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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

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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7

  • The Third Bullet: Bob Lee Swagger, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stephen Hunter
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (160)

    It’s not even a clue. It’s a whisper, a trace, a ghost echo, drifting down through the decades via chance connections so fragile that they would disintegrate in the puff of a breath. But it’s enough to get legendary former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger interested in the events of November 22, 1963, and the third bullet that so decisively ended the life of John F. Kennedy and set the stage for one of the most enduring controversies of our time. Swagger begins his slow night stalk through a much-traveled landscape. But he’s asking questions that few have asked before....

    lyl says: "Not what reader is anticipating"
    "Really Good.... not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read every one of Hunter's Swagger stories (both Bob Lee & Earl). That Hunter is keeping BobLee in real time and aging is sad but, heck, I'm aging too which I often lament. I found this book more about Hugh Meachum than Bob Lee. Bob Lee was secondary to Meachum narrating his memoirs of Nov 1963. I enjoyed Meachum's Yale "snoot" perspective and the narrator's voice for Meachum.

    Hey Stephen.... howsabout another story on Earl cleaning up Arkansas in the 50s.

    FWIW: my favorite Bob Lee story is Point Of Impact with Behold A Pale Horse as #2.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • This Green Hell: Alex Hunter, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Greig Beck
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    Deep in the steaming jungles of Paraguay, Aimee Weir is in trouble. The petrobiologist has found what she was looking for - a unique microorganism in a natural gas deposit - but it proves to be more destructive than anyone could have imagined. A contagion is striking down all in its wake. The camp is quarantined, but workers start to vanish in the night. Is it fear of contamination - or has something far more lethal come to the surface? Something that has been trapped beneath the miles of stone, waiting... for us.

    angie says: "Love Love Love Alex Hunter!"
    "Reilly, Rollins, Cussler ....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a fan of Matthew Reilly, James Rollins and Clive Cussler (and I am of all three) then you will enjoy Greig Beck's Alex Hunter series. I refer to this gendre as "Doc Savage stories"..... IMO, the original Mega-Hero.

    Hunter is sort of a Bionic Man.... special ops Delta/GB on steroids - battling assorted evil alien beasties.

    I really enjoy this narrator too. Check'em out!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark of the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1765)
    Performance
    (794)
    Story
    (804)

    Virgil Flowers kicked around for a while before joining the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. First it was the army and the military police, then the police in St. Paul, and finally Lucas Davenport brought him into the BCA, promising him, "We'll only give you the hard stuff." He's been doing the hard stuff for three years now, but never anything like this.

    Crystal says: "Great winding road of a story"
    "Virgil vs Lucas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my 3rd Virgil story after 10-12 of Lucas' "Preys". No offense to Lucas Davenport, but I'm enjoying "that f-in Flowers" even more than Lucas.

    The whole Minnesota "thing" doesn't appeal to me but I do enjoy the characters and the stories.

    I enjoy that Lucas is a secondary character in these but he leaves it up to Virgil to solve the cases.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Down River: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Hart
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (579)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (258)

    Adam Chase has spent the last five years in New York City trying to erase his worst memories and the scorn and abandonment of his family. Then a phone call from his best friend awakens in him a torrent of emotion and pain. Having left North Carolina and its red soil for good, he never thought returning would be easy - and being remembered as a murderer doesn't help much.

    Donald says: "Best Audiobook Ever"
    "Like Iles and DeMille"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Hart uses Salisbury NC like Greg Iles uses Natchez MS and Nelson Demille uses Long Island. He (Hart) is a modern day Faulkner in his understanding of the Southern family foibles and eccentricities. This is my second John Hart novel and I certainly will listen to the next two.

    The narrator fits the setting to my ear.

    Each Hart novel, although each set in the same small Southern town involves completely different sets of characters. I am somewhat familiar with Salisbury and find the circumstances quite believable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Iron Lake: Cork O'Connor, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    Overall
    (586)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (478)

    Anthony Award-winning author William Kent Krueger crafts this riveting tale about a small Minnesota town’s ex-sheriff who is having trouble retiring his badge. Cork O’Connor loses his job after being blamed for a tragedy on the local Anishinaabe Indian reservation. But he must set aside his personal demons when a young boy goes missing on the same day a judge commits suicide—and no one but O’Connor suspects foul play.

    Mel says: "Who came first - Wm Krueger or CJ Box ???"
    "Who came first - Wm Krueger or CJ Box ???"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a HUGE CJ Box fan. As I listened to this narrator - David Chandler (also the voice of Box's Joe Pickett) I had to keep reminding myself this was Cork nor Joe. Cork and Joe are brothers from different mothers.

    Finding Krueger and his large collection of Cork novels I feel like I've found long lost CJ Box stories. Both involve rural outdoors and a straight arrow hero with a family. Just enough differences in the two (Joe and Cork) to make all the books interesting.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Cantor
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (156)

    Early in his career, A.J. Jacobs put his Ivy League education to work at Entertainment Weekly. He emerged five years later knowing which stars have fake boobs, which stars have toupees, which have both, and not much else. This realization led Jacobs on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words.

    Steve James says: "What were they thinking?"
    "Very "Sedarisian""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very David Sedarisian and quite Bill Bryson-esque.

    My normal "reads" are crime and covert-ops espionage so the occasional side venture to humor are always welcomed. The narrator here even sounds like David Sedaris who I always felt is a long lost son of Woody Allen.

    Great travel choice with the family. Maybe a few hours longer than necessary but easy to leave and come back to without having to recall any plot lines or characters..... there is no plot or characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1880)
    Performance
    (1582)
    Story
    (1578)

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    Judi says: "Disappointing and slow"
    "Gold Coast was the best...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My first DeMille title was Gold Coast, then Gate House. Both OUTSTANDING. Then I got into his "fight the terrorists" collection with The Panther being his latest. I have now completed "the John Corey series". No DeMilles were ever as good as those first two.

    This was way too much John Corey wisecracks.... enough already John (and Nelson). And the entire book takes place in Yemen. OK, I knew that going in. A little of Yemen goes a long way.

    My favorite authors are James Lee Burke and CJ Box. DeMille's first two "Long Island stories" were as wonderful as anything I've ever enjoyed..... but leave the "fight the terrorists" to Vince Flynn, Brad Thor and Ben Coes.

    Scott Brick was very good as always.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (204)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (170)

    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
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (16049)
    Performance
    (14207)
    Story
    (14154)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "My first Stephen King read...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite being a 75 books/year reader, this was my first Stephen King read. Just not into horror, sci-fi, et al. I have seen several of the TV movies adaptations however. That said....

    I thoroughly enjoyed this one which I understand is not "typical" for King.

    I was leery going in that this was going to a strong-arm political statement. King and I are on different sides of the aisle politically. I'm sure some will see it as political. I got over that early on enough to settle into the "unrequited love story" aspect of it.

    There will be a plethora of books this year on the Kennedy Assas. This one likely will stand alone. At 30 hours it does require a substantial time investment. It's worth it IMO.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Road Blues: The Pine Deep Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (508)
    Story
    (506)

    The cozy little town of Pine Deep buried the horrors of its past a long time ago. Thirty years have gone by since the darkness descended and the Black Harvest began, a time when a serial killer sheared a bloody swath through the quiet Pennsylvania village. The evil that once coursed through Pine Deep has been replaced by cheerful tourists getting ready to enjoy the country’s largest Halloween celebration in what is now called “The Spookiest Town in America.”

    Kathleen says: "Love Joe Ledger Series? Avoid This Trainwreck."
    "Prefer Joe Ledger but...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I prefer Maberry's Joe Ledger series, but this was fine. I will probably continue with this series. I'm not much for these "horror in a small town" stories made famous by Stephen King. A steady diet of them warps my thinking.

    Larry Corriea is another good author in the Man v Zombie gendre.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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