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Fritz

No matter where you go, there you are.

Moraga, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

430
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 91 reviews
  • 175 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 62 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
31

  • Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1491)
    Performance
    (1290)
    Story
    (1252)

    Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.

    Melinda says: "Burke & Patton -- Synergistic Phenomenon"
    "The Journey not the Destination"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read every word the man has published (that I was able to find) and this one really got to me. When one reads Burke, the plot is nearly superfluous as he paints flawless dioramas of life, its beauty, its evil, its life-giving and its life-taking and many of the nuanced, indelible connections twix the two.
    I used to think his ending were weak. But now I understand there are no 'endings', just pauses where one can reflect or suffer.
    His brief description of withdrawal from drug/alcohol addiction was crystalline in its accuracy. My soul ached as I read it.
    One of the few authors where it absolutely does not matter where in his bibliography you start. There are simply pauses in between.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Infected: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Scott Sigler
    • Narrated By Scott Sigler
    Overall
    (383)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (208)

    Across America a mysterious disease is turning ordinary people into raving, paranoid murderers who inflict brutal horrors on strangers, themselves, and even their own families.

    Jessica says: "Confused? This review might help."
    "Hackneyed concept drowning in gratuitous violence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Aliens using human hosts is not a new idea. The visible, unmitigated violence seems to somehow be ignored by all but the lone, mousey female scientist that suddenly becomes an unstoppable force in the nick of time to save the planet.
    There, now that just saved you all 11 hours of time better spent on new ideas, cleverly portrayed. This book is fine if you're a freshly pubescent male, not so sure about the rest of us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breaking Point

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By C. J. Box
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (328)

    The recipient of Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity Awards, New York Times best-selling author C. J. Box has won almost every honor in his field. In Breaking Point, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is glad to catch up with old friend Lyle Pendergast, but then the man goes missing and is named a suspect in the death of two EPA employees. All signs point to Lyle’s guilt, but the more Joe digs into the case, the more he realizes he’s stepped into the middle of a deadly power play.

    Ronna says: "My favorite author does it again!!"
    "Good Writing, Morally Ambiguous Ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With friend/fugitive Nate sidelined for nearly the entire story, Joe had to grin and bear it through this interesting tale of corruption in an US Government Agency, murder, and persecution setting the scene for a manhunt that includes even Joe's archenemy, the ex-sherriff.
    Joe is pushed to his seemingly bottomless limit of patience, but preservers against tremendous, some might say 'overdone', odds to emerge unemployed but victorious. Box writes cluttered novels that stretch plausibility, but entertain very well.
    I often feel like I am running out of quality authors in the mystery genre, but Box has made the cut as I near the end of this series quite satisfied.
    note: Publisher's Note is full of discrepancies and errors. Don't they proof-read their own stuff? Seriously embarrassing!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Game: Victor the Assassin Series, #3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (93)

    Victor the assassin is living a solitary, peaceful life in Iceland when he's drawn into a job for an unidentified Swiss broker. Having passed the test, he's introduced to a group of mercenaries and killers who are tasked to perform the ultimate assassination.In this group, Victor meets someone from his past, someone who recruited him to the life he now knows-someone he thought was dead. And when he wants out, it's too late-his former mentor has other plans for him...

    John says: "1 Review for 3 books in series"
    "Heart and Head of Stone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Protagonist is so amoral and insensible and as he very rarely is moved by anything other than murder and the tactics related thereto, he becomes more than a little boring. Conditioned to believe that no matter how inescapable his current dilemma, the reader knows he will indeed escape, the books are missing a major element or contingency that make continuing palatable.
    He needs a (near) fatal flaw.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Red Knife: Cork O'Connor, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    When the daughter of a powerful businessman dies as a result of her meth addiction, her father, strong-willed and brutal Buck Reinhardt, vows revenge. His target is the Red Boyz, a gang of Ojibwe youths accused of supplying the girl's fatal drug dose. When the head of the Red Boyz and his wife are murdered in a way that suggests execution, the Ojibwe gang mobilizes, and the citizens of Tamarack County brace themselves for war, white against red.

    Kitty says: "Love this series..."
    "BAD CHOICE AS NARRATOR"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Consistency, Continuity, Talent with Voices.
    When signing a narrator for a series, the author or his agent should actually listen to the candidates. Folks that read series become accustomed to the narrator's interpretation of the work and changing mid-stream in this occasionally engaging story line simply ruined it for me. Mr. Schiner is particularly bad at simulating female voices and this alone left me nonplussed and a bit angry, two emotions that most authors would rather avoid.
    Shame on you, Krueger! This series is a bit thin and ponderous to begin with and this faux pas may spell an early end to my Cork O'Connor patronage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2851)
    Performance
    (1107)
    Story
    (1103)

    Detective John Corey now faces his toughest assignment yet: the pursuit and capture of the world's most dangerous terrorist -- a young Arab known as "The Lion" who has baffled a federal task force and shows no sign of stopping in his quest for revenge against the American pilots who bombed Libya and killed his family.

    Patricia says: "Totally predictable"
    "DeMille Sells Fear"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Re: John Corey Series
    DeMilIe, like all new (to me) authors, was read chronologically. The formula is identical in all these ponderous tales, with three or four climaxes along the way. The finale is usually anti-climactic and relatively weak relative to the gore and terror along the way. The demeanor and moral emptiness of Corey is revealed in Wildfire, where our 'hero' nearly succumbs to his primeval reality and allows that perhaps this end does justify this means. The sub-context of his work is that unless the Muslim world is annihilated, it is just a matter of time before nuclear war is delivered to our door by these madmen.

    Huge sections of these books are interchangeable with similar parts of the others. They drone on and on with Corey defying the clueless machinations of the FBI and the sinister CIA. If you do not believe that we are helplessly fumbling our way toward global Armageddon, then these books are not for you.

    Meanwhile DeMille rakes in millions by simply asking, "what if?". Are these books a call to arms to the violent, lunatic fringe? They may well be. DeMille's self-serving arrogance takes a grain of truth all the way to the bank.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: Virgil Flowers, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (775)
    Performance
    (694)
    Story
    (677)

    In Israel, a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat. In Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a message from Lucas Davenport: You're about to get a visitor. It's an Israeli cop, and she's tailing a man who's smuggled out an extraordinary relic - a copper scroll revealing startling details about the man known as King Solomon. Wait a minute, laughs Virgil. Is this one of those Da Vinci Code deals? The secret scroll, the blockbuster revelation, the teams of murderous bad guys? Should I be boning up on my Bible verses? He looks at the cop. She's not laughing.

    Debbi says: "Still a fan, but..."
    "Flowers for Sanford"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This tome haas Virgil at his best, the hormonal sleuth fights off the babes as he fights crime in this caper with not only international intrigue, his is tossed into the world's hottest frying pan. Don't want to throw too much out there, but Sanford may rile some feathers with the light hearted touch he lays on terrorism and terrorists.
    This plot has a new, higher levels of deception and machination that will have some comparing him to James Bond (with a fishing rod rather than a Beretta)!
    Thoroughly enjoyed this romp!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: A Gray Man Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1220)
    Performance
    (1093)
    Story
    (1108)

    Ex-CIA master assassin Court Gentry has always prided himself on his ability to disappear at will, to fly below the radar and exist in the shadows - to survive as the near-mythical Gray Man. But when he takes revenge upon a former employer who betrayed him, he exposes himself to something he’s never had to face before. A killer who is just like him. Code-named Dead Eye, Russell Whitlock is a graduate of the same ultra-secret Autonomous Asset Program that trained and once controlled Gentry.

    Jason says: "Great Continuation of a Great Series"
    "The Gray Man Turns Gray!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A whiz-bang, non-stop caper with multiple angles of pursuit. The Gray man appears to have met his match and maybe had too much of a peek into his creation this time out. This time around Gentry is getting tired and manhunt technology is evolving faster than his skills of evasion, but he is the Gray Man and he is the best.
    I'll not going to nit-pic this fine novel of intrigue and sometimes over-the-top brutality. It is superb escapist writing and I'm all for that!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2027)
    Performance
    (1793)
    Story
    (1785)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Jane says: "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."
    "Banal, Trite, Clumsy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once the silly "I work from the back seat of a car" gimmick wears thin, a few minutes at best, we are left we what appears to me a book written by someone other than the author of the Harry Bosch novels. The ill-timed phrasing and awkward reading of this narrator just makes things worse for me.
    The story lurches from cliched event/character to another and the author's (I do not believe Connolly wrote this or perhaps Bosch is someone else's work!) inability to make it sound anything but contrived and banal is just to much for me to stomach.
    Does an author's fames give him license to bore us to death. Now there's a murder mystery plot worth pursuing!

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • The Ambassador's Son

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Homer Hickam
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    It's 1943 and the Americans and Japanese are fighting a deadly war in the hot, jungle-covered volcanic islands of the South Pacific. The outcome is in doubt and a terrible blow has fallen on American morale. Lieutenant David Armistead, a Marine Corps hero and cousin of the President of the United States, is missing and some say he's gone over to the enemy. Coast Guard Captain Josh Thurlow and his ragtag crew are given the assignment to find Armistead, though not necessarily to bring him back alive.

    Richard says: "Hickam is Hilarious!"
    "Fine Hickam, until the Wrap."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoy Hickam's folksy, sharp toned story telling. His characterizations are well formed and plausible and these believable characters, far-fetched as they sometimes are, dew you in to 'know' and relate to them. This story tweaks history in a meaningful way and this reader brings them vividly to life. The problem with war stories is many times they push our sensitivities to the raw end of reality and Homer takes this brutality at times a bit too far. Gratuitous, even. Some of these scenes are sprinkled then culminated with heads rolling (literally) and human flesh finding its way onto the menu. But it is not so prevalent as to ruin the story's momentum.

    This is neither my first Hickam tome, nor will it be my last. But the ending here is badly conceived and very clumsy. Admittedly, this tale would require a masterly conclusion considering the lengths to which we are taken. But Hickam falls very short of pulling it off. I was physically uncomfortable as I cringed and squirmed in my seat as he fumbled his way through it, but it did not completely detract from my enjoyment of this odd tale.

    I am also pleased to discover that Stephen Hoye rivals Michael Kramer whom I consider the very best at droll, ironic humor. Kramer as the narrator is damn near enough to convince me to try a book, Fantasy excursions excluded, of course.

    2 of 2 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
    (1894)
    Performance
    (1696)
    Story
    (1677)

    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.

    Oceana says: "My favorite Reacher story yet"
    "Some Months Didn't Help"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to be fair. I wanted to not think that an ex-TV guy that landed (all too briefly) on a great series idea/character, would not let his resultant villa in the South of France dilute his ability to write. So I waited a few months and read/listened to it again, and it just gets worse. Child (or whatever his real name is) likely pays someone to write this melba toast blather. And poor old Dick Hill, who was ill-fitted from the start, is sounding older than ever and decidedly unlike a middle-aged butt-kicker/philosopher.
    The simple formula of happening across a wrong to right, then mowing his way through the obstacles like a rototiller after cleverly discerning the 'clues', has seen far better days. And it happened several books ago. I am astonished that late-comers even stuck around. I'm afraid Lee Child (or whatever his name is) has sunk his hooks into the 'dumbing down of the American gray matter' and the teeming masses just do not know any better.
    I think those of us with any integrity left and understand what good writing can be, will reject this sub-par formulaic tripe and head for greened pastures.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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