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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

184
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 67 reviews
  • 69 ratings
  • 257 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
18
FOLLOWERS
44

  • Darkness, Take My Hand

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (192)

    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
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (309)

    "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
    (409)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (382)

    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.

    Jacqueline says: "Better Than Therapy"
    "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
    (642)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (565)

    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
    (116)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (104)

    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
    (257)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (220)

    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
    (46)
    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
    (3140)
    Performance
    (2779)
    Story
    (2769)

    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
  • The Devil's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (670)
    Story
    (670)

    A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star - a pentagram, the devil’s star. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work. A wave of similar murders is on the horizon....

    J.R. says: "New Steig Larsson? Hah! The new Raymond Chandler!"
    "Written by a Master!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another great book from Nesbo. To enjoy this book fully, you must read "The Redbreast" and "Nemeis" prior to reading this "trilogy" as there is a dramatic resolution to a long-running murder that is referenced in these three books. Harry Hole's obsession with this murder has caused his downfall into drunkenness, unreliability, hostility and estrangement from his loved ones. At times, I wanted to give up on Harry, but his vulnerability and empathy had me cheering for him. Harry's redemption in the end is so satisfying to the story and to me.

    That said, the main story line is about a serial killer loose in Norway during a hot Summer. The killer is leaving behind a star-shaped diamond and taking away a finger at each scene. In addition, Harry is made to work with someone he despises. The story builds and builds to a twisty resolution that will have you holding your breath. Robin Sachs is "Harry Hole" to me. Since his recent death, I have learned to savor every book narrated by Mr. Sachs.

    The story starts off so strange -- a droplet of water moves through a centuries old house and ultimately causes the finding of the first victim. After replaying it several times, I realized how creative and brilliant a writer Nesbo can be. I would pay to read his shopping list.



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (141)

    After 17-year-old Charlotte Kane, the beautiful, brilliant, and brooding daughter of a rich widower, disappears on a drunken New Years' Eve snowmobile ride, a raging blizzard soon snuffs out all search efforts. When her body is found during the spring thaw four months later, preliminary evidence implicates her ex-boyfriend: Ojibwe bad-boy Solemn Winter Moon. But then a second Charlotte Kane turns up dead, and Cork isn't sure of anything any more.

    Ronna says: "Winter snows leave a body in the spring thaw!!"
    "Too Much Religion - Not Enough Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hung in there until the end of the story, but wanted to quit every time it started getting preachy and so so very spiritual. I thought this was going to be a police procedural, but I saw every turn coming before the twist because Krueger has become predictable with this one.

    The narrator, David Chandler, reads these stories, but does not act or perform them. I think I would enjoy the stories more if there were more emotion and expression.

    My opinion is that Krueger is a very capable writer. I have enjoyed his previous books, but he lost me with this story in the series. Will I try again? Yes, I will give it one more try in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (376)
    Story
    (375)

    After a woman is brutally slain, investigators bring psychiatrist Joe O'Loughlin in for expert consultation. Joe is shocked to discover the dead woman is a former patient of his who cried rape when he rebuffed her sexual advances. Citing doctor/patient confidentiality, Joe hides this information. But the truth emerges, and suddenly he is the prime suspect.

    Bonnie says: "Found"
    "Good Book, Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think most people that enjoy sophisticated mysteries or thrillers will find something to like in this story, but it likely won't make it to your favorites list. That said, parts of the book were very intriguing and well-written, especially the parts utilizing the main character's psychology training. Unfortunately, the middle of the book is better than the ending.

    Would I listen to another Michael Robotham book? I would say yes because he strives to write something more unique in this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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