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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

207
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 72 reviews
  • 74 ratings
  • 278 titles in library
  • 65 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
15
FOLLOWERS
46

  • Darkness, Take My Hand

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (207)

    Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro's latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know something about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bred on the mean streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they've seen the darkness that lives in the hearts of the unfortunate.

    S. says: "Wow -"
    "Second Book in the Series EXCEEDS!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the first book in this Kensey and Gennero series, "A Drink Before the War", so I was worried that the second book wouldn't live up to my high expectations. I was so wrong though. This book was just as original, suspenseful, scary as the first. Again, I was caught by surprise with the clever twists and turns. I was listening while driving in heavy traffic one day and had to turn it off because I was getting so anxious for the safety of the detectives I have grown to love over these two books. Don't start on this audio book until you have a large block of time for listening because it will be the only thing you think of until it is finished. Jonathan Davis is a wonderful narrator. I can imagine the characters so well with his interpretation.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Derek B. Miller
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (116)

    Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient, and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. Sheldon is an ex-Marine, and he feels responsible for his son's death in Vietnam. Recently widowed and bereft, he talks to the ghosts of his past constantly. To Norway's cops, Sheldon is just an old man who is coming undone at the end of a long and hard life. But Sheldon is clear in his own mind.

    Sara says: "Don't Miss This Amazing Book"
    "So Sorry this Book had to End!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After cheering for Sheldon and drying my eyes when this book ended, I gave it a few minutes thought that I might have to update my "All Time Favorite Books" list. Why isn't everyone talking about this book? It was so good, yet different from anything else in the "mystery / thriller" genre.

    Within minutes of this book starting, I became very invested in the life of 82 year old Sheldon and later to Paul, his neighbor's 5 year old son, as they are on the run from pure evil. Sheldon recalls his Korean War sniper days and uses that knowledge to out-wit his pursuers and survive. While some of the story is sad as Sheldon looks back over his life, I remember chuckling several times from the great wit that carries through the book. The writing and narration are worthy of the praise from many reviews.

    The last 2 hours had me sitting on the edge of my seat, heart pounding. I envy all those just starting on this book. You have a great journey ahead of you. Enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder Bag

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Tony Parsons
    • Narrated By Colin Mace
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (163)

    Twenty years ago seven students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Detective Max Wolfe follows the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the corridors of power. As the bodies pile up, Max finds he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Can a narrator make a good book great?"
    "Great Start to a new Trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After finishing this audio book, I checked out this author and found out this is the start of a trilogy. My first thought was -- "only 2 more books with Max Wolfe!" I can honestly say I will be grieving halfway through the 3rd book if this character's story ends. I imagine by that time Tony Parsons will be selling lots of books and his editor will be thinking up ways to continue the story with DC Wolfe, his young daughter and their dog.

    I don't know this author but he must have a strong writing background. I particularly loved how there were violent, heart-beating scenes, but no goriness. The author's knowledge of police procedure and his strong plotting of the story was a delight to me. I didn't want to stop listening as I drove closer to my home. I thought up errands in order to continue my drive and the listen. Colin Mace is a wonderful narrator -- top notch!

    Even if you think you have it figured out, you will still want to hear every word. Especially since a twist is awaiting you in the end. Loved it!

    1 of 1 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
    (1993)
    Performance
    (1100)
    Story
    (1095)

    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
    (2938)
    Performance
    (2691)
    Story
    (2687)

    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.

    Joanne M. McGowan says: "I didn't want to press the stop button!"
    "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
    (40)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (37)

    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
    (973)
    Performance
    (874)
    Story
    (867)

    "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.

    Jim says: "CAN NOT UNDERSTAND HALF THE BOOK (AUDIO)"
    "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.


    1 of 1 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
    (828)
    Performance
    (754)
    Story
    (750)

    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 6 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
    (733)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (650)

    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
    (134)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (120)

    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
    (269)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (232)

    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

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