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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

60
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 852 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
11

  • Back to Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (564)
    Performance
    (462)
    Story
    (468)

    As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay - with officer Nestor Camacho on board - Tom Wolfe is off and running. Here is a big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous best-selling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

    Lauren says: "Classic Wolfe"
    "Tom Wolfe Does Carl Hiaasen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a Hoot!..... Tom Wolfe does Carl Hiaasen does Confederacy of Dunces. A wonderful romp thru the over-the-top and down-the-rabbit hole world of modern day Miami. All that is missing is Horatio Cain and Tony Montana and "my little friend".

    Lou Diamond Phillips does a fine narration making the Cuban accents intelligible.

    This is for Miami what Confederacy of Dunces was for New Orleans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The St. Paul Conspiracy: McRyan Mystery Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Roger Stelljes
    • Narrated By Johnny Peppers
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    Thirty-two-year-old, fourth-generation St. Paul Homicide Detective Michael “Mac” McRyan thought his day was going to be less stressful. His day would involve paper work, coffee, and maybe even an early trip to the pub. Then his cell phone tells him his day is about to change. A body has been found in a high-end condominium between Summit and Grand Avenues; and it's not just anyone.

    Jennifer Bennett says: "An entertaining ride!"
    "A Young Lucas Davenport"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    That McRyan is basically "a young Lucas Davenport (John Sandford)" is intended as a compliment and quick recommend for Sandford fans. Plus it takes place "in The Cities" as does Lucas' adventures.

    Some of the character names are corny but thats OK. I've bought the next two in the series. The narrator is new for me. OK, he doesn't detract from the story. McRyan's Chief is "a good guy" who supports his men. Usually a cop's upline are antagonists. I like this way.

    This story has 2-3 intertwined plot lines.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wheel of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2135)
    Performance
    (1084)
    Story
    (1083)

    FBI Agent Pendergast has taken Constance on a whirlwind Grand Tour. They head to Tibet, where Pendergast intensively trained in martial arts and spiritual studies. At a remote monastery, they learn that a rare and dangerous artifact the monks have been guarding for generations has been stolen. Pendergast agrees to take up the search. The trail leads him and Constance to the maiden voyage of the Queen Victoria passenger liner - and to an Atlantic crossing fraught with terror.

    Henrik says: "Answer to two of the questions you might have ..."
    "Not my favorite Pendergast story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pendergast meets Poseidon Adventure !!! ..... I'm a big Pendergast fan but this one ranks down the list IMO. I just could not get into this one. Maybe I miss D'gosta and Nora and the rest of TeamPendegast ??

    I was glad when it was over and I can move on to the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2141)
    Performance
    (1110)
    Story
    (1106)

    The New York Museum of Natural History receives their pilfered gem collection back, ground down to dust. Diogenes, the psychotic killer who stole them in Dance of Death, is throwing down the gauntlet to both the city and to his brother, FBI Agent Pendergast, who is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison.

    V.A. says: "Not bad"
    "The Brothers Pendergast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The final book in P&C's The Brimstone Trilogy. Really should be read in order. The Duel To The Death between the Pendergast Brothers is reminiscent of Holmes vs Moriarty.

    I didn't care for the final 45 minutes but the bulk of the story is as riveting as any of the eight Pendergast stories I've read so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Man

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (95)

    David Hall, an American nuclear engineer, arrives in Israel on a mission of truth. Believing that the defenders of Masada killed themselves to protect a great secret, Hall plans to explore the heavily guarded site and discover the real reasons behind the dramatic end of the Roman siege. Hall is shadowed by an Israeli archaeologist, Judith Ressner, a reserved professor with an agenda of her own. There is more than history hidden within the mountain, and Hall soon finds himself the target of ferocious Israeli security forces.

    Stevon says: "a good one!"
    "Something Different for PT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A stand alone story by one of my favorites - PT Deutermann. The other reviews not so glowing almost scared me away from this one. Glad it didn't.

    Loved all the Jewish history re: Massada. The ultimate prize is a bit Indiana Jones / Dirk Pitt in its historical immenseness.

    My only "not so good" is the narrator's voice for the heroine. Difficult at times to know its "her" speaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Private Vegas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (246)

    Las Vegas is a city of contradictions: seedy and glamorous, secretive and wild, Vegas attracts people of all kinds - especially those with a secret to hide, or a life to leave behind. It's the perfect location for Lester Olsen's lucrative business. He gets to treat gorgeous, young women to five-star restaurants, splashy shows, and limo rides - and then he teaches them how to kill. Private Jack Morgan spends most of his time in Los Angeles, where his top investigation firm has its headquarters.

    Eve says: "Not Patterson's Best Work"
    "Another "Private" Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this concept BUT.... This was my 4th listen in the Private series.... and will likely be my last. I love the concept of the exclusive high-end celebrity security firm and Book One delivered but not the past three. This one has nothing to do with Las Vegas.

    Do Patterson / Paetro churn these out over a long week-end? I'll stick w/ Michael Bennett and the Murder Club.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Back of Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By C. J. Box
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (256)

    Cody Hoyt, while a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety when his mentor and AA sponsor Hank Winters is found burned to death in a remote mountain cabin. At first it looks like the suicide of a man who’s fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that....

    Terry says: "Cody Hoyt is GREAT!"
    "Cody is not Joe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cody Hoyt is NOT Joe Pickett. The setting is Montana / Yellowstone but Cody doesn't have the solid likable character of CJ's awesome Joe Pickett.... plus there is no "Nate" in this either.

    If one is unfamiliar with CJ Box, definitely go with a Joe PIckett first and read them IN ORDER.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thief: A Robin Monarch Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Mark Sullivan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (168)

    Robin Monarch is a man with a complicated past and dangerous present. He's been a soldier, a CIA agent, and freelance operative, but first and foremost, Robin Monarch is a thief of the highest order. Orphaned at 12, Monarch originally stole for survival, then he stole for his friends and cohorts, now he steals to order and to give back to the to the woman who saved his life many years ago.

    Mel says: "Dirk Pitt / Mitch Rapp = Robin Monarch"
    "Dirk Pitt / Mitch Rapp = Robin Monarch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read all three Robin Monarch books in the past ten days. More please! I liked these better than Mark Sullivan's Private series w/ James Patterson.

    Its an oft-used scenario - "former spec ops guy with a quirky past" and with a team of loyal specialists who he assembles for each new adventure. If you like that type of story, you should like these. I do and I did.

    I liked this one - Thief - the best of the three so far. A left-over really bad guy (a tycoon) returns to "get Robin". There's a Clive Cussler-esque element in this one involving The Fountain of Youth and plenty of lock & load action.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (768)
    Performance
    (664)
    Story
    (660)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (64)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (53)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (1036)
    Performance
    (919)
    Story
    (920)

    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". :-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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