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Charles

I am a semi-retired psychologist who likes to listen to books, especially mysteries, as I drive in the car.

Rockville, CT, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
29
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
26

  • Royal Flush: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1960)
    Performance
    (1697)
    Story
    (1672)

    With its posh clientele in the country for the summer, Georgie's housecleaning business has fizzled. So she tries hiring herself out as a dinner and theatre companion. But her first client has quite the wrong idea. To avoid further scandal, Georgie's shipped home to Castle Rannoch, where her summer plans include honoring a promise to Her Majesty to keep Castle Rannoch's divorcedhouseguest from seducing the Prince of Wales.

    Coffee Lover says: "The joy continues!"
    "Hey there, Georgie Girl"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes the crime appears to be a side story in the Life of Lady Georgianna, the last person, besides the Queen, upholding the traditions of Victorian England, at least what we have come to think of as those traditions. Well, so what! I have to say that I have become as interested in her life as the finding of the perpetrator. Of course, Lady Georgie stumbles upon this information and falls into the danger that everyone says they want to protect her from while thrusting her into it, like the sacrificial lamb. It is hard to say if this book is a mystery or a comedy. It crosses the lines. It reminds me of Agatha Cristy often. Possibly its lightheartedness masks the true art and beauty of the book, much as Cristy's have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9623)
    Performance
    (8732)
    Story
    (8803)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    linda says: "Well, I don't know what I was expecting"
    "Gripping and informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dan Brown could turn making a peanut butter sandwich into a thrilling mystery. This book had so many twists and turns that I began feeling like I had amnesia. I often had to stop and start the story in between listening to it and even the second time I sometimes wondered if I had advanced or retraced the story. This is not a criticism of the story, because it actually made sense if you heard it all together. I listened to it more than once with pleasure, delighted that I had picked up different tidbits. The stories of history and Dante were as delightful as the story was thrilling. Just when I thought I had the entire story, something new was heard. I think this was the best story Dan Brown has written of the three.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Delusion In Death: In Death, Book 35

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1661)
    Performance
    (1458)
    Story
    (1441)

    It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks, complained about the boss, maybe hooked up with someone for the night. Until something went terribly wrong. At first it was just a friction in the air. The noise intensified. The crowd seemed oppressive. Some sharp words were exchanged, some pushing and shoving. Then the madness descended. And after 12 minutes of chaos and violence, 80 people lay dead.

    Lisa says: "Robb, Dallas & Ericksen - what a Fantastic Combo"
    "The story line over books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    J. D. Robb has a storyline that goes from book to book about the lives of their characters. I found this book to be more important for that story line than the story line of this particular book. When I think of the book as I am writing this, the interweaving of these two themes or story lines was subtle. I usually think of her books as those that have my stomach in knots and those that do not. This book did not have my stomach in knots (usually when the antagonist is going after one of the characters is when my stomach gets in knots), although the crime was horrific. Needless to say, I look forward to every new installment in the In Death series. If you have developed an interest in the characters, you never want to miss a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Celebrity in Death: In Death, Book 34

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1661)
    Performance
    (1455)
    Story
    (1442)

    Her career in homicide has taken her into the darkest depths of New York City’s underground - and sometimes Lieutenant Eve Dallas feels more comfortable in those kinds of places than in the high-rise, high-society world of her billionaire husband, Roarke. But while she’s no party girl, she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating the debut of The Icove Agenda. This time it’s Eve, not Roarke, who’s a guest of honor, since the film is based on one of her famous cases. Her partner, Peabody, is practically giddy....

    Amy Huber says: "Susan Ericksen is amazing!"
    "Some want control"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story did not have me on the edge of my seat or sweating it out as some have done, but I couldn't wait to listen to more. I liked the interplay of characters - you have to listen to see what I mean. Susan Erickson did a very good job as usual. The relationship of the characters proceeded, but I had the feeling that Roarke did not have as much of a role in this story as he had in previous ones. This was largely the work of Eve and Peabody. One might say that this was a more feminine In Death book. As a man, I kept waiting for a cat fight. It might be my only disappointment with the book, but there were some smart verbal repartee.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oath of Office

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Michael Palmer
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (452)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (352)

    From the New York Times best-selling author of A Heartbeat Away and The Last Surgeon comes a shocking new novel at the crossroads of politics and medicine. What if a well respected doctor inexplicably goes on a murderous rampage? When Dr. John Meacham goes on a shooting spree, his business partner, staff, and two patients are killed in the bloodbath. Then Meacham turns the gun on himself.

    Reader says: "Corny!!"
    "Prediction of the future?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was gripping. The characters always remained human, not super-human or super-intelligent. They had to use ordinary means and logic to solve the puzzle. Some of the story reminded me of the Stepford Wives in that a community was slowly being effected to think in certain ways. If you have a tendency to believe conspiracy theories, this book will make you more paranoid. I started this review before the recent reports of “pink slime” in the meat. This book will cause you to become more suspicious. Remember, the book is fiction, not a documentary or an augury of the future – or is it?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Confession: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3459)
    Performance
    (1175)
    Story
    (1195)

    An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him. Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high-school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.

    Suzn F says: "I confess, I loved it!"
    "Things Happen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to The Litigators before I listened to The Confession. I would describe the Litigators as a "Book of the Light" and The Confession as a "Book of Darkness". Maybe it was because I have to manage people who are as difficult as some of the people in this book or maybe I have worked in a system that was inexorably wrong, but I could identify with this book on so many levels. The suspense kept me listening and I listened as often as I could. I have read Grisham from his early work and I think he just seems to get better, often in different ways, as if his story-telling is still evolving.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Litigators

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3781)
    Performance
    (3079)
    Story
    (3042)

    The incomparable master of the legal thriller takes us deeper into the labyrinth that is the American justice system, always drawing us in with an irresistible hook, pulling the thread of tension tighter and tighter, and then knocking us out with a conclusion that's never "by the book". Maybe that's why, after more than 20 years of consecutive number-one New York Times best sellers, a new novel by America's favorite storyteller is still a major publishing event.

    June says: "Typical Grisham, entertaining"
    "A "Feel Good" Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to the story more than once, as is my habit. The story really held my interests. Maybe it was because I have been in a job that I would have liked to leave. Maybe because I could identify with some of the problems.
    I find Grisham easy to listen to. It does not matter if the story can be predicted, as some people say, the telling of the story is important. I was also not bothered by Boutsikaris's telling it, as another was; I had no problem following the story the first time and I am usually working as I listen, which involves writing complex reports. Granted, that is one reason I listen more than once, because I also listen while driving, but I enjoy it even the second or third time.
    I found the people very believable and I felt like I was peering into a slice of lawyers' lives, maybe even making them more human. This is a book to listen to if you are wondering whether you should try something new and need some courage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Imitation in Death: In Death, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (536)
    Story
    (536)

    Summer, 2059. A man wearing a cape and a top hat approaches a prostitute on a dark, New York City street. Minutes later, the woman is dead. Left at the scene is a letter addressed to Lieutenant Eve Dallas, inviting her to play his game and unveil his identity. He signs it, "Jack."

    Holly Helscher says: "The Saga Continues"
    "Poor Imitation not Flattery?"
    Overall

    OK, I loved the book. The title of my review has more to do with a comment an the murderer's performance at some stages than on the book itself. The last book advanced Roarke's history and this book advances Eve's. Possibly because murder and death are just part of life, but I somehow sense that the ongoing revelations and development of the character's lives are a parallel of aspects of the main plot. I find that this is subtly and interestingly done. I listen to the stories several times and notice little gems and aspects that I was not aware of before. I find that feminism is not overdone in the books and Robb (Roberts) provides a fairly balanced view of the sexes. Although I am a man, I am happy that Dallas offers a fairly good, albeit imperfect, role model for woman as competent and tough, but not beyond using her feminine wiles. I have noticed that the psychological hypotheses of the characters show a more pop psychology touch, whereas Myra's analyses are more professional, a disparate perspective of expertise that offers an interesting touch that gives the characters greater depth. I have tried to read the series from beginning to end, with some tangential journeys. I enjoy the series very much.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Portrait in Death: In Death, Book 16

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (733)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (450)

    After a tip from a reporter, Eve Dallas finds the body of a young woman in a Delancey Street dumpster. Just hours before, the news station had mysteriously received a portfolio of professional portraits of the woman. The photos seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary for any pretty young woman starting a modeling career - except that she wasn't a model.

    Judy says: "You can' t go wrong with this series"
    "Peabody's Voice is Back!"
    Overall

    The most exciting observation I have about this book (and really there were a number of VERY interesting developments) was that PEABODY'S VOICE was back! I missed it through three earlier books. The next very interesting thing were the side developments in the lives of characters. J.D. Robb weaves the development of the characters within the plots of the murders and this story within the story becomes just as interesting as the murders themselves. This book had some major developments that should not be missed. The murder mysteries are always interesting, but what draws me to each book now is the development of the characters. I am sure that there are some readers who would wish that Eve would just wise up, but I have found that even real people have difficulty changing patterns of behavior; life isn't easy and I think it is managed well in the book, in a very "human" way. This book is a must for those interested in the characters!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Purity in Death: In Death, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (435)
    Story
    (433)

    Louie Cogburn had spent three days holed up in his apartment, staring at his computer screen. His pounding headache was unbearable - like spikes drilling into his brain. And it was getting worse. Finally, when someone knocked at his door, Louie picked up a baseball bat, opened the door, and started swinging.

    Charles says: "Where did Peabody's voice go?"
    "Where did Peabody's voice go?"
    Overall

    I always enjoy an Eve Dallas mystery and I am hooked on the development of characters across books in the series. The plot of each book is really interesting. The main problem with this book and from what I gather the last two books, only one of which I have heard (Book 13), is that there was a dramatic change in Peabody's voice and changes in other voices. Since I have heard other books later in the series and earlier in the series, I know that this change does not persist, for which I am grateful, since I had gotten used to hearing certain voices and I get one or two books every month and listen to them several times.
    I thought this book was a break in many ways. It was not as convoluted and complex, but then I listened to it on vacation and maybe had more time to pay attention. It was a good summer listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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