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Katherine

Georgetown, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2011

97
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 112 reviews
  • 114 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
8

  • Lehrter Station: A John Russell WW II Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By David Downing
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Paris, November 1945: John Russell is walking home along the banks of the Seine on a cold and misty evening when Soviet agent Yevgeny Shchepkin falls into step alongside him. Shchepkin tells Russell that the American intelligence will soon be asking him to undertake some low grade espionage on their behalf - assessing the strains between different sections of the German Communist Party - and that Shchepkin's own bosses in Moscow want him to accept the task and pass his findings on to them.

    Katherine says: "Great view of Berlin after the end of WW2"
    "Great view of Berlin after the end of WW2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    As this is Part 5 of a series, a few more gentle reminders of who some of the characters were and their 'backstory' could have been woven in to make the current story more understandable and relevant.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I never quite grasped who the lead character was, what motivated him. I enjoyed the series, but the lead character doesn't seem as clearly drawn as those by other authors exploring some of the same territory, such as Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon or Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    I adore Simon Vance's narration and much prefer these fine British actors telling WW2 or spy stories in general. They own them, in my opinion. I see Simon Vance also has a blog speaking about a variety of topics, including history. His blog contains an ad for a contest to compare James Bond movies to the audio narration of the same book. For those of us old enough to have had some of our earliest stories delivered to us without the benefit of pictures, the power of the spoken word has re-emerged as delightful way to enjoy a book, beyond the obvious conveniences of an audiobook, especially when the narration is as good as this one.


    Was Lehrter Station worth the listening time?

    Yes, it was. It can be grim at times, but for a story taking place 6 months after the end of WW2, exploring the effects of war on a range of characters, that is to be expected.


    Any additional comments?

    This book illustrates the social and political realities in the months following the war through the stories of individuals and does a great job accomplishing that goal. I'm somewhat of a WW2 buff and feel after this book, I now have a much greater grasp of Europe, especially Berlin, in the months after the war ended. One sees the different powers jockeying for their place in post-war Berlin and making tough choices that are easy to question all these years later. It is viewing the end of WW2 in the way we have looked at subsequent wars, such as the Vietnam War, without any great heroes....more post-modern than 'the greatest generation'.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • His Majesty's Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Susan Elia MacNeal
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (123)

    World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive–a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad–and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine. Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war–and of her own past.

    nicola says: "Narrator.She doesnt end sentences & is breathy"
    "Seems to be meant for young people"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the first 2 of the series, but this one seemed too juvenile, with the adult characters one-dimensional and mean. The narrator didn't bother me as much as it did others. It was all part of the slightly cartoonish approach. I'll be skipping the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel's Secret Campaign that Denied Saddam the Bomb

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rodger W. Claire
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    From the earliest days of his dictatorship, Saddam Hussein had vowed to destroy Israel. So, when France sold Iraq a top-of-the-line nuclear reactor in 1975, the Israelis were justifiably concerned, especially when they discovered that Iraqi scientists had already formulated a secret program to extract weapon-grade plutonium from the reactor, a first critical step in creating an atomic bomb.

    Ella says: "Absolutely fascinating"
    "Great bit of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a part of history that is covered thoroughly and objectively in this book. Occasionally I found the blow by blow descriptions of events a bit tedious, but overall, it was good. The author places the incident well in the historical context, plus it connects to events in the news today. The narrator mispronounces some words, hence the lower rating. I hadn't realized it was an abridgement until the end, but it does explain that some sentences seemed awkward. It's not written extremely well, but it gets the information across if you pay attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death on a High Floor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charles Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (545)
    Performance
    (477)
    Story
    (478)

    On the 85th floor of a glittering high-rise in Los Angeles, Robert Tarza steps into the lobby of the Marbury Marfan law firm to discover his partner Simon Rafer lying in a pool of blood - an ornate dagger plunged into his back. Robert had worked with Simon for decades, and their relationship was fraught with conflict. But he never imagined he would wind up as the prime suspect for his colleague’s murder. As the evidence stacks up against him with frightening speed, he quickly falls from his respected position to that of a criminal dragged through the tabloids.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Excellent Mystery, Brilliant Narration"
    "quite good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of it is a bit farfetched, such as why the main character doesn't think of the most obvious things, despite being so smart. Otherwise, it's entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soon: The Beginning of the End

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Jerry B. Jenkins
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Acclaimed Christian author Jerry Jenkins pens the startling prequel to the internationally best-selling Left Behind saga. After the horror of World War III, the world resolves to abolish religion. But is this new age of peace truly peaceful? Anti-religious witch-hunters are tracking down and killing the faithful in hiding, and now supernatural events that defy non-Biblical interpretation are beginning to occur throughout the world.

    Katherine says: "entertaining"
    "entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's weeks since I read it and don't really have anything much to say about it. I believe I thought it was better written than the Left Behind series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (116)

    Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled listeners with 16 thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back - from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon - art restorer, assassin, spy - has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

    Brian says: "If new to Daniel Silva, great book. Otherwise..."
    "First rate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great writing, topical, fleshes out one's understanding of the Middle East through the story and the characters, impressive narration. For me, there is just enough violence to make it plausible, but not too much to make it unbearable for me. I can't say I find the character of Chiara appealing or even understandable, but maybe one can never see what someone loves in another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a Kingfisher: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (145)

    When Scotland is hit by the recession, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices that the Highland people are forced to come up with inventive ways to lure tourists to their sleepy towns. The quaint village of Braikie doesn't have much to offer, other than a place of rare beauty called Buchan's Wood, which was bequeathed to the town. The savvy local tourist director renames the woods "The Fairy Glen," and has brochures printed with a beautiful photograph of a kingfisher rising from a pond on the cover. It isn't long before coach tours begin to arrive.

    Chablis from Seattle says: "A delightful, tangled web of intrigue!"
    "A bit implausible, but okay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These Hamish Macbeth books are enjoyable, escapist fun and this one falls into that category.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Calculated Life

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Anne Charnock
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (73)

    Big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free from addictions. Violent crime is now a rarity. Mayhew McCline, a major corporation that analyzes global trends, has hired a genius: Jayna. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she has the ability to produce accurate predictions that are both good for the world and good for the bottom line. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime.

    Loretta Franklin says: "Very nice book"
    "Great concept, well executed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel sorry for those who don't think they enjoy science fiction so therefore won't give this book a try. Like all good science fiction, it is ultimately about the human condition, about ourselves. It's a super concept and was delivered very well. I'll keep an eye out for future books by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dying To Tell

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Robert Goddard
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Best-selling author Robert Goddard presents an intricately woven and perfectly satisfying mystery with Dying to Tell. Autumn has come to the small town of Glastonbury. Lance Bradley is contemplating his own idleness when he receives an unusual phone call from the disabled sister of an old friend. Apparently, Lance’s old friend Rupert has gone missing and there are some pressing debts left unpaid. Travelling to London, Lance falls victim to an unfortunatestring of events before he realizes the only way out is to dig deeper and uncover Rupert’s secret.

    John says: "A great use of a credit. Highly recommend."
    "A bit of a stretch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read many of his by now and, although they can seem convoluted and a bit far-fetched, I have always continued to the end. Perhaps at this point, I'm enjoying his writing a bit less or maybe this one was more far-fetched than others....I really can't say. He does deliver on a good story each time, despite everything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Officer and a Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    They lied to protect their country. He told the truth to save it. A gripping historical thriller from the bestselling author of Fatherland. January 1895. On a freezing morning in the heart of Paris, an army officer, Georges Picquart, witnesses a convicted spy, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, being publicly humiliated in front of twenty thousand spectators baying ‘Death to the Jew!’ The officer is rewarded with promotion: Picquart is made the French army’s youngest colonel and put in command of ‘the Statistical Section’ - the shadowy intelligence unit that tracked down Dreyfus.

    A User says: "Excellent Read"
    "I couldn't listen to it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't explain it and don't remember all of why I stopped early on. I couldn't get into the style, with so many minute details and moment by moment description, some of it creepy. I suppose there could have been a good book waiting later, but I couldn't stomach it to find out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a Maid

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (79)

    Mrs. Gillespie is famous for being the best maid in the northwest of Sutherland. But to Hamish Macbeth, she is a malicious gossip who bangs around the furniture and clanks pots. When Hamish wins Mrs. Gillespie's services in a church raffle, he spends most of the day trying to avoid her. He doesn't understand how she managed to gain such a fine reputation. Then she is found dead, struck down violently by a metal bucket of water.

    Barbara says: "Death of a Maid"
    "Reliable fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This one doesn't disappoint and is great escapist fun, with intrigue mixed with memorable characters and lots of humour.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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