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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

286
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 135 reviews
  • 247 ratings
  • 476 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2014
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86

  • The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4571)
    Performance
    (2587)
    Story
    (2583)

    For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch - hero, maverick, nighthawk - the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal. The dead man, Billy Meadows, was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who fought side by side with him in a nightmare underground war that brought them to the depths of hell.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "What a Terrific Book"
    "Another Solid Harry Bosch Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is litte if anything to critique negatively in this book -- the story is tight and well-paced; the narration superb. The surprises near the end are somewhat predictable, though plausible as the story concludes. Harry Bosch survives and returns to the homicide beat. . the place he most loves to apply his detective skills. I would rate this as a good, solid read for anyone who enjoys contemporary detective stories.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Judgment

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By D.W. Buffa
    • Narrated By Dennis Predovic
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (58)

    When Judge Calvin Jeffries is found murdered in a courthouse parking lot, the crime shocks the community, but justice is swift. Soon a second judge is stabbed to death. Attorney Joseph Antonelli agrees to defend the accused. What he discovers challenges everything he knows about crime and punishment...and himself. Also available abridged.

    Michael says: "Buffa's Best"
    "Stories Within the Story and Court Room Drama Too!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great book! Although I figured out "who done it" in the first half of the audio, it was well worth the listen to the very end because I wanted to know how things came together so the lawyers would figure it out. This story takes a long time to be told, but offers great descriptive prose and numerous relationships and characters to learn to know along the way. As it unfurls, the listener gets to witness numerous legal skirmishes and court room dramas as well as the personal relationships of the central figure.

    Liked it so much that I will que other Buffa books in my wish list.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3005)
    Performance
    (2851)
    Story
    (2855)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Intriguing Science and Fantasy Mix!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started this book the first time and quit before the first chapter was completed, thinking that I just couldn't handle the fantastical-scientific nature of the tale. That first chapter featured a Mars-stranded astronaut reading his log entries. Seemed a bit boring.

    A few weeks later I decided to give it another try and am so glad I did. The astronaut's log was an integral element of telling the real story -- and that was what happened on earth, where scores of brilliant scientists and mathematicians worked together to foment a rescue to Mars.

    True, it is a bit of a stretch for our current day space exploration, but the idea that a man faced with sure death would use his brain to McGiver together an existence on Mars until space agencies could create a rescue plan made for a very good story. And the idea that so many people would give their intellect and time to the endeavor made for a very, very good story.

    It is a feel-good book in the end and one that I can say I really enjoyed. Good narration throughout!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lotus Eaters

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Tatjana Soli
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (83)

    It's 1975 and the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the city falls into chaos, two lovers make their way across the city to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a devastated country she has come to love. Nguyen Pran Linh, the man who loves her, must deal with his own conflicted loyalties. As they race through the streets, they play out a drama of love and betrayal that began twelve years before.

    A User says: "Best book I've read yet this year"
    "Remarkable Story abouFemale Journalist in Viet Nam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read numerous fiction accounts of the Viet Nam war, all of which focused on male soldiers or male citizens, this book stands out among them. It is the story of a young woman who through luck and happenstance becomes a successful Life magazine photographic correspondent. It is a story within the war that hasn't been told enough, and one that Soli made very enjoyable with descriptive prose that brought this listener visions of Saigon and the Viet Nam countryside that I had never before experienced.

    The first few minutes I found the narration to be off-putting with over emphasis on awkward phrases and too earnest enunciation. But as Potter warmed to the task, her performance improved dramatically, though she never really got the hang of southern accents completely right. I can forgive that!

    I recommend this book as yet another way of experiencing the Viet Nam war -- this time through the rough and tumble experiences of a female in the new business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Keep Quiet

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lisa Scottoline
    • Narrated By Ron Livingston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Jake Whitmore is enjoying a rare bonding moment with his 16-year-old son, Kurt, when disaster strikes. They get in a terrible car accident that threatens to derail not only Kurt’s chances at college, but his entire future. Jake makes a split-second decision that saves his son from formal punishment, but plunges them both into a world of guilt, lies, and secrecy. Just when Jake thinks he has everything under control, a malevolent outsider comes forward with the power to expose Jake’s secret.

    Jen says: "I Can't Keep Quiet Because it's Sooo Good!!!"
    "This Story Will Shock You and Break Your Heart!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stunning! Right now (I just finished listening) there are no words to describe the profound impact of this real-to-life story in which a parent leads his child into a morass of moral decisions and legal issues. The shocking events within the story are heartbreaking, yet very believable. True -- the listening might say "I'd NEVER do that!" but then again, would you? If it meant saving your child's life, would you? Then what if your child was determined to save your life too? And what if saving either meant breaking laws, rewriting family morality and weaving a web of lies and deception?

    The story is so well written, it is realistic and the characters are people you can relate too very easily. If you listened to Defending Jacob and like it, you'll love this one even more.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Exile

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard North Patterson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1114)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (163)

    David Wolfe's life is approaching an exhilarating peak: a successful San Francisco lawyer, he's about to get married and has been primed for a run for Congress. But when the phone rings and he hears the voice of Hana Arif, the Palestinian woman with whom he had a passionate affair in law school, he begins a completely unexpected journey. The day after Hana's call, the prime minister of Israel is assassinated by a suicide bomber - and soon Hana is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder.

    John says: "Exile"
    "Great Contemporary Historical Courtroom Drama!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Patterson has written a superb novel that provides accurate, deep background on the geo-political issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has created multi-dimensional characters who come together in the story as villains, victims, heroes and helpers alike. The book is an excellent history lesson, but most of all offers interesting courtroom drama that is very engaging. It reveals in startling ways the "why's" of the age-old conflict and how today's political interests are at the heart of non productive peace talks.

    Be sure to listen to the interview with the author at the close of the book. Patterson talks about how he researched the book and what he hoped to accomplish with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1413)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (408)

    The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark best seller Presumed Innocent, Innocent continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, 20 years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife.

    Suzn F says: "Terrific Book"
    "This is Terrific Courtroom Drama!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    WOW! Loved this one. But for the best listening experience -- please read "Presumed Innocent" before you jump into this one. This book can stand alone, but Presumed Innocent features the same characters 20 years prior and the two books together are unbeatable!

    Just when I thought the story was surely coming to and end and the case resolved, the story took another amazing turn that left me yearning for a 24/7 nonstop listening event. The courtroom daring of all concerned is masterfully plotted and narrated.

    I am betting you won't quite see the end coming. . . even though I can't help but feel chagrined because "I should have seen it coming!" Great writing, great story telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue Island

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Bruce DeSilva
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Bruce DeSilva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (633)
    Performance
    (479)
    Story
    (472)

    Liam Mulligan is as old school as a newspaper man gets. His beat is Providence, Rhode Island, and he knows every street and alley. He knows the priests and prostitutes, the cops and street thugs. He knows the mobsters and politicians--who are pretty much one and the same. Someone is systematically burning down the neighborhood Mulligan grew up in, people he knows and loves are perishing in the flames, and the public is on the verge of panic.

    Michael Jacobi says: "Classic Whodunnit"
    "Give this one a try!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really like this fast-moving, interesting story! Crime, law, journalism and Rhode Island politics and mob life all mixed together to make a great read. LOVED the narrators, and found the characters to be well developed for the most part. This is a book worthy of your time if you love a good mystery story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Darkness More than Night: Harry Bosch Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2017)
    Performance
    (834)
    Story
    (848)

    A movie director is charged with murdering an actress during sex, and then staging her death to make it look like a suicide. In a seemingly unrelated case, a loner is murdered, leaving the sheriff's department with no clues. One unsettling revelation after another leaves a retired FBI agent and an L.A. detective thinking they've unmasked a most frightening killer with almost inconceivable calculation.

    Aaron says: "Terrific Pairing of Connelly's best Detectives."
    "A Very Different Harry Bosch Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unexpected. That sums up this one. . .it is a big twist in which Harry isn't so much the detective as he is the suspect! A little of both, with some good courtroom drama thrown in the mix.

    The narration isn't quite as good as other Connelly/Bosch books and that detracted a bit for me. But the story had a good plot and lots of suspense, which made it a four-star winner!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Martin Sixsmith
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (244)

    Now a major motion picture directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) and starring Judi Dench (Skyfall, Notes on a Scandal) and Steve Coogan (The Trip, Hamlet 2): the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years. When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman". Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.

    Julie Wenders says: "Rivetting Story and Performance"
    "Should be "Anthony/Michael: His 50 Year Search""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book, although be forewarned that this is not about Philomena (except for the final 30 minutes) but is about her son and his lifelong search for himself and his mother.

    Anthony Lee/Michael is adopted after Philomena is forced to give him up at the age of three. This book is about his heart-wrenching search to find himself and understand why he was given up for adoption. The book graphically recounts life with a brutal, demanding adoptive father and bullying adoptive brothers; as well as his life-long close relationship with a loving adoptive mother and his "sister" who was also from his Irish orphanage.

    This is truly a "history" book that charts the painful experiences of gay men in a Republican-dominated society where the conservative right damns homosexuality. The story transpires from the early 1950's to present day. Amazingly, Anthony Lee/Michael, a gay man, became a top executive in the Republican National Party, working to ensure the Republican party's success in garnering a majority in Congress. Like Michael's life, his career success was an irony of the worse kind. Michael's story includes the spectre of AIDS and the discrimination it held in that time.

    More importantly, the book depicts in all its horror, the role of the Catholic Church in brutalizing teenage pregnant girls and enslaving them as warrens of the church until their "debt" had been repaid. The story tells the facts about how the church sold thousands of babies for large sums to adoptive US parents, doing so against the wishes of their young mothers who were brow beaten as well as physically abused by the nuns in charge of their "care."

    This is a sad story, but one that deserves to be told and read. Eye opening. A bit sad. Terrifyingly real. A page turner.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • I Hear the Sirens in the Street: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel - The Troubles Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (431)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (386)

    A torso in a suitcase looks like an impossible case, but Sean Duffy isn’t easily deterred, especially when his floundering love life leaves him in need of a distraction. So with detective constables McCrabban and McBride, he goes to work identifying the victim. The torso turns out to be all that’s left of an American tourist who once served in the U.S. military. What was he doing in Northern Ireland in the midst of the 1982 Troubles?

    J. Green says: "So entertaining"
    "McKinty's Novels Get Better and Better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an exceptionally good listen! The combination of Gerard Doyle's masterful performance and McKinty's masterful prose can't be beat. The performance takes you there to the streets of Northern Ireland where unemployed men and the political and religious factions create chaos and trauma. Sean Duffy isn't a superman, just a dedicated detective who somehow finds a way to the truth, even when it isn't a pretty truth.

    This entire series (I read them out of order) is very good. I expect to relisten to them all some time in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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