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L. O. Pardue

I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.

Atlanta, GA United States | Member Since 2010

191
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 70 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 264 titles in library
  • 54 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
17
FOLLOWERS
45

  • The Keeper of Lost Causes: Department Q, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1610)
    Performance
    (1394)
    Story
    (1393)

    Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award-also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now, Dutton is thrilled to introduce him to America.

    Ted says: "Dark, Cold, and Danish"
    "Fantastic New Scandinavian Series!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Scandinavian mysteries and thrillers. I find that the scenery and culture along with their descriptions about their governments and daily life make for a fascinating background to a story. So when the mystery or characters are excellent, too, it is like the icing on the cake. If you enjoy books by Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg and Henning Mankell, you will love Jussi Adler-Olsen's first translated book.

    Adler-Olsen has written such a compelling, but unique book, it is hard to compare to others, except for the obvious similaries with background. The main character, Carl Morck, of Copenhagen's homicide squad is transferred to a new "Department Q" that is responsible for investigating cold cases. Morck is a very flawed, but brilliant, criminal investigator. His personality would have held my interest, but every character introduced by Adler-Olsen was three dimensional and not stereotypical. My absolute favorite is the mysterious Syrian immigrant, Assad, that was hired as Morck's custodian in the basement facility. Assad turns out to have an incredible talent for memory and police procedure. I love the interactions between Morck and Assad -- just wonderful writing!

    You will find the mystery is so different than any other you may have encountered, that I will let it develop for you. It builds and builds and grabs you in a very strong hold.

    Like most Scandinivian writing, there is some melancholy and darkness that dictates the mood of the book. Carl's interactions with his seriously injured former partner will bring tears to your eyes. How do these wonderful authors get me so involved with their characters and stories. I just can't stop with this book. I look forward to reading the new book out by Adler-Olsen. My only worry is that Audible cannot translate his books as fast as I want to listen to them.

    The narrator did a fantastic job with the accents, different characters, mood and speed of the story.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Blood: A Virgil Flowers Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1955)
    Performance
    (1067)
    Story
    (1061)

    One late fall Sunday in southern Minnesota, a farmer brings a load of soybeans to a local grain elevator - and a young man hits him on the head with a steel bar, drops him into the grain bin, waits until he's sure he's dead, and then calls the sheriff to report the "accident." Suspicious, the sheriff calls in Virgil Flowers, who quickly breaks the kid down...and the next day the boy's found hanging in his cell. Remorse? Virgil isn't so sure....

    Bob says: "EXCELLENT!"
    "How do you decide to quit a story?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read several Virgil Flowers books and understand why his character is much admired by listeners. The best part of this book was keeping up with the character.

    Yet, I can't recommend the listen because I lost almost all interest once John Sanford revealed the identity of the killers and the mystery before I even reached the half-way point of the book. I enjoy true whodunits and want the go through the gradual reveal of clues. I listened for another hour or so, but my mind kept wondering and I wasn't willing to re-listen to parts I missed. I finally threw in the towel. Do you do the same? Under what circumstances do you stop listening to a book that used up a valuable credit?

    I will say that Eric Conger did his usual outstanding job with the narration of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1816)
    Performance
    (1673)
    Story
    (1665)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Marci says: "Great story. Genius writing"
    "Oh, Calamity!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Kindergarten Politics. I never had children, but I imagine that those two words strike heart-stopping fear in any parent with a child entering elementary school. Liane Moriarty took me through the experience with all the irony, hilarity, fear and poignancy possible. I loved the format of the story-telling. It was clear who was talking at each point of the story, but the story was written to allow each witness to say a paragraph or so about how they saw the event. As you can imagine, lots of differing viewpoints. For the main characters, Madeline, Celeste and Jane, their stories alternated from chapter to chapter. I would love to meet them for coffee anytime.

    The narrator was outstanding in every way. I always knew who was talking, but the emotions generated by these stories were clear to the listener. I have no complaints with this narrator.

    There is a death and an investigation, but it is actually minor to the rest of the story. Just the setting for the death, a Kindergarten Trivia Night in which everyone dressed as Elvis or Audry Hepburn, makes it funny to me.

    If this book sounds like something you would never want to hear, let me tell you, I resisted my many friends begging me to read this story. Boy, am I glad I got away from my comfort zone to listen to this excellent story. I will go to Liane Moriarty again!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Obit: A Collins-Burke Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Anne Emery
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (36)

    Long ago, Declan Burke fled Ireland in the dark of night, started a new life in New York City, and has never looked back - until one morning when he picks up the newspaper and reads the obituary of one Cathal Murphy. He sees at once that the obituary is a coded summary of his own life and probably a thinly veiled death threat. He turns to Halifax lawyer Monty Collins for advice, but when Monty starts to investigate the obit’s allusions to Declan’s IRA past, Declan decides to keep his lips sealed.

    cristina says: "A tad disappointed"
    "Just So-So"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Anne Emery's first book, "The Sign of the Cross". This book was just mediocre. My mind wandered frequently, and I couldn't get into the mood to replay sections I missed. I think the main problem for me was that the story line just didn't feel right. I couldn't believe an obituary was a coded and veiled threat against Father Burke's father. Collins and Burke couldn't even determine until late in the story if the threat was recent or decades old (from Declan Burke's days associated with the IRA in Ireland). There were so many characters with complex stories, and it took so long to get to a resolution. I wish the book had been based in Halifax instead of NYC.

    I still love the characters and narrator. I will definitely try the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 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
    (587)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (531)

    "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"
    "More Strong Storytelling from Tana French"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am giving this review 4 stars only because I am comparing it to other Tana French novels. If I compare this story to the type of mysteries I enjoy, it would get a solid 5 stars. Ms. French's books are mysteries, they are even police procedurals, but these novels defy the normal "mystery / thriller" genre. I would describe Ms. French's writing as "literary" mystery because she spends so much time on the characters and the place. I felt I was standing there on the grounds of St. Kilda school beside detectives Conway and Moran. There is no formula you can follow to determine the murderer. I spent lots of time while I was not listening to the book trying to figure out the killer. I could not figure it out even though the resolution fit in the end.

    Other reviewers will claim that the narration is annoying because it was so creepy about how teenager's, especially girls, talk so snarky, uncompassionate and self-assured. But isn't that how these privileged girls may have acted under these circumstances. I agree it was not fun to listen to their speech, but it feels more real for this story.

    To a new-comer to Tana French, I would recommend they start with book 3, "The Faithful Place" and then go back to the first book and follow in order. But, it is OK to start here with this excellent mystery. While there is no continuous thread you have to follow, it is fun to find a previous book's character reappear occasionally in these stories.

    I wish the next Tana French book would come out sooner than 2 years. But these stories are worth the wait.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (594)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (543)

    Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

    David Walker says: "Back in 3 Pines"
    "Exceeds my High Expectations!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I started this listen, I had huge expectations because the series to this point only got better and better. After the last book's major crescendo, I couldn't imagine how Penny could come back with another story for Gamache that would be the same caliber. I was even concerned that Penny could stop writing, and the series could stand well where it ended with Book 9.

    I under-estimated how brilliant Penny is. The only change I saw was that this book starts with Gamache now living in Three Pines. No change with familiar characters' personalities that have remained consistent over the entire series. I was laughing with real joy to have my friends back.

    One thing I loved about this particular book, as Gamache and his team research and travel to solve the mystery, I was able to do the same on the internet. It expanded my understanding of the story in a fun way. I felt I was part of the team.

    Thank you, Louise Penny, I am grateful for your books. This is why I read.

    5 of 5 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
    (678)
    Performance
    (605)
    Story
    (599)

    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?

    Dave says: "Utterly brilliant"
    "Pitch Perfect Voice and Words"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator's voice with a beautiful Irish lilt is perfectly matched to the words that are so well-written by McKinty. I want to compare the writing to soaring poetry, but I lack the skills to define how much this story -- this series -- moves me to listen so intently. I actually listened to some chapters a second time, not because I didn't understand, but because I wanted to hear it again. I am already looking forward to the day that I can re-listen to this series.

    Don't even think of starting this book unless you have heard the first in the series "A Cold, Cold Ground". The background and place (1980's in Northern Ireland) have taught me a great deal about the "Troubles" near Ulster. It is fortunate that the first book is just as excellent as the second.

    Sean Duffy is my hero. No need to explain, it will be readily apparent as you read this story, even though no one would claim Duffy is perfect. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I hope Adrian McKinty will not plan to take a break from writing now that he has completed this trilogy. I would read anything he puts out in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Countdown City: The Last Policeman, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (110)

    There are just 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank’s days of solving crimes are over - until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband....

    Matthew says: "Don't bother buying a new watch battery"
    "Getting Creepy and Scary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did enjoy the first book of this series, but I am so glad this story will end as a trilogy. I am willing to listen to the last one, but I probably would have stopped here, if there was a fourth book. With the asteroid within 70 days of hitting, society is breaking down into something that feels like "Lord of the Flies". While I would like to think I would act like the main character, Hank, I find him to be an idealistic version of how everyone wants to act under these circumstances. I think the ending of this book was a great set-up for the last book in the series. Too bad the rest of the book was just mediocre to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stonecutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Camilla Läckberg
    • Narrated By David Thorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (225)

    The remote resort town of Fjällbacka has seen more than its share of tragedies, but a little girl found in a fisherman's net may be the worst yet - especially when the postmortem reveals that this was a methodical murder, not an accidental drowning. Local detective Patrik Hedstrom has just become a father, and it’s his grim task to discover who could have killed a child both he and his partner Erica knew well. He realizes that the solution lies with finding a motive for this terrible crime.

    Maureen says: "Extremely enjoyable"
    "A Mystery that Solves Itself?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing is well done and the narration is great. I am struggling with this review because it just had too many characters. In addition, all the characters get a full back-story which made this story way too long. A significant editor's cut should have been done on this book.

    This story is more of a psychological thriller as only about 20% of the book contained any actual police investigation by Patric (a favorite character of mine) and his crew. The actual "solve" of the mystery was more like the clues fell into the Patric's lap instead of actual crime solving. I wasn't surprised by the ending. The twist comes so late and after so much reveal of the characters, you just want to get on with it.

    Yet, Camilla Lackberg can tell a story in a very interesting way. It just wasn't the story I wanted. Hopefully, the next book will be more of the crime solving genre that I crave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mortal Bonds: Jason Stafford, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Michael Sears
    • Narrated By John Beford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    William von Becker ran one of the largest privately held investment banks in North America, until the bottom fell out, and the whole edifice was demonstrated to be a fraud. After von Becker dies in prison, financial investigator Jason Stafford is hired by his family. There is still a lot of missing money out there, he's told, and they want Stafford to find it before the Feds do - and certain other parties, some of whom are nowhere near as scrupulous in their methods. Bad things start happening to the people Stafford talks to. Soon bad things are happening to him as well.

    Ted says: "Way Beyond Terrific! But Read 'Black Fridays' 1st"
    "Another Wonderful Financial Thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Sears is not a “one hit” wonder. His second book is just as good as the first one which I enjoyed immensely. To enjoy this series fully, plan to read them in order so that you don’t miss out on the importance of the character relationships and the progress being made with the autistic son, “The Kid”.

    I can’t say I understand these complex financial crimes from the first description, but the author does such a good job of keeping the story going until this Bernie Madoff type crime becomes obvious to the listener. I feel much smarter about financial dealings and crimes whenever I finish a Michael Sears book.

    The narrator for this second story was good, but I must admit the narrator for the first book was outstanding.

    I will definitely use my credit for the third book in this series, when it is available.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (3224)
    Performance
    (2857)
    Story
    (2846)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Ted says: "Luxury Vehicle… Does It All"
    "My Favorite Author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I save my all-time favorite authors and mystery series for those times I have challenging chores to finish. With a July 4th party coming up, I knew I could whip my house into shape while listening to Connelly's latest in the "Lincoln Lawyer" series. As I expected, it was great fun, and the time flew by. As I go back over my older reviews, I can remember the difficult home projects I finished while enjoying Connelly, Louise Penny, Steig Larrson and Jo Nesbo.

    I won't re-hash the story as that is done well in other reviews. Instead, my love of Connelly has a great deal to do with his thoroughness in fitting all the puzzle pieces in the end. He can write a very complex, multi-faceted story, but it all makes sense, yet is tough to figure out. His characters, Harry Bosch and Micky Haller, for 2 different series are meticulously written. Connelly doesn't let a chapter go by without defining Bosch or Haller with acts or situations where their character become fully realized - and it carries over from one book to the next very consistently. I wish more authors could write like Connelly. I can find no faults. Just what a mystery lover, like me, craves in a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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