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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

482
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 181 reviews
  • 344 ratings
  • 689 titles in library
  • 168 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
98

  • Tallgrass

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Sandra Dallas
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (104)

    During World War II, a family's life is turned upside down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town. After a young girl is murdered, all eyes (and suspicions) turn to the newcomers, the "interlopers", the "strangers". Rennie Stroud has never seen it before. She has just turned 13 and, until this time, life has pretty much been what her father told her it should be: predictable and fair.

    Laurie says: "A nice read"
    "History Lesson for a Younger Reader!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    By younger, I mean someone between 14 and 18 . . . . and since I'm over 60, you'll understand that this simple, but well-presented story lacks the sophistication most adult readers require. It is set during WWII, and the story is told from the perspective of a rapidly maturing 13 year old. Tallgrass is a camp for Japanese Americans and the story revolves around a family whose morals create opportunities for them to befriend the relocated citizens; despite the opposition of most of their rural neighbors. It is definitely a "G" rated story -- with lots of little life lessons there for the taking. Despite the fact that I felt it was targeting a youthful audience, I listened to it all; mostly because the narration was quite good. The story line was predictable; the outcome expected. Sort of like "Little House in the Prairie."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Tooth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (709)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (605)

    Winner of such prestigious honors as the Booker Prize and Whitbread Award, Ian McEwan is justifiably regarded as a modern master. Set in 1972, Sweet Tooth follows Cambridge student Serena Frome, whose intelligence and beauty land her a job with England's intelligence agency, MI5. In an attempt to monitor writers' politics, MI5 tasks Serena with infiltrating the literary circle of author Tom Healy. But soon matters of trust and identity subvert the operation.

    Susianna says: "Perfect Book for your Literary Sweet Tooth"
    "Unique and Satisfying (In the End!)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't see it coming. And I am so glad. Ian McEwan has crafted an amazing story that is very, very unique. During the first hour or so, I wondered if the narrator (a slightly vain beauty) really had a story to tell. But I stayed tuned and of course, the story became irresistible.

    Not much can be written here without giving it away, but DO listen all the way through and you will be pleased and surprised by the turn of events when the worlds of literature and covert operations intersect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Safe House

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Brian O'Neill, Graham Winton
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    New York Times best-selling author Linwood Barclay delivers an electrifying novel of suspense in which a family’s troubled past is about to return in more ways than one. And this time, they may not be able to escape.… Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family, who first appeared in No Time for Goodbye, experienced a horrific ordeal that nearly cost them their lives. Today, the echoes of that fateful night are still audible.

    shelley says: "Linwood Barclay has done it again - 5 Star Review"
    "Can People Really Live With Lies and Deception?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second in Barclay's books about the Archer family and their amazing "troubles." The narration is very engaging and the story is filled with twists and turns along the way. This one, like "Too Close to Home," left me shaking my head.

    The two books allow you to know the main characters and even the bad guy gets your sympathy at times. In the end, the Archers involve themselves (even at arms length) in heinous crimes and are raising a teenage daughter who is more than a little bit aware of all of it. How do they resolve their involvement, their cover up, their intentional misleading of the police, etc., in order to protect themselves from any accountability? Mr. Archer is a teacher. Mrs. Archer a government employee. Yet, they seem okay with the events and the deception that must continue if they are to remain above suspicion.

    Not to give away the ending, but in this one, the real "culprit" behind much of the crime in the story is known only at the very close of the book. . . and that person has no regrets, no qualms and no accountability at all. Breaks your heart because over the two books, this one will have your empathy!

    A very good read! Recommend reading both books, with this one second!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Time for Goodbye

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (164)

    The house was deathly quiet. That was the first sign that something was terribly wrong. Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke that morning to find herself alone. Her family - mother, father, and brother - had vanished without a word, without a note, without a trace. Twenty-five years later, Cynthia is still looking for answers. Now she is about to learn the devastating truth.

    S. Johnston says: "I truy enjoyed this book!"
    "Excellent in Every Way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one awesome story! It will keep you engaged and guessing until the very last. That's the kind of mystery that makes your time and credits worth it. Loved Christopher Lane's narration and looking forward to reading Barclay's next installment in this series, "No Safe House."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mount Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1433)
    Performance
    (713)
    Story
    (729)

    Guy Carson is a brilliant scientist at GeneDyne, one of the world's foremost biochemical companies. When he is transferred to Mount Dragon, GeneDyne's high-security genetic engineering lab, his good fortune seems too good to be true.

    Carson soon finds that it is. He learns that GeneDyne geneticists are tinkering with a common virus with an eye on the enormous profit to be had from a cure for the flu. Their cure involves permanently altering DNA in humans. What's more, Mount Dragon harbors another secret that puts the world at horrifying risk.

    Kathy says: "Great grab-you-in-plot!"
    "Good Beginning, but it Got Looooong and Slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of this story was intriguing. . . and that's about the best thing I can offer. This one was about twice as long as it needed to be, especially the arduous, never-ending horse ride through the desert lava fields. I was desperate to see the finish of the story in sight! In all, there was so much redundancy in the story telling -- and very little, if any mystery at all! Anyone could predict the outcome for all the characters. . . none of whom were at all endearing. Average read or below, I think.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Burning Room

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Titus Welliver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (507)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (457)

    In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.

    Barbara N. says: "Great story, narration a disappointment"
    "just not the same without Dick Hill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i can't help it....this book was absent Dick Hills' amazing voice and for that reason lacked much of the "character" present in other Connelly books. Moreover, if this is to be the final Bosch chapter, it left me sorely disappointed. The ending was not one that should have gone with Bosch's final days as a cold case detective. The story itself was just "okay" rather than "great." Still, worth the advance order and credit. Can't help but wish for more more more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Providence Rag: A Liam Mulligan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Bruce DeSilva
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (101)

    Edgar Award-winner Bruce DeSilva returns with Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan knows every street and alley, every priest and prostitute, every cop and street thug. He knows the mobsters and politicians - who are pretty much one and the same. Inspired by a true story, Providence Rag finds Mulligan, his pal Mason, and the newspaper they both work for at an ethical crossroad.

    Paula says: "Third Book in a Terrific Series - Love Them All"
    "Third Book in a Terrific Series - Love Them All"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author and narrator of this series have done a fabulous job of creating a wonderful series featuring journalists and cops and criminals. Read them in order (1- Rogue Island, 2-Cliff Walk, then 3-Providence Rag.) Mulligan is a lovable, flawed reporter for the Providence RI newspaper, which by the way, is on life support as are most newspapers these days. The story is VERY contemporary, citing everything from Obama Care to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Each story is unique and different enough to grab your attention and engage your brain in solving the various conundrums the characters face. Political mud, mob crime, serial murders, and the ethics of modern day journalists are central to the stories and make for very good listening!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (643)
    Performance
    (576)
    Story
    (571)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Ronna says: "best book to come along this year!!"
    "Ordinary Grace is an Extraordinary Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In some ways this is a "coming of age-coming to Jesus story"; but it is much more too. Circa 1961, a preacher's kid encounters personal losses and moral decisions that prove to be too much for a twelve year old boy.

    This is an enormously satisfying story of a family and community that is at once ordinary and yet very unusual. Discrimination against Native Americans and those handicapped is visceral and leads to behaviors and decisions that create enormous hurts. The mystery of three deaths, all on or near the river are central to the story.

    In the end, a young boy and his brother are faced with grave, all consuming decisions that will shape their lives forever.

    The narration is superb, the story engaging and awe-inspiring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Conflict of Interest: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2167)
    Performance
    (1762)
    Story
    (1777)

    Alex Miller is a criminal defense lawyer leading the life he always imagined. At thirty-five, he is the youngest partner at New York City's most prestigious law firm, with a beautiful wife and a perfect daughter. When Alex's father suddenly passes away, Alex is introduced to Michael Ohlig, a rich and powerful man who holds an almost mythical place in his family lore. But Alex is surprised when Ohlig admits that he's in serious legal trouble, accused of crimes involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Melinda says: "My 2 Cents"
    "Legal THRILLER? Not! Good Listen? YES!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is categorized as "mystery/thriller - legal thriller" but it seems that is a bit of an exaggeration. It has plenty of mystery and much, much court room drama, but I could not find the "thriller" element of the story. In fact, the story is told in a calm, matter-of-fact way that reduces any anxiety or thrill that might have come along.

    That said, it is a very good legal/court room drama story with numerous plot twists that will keep you listening. In this one, a litigator (white shoe law firm partner, husband, son, father) finds himself in the midst of a host of dilemmas, including representation of a family friend whom he distrusts and despises, infidelity, lying under oath, suicide/re-murder questions, and more.

    I liked David Ledoux's narration very much and enjoyed the way the story developed. It was not a nail-biter by any means, but did get a gasp or two from me near the end of the story as surprising new twists are revealed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (598)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "A Good Saga. . . Long, but Enoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed other Courtenay books more, but this is a very good story. For me, the difference was that in his other books, I have found a female character to empathize with/relate to; and found none in this one. Jack's mother, teachers, "girl friends" and others were just fleeting characters in the story.

    Jack is bright but sure makes some crazy (aka stupid) decisions throughout the story. Nonetheless, he survives, even thrives and his life story takes the listener to interesting and exotic locales where he makes his way with music and/or gambling.

    Humphey Bower as always, did a magnificent job narrating the story. I simply would have liked to "care" a little more about the characters, including Jack.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Ice Cold Grave: Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1223)
    Performance
    (562)
    Story
    (571)

    Called to tiny Doraville, North Carolina, Harper investigates the disappearance of several young boys. After finding them buried in a secluded wood, it becomes clear that a sadistic serial killer is stalking the town's children.

    A User says: "Cant wait till november!"
    "Grisly, Explicit, Shocking Story Line"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book 3 in the "Harper Connelly" series. I had not read books 1, 2, nor 4 in this series. . . which was okay, because this book can stand alone. I don't think I need to read the rest of the series, since the descriptions of the plots are more of the same. Typically, stories about the supernatural are not interesting to me, but something within the first minutes of this one hooked me.

    That said, the plot became quite complex and the story line muddied at times. The lead characters, (presumably step sister and brother,) are featured in the grisly as well as the sexually explicit parts of the book and it was a bit tough to listen to at times. Serial murders, sexual torture of children and the like can make my stomach turn.

    The narration made listening okay. Besnahan's performance was terrific and I give her five stars. That done, I can only barely award the story itself 3 stars overall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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