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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

650
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 197 reviews
  • 412 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
126

  • Retirement Plan: A Crime Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Miller
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (86)

    What do you do when you fall through the loopholes in the system and all you have to rely on are your own wits? Lois and Sophie have scrambled and saved for years, planning for their retirement in Florida. But now they've lost it all, and Lois' sniper training from her long-ago service as an Army nurse leads to a desperate career choice. When Detective Morgan Holiday is assigned to investigate a spate of sniper killings, it's just one more stress point in her already overburdened life.

    'Nathan says: "Rooting for the "bad guys" has never been so good!"
    "This is Fiction, for Sure!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story plot (two female senior citizens as killers-for-hire) had great potential. The characterization of lesbian women as "real" people was well done. Bernadette Dunne's performance was quite good.

    That said, this book was a less-than-average listen. . . it just never got very interesting. Too easy to put this one down and go on to other things.

    And the ending? Fiction for sure, given that what the (I-think-I'm-a-lesbian) detective does would get her in big trouble, since her colleagues knew what was in her possession. (Trying not to give it all away here!)

    Not a bad listen. . .but far from the best. Average.

    2 of 3 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
    (387)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (340)

    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!!

    0 of 0 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
    (140)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (127)

    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!

    0 of 0 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
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    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?

    Ronna says: "Young Nathan will win your heart!!"
    "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!

    1 of 1 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
    (5258)
    Performance
    (4801)
    Story
    (4800)

    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 1 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
    (268)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (241)

    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.

    Jane says: "Wonderful - as are all Craig Johnson's books!!"
    "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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9933)
    Performance
    (8308)
    Story
    (8305)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    Paula says: "Mind Boggling Thrilling Mystery! Don't Miss It!"
    "Mind Boggling Thrilling Mystery! Don't Miss It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just exactly who the "crazy" person is in this story was the puzzle from the beginning! Was what was being said "real" or a "dream" or "a mix of imagination and reality?" And wow! It just kept getting better. . . and in the end, I was still wondering who was crazed, who was the killer, who was the victim, who was the truth teller! Can't beat that for an exciting listen.

    The narration was excellent, with great voices for all the characters imparted by the various performers. All were easy to listen to and added much to the depth of the characters.

    The story itself defies much reviewing since most statements would be a giveaway to the plot. It is good. Very good.

    71 of 81 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (4838)
    Performance
    (4293)
    Story
    (4308)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Don't Judge by the Cover. . . It's Not Chick Lit!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some have said this is chick lit and not worth the listen. I disagree. This story has threads that run very, very deep and it is really quite good in every manner. The narration is pure Australian and spot on for every character. Loved Caroline Lee!

    The novel is situated in contemporary Australia. The crux of the story is about a decades-old unsolved murder; the lifelong relationship of female cousins; a shocking marital separation; a "found" lost love; lots (and lots) of tension between parents and children, in-laws and such; and most of all, a husband's awful secret. But really, everyone in the story has secrets. Everyone has secret thoughts and feelings that they don't state or reveal. Thus, they live behind walls, lots, and lots of walls that they have erected to protect themselves from emotional hurt. The symbolism of the use of the Berlin Wall (an historical interest of one of the characters) is so perfect for this story. "Who would want to live on the other side of a wall?" one young girl asks. Who? Lots of the adults who aren't brave enough to risk love, rejection, and truth; all of whose life stories are central to this novel.

    A very good story about intertwined relationships and the power that compassion and love have to create pain and sorrow as well as healing and joy.

    Much recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Grass Roots: A Will Lee Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    Will Lee has returned to his roots to kick off his campaign for the Senate. A prominent lawyer, he has come back to his hometown of Delano, Georgia, to plan his strategies...and to argue an explosively controversial case that could seriously damage his political career. For Delano is a town with a dark secret - a smoldering hotbed of racial hatred and moral outrage, held in the thrall of a sinister white-supremacist group called The Elect... a breeding ground for violent, evil forces that will stop at nothing to keep the candidate out of office.

    Ted says: "Sainted Democrat Vs. Zealot, Evil, Racist GOP"
    "Plot: Dems vs. "Evil" Republicans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, I must admit that I enjoyed this book. Especially the narration. Will Lee as the central character lacked some of the depth of Woods' "Chiefs" characters, but was good for the most part. It was, at times, difficult to find fault with him, and then in the blink of an eye, that appraisal slipped precariously.

    However, the core issue of the story pivots on the principal that liberal democrats are the white-hatted good folks and the right wing, radical republicans are the black-hatted evil folks. Oh yes, and conservative religion is equally immoral and remiss. That is the hard sell of the story and might make it unpalatable for some.

    Still, there is considerable court room drama, a good deal of lawyering and a plethora of mysteries to resolve. That's what kept me listening. This one isn't as good as "Chiefs", but entertaining, nevertheless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ashes to Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (105)

    He performs his profane ceremony in a wooded Minneapolis park, anointing his victims, then setting the bodies ablaze. He has already claimed three lives, and he won't stop there. Only this time there is a witness. But she isn't talking. Enter Kate Conlan, former FBI agent turned victim/witness advocate. Not even she can tell if the reluctant witness is a potential victim or something more troubling still.

    Michael says: "Riveting thriller"
    "Too Brutal, Grisly, Graphic for Me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy a good crime novel, detective story, murder story as much as anyone. . . but the crimes in Hoag's "Ashes to Ashes" is so horribly graphic, brutal and depraved that it was disconcerting, nauseating and horrifying, so much so that I simply stopped reading midway. Too much of the horror, over and over again! Brutalized headless female corpses. . . partially cremated bodies, horrendous torture. . . if you like that sort of stuff, then I can tell you there is plenty just in the first half of this book. It's not my cup of tea.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Still Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lisa Genova
    • Narrated By Lisa Genova
    Overall
    (1510)
    Performance
    (1059)
    Story
    (1059)

    Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At 50 years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world - forever.

    Ira says: "Incredibly stimulating and thought-provoking"
    "Very Engaging. Author Narrates. Beware!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very good story that reveals Alzheimer's disease in a way that few books have done. Alice's personal viewpoint is compelling and informative and I like this way of writing the story -- it is very engaging. However some of my accolades are reserved because at times it felt like I was listening to a nonfiction documentary. In part this was because the author read the book (as opposed to performing it in varied voices) and in part because there was quite a bit of history and fact woven in it. Infrequently, an author reading his or her work is a good idea. This is an example of it being a bad idea. Still, worth the time and credit.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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