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Jon Michaelsen

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 14 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • His Name Is John: Elliott Smith Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Dorien Grey
    • Narrated By Jim Hickey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Elliott Smith wakes up in the hospital with a head injury - and an invisible companion. At first, he's convinced "John" is just a figment of a damaged brain, but when he's fully recovered John is still around and desperate to find out who he is. Reluctantly, Elliott agrees to help and discovers Chicago PD has a John Doe on their hands with six bullets in him - who died in the ER at the same time Elliott was there.

    AMC says: "Will Definitely Read the Series"
    "An extraordinarily, inventive mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about His Name Is John?

    In His Name Is John, prolific author Dorien Grey has achieved the rarity few writers enjoy, which is developing a solid first novel in another series daringly different than Grey’s wildly popular Dick Hardesty private investor mysteries.

    Once again, Grey has created a colorful cast of characters we love and despise, beginning with the introduction of a middle-age Elliott Smith, a rather mild-mannered man whose vocation is real estate development in the Chicago area. Elliott and his rather motherly sister are siblings of wealthy parents who appear more interested in traveling the world and keeping up appearances than in spending time with their children and grandchildren.

    Although he is from wealth and privilege, Elliott has achieved wealth of his own by investing in historical, architecturally significant buildings to rehab and sell for profit. A great backstory that provides a solid foundation for the novel that quickly bursts to the forefront when a decades old skeleton is discovered behind a brick wall in the basement of Elliott’s latest project.


    Have you listened to any of Jim Hickey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I certainly will listen to any Hickey narrates in the Elliott Smith series.


    If you could take any character from His Name Is John out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Elliott Smith because he's a very interesting character and we share the same love for old architecture and desire to restore historical properties to their former glory - Elliott has the resources; I have the desire.


    Any additional comments?

    Dorien Grey has written an extraordinarily, inventive, highly imaginative mystery within a mystery, complete with well-developed characters and tightly plotted prose. The incredible talent of narrator, Jim Hickey, makes this already terrific novel an even more enjoyable listen. Those listening to the audio version of His Name Is John will quickly slip into a comfortable zone hearing Hickey’s words, the perfect choice of narrator for this novel, not to mention lending the right voice to Elliott Smith’s character.
    I am looking forward to reading more Elliott Smith mysteries and hope Grey continues with Jim Hickey as narrator for future audio releases.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bar Watcher

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Dorien Grey
    • Narrated By Jeff Frez-Albrecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    When the manager of an elite local bath is stabbed to death, attorney Glen O'Banyon hires Dick Hardesty to check into it. The motive for the murder isn't hard to figure - Comstock was a jerk of the first order. In fact, the list of people who might have wanted him dead might be larger than the club's membership roster. Then, two obnoxious bar hoppers die in an apparent accident that turns out to be another murder, and when a third unpleasant individual meets an untimely demise, Dick begins to see a sinister pattern. All of the victims, prior to their deaths, had behaved badly in one of the local bars.

    Jon Michaelsen says: "Another great addition to the Hardesty P.I. Series"
    "Another great addition to the Hardesty P.I. Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Bar Watcher?

    In the third book in the Dick Hardesty gay P.I. series, we find tough guy, Dick, playing the field much more so than the first couple books, which is interesting in that this novel is set at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic (which actually isn’t mentioned by name since the virus was not yet identified). Rumors abound of otherwise healthy young gay men getting sick and dying, causing Dick to take note. It so happens, Hardesty’s latest case involves investigating the death of one of the partners of “Rage”, a popular, members only gay bathhouse where only the gorgeous need apply.

    But while looking into the private club’s managing partner’s murder, Hardesty begins noticing other deaths of suspicious circumstances involving gay men, and with the help of his latest squeeze, Jarod, finds a common thread among all the deaths – including that of Rage’s manager, former porn star Comstock. It’s not long before Dick realizes there is a possible serial killer targeting gay men of the nasty kind.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bar Watcher?

    What I found striking in this novel along with the mystery- which is solid, deftly written, with twists and turns–is Hardesty’s philandering. Wait, did that just age me a bit? Hardesty is a bit of a horn-dog in this novel, which is understanding considering the time the story takes place during the very early stages of the AIDS crisis. I will be so interested to see how Grey deals with the emerging crisis since it was so much a part of the lives of gay men everywhere, especially in large, gay popular cities in the USA.


    Any additional comments?

    Again, I must admit that I listened to the unabridged audio book version of The Bar Watcher. Unlike the previous two novels, which I had read both print and listened to the corresponding audio versions, this one I did not. I still feel I got a received a great reading experience. I appreciated listening to the same voice of the narrator, Jeff Frez-Albrecht, who narrated the first two Dick Hardesty mysteries. He helps to bring Hardesty to life in a deadpan, non-complicated way, yet also helps us to view a glimpse of Dick’s inner thoughts through Dorien Grey’s awesome prose.

    I highly recommend The Bar Watcher, and the entire Dick Hardesty P.I series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • IM

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Rick R. Reed
    • Narrated By Taavi Mark
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    For Comparetto, this encounter with a witness is the beginning of a nightmare. Because this witness did more than just show up at the scene of the crime; he set the scene. And maybe, he's more than just a killer...maybe he's dead himself.

    Donald says: "50/50 shot here..."
    "A wonderfully, Eerily Suspenseful Thriller!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to IM the most enjoyable?

    The challenge of a good narrator if he (in this case) can project enough voice variation to discern each character and still come across authentic enough to keep the listener engaged, to not sound dull or boring by simply “reading” a script. Tavvi Mark is able to perform this act and much more, especially in the case of the psychotic killer, who comes across as decidedly eerie.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of IM?

    Let me just say right off the bat, this novel is out-and-out scary, but it’s the narrator’s voice that makes the experience downright creepy. I felt Tavvi Mark had perfectly captured the serial killer’s state of mind, but his voice inflections were spot-on, to the point where listening to the words of Reed’s awesome novel became bone-chilling.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oooh, too many to name, but the one that stands out the most is when one of the killer's potential victims is able to survive and attack....scary!


    Who was the most memorable character of IM and why?

    Well, I loved ex-cop Ed and his boyfriend, Peter, of course - but I would have to say the most memorable was the killer because he's just downright creepy, scary and psychotic as hell - all things necessary for a thrilling, suspenseful serial killer novel!


    Any additional comments?

    I greatly enjoyed the romantic sub-plot between Ed and Peter and would love to know more of their story, should Mr. Reed endeavor as he has done with other unforgettable characters readers have grown to love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Blue Moon Cafe

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick R. Reed
    • Narrated By Topher Samuels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    Someone - or something - is killing Seattle's gay men. A creature moves through the darkest night, lit only by the full moon, taking them, one by one, from the rain city's gay gathering areas. Someone - or something - is falling in love with Thad Matthews. Against a backdrop of horror and fear, young Thad finds his first true love in the most unlikely of places - a new Italian restaurant called The Blue Moon Cafe. Sam is everything Thad has ever dreamed of in a man: compassionate, giving, handsome, and with brown eyes Thad feels he could sink into.

    kelvin phoenix says: "Howling good"
    "A Horror, Mystery Suspense/thriller & Gay Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Blue Moon Cafe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Blue Moon Café is a horror mystery suspense/thriller and gay romance all in one that will pull you in, scare the crap out of you and have you rooting for the unlikely relationship between human and werewolf. Non-traditional in that it strays from modern-day romantic epics and ends with a shocking surprise that just might break your heart. One of the best audiobooks I've listened to in years!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The horror, suspense and wonderful love story between two unlikely men.


    Have you listened to any of Topher Samuels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, and I really enjoyed Mr. Samuel's smoothe, calming voice, which he ratcheted up at the terror and suspenseful portions to scare the crap out of me!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Scare the crap out of me!


    Any additional comments?

    I usually listen to audio books (the unabridged versions) via headphones traveling on hours-long plane rides or driving long trips alone. So when a book I’ve had my eye on was released in audio book format recently, I decided to take a chance and listen while in my car – which proved quite often as I found myself looking for places to go, errands that needed doing so I could listen to Rick R. Reed’s suspenseful, romantic thriller, The Blue Moon Café.

    Taken from the blurb for both print and audio format: “Someone–or something–is killing Seattle’s gay men...” Something moves in the dark night at full moon hunting and killing gay men in the places they gather. The protagonist is Thad Matthews, a young gay man done with relationships and certainly not ready–or willing–to take yet another dive for the perfect dream that presents in the form of a sexy, super compassionate, masculine, hairy and handsome Sicilian restaurant owner and chef, Sam Lupino.

    Reed begins The Blue Moon Café with his signature terror/horror prose, which he is well-known for delivering, quickly ensnaring the reader–or listener in my case–with heart-racing, pulsating suspense. Vivid detail and full-moon-lit scenery ratchets up anticipation and ushes the listener forward, sans trepidation. Reed tempers the heightened elements of the novel with a strong romance that provides a little distraction from the bloody killings.

    Read the rest of my review here:



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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