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  • The Postcard Killers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Liza Marklund
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Erik Singer, Reg Rogers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him - he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.

    Rose says: "Come on, James, Can you think of some new material"
    "Cardboard characters, so-so plot"

    This book was a real disappointment. The ending was telegraphed about two thirds of the way through the book and, while it had an interesting twist, the writing provided little support for the story. Worst of all, the characters were cardboard representations of conventional stereotypes--particularly the hero, who was depicted as the typical hostile, aggressive but highly competent NYC cop. The villian (or villians--don't want to spoil the plot) had no real motivation at all, at least none that rang true.

    So, this novel filled up about 9 hours (part listened to as an audiobook, part read as an eBook at bedtime along the way) of dead time on a long driving trip, thus serving its primary purpose. Beyond that, however, it has little redeeming literary or social importance.

    If reading co-authored James Patterson novels, I think I'll stick to the ones co-authored by either Maxine Paetro or Michael Ledgewick.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Cross My Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman, Tom Wopat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Detective Alex Cross is a family man at heart--nothing matters more to him than his children, his grandmother, and his wife Bree. His love of his family is his anchor, and gives him the strength to confront evil in his work. One man knows this deeply, and uses Alex's strength as a weapon against him in the most unsettling and unexpected novel of James Patterson's career.

    Joann says: "Ending Catastrophe"
    "Not even a real novel, just a segue into the book"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I've read (or listened to) most of the dreck James Patterson has written over the years for one simple reason, the plots kept me going and served the purpose of filling the dead time while exercising and driving. This book, on the other hand, could not hold my attention. It was boring and thoroughly unbelievable. To top it off, the ending was a non-ending, merely a segue into the next book--which I'll be forced to buy just to find out how this one ends. Bad form.I'm really getting sick and tired of the trend that's emerging of authors dragging out a single novel into a pair or a trilogy. Think the Eve Trilogy from Iris Johansen and the penultimate and final books in the Alan Gregory series by Stephen White. Cross My Heart is the perhaps the most egregious of the offenders, however. Like most Patterson novels it is the length of a long novella, following the usual formula of very short chapters numbering around one hundred. If he'd just written a real novel, this might have been salvageable, albeit still far-fetched.If you are a compulsive Alex Cross reader, you'll buy this one too, just as I did. And I bet at the end you'll feel as betrayed as I was.

    What could James Patterson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Finish the book, not drag the plot over into a second book for no good reason.

    Have you listened to any of Michael Boatman and Tom Wopat ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator was fine. It's the book that was worthless.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spider Bones: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Kathy Reichs
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    John Lowery was declared dead in 1968—the victim of a Huey crash in Vietnam, his body buried long ago in North Carolina. Four decades later, Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The corpse is later identified as John Lowery. But how could Lowery have died twice, and how did an American soldier end up in Canada?

    Richard says: "Couldn't see the forest for the (dry) trees"
    "Another great Reichs/Brennan novel, odd ending"

    As always, I really enjoyed this latest Tempe Brennan novel which sported a fast-paced plot and good, intriguing science. The ultimate ending was a bit overly convoluted but it was well supported by the rest of the plot. I especially enjoyed the depictions of CIL-HI operations.

    Readers who enjoyed Thomas Holland's One Drop of Blood will likely enjoy this and vice versa.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Vanished

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Joseph Finder
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. And in his line of work, it's essential. Trained in the Special Forces, Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator - exposing secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He's a guy you don't want to mess with. He's also the man you call when you need a problem fixed. Desperate, with nowhere else to run, Nick's nephew, Gabe makes that call one night.

    Earl says: "Excellent weaving and unexpected"
    "Fast paced, thoroughly enjoyable"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and, despite what others have said, thought the narrator was superb. I haven't particularly enjoyed Joseph Finder's last couple of novels, which were only so-so. However, Vanished represents a return to the action-packed, rough and tumble novel that I like so much from Finder, novels like Paranoia! Great book... I can't wait for the next Nick Heller novel.

    My only complaint is that at the end of the book, we are told that there is a PDF containing Gabe's graphic novel on the CD. But there appears to be no way to obtain this PDF with the Audible version, much to my disappointment.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The King of Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Hart
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    John Hart creates a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant, a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed facade begin to crack.

    Scott says: "Better than a Grisham novel"
    "Superb-reminiscent of Greg Iles"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. The plot, with its miriad twists and turns, kept my attention. However, beyond having an excellent plot, this book also provided an excellent depiction of Southern living and mores. Indeed, the entire experience was reminiscent of Greg Iles, who is one of my favorite authors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Drop of Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Thomas Holland
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As the director of the U.S. Army's Central Identification Lab in Hawaii (CILHI), Robert Dean "Kel" McKelvey has made a career solving some of the country's most complex identification cases. Though fast approaching emotional meltdown, Kel now faces his thorniest case yet: the recovery of Jimmie Carl Trimble, a soldier from Arkansas who died a hero's death in Vietnam 40 years ago.

    Barbara says: "Pretty good for what it was..."

    Even though I sort of figured out the ending early on in this book, that did not detract from my enjoyment in listening to it. The characters are well developed, the plot has lots of convolutions and the author clearly knows forensic science. All in all, a great first novel. I look forward to his next, hopefully also starring McKelvey and Levine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Double Tap: A Paul Madriani Novel

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steve Martini
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna

    Attorney Paul Madriani defends a soldier on trial for murder and unwittingly steps into a maze of secrets and lies that the government, and even his client, would rather leave undisturbed. Madriani is faced with arcane ballistics evidence, a so-called "double tap," two bullet wounds tightly grouped to a victim's head, shots that can only be made by a crack marksman.

    Marian says: "Another excellent Madriani novel"
    "Another excellent Madriani novel"

    Another excellent Madriani novel by Steve Martini. I only wish the unabridged version had been available, too.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Conviction

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By Patricia Kalember
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fifty-nine days. That's how long Rennell Price has to live after spending 15 years on death row for the horrifying sexual assault and murder of a girl whose body was found floating in San Francisco Bay. But attorney Terri Paget has dedicated her life to fighting for people like Rennell Price. This time, Terri has a client she believes may actually be innocent, which means that an unpunished killer may still be free.

    N. Richardson says: "The Nature of"
    "A polemic against the death penalty"

    One would think a book with good character development and a timely topic would translate into a great read. And so it might be with Conviction, were it not for the fact that I was expecting a mystery novel and instead got a thinly veiled polemic against the death penalty.

    This book plods along for far too long exploring each vagary of the lengthy appeals process in death penalty cases. It would have been better if it were shorter by half and, more importantly, if it had some exciting action (although some might suggest that the ending IS exciting--I just happen not to be among them). Clearly this is NOT one of Patterson's best books.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Broker

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

    Amazon Customer says: "Why all the bad reviews?"
    "Even Michael Beck can't save this one"

    Even Michael Beck, who was wonderful as always reading Grisham, can save this book from itself. The descriptions of Italy are lyrical, but this is supposed to be a novel and a thriller to boot. Not only isn't this book thrilling, there is essentially no plot. What's more the characters are flat and not in the least bit engaging.

    If you must have meandering descriptive prose from Grisham, then read The Last Juror in which the descriptions match those in The Broker, but which has engaging characters who develop as the plot (yes, plot!) develop. Evidently Grisham fancies himself a latter day Faulkner--he's got the wordiness down pat, just not the enduring worth underlying the long-winded prose.

    Boring, boring, boring. I couldn't wait for this book to end.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The First Counsel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    When Michael Garrick, a young White House lawyer, begins dating the irresistible First Daughter, Nora, he's instantly spellbound, just like everyone else in her world. A world where power is an aphrodisiac, your father is the President, your close friends wear earpieces and carry guns, and everyone watches your every move...

    Ms Discus says: "Not even Scott Brick could save it"
    "Great book, excellent narration"

    I really enjoyed this book--it got me hooked on Brad Meltzer. And, as always, Scott Brick's narration was superb. Don't listen to the nay sayers... this one's a keeper.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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