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Ross

Newmarket, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2004

74
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 244 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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21

  • Hundred-Dollar Baby: A Spenser Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robert B. Parker
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (43)

    Once upon a time, though not so long ago, there was a girl named April Kyle, a beautiful teenage runaway who turned to prostitution to escape her terrible family life. Now, April Kyle's return in Hundred-Dollar Baby is nothing short of shocking.

    Richard Delman says: "If Robert B. Parker can't cure what ails you..."
    "Better on paper"
    Overall

    Spenser and Hawk are two of my favorite fictional literature characters, and were played accurately on TV and in movies by Robert Urich and Avery Brooks. Mr. Mantegna was never convincing in film as Spenser but he does a fine job as a reader, I was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately it still doesn't work. Mr. Parker's beautiful style is very sparse, using conversation as the mechanism to tell the story (no 400 pages of Steven Erikson to open a single door here). Unfortunately the reading script needs screen play or stage play editing to remove the near endless, "I said, she said, he said" remarks. They are migraine inducing and disrupt the pace and flow of the story, rendering even some of Parker's best works poor as audio books.

    This story, the third appearance of April Kyle, is tired out of the gate, although the dialog between Hawk and Spenser sparkles as it should. It's too bad, because this story drops the majority of the pendantic psycho analysis babble that afflicts some of the other Parker books. Parker may be one of those authors best read from paper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The English Girl: Gabriel Allon, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (1023)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (887)

    Daniel Silva delivers another spectacular thriller starring Gabriel Allon, The English Girl. When a beautiful young British woman vanishes on the island of Corsica, a prime minister’s career is threatened with destruction. Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a game of shadows where nothing is what it seems...and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies might be the truth.…

    Janels says: "Gabriel's story takes huge strides"
    "A great step in the Allon saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    13 times I've walked beside Gabriel Allon. Never perfect, never indestructible, always honourable and consistently brilliant. Allon is a hero for an adult. He falls, he fails and he strives and he wins.

    Considering the history, there are two long anticipated outcomes pending, not yet delivered. This is one of my very favourite Gabriel Allon stories. It's written in three parts, the first two stand alone, and the final is the way a wrap up should be done.

    Daniel Silva's characters are real, they're believable, and his insight into how the professional service agent's mind works is very compelling. We are so accustomed to western heroes being American or British, the slight Israeli provides a nice balance and his humanity makes him a joy to read and encourages anticipation for the next story.

    Daniel Silva's Allon is not James Bond, he is not any of the Seal/Ranger/Force Recon/SAS/SBS/Delta warriors. He is an artist, and art restorer, who also happens to be the best that Mossad fields. If you've never read Silva, you're missing a great deal, but start at #1 and work through the series. You'll be very glad you did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Serpent's Tooth: A Walt Longmire Mystery, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1523)
    Performance
    (1356)
    Story
    (1355)

    In this ninth installment in the award-winning and New York Times best-selling Walt Longmire mystery series, the Wyoming sheriff follows his cowboy code of ethics in a religious range war that strikes a little too close to home.

    Dave says: "Craig Johnson's best!"
    "Walt is awesome"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    George Guidall is Walt Longmire. This is classic Longmire, with the characters you really like, some sad losses, a win you've hoped for, great historical research, interesting side characters and really bad bad guys. The only downside is that if you've never read a Longmire novel, don't start here. There's an arc and you really need to read them in order.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Ranger: A John Wells Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (307)
    Story
    (308)

    Four friends, recent college graduates, travel to Kenya to work at a giant refugee camp for Somalis. Two men, two women, each with their own reasons for being there. But after twelve weeks, they’re ready for a break and pile into a Land Cruiser for an adventure. They get more than they bargained for. Bandits hijack them. They wake up in a hut, hooded, bound, no food or water. Hostages. As a personal favor, John Wells is asked to try to find them, but he does so reluctantly. East Africa isn’t his usual playing field.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Wells is finally moving out of the desert"
    "Even George Guidall can't save this dog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have read or listened to all the John Wells novels. I really like the character and have enjoyed every other Alex Berenson book. I struggled to finish this one, jumping out to listen to three other books before buckling down to finish this. Not because it's a good story but because I kept hoping something would happen to make it better. Truthfully the last hour is far superior, but getting there is a slog through muck and mire. I actually logged in to see if this was one of those "by famous author and some other guy you've never heard of" because it didn't read like Berenson, didn't move like Berenson and if you had never read any of his other books, could put you off the author completely. Feels like a contractual obligation, not a real effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2225)
    Performance
    (1991)
    Story
    (1975)

    Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. Reacher is there to meet - in person - the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

    DMT says: "My favorite Reacher story yet"
    "Lee Child is back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    After that last plodding debacle featuring Jack Reacher that was nearly unfinishable, this is a much better story. The plot is a bit convoluted and elastic but the characterizations are very well done and the story moves along nicely. The characters have much more dimensionality since the last book which read like a contractual obligation instead of a novel. This is much more aligned with the novelist and his best known protagonist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mayan Secrets: A Fargo Adventure, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler, Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (613)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (540)

    Husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo are in Mexico, when they come upon a remarkable discovery - the skeleton of a man clutching an ancient sealed pot, and within the pot, a Mayan book, larger than anyone has ever seen. The book contains astonishing information about the Mayans, about their cities, and about mankind itself. The secrets are so powerful that some people would do anything to possess them - as the Fargos are about to find out. Before their adventure is done, many men and women will die for that book - and Sam and Remi may just be among them.

    A User says: "Best Fargo Book ever!!!"
    "Better than the other Fargo stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a much better Fargo book. There's more back story, a better historical launch point and less blather.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Kill List

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Frederick Forsyth
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (147)

    In Virginia, there is an agency bearing the bland name of Technical Operations Support Activity, or TOSA. Its one mission is to track, find, and kill those so dangerous to the United States that they are on a short document known as the Kill List. TOSA actually exists. So does the Kill List. Added to it is a new name: a terrorist of frightening effectiveness called the Preacher, who radicalizes young Muslims abroad to carry out assassinations. Unfortunately for him, one of the kills is a retired Marine general, whose son is TOSA's top hunter of men....

    Frances says: "Where's The Fire?"
    "Forsyth reminds why he is a Master"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It's been a while since the last novel by Frederick Forsyth. This one makes it worth the wait. Likeable heroes, despicable villains, and a very plausible premise. No superhero stunts, just solid storytelling and clean action. I recommend this book highly. The only downside, and this is personal, is that the hero, Christopher Carson is known as Kit Carson. Not an auspicious state to associate a good guy with a murderer and bringer of war to the North American Indians.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Wanted Man: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2261)
    Performance
    (1927)
    Story
    (1916)

    Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there. All Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride.

    Bill says: "Wanted Man is Wanting ~ And I Want 14 Hours Back"
    "Excuse me while I nod off"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think folks looking for an insomnia cure delivered by a wet voiced reader will love this.


    What didn’t you like about Dick Hill’s performance?

    His voice is dripping with moisture and he sounds like his teeth are loose. He brought nothing to the characters or story, such that there was a story. I've heard Mr. Hill before and he was okay. Here he would need to improve to reach terrible.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. The whole book stinks of intractable obligation. I like the other Reacher books. This one was phoned in. Using string and a tin can.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Lee Child, or Jack Reacher, avoid this and keep your happy memories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Threat Vector

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3447)
    Performance
    (3014)
    Story
    (3028)

    Jack Ryan has only just moved back into the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted coup in the People's Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke Quiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning an invasion of Taiwan. The Ryan administration is determined to thwart China’s ambitions, but the stakes are dangerously high as a new breed of powerful Chinese anti-ship missiles endanger the US Navy's plans to protect the island.

    Jean says: "Spies and a counter espionage"
    "A Step Forward for Jack Ryan Jr."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot is more Clancy than recent novels, with more twists and sweeping story lines. Unlike other collaborations, this one feels more like Mr. Clancy actually showed up for the writing. The quality of research and the accuracy of the depiction of cyberwar was very well done. I found the Ryan Jr character more like able and less two dimensional than in previous books.


    What about Lou Diamond Phillips’s performance did you like?

    I've neverr heard Mr. Phillips as a reader before and I was very impressed. His pacing is great and he is always clear and easy to understand. He's not overly emotional but he very much fit the story. I look forward to hearing him again.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wouldn't say I wanted to listen n one sitting but I also never felt a need to step away for a few days.


    Any additional comments?

    It's still not real Tom Clancy, but it's the best co-written effort

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stranger in Paradise

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert B. Parker
    • Narrated By James Naughton
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    Apache hitman "Crow" Cromartie's mission is simple: find young Amber Francisco and bring her back to her father, Louis, in Florida. It should be an easy payday for a pro like Crow, but there are complications. Amber, now living in squalor with her mother, Fiona, is mixed up with members of a Latino gang. And when Louis orders Crow to kill Fiona before heading back with Amber, he can't follow through.

    Ross says: "Jesse and Crow - the next Spenser and Hawk?"
    "Jesse and Crow - the next Spenser and Hawk?"
    Overall

    I thought of this at the end of the first appearance of Crow, not entirely unlike the first meeting in a novel of Spenser and Hawk. This was a good story, better than the last crossover with Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall. Crow is a bad guy, but you like him for his autonomy, a hallmark characteristic of all Parker characters. Stone is more of a smartass in this book, much like a well loved Boston PI. James Naughton is a very good reader and you eventually stop noticing the endless "he said she said" overlays that are invisible on the paper page but really stand out in the audible book.


    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • High Profile

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Robert B. Parker
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    When the body of controversial talk-show host Walton Weeks is discovered hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Paradise, police chief Jesse Stone finds himself at the center of a highly public case. When another dead body, that of a young woman, is discovered just a few days later, the pressure to solve the crimes becomes almost unbearable.

    Horace says: "Best Parker in a while"
    "More of the same old same old"
    Overall

    I was hopeful. After all Booklist said it was great. They must be reviewing a different book. Mr. Parker has a real gift for characters but after a while goes down this psychological blackhole of love, loss and martyrdom. Yuck.

    Taming a Seahorse this is not.

    Made worse is that Mr. Parker tells his stories via dialogue not buckets of imagery, so the whole he said, she said, he said thing on Audiobooks passes annoying and moves to turn this crap off after about thirty minutes.

    May be better in print, lousy and repetitive in audio

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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