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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

425
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 169 reviews
  • 320 ratings
  • 610 titles in library
  • 124 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
92

  • 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
    (4934)
    Performance
    (2915)
    Story
    (2912)

    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 Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (157)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Pamela says: "Well...I really liked 50% of it"
    "Tana French Nails It! Everything You Could Want!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Recipe: Boarding school for odd and/or bitchy and/or cliquish teen girls. Boarding school for randy teen boys. Naive school officials, nuns, masters and mistresses at both. Oh, and throw in a cold case murder on the girls' school grounds -- of one of boys from the neighboring school. Great story? Yes, please!

    I have to admit, that the above recipe in a book by most any other author would not have gotten it to my reading list. But who can resist Tana French? And this time, she wrote (aka nailed) a fabulous tale of mayhem and murder amongst teens. The detectives and the detecting are superb, which makes the story most engaging.

    After the fact, there is nothing I disliked about this book. However, in the first passages, the female narrator is VERY difficult to understand. Thankfully, her enunciation gets better and her British accent lessens as the story proceeds.

    Five stars Tana! Hurrah!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing the Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Natalia Sylvester
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    Andres suspects his wife has left him - again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: She’s been kidnapped. Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative novel is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’d do anything to get her back. Or will he? As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home.

    Paula says: "A Good, Surprisingly Suspenseful Story!"
    "A Good, Surprisingly Suspenseful Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Think 1992, Lima Peru. An era of widespread criminal activity featuring kidnappings for ransom. Two women in Andres' life have been kidnapped (at different times) and this story reveals human shortfalls and strengths in a spectacular way. What will he part with to get his wife back from her kidnappers? What will he do to help a childhood friend recover from the horrors of her kidnapping? What will his wife do with her life when she returns? Good story. Great suspense all the way.

    The central characters in the story are minimal and though they could have been developed more, what we find out about them as the story unfolds turns out to be adequate.

    I have only one minor criticism. The book is read in third person. Every time a character speaks, it is followed by "she said" or "Andres said." The narrator could have/should have used better character voices and avoided that redundancy. It got tiresome, for sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Simple Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (416)

    Michael Fiske broke the law when he took Rufus Harms's prison letter from the Supreme Court. But he also sealed his own fate. Now Michael's brother, a cop turned attorney, is coming to Washington to find out why his brother was murdered - and what it had to do with a crime that Rufus Harms committed 25 years before.

    Ted says: "Disappoint? Balcacci? Not Likely!"
    "Oh Mercy How the Truth Escapes Us!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Baldacci has provided legal-drama addicts with a good one here. The characters were terrific and of course, the various lawyering doings were excellent as usual. Enjoyed this one from start to finish!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Town: Wayward Pines, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (273)

    Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho, three weeks ago. In this town, people are told who to marry, where to live, where to work. Their children are taught that David Pilcher, the town's creator, is god. No one is allowed to leave; even asking questions can get you killed. But Ethan has discovered the astonishing secret of what lies beyond the electrified fence that surrounds Wayward Pines and protects it from the terrifying world beyond.

    justin says: "TWO/THREE star review within 3 hours ? RIDICULOUS"
    "Such a Good Series! Will There be More?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all three books in this series and enjoyed them all -- this one the most! The story continued to surprise and engage, right through to the amazing, amazing end. Crouch builds suspense and creates really great characters. I felt like I was walking the streets of Wayward Pines with Sheriff Ethan and the gang. Don't start with this one, start at the beginning of the series. . . you'll not be sorry you did!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Shadows Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Still haunted by the British army’s treatment of soldiers during World War I, Lieutenant Adam Bowen returns to Dublin in 1919 - and discovers a new war destroying his hometown. When his well-bred family ignores the violence between Irish revolutionaries and the British government, Adam turns his back on Britain and secretly aligns with the Irish Republican Army. Then Adam meets golden-haired, blue-eyed Tara Reilly, and finds himself drawn to her quiet beauty.

    Paula says: "A Gem of a Book! Don't Miss It!"
    "A Gem of a Book! Don't Miss It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a nice surprise! This is a real gem performed by the awesome Simon Vance. It opens in the WWI battle fields of France, giving the reader a detailed picture of how war shapes the thinking of its young soldiers. From there, it goes to another battlefield, those of Ireland where British troops tried to rule and the militant IRA opposed them -- at the expense of many innocents.

    One of those innocents - who abhors the IRA for the deaths of her family and one of the war scarred soldiers -- who abhors the Brits for their merciless treatment of both soldiers and civilians - meet and eventually fall in love. You will be engaged in the story of the conflict they face and how the love-hate relationships they have with each other and the politics of the time affect them.

    This is a good listen. Historical fiction, along with warring and romancing and reconciling by all concerned! The historical notes at the conclusion are worth a listen too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (444)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (370)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Much, Much Better than I Expected! Try it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first few minutes of this book did not impress. . . but I gave it a bit more time and before I knew it, I was totally hooked. This is a very good mystery story set in a time and place (Laos post war) that has been mostly overlooked in fiction. The author did a great job of creating characters who demanded your empathy or ire; and produced a plot line that kept me wondering. The narration is (at the beginning) a bit flat and may be the element that made me wonder about my choice of books; but Clive Chafer did a remarkable job throughout. HIs performance is different that many others with which you may be familiar. I will listen to more of his books.

    Worth the credit!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Servant

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (777)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (376)

    Gabriel is summoned once more by his masters to undertake what appears to be a routine assignment: travel to Amsterdam to purge the archives of a murdered Dutch terrorism analyst who also happened to be an asset of Israeli intelligence. But once in Amsterdam, Gabriel soon discovers a conspiracy of terror festering in the city's Islamic underground.

    Dan says: "One of the very best"
    "Good Good Good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an engaging international thriller featuring the uncommon secrecy and bravery of the Israeli secret service and its star agent, Albion. Silva writes a good if not great thriller, but I felt Gigante's performance less than stellar. . . with pomposity in his voice for a good bit of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (603)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (542)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    "Predictable Story with Bland Conclusion. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So now I will have to see the movie. This may be one time the movie is better than the book, although I am skeptical since the book offers little in terms of suspense, mystery, climax or conclusion. While others may rave, I just found this one to be rather typical, predictable and ordinary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • False Prophet, a Legal Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jeff Rasley
    • Narrated By Lucas Schuneman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Jack Ross loses his soul but finds redemption representing an evangelical African American preacher. Jack's downward spiral begins with his idealistic but doomed defense of his best friend and colleague. It becomes an existential crisis. His wife leaves. His partner is in alcohol rehab. Jack's struggle to reclaim his professional standing and self-respect is aided by a petty criminal and a hot young reporter. Jack sets out to right the wrongs done to his Christian-prophet client.

    Paula says: "Sophomoric, Bland, Not the Least Thrilling"
    "Sophomoric, Bland, Not the Least Thrilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't say much that is nice about this one, so maybe I should say nothing. In a nutshell, once you have read GOOD legal thrillers, this one doesn't even come close. The lawyers you are supposed to care about are immature, sophomoric boys who still hang on to their high school football days; can't develop the emotional maturity it takes to keep a relationship going unless it is all about their "needs"; and the bad guys are one dimensional characters who come and go in every dime store novel, so it is impossible to be held in suspense about what they will do next.

    On top of bad writing, add really bad narration. . . and this one becomes painful. Keep looking if you want a legal thriller. This isn't it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bean Trees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By C. J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (181)

    Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity of putting down roots.

    Nancy says: "Barbara, can we have a "re-do?""
    "Narration Totally Ruins this Mediocre Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried, I really did. There was no getting past the narrator's gasping breaths between every sentence; the ungodly long pauses between paragraphs ( and even longer ones between chapters.) I tried to stick with it but after two+ hours, I gave it up. The story wasn't particularly engaging and that, combined with the dreadful narration was just too much to bare. Do authors have a say in who performs their books? I can't believe Barbara Kingsolver would approve of this awful production.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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