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  • A Plague of Secrets

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The first victim is Dylan Vogler, a charming ex-convict who manages the Bay Beans West coffee shop in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. When his body is found, inspectors discover that his knapsack is filled with high-grade marijuana. It soon becomes clear that San Francisco's A-list flocked to Bay Beans West not only for their caffeine fix. But how much did Maya Townshend - the beautiful socialite niece of the city's mayor, and the absentee owner of the shop - know about what was going on inside her business?

    Stephen says: "A 'Law and Order' Type Story"
    "A 'Law and Order' Type Story"

    This story struck me as a full length movie version of Law and Order. It opens with a crime, the detectives do the investigation, an arrest is made, and the lawyers finish the story.

    It is well written and clever. This is an accomplishment as the neither the crime or method of solution are extraordinary. Yet, I found myself wrapped up in the story wanting to know what was going to happen next. It has many of the classic elements of this kind of story: police with biases and agendas; district attorneys with agendas; the lone defense attorney who has to fight the police, the district attorney and deal with local politics, the defendant who is reluctant to tell of her past which may or may not have anything to do with the crime.

    If you like this genre, you are likely to enjoy this book.,

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Micro: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton, Richard Preston
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd

    In a locked Honolulu office building, three men are found dead with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye. In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

    Amanda says: "Honey, I Shrunk Your I.Q."
    "Land of the Giants - updated"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes with reservations. The story line is an old one - remember the old tv show land of the giants, where people were shrunk down so that blades of grades eemed like redwoods? If so, this story is an updated version. The 'small people' are graduate students in different areas of biology. The most interesting part of the story is when they use their knowledge of biology to their favor.

    The rest of the story requires a large suspension of belief. The book devolves away from clever use of biiological knowledge to an action adventure story.

    Could have been much better but it is an entertaining read for those like a 'light' science fiction book.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Crichton and Richard Preston ? Why or why not?

    Under circumstances. I doubt that I would go out of my way to buy it as soon as it came out, but I would likely put in on my list to eventually get to.

    Would you listen to another book narrated by John Bedford Lloyd?

    He was a good narrator but I found nothing that made me feel was a great narrator nor did he have any traits that I disliked...he does not make or break the book.

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I'd wait for the braodcast version.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By Toby Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fresh from Afghanistan, James Bond has been recruited to a new agency. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of Five, Six and the MoD, its very existence deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary. The Night Action alert calls Bond from dinner with a beautiful woman. GCHQ has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

    britishbob says: "Worth The Time"
    "not the bond i know"

    This is not the james bond I know. This james bond actually has an office with a secretary! This james bond depends on others to get out of jams. This james bond drives a subaru! This james bond assesses each woman in her potential to be a long term relationship. This james bond is not take advantage of technological gadgets. This james bond is noht larger than life. In fact he seems less than mitch rapp or cotton malone. This james bond maybe more real that is not the james bond I know and love.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Option: Mitch Rapp Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp falls prey to government forces with an agenda of their own after Dr. Irene Kennedy is named the successor to dying CIA Director Thomas Stansfield—a choice that enrages many inside the world’s most powerful intelligence agency. Her detractors will resort to extreme measures to prevent her from taking the reins—which makes Rapp an expendable asset. But Mitch Rapp is no one’s pawn, and he will stop at nothing to find out who has set him up.

    Henry says: "If it had an ending, I'd give it a 5."
    "Rapp fans won't be disappointed"

    There are apparently three options to solve problems: political, military and covert operations. Mitch Rapp is the ultimate overt operator...although he leaves quite a wake of violence, death and destruction in his activities - hard to call it 'covert'. This is a story of a race between several cells of terrorists that plan to bomb different places along the east coast in a short period of time. It falls onto a combination of military, intelligence agents and Rapp to stop these bombs - did I mention they were nuclear bombs? The method of smuggling in the bombs was plausible as was the general terrorist fact, they were all to real given what happens in real life now....

    The book was first released in 2001 so it was eerie that some of the actions of the terrorists turn out to be close to what they do in real life.

    There's lot of action and everybody's rights get trampled as Rapp is hell bent on stopping an atomic bomb from going off in DC. Interesting story on line on how key people in the government are dispersed when DC is threatened.

    If you like action political thrillers and especially if you like Mitch Rapp - you will like this earlier offering by Vince Flynn.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Jefferson Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Four United States presidents have been assassinated - in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963 - each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time. But what if those presidents were all killed for the same reason: a clause in the United States Constitution - contained within Article 1, Section 8 - that would shock Americans? This question is what faces former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone in his latest adventure. When a bold assassination attempt is made against President Danny Daniels in the heart of Manhattan, Malone risks his life to foil the killing....

    Eric says: "Great listen; great narration, worth the credit"
    "Not his best story"

    I am a Cotton Malone fan and was looking forward to this book. It had all the makings of an excellent read - a story that ties in all the assassinations of US Presidents in history; pirates, and political rivalries between government intelligence agencies. However, somewhere in the execution the story became bogged down in affairs between secondary characters, frantic jumping from one story line to another. It was also one of those stories like the old James Bond stories where the villain would rig up some elaborate trap or machine to kill Bond rather than just shoot this book, only secondary characters get shot or killed directly - all the main characters escape again and again.

    Also we are led to believe that there are shootings from North Carolina to DC to Nova Scotia that doesn't seem to attract anyone's attention...the characters occasionally mention news coverage, but it never comes into play. Private sailing vessels are also blown out of the water by military helicopters without any apparent reperussions.

    The book even starts a bit oddly..Cotton gets drawn into the story because of a forged email from a government agent, Stephanie Nell that requests his help. I thought it odd that you can get a super agent to fly across the ocean on a moments notice if you just happen to have his email verification?

    Berry spends some time at the end of the book separating fact from fiction. His depiction of pirates is apparently accurate, but he certainly chose the most cruel aspects of their history to present.

    I know this review sounds negative, but these are the reasons I didn't give it the 4 or 5 stars I have given to all of the other Berry books I have read. It is worth a read, but you might have to suspend your expectations a bit...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Duncan J. Watts
    • Narrated By Duncan J. Watts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world? Why did Facebook succeed when other social networking sites failed? Did the surge in Iraq really lead to less violence? How much can CEO’s impact the performance of their companies? And does higher pay incentivize people to work hard? If you think the answers to these questions are a matter of common sense, think again.

    Stephen says: "Thought provoking"
    "Thought provoking"

    Duncan Watts is a physics professor turned sociology professor. I was intrigued by the idea of someone who could bring 'hard science' approaches to sociology. You might want to read the last chapter first as he summarizes the differences between sociological and hard science research. However, this is done in a most positive way - he points out that sociologic studies are important and that there are means and methods that can be used and developed to achieve better understanding into human behavior.

    His insights are very thought provoking. He points out that many aspects of sociological studies that are generally not considered. For instance, we have a way of explaining history after we already know the outcome. Was the surge in Iraq really responsible for turning around that conflict or was it some combination of other factors such as rebuidling infrastructure, training new police, training new Iraqi military, more experienced government etc. There's really no way to tell because we can't run an 'experiment' to see what would happen if there was no surge...

    Sociologist often fall upon what they term common sense explanations....but these explanations only work well when you already know the answer.

    This is a great addition to the series Outliers and Predictably Irrational. I look forward to the contributions of his approach into important social issues.

    I would have given it 5 stars, but I found it unfortunate that he often did not credit some of the work he cited. I understand that this is not a scientific paper but some of the more important and lengthy examples he cites should have been credited.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Memorial Day

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It's just seven days before Memorial Day, and a spike in CIA intelligence has pointed to a major terrorist attack on the United States. Now it's up to counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp to pull out all the stops. Rapp immediately leaves for Afghanistan, where he leads a special forces unit on a daring commando raid across the border into a remote Pakistani village. Their target: an al-Qaeda stronghold. Rapp and his team soon discover plans for a catastrophic nuclear attack on Washington, DC.

    Guy says: "Flynn's best Mitch Rapp Book"
    "Ficton imitates real life?"

    This book was written in 2005 but could have been written last month...a story of how agent Mitch Rapp unearths a terrorist plan to set off nuclear weapons in the US...there is the very split between those who are for or against torture to get information, for or against due process for captured terrorists and politicians who make decisions for re - election rather than doing what is best for the people.

    Rapp must fight both the terrorists and polticians to stop the plans. He does this mostly with swift actions that may or may not be in line with the laws....

    It was one of the books that I could not stop listening to...spent way to much time in my driveway listening to the story rather than going in the house...if you are fan of hte political thriller and Vince Flynn, I think it's one of his best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sixth Man

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Edgar Roy - an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins-en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered. It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered....

    Anthony says: "Somebody needs to be fired..."
    "King and Maxwell"

    This is another story involving ex government agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. The story is a good example of the excellent and entertaining stories Baldacci can produce. This time King and Maxwell get swept up into a plot to control america's intelligence agencies. There is an interesting plot line involving the analysis of the almost infinite amount of information gathered in the name of security. A person who one of a kind mental abilities can sort through all the images, reports, messages that are gathered and findsconnections that are otherwise impossible to see. The story begins when this person is arrested for multiple murders and then his lawyer, King's friend, is murdered. The story then develops with each chapter bring more tangles into the can't trust anyone..or at least you can't tell who you should trust...lots of plot, lots of action, lots of entertainment.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Ted says: "Just Right!"
    "Best yet"

    I have read most, if not all, of Connelly's books and found this one to the best. The main character is Mickey Haller, who is not one of my favorites, but the story makes up for any dislikes I have of his personality. The crime, of course, is murder and the suspect Lisa Trammel is not a particularly likable character either. However, Haller's development of the case is very well done. I also like the fact that all the facts used to eventually tell the truth are laid out somewhere in the story - no hidden clues or persons that aren't disclosed until the end.

    The strength of the book are the court room scenes. Most of the story takes place in the courtroom and the workings of the law, courtroom procedures and legal strategies of the defense and prosecution kept me very engrossed in the story.

    Haller has grown from an average, somewhat 'low end' lawyer to an agressive defender of his interesting transformation...

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Templar Salvation

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Raymond Khoury
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Constantinople, 1203: As the rapacious armies of the Fourth Crusade lay siege to the city, a secretive band of Templars infiltrate the imperial library. Their target: a cache of documents that must not be allowed to fall into the hands of the Doge of Venice. They escape with three heavy chests, filled with explosive secrets that these men will not live long enough to learn. Vatican City, present day: FBI agent Sean Reilly infiltrates the Pope's massive Vatican Secret Archives of the Inquisition....

    JerryL says: "Not one of Khoury's best..."
    "more of the same"

    This is the sequel to the Last Templar. Again, agent Sean Reilly is in a race against a terrorist to unravel another Templar secret that will reveal the location of unpublished gospels. The premise is that the contents of these gospel will contradict current Christian teachings and send the Christian world into chaos.

    Reilly, and his girl friend, Tess chase the terrorist and clues to this lost Templar treasure. Much of the cleverness in following clues to solve the 700 year old puzzle are abandoned as modern day keepers of the secret simply blurt out what they know to Reilly for no apparent reason...

    For my tastes, there was much, too much detail in the fight scenes..especially the final fight scene which I thought would never end. If you like these Templar Knight stories, you will likely enjoy this one but it does not really stand out in anyway over the Last Templar or similar stories by other authors (eg Steve Berry)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Valley Forge: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Newt Gingrich, William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By William Dufris, Callista Gingrich

    In To Try Men's Souls, Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen cast a new light on the year 1776 .Valley Forge picks up the narrative a year after Washington’s triumphant surprise attack on Trenton, and much has changed since then. It’s the winter of 1777, and Washington’s battered, demoralized army retreats from Philadelphia.

    Stephen says: "The Forging of America"
    "The Forging of America"

    Gingrich and Forstchen have produced a magnificent account of the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. It is not only the story of 12,000 men who entered Valley Forge demoralized, untrained, unsupplied but under the leadership of Washington and the shear force of will and skill of Generals Wayne, Lafaayette and Von Steuben that they marched out of Valley Forge aa a true army finally equipped with enough training, supplies and pride to take on the British.

    Although generally familiar with the Valley Forge story, I was left with a sense of pride, awe and inspiration of what Washington and his men were able to accomplish. Gingrich and Forstchen have a way of making you feel like you are actually there - feeling the cold, snow and hunger. You can imagine the suffering even the healthy men endured let alone those who were injured or stricken with diseases.

    Besides Washington, the other key characters are Lafayette, Baron Von Steuben and a ficitonal character Allen Van Dorn. Washington provided the leadership, Lafayette the heart and Von Steuben the knowledge for colonists to march out of Valley Forge as real army with a real chance to stand toe to toe with the British for the first time. Van Dorn is a colonist who joined the British army. Through his eyes, you can experience the decisions that the colonists had to make on who to support.

    If you like history and historical novels you will love this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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