that local cops can't - or maybe don't want to - solve.

    Fritz says: "Sorry Mr. Hill But Even You Couldn't Save This Dog"
    "A "Reacher" (with dogs) vs Deliverance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Comparing Deutermann's Cam Richter to Child's Reacher is an easy compliment for this less famous author. With Reacher's voice Dick Hill the comparison is even stronger.

    Living in NC makes this series even more fun. A buddy who is ex-SBI confirms that Deutermann knows his stuff. This was my 2nd Richter and I'm already into #3, with #4 on Wish List. His basic formula is apparent which I appreciate. Definitely read the series "in order" for max pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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