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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

722
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 202 reviews
  • 439 ratings
  • 837 titles in library
  • 51 purchased in 2015
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147

  • Skeletons at the Feast

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Chris Bohjalian
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

    Paula says: "A View of WWII from a Different Perspective"
    "A View of WWII from a Different Perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first 15 minutes were a tough sell, but then, I became totally engaged by this story.

    It is one in which the perspectives of Nazism and the war are told from the perception of German citizens who were both fighting the war and fleeing from it. The story told of Germans who supported the Reich, who questioned the Reich and who fought against the Reich.

    It is told from the perspective of a prisoner of war from Scotland, an escaped Jew who survived by adopting the identity of fallen German and Russian soldiers, and from a Jewish woman held in the German work camps.

    I found it required careful listening as the author changed voices with little notice and little or no segues.That is not to fault the book, it is just the author's MO.

    This is a good story; an abundance of violence and death; a bit of romance; and in the end, a realistic story about the true nature of war -- any war.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Troubled Waters

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Gillian Galbraith
    • Narrated By Lesley Mackie
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (16)

    A young, disabled girl is lost on a winter's night in Leith, unable to help herself or find her way home. Someone is combing the streets, frantically searching for her. Within hours of her disappearance, a body is washed up on Beamer Rock, a tiny island in the Forth being used as part of the foundations for the new Queensferry Bridge. No sooner has DI Alice Rice managed to discover the identity of that body than another one is washed up on the edge of the estuary, in Belhaven Bay.

    Paula says: "Surprisingly Good Mystery!"
    "Surprisingly Good Mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first few minutes of this one were confusing to say the least, but soon I was engaged in hearing every word, anticipating that clues could be waiting. The author created an amazing story, piecing it together in a circular fashion, building event on event, carving out a great story that involved many levels of murder and mayhem. I especially enjoyed the female inspectors/detectives in this novel, a nice change from the typical male characters. Set in Scotland, the story revolves around the murder of one girl, the disappearance of another; each related in ways you might not anticipate or expect. Very good detective work was the crux of the story, although at times I thought the "work" was going at a snail's pace. (Not the story itself!)

    Good narration, good story!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Ghost of a Chance

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bill Crider
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Lifelong resident of Texas and popular mystery writer Bill Crider delivers what Library Journal calls “a solid addition to a long-running series.” Blacklin County, Texas hasn’t seen much action since Sheriff Dan Rhodes’ childhood days. So when a ghost is sighted in the jail, and Ty Berry, president of the area’s historical preservation group, is murdered, the small county is shocked. Rhodes must get to the bottom of these mysteries before it’s too late.

    Paula says: "In the "Longmire" Style"
    "In the "Longmire" Style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Crider's "Sheriff Dan Rhodes" books are enjoyable and similar in styling to Craig Johnsons Longmire series. This one is really a short story, a good buy when on sale. The characters are interesting and certainly will carry from book to book. But the story doesn't really have much time to develop into a full blown page turner. A bit predictable, but still a fun read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Legal Limit

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Martin Clark
    • Narrated By Ed Sala
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    Martin Clark has been praised as "part John Grisham, part Hunter S.Thompson, and part sheer grit". Mason Hunt returns to his small Virginia hometown as the county's commonwealth attorney. Mason's brother Gates, who's currently serving a 20 year prison term, thinks Mason should have enough pull to set him free. And when Mason refuses, Gates hatches a plan to destroy his brother's life with a secret they both swore they'd take to the grave.

    Bee Keeper says: "Original, Engaging - Time and Money Well Spent"
    "A Wonderful Surprise -- True Court Drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a wonderful surprise. . . a very good court procedural. . . with an abundance of intriguing drama. The characters were well developed and individuals with whom listeners could feel attachment and empathy. The story, while a long one, was very engaging and true to life. In short, it is the story of two brothers and the complexities of loyalty, love, and legalities.

    If you enjoy legal dramas, this one won't disappoint.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Book: An Inspector Rebus Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ian Rankin
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    Five years ago, a mysterious fire burned Edinburgh’s seedy Central Hotel to ashes. Long-forgotten and unsolved, the case reappears when a charred body - with a bullet in its head - is found among the ruins. Inspector John Rebus knows that his superiors would prefer he leave things alone. He knows that part of the answer lies somewhere in a cryptic black notebook. And he knows that to solve the case, he’ll have to peel back layer after layer of unspeakable secrets in order to arrive at the truth.

    connie says: "Rebus really gels here"
    "My First Rebus. . . and I'll Try Another"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good storyline for those who enjoy detective/police procedurals; although Rebus is a rebel and doesn't always follow procedure. Interesting plot and subplots, though I found it difficult to really "care" about most of the characters in the story. At the end, I wasn't so interested in the outcome as I should have been, but still, a solid mystery!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (727)
    Performance
    (554)
    Story
    (553)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "This is a Smart, Thrilling Story of Gangstas!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh my gosh! This is a great listen! Dennis Boutsikaris performs beautifully, and the story line is engaging, thrilling, shocking, and so much fun! This is NOT just a police procedural, court drama, murder mystery, or any other regular genre that usually appears in "Mysteries and Thrillers." It is all of those things and more, knitted together skillfully by Don Winslow, as Frankie Machine tells a great story about his life in the San Diego mob.

    There is course language, violence and sexual commentary, but all that is just part of the pie, part of the life experience of the great Frankie Machine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trust Your Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Ken Marks, Rick Holmes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (354)

    Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address, as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen. Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon - but has not - in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.

    karen says: "One of 2013's best!"
    "A Stunning Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Barclay has a way of creating great characters and in this novel, an equally great story line that will reel you into a complex web of mysteries. The only criticism I have is the use of two narrators. One was much better than the other, though I don't know which is which. The story didn't need the dual voices.

    Consider how a schizophrenic man sees the world and how that characteristic befuddles and frustrates others. Consider that there are evil doers who prey on the mentally ill. Consider how politics and politicos become evil doers on their rise to power. Those all combine to create a very memorable story.

    And by the way, there is no such thing as a truly happy ending. But don't miss this one. The ending of this story will shake you!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Tap on the Window

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Mark Zeisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (136)

    International best-selling author Linwood Barclay delivers pulse-pounding suspense that puts him among the masters of the genre. A Tap on the Window finds private investigator Cal Weaver making an ill-advised decision to pick up a young female hitchhiker who reminds him of his dead son. But something is off about the girl, and Cal is soon drawn into a host of nightmarish secrets.

    Mark says: "mystery thriller that totally hooked me"
    "A Very Engaging Well-narrated Thriller-Mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It had me from the first sentence. . . and that exhilarating feeling didn't quit through the whole book. Barclay's writing is so natural and flows so realistically that the story is plausible throughout. Zeisler's narration is excellent. . so easy to listen for hours on end.

    This is about a private detective, a couple in mourning, a small town, and a group of young adults mixed up in a story that centers around a rotten-to-the core cop. The untold secrets of the characters keep the story running and imaginations churning.

    I can highly recommend this one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nathan's Run

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Gilstrap
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    This raw and vivid portrait of juvenile detention centers and life on the run catapults John Gilstrap to the forefront of the crime thriller genre. Nathan Bailey is a 12-year-old juvenile-hall orphan with a problem. Covered in blood, he is caught on videotape fleeing from a murder scene. Will the boy evade the police long enough to tell the truth? Or will a hit man kill him before he gets the chance?

    Paula says: "Great World vs Kid Story Full of Suspense!"
    "Great World vs Kid Story Full of Suspense!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh wow! This is a terrific story with characters that come to life through George Guidall's outstanding performance. From the first sentences it was clear this was going to be a page-turner (or all nighter for those of us who listen!) Imagine good cops and bad cops and a "tween" boy whose only living relative threw him to the dogs and now he is facing off with nearly the whole world in a life or death struggle. Nathan's Run is an excellent listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6227)
    Performance
    (5649)
    Story
    (5644)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Expectations Too High, but Still, a Good Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The hoopla and raves had me expecting something much more than what I experienced here, but despite higher than normal expectations, I must say that this novel was a solid listen.

    The criticisms: (1) The characters didn't warrant much emotion on my part -- they didn't come through as persons deserving empathy or caring. (2) I could see the finish coming many chapters away. . . so the actual ending was a bit anti-climactic.

    The positives: (1) The narration is SUPERB! Wow! Great characterizations with many well tuned voices. I like Glenister very much. (2) The interactions between Strike and his assistant kept a little "mystery" going on the side which was interesting.

    The central murder-mystery is a strong story if you can accept Strike being in the middle of a snobbish literary world. He seemed to do well there, but he would likely suggest that writers are true nut cases after this experience.

    Good listen!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wait for Signs

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (321)

    Ten years ago, Craig Johnson wrote his first short story, the Hillerman Award-winning "Old Indian Trick". This was one of the earliest appearances of the sheriff who would go on to star in Johnson’s best-selling, award-winning novels and the A&E hit series Longmire. Each Christmas Eve thereafter, fans rejoiced when Johnson sent out a new short story featuring an episode in Walt’s life that doesn’t appear in the novels; over the years, many have asked why they can’t buy the stories in book form.

    Paula says: "Delightful! Begging for More!"
    "Delightful! Begging for More!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Only five hours for one credit? I hesitated momentarily. Then I clicked the button, downloaded Wait for Signs and snuggled into my comfy spot to listen.

    Loved, loved, loved these very short stories! Laughed out loud at some! Listened to the whole thing in only two "sittings." When it was done I was literally heartbroken that there weren't more "new" Longmire stories to hear.

    As always, Craig Johnson's depiction of Sheriff Longmire and his company of friends is absolutely the best. He is truly a master of story-writing.

    Don't hesitate. It's worth it!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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