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Alcairha

White Plains, NY United States | Member Since 2004

89
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 181 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 56 purchased in 2014
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6

  • The Hangman's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (translator)
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1035)
    Performance
    (912)
    Story
    (905)

    When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. When more children disappear and an orphan is found dead with the same mark, the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt. Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth.

    goddess_of_pipework says: "Fascinating"
    "Wonderful atmospheric depiction of medieval life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Hangman's Daughter the most enjoyable?

    1. Well developed quirky characters you quickly love and care about. 2. Colorful, psychotic, inhuman murderers that you make you hate them passionately, although you also come to understand how the horrible brutal life they lived made them this way3. The real culprits are the the complacent burghers, who don't care about justice or truth, and only want their comfortable life to continue, no matter what the cost to the helpless people they torture and whose lives they destroy. This hasn't changed in modern times as much as one would think...3. A very satisfying ending. 4. I particularly loved the contrast between the village torturer and hangman, who is the most compassionate, caring, ethical individual in the story versus the politicians, who should be the ones caring for the town, but who are the real torturers and inquisitors. 5. The horrible helplessness of women in those times, who were victims of superstition, ignorance and greed. It makes you appreciate how lucky we are to live in this day and age in America, where we enjoy freedom and liberties unimaginable to women in medieval times or even as recently as the 19th century6. I am a physician myself and can really appreciate the hard life of a physician in those times, who had to fight inconceivable ignorance and superstition to further scientific progress. Things haven't changed as much as one would think here either!7. Historical accuracy8. and finally, great story telling! Nothing beats that!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hangman's Daughter?

    As a woman, I liked Magdalena's escape from the soldiers who were trying to rape her, but there were so many memorable scenes, it's hard to say which one I liked best. the


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    The narration was clear and easy to follow, but this is not one of my favorite narrators. I found the narration a bit dry and unemotional for the story


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Without question! It was the kind of story that makes you late for work, because you can't wait to find out what happens next. I found myself turning it on every second i could. I'm about to devour the sequels.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a hard time with the scenes of torture, which were mercifully cut short just at the point where I was going to have to either fast forward or shut down the book. I know that torture was common place in those days, but it is still hard to stomach with modern sensibilities

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Treatment

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mo Hayder
    • Narrated By Damien Goodwin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    In a quiet residential area in London, a couple is discovered bound and imprisoned in their own home. Savagely battered and severely dehydrated, the worst revelation is yet to come: their eight-year-old son has been abducted. But when the body is found and forensic evidence turns the case on its head, revealing disturbing parallels to events in Detective Caffery's own past, Caffery realizes he's dealing with much more sinister forces than he'd anticipated - and finds it increasingly difficult to maintain his distance.

    Jacqueline says: "Great book but was available on audible in 2005"
    "INTENSE MASTERPIECE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the most intense books I've ever read-or I should say listened to (I switched back-and-forth). The story is so horrifying that you want to stop, but you can't. It feels kind of like falling off a cliff. The plot and characters draw you in almost immediately and after that you have no choice but to continue to the end. The story, like every single Mo Hayder book I've ever read, is not for the faint of heart. It contains graphic and riveting descriptions of pedophilia and the torture of families held hostage by a schizophrenic. Mo Hayder has Stephen King's knack for portraying disturbed and crazed psyches in a highly realistic and believable way, so that it really gets under your skin. One minute you hate them, one minute you feel sorry for them, and the next you wish you could wake them up to what's really going on. And that's not just the criminals. Jack Caffery Is back, more tortured and obsessed than ever with solving the riddle of what happened to his younger brother. The reader will find out, although as you can guess, it is not a warm fluffy story. The depiction of the intense psychic anguish experienced by families after their ordeal is over is also extremely realistic. It reminds me of "Sophie's Choice" in its intensity. I won't easily forget this book, nor will I ever feel quite safe again in my comfortable middle-class existence. I think this book is a masterpiece, but be prepared for what you're in for, before you start reading!
    Narration was quite good- not my favorite though. Loved the accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Royal Pain: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2008)
    Performance
    (1713)
    Story
    (1702)

    The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which penniless aristocrat Lady Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess and conveniently place her in the playboy prince's path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.

    But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise.

    Coffee Lover says: "More Royal Fun!"
    "Perfect book to put you in a good mood"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Royal Pain?

    I absolutely loved the descriptions of the characters- they were witty, engaging, humorous and above all they felt alive. The heroine was an unconventional independent thinker with remarkable courage and solid moral values, so that you really found yourself rooting for her. Meanwhile the depiction of the trials and tribulations of the impoverished British aristocracy was absolutely hilarious. The mystery was not very deep. I think most readers will figure it out well before the heroine, but it's hardly the point of the book. So if you want an engaging, highly entertaining depiction of the 1930's British upper crust wrapped in a very light mystery, well then, start reading...


    What other book might you compare A Royal Pain to and why?

    for some odd reason the book reminded me of the Bridget Jones novels, perhaps because of an equally sympathetic, self-deprecating heroine, surrounded by many unsuitable and one suitable lover and struggling to make the right choices. The Bridget Jones novels also made me laugh out loud, just like this book


    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I am fairly picky and easily annoyed when it comes to narrators. Having said that, in my opinion Katherine Kellgren is an outstanding narrator in every way. I have loved every single one of her performances. She is without question one of my favorite narrators!!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure about the tag line, but I would be first in line to see it! I'd love to see Emma Stone as Georgiana...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow White Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nele Neuhaus
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    Overall
    (1001)
    Performance
    (871)
    Story
    (864)

    On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.

    C. Vincent says: "Great narrator, unbelievable, never-ending story"
    "Terrific mystery & study of German small town life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I absolutely loved this novel by Nele Neuhaus, which was as much a character study of the worst of small town life in Germany as it was a mystery story. Lots of engaging characters and interesting plot twists combined with good writing and atmospheric descriptions of the scenery and homes. I think it's not much of a spoiler to say that you know from the beginning that Tobias must have been framed, but listening to it all unravel kept me hooked to the very last minute of the highly satisfying conclusion. I grew up in Germany and can say that the scenes and descriptions are very authentic. The translation was well done and the narration was outstanding. Highly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing Darkness: An Elvis Cole - Joe Pike Novel, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (155)

    It's fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. As the residents of Laurel Canyon are being evacuated from their homes, Police and Fire Department personnel find the corpse of a recluse who apparently committed suicide. Clutched in his lap is a photo album containing photographs of seven young women who have been murdered.

    J says: "Elvis & Pike Ride Again"
    "compelling thriller, but letdown at end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to a few of the Elvis Cole novels and I pretty much like them all. They get me hooked quickly and I can't stop listening to find out what's going to happen next.Plenty of twists and turns to keep the story interesting. I love the characters, although I'd have liked to see more of Joe Pike. My main beef with this one is that the end unraveled pretty suddenly and left me unsatisfied. Too many loose ends for my taste, too little build up. Some very spooky scenes went nowhere. The narrator was terrific. I didn't care too much for the "authentic" sound of the phone conversations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daybreak

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Several goose hunters are found shot dead in rural Iceland, and detectives Gunnar Maríuson and Birkir Hinriksson are assigned to the case. Lead after lead goes cold before a mysterious letter arrives at the Reykjavik police department that reads, “My nature is to kill. I hunt men and never let go.” Gunnar and Birkir set a trap for the one they call “the Gander.” But the killer sends them on a deadly wild-goose chase, as lives hang in the balance.

    Alcairha says: "Murdered goose hunters? Really??"
    "Murdered goose hunters? Really??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first read the synopsis of this book, I thought to myself that life must be really dull in Iceland, if murdering goose hunters is their idea of entertainment. But, since I still haven't gotten over the death of Stieg Larsson, I thought I'd give this book a try, and I'm very glad I did. It had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing to the very end. The story was fast-paced, well-written and full of believable intriguing characters, each with their background story. I liked the characters enough that I wish the author had written a second book with the same ones, particularly the same police officers, but unfortunately each of his books is a standalone. Narration was very good, not overdone, so that I could immerse myself in the story. Overall highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy in the Suitcase: A Nina Borg Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lene Kaaberbøl (author and translator), Agnete Friis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (343)

    Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina's estranged friend, Karin, leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet.

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "Fantastic thriller!"
    "A story that lives up to its eye-catching title!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes books have a really eye-catching title, but the story is a disappointment. Not so here - for me this book had it all, suspense, atmosphere, superb writing, believable characters and outstanding narration. The book was full of tortured characters doing their best to resolve their hopeless dilemmas, but only getting themselves deeper into quicksand. I loved all the different points of view, which made the story richer and more fascinating than if it had been all told from one person's angle. The author had just the right mix of atmosphere/description and action for my taste, enough to make the story come to life, but not overwhelming the reader or listener with details. I can't wait to find more audiobooks by this author, who will hopefully be paired with the same superb narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Flatey Enigma

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
    • Narrated By Jeff Crawford, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Ketilsey Island, 1960. Near this deserted island off the western coast of Iceland, the dawning of spring brings with it new life for the local wildlife. But for the decaying body discovered by three seal hunters, winter is a matter of permanence. After it is found to be a Danish cryptographer missing for months, the ensuing investigation uncovers a mysterious link between him and a medieval manuscript known as the Book of Flatey. Before long another body is found on Flatey, another tiny island off the western coast.

    Susan says: "A good Icelandic read"
    "Icelandic snoozer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved one of the author's other books, "Daybreak", which was atmospheric and highly suspenseful, so this book came as somewhat of a disappointment. While it was certainly atmospheric, I found it rather lacking in action and suspense. The characters and scenery are wonderful, including an absolutely outstanding depiction of Asperger's syndrome in one character. I loved the (for me) colorful names and the rich descriptions of surroundings and people. The characters were interesting and believable. Unfortunately, for endlessly long sections of the story, all of these wonderful characters did absolutely nothing. There is some action in the beginning, although it doesn't really draw you in because not enough is known about the murdered person. The police interminably interview people, but only find dead ends. Then at the end, the story suddenly speeds to its conclusion, leaving me overall unsatisfied. I had to force myself to keep listening in the middle and, while I thought the way the story unraveled was interesting and believable in some way, it all happened much too quickly.

    The best parts for me were the interspersed sections of the Flatey Saga, which were like an Icelandic version of Game of Thrones, with lots of beheadings and betrayals. But these sections were short and disjointed, and not enough to make up for the rest of it.

    If you like the "No 1 ladies detective agency" with lots of atmosphere and not much action, then this book is for you - just skip the gory Flatey saga parts. On the other hand, if you are looking for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", then go for "Daybreak" or "The boy in the suitcase".

    The narrators were very good - no issues there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadowmarch: Shadowmarch, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tad Williams
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (246)

    For generations the misty Shadowline has marked the boundary between the lands of men and the lost northern lands that are the lair of their inhuman enemies, the ageless Qar. But now that boundary line is moving outward, threatening to engulf the northernmost land in which humans still live - the kingdom of Southmarch.

    Marty says: "It's the characters that matter..."
    "Interesting in parts, but story drags, awful narra"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Shadowmarch?

    I've read two previous quadrilogies 's by Tad Williams and have always had the same experience-he has a great imagination and a very well developed fantasy world, but the stories are just not tightly written or perhaps I should say lacking in editing. Way way way too much introspection. As soon as the story becomes a little bit Interesting, it grinds to a halt as the characters endlessly bemoan their fate. I also agree with other reviewers who said that there are way too many miraculous rescuings of the characters without their doing much to help themselves. Lots of interesting, tortured characters, and some very wonderful evil antagonists, but they only had small parts and very little background story about why they had become the way they were. My favorite parts were the sections about the autarch, but they are short and far between and the character that is in his hands leaves it very quickly, leaving me disappointed. I hated the Bonefall oracles and I hated the overly melodramatic, whiny narration. Perhaps I would've liked the story better if I had read it, and had been able to skim over the dragging sections


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Delete 25% at least. More about the Autarch and the shadow people


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dick Hill?

    Simon Vance


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom, annoyance


    Any additional comments?

    The story kept me interested enough to finish the first book, but I had to keep forcing myself to listen and I won't be getting the sequels

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blade of Tyshalle: The Second of the Acts of Caine

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Matthew Stover
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (130)

    On Earth, Hari Michaelson was a superstar. But on Overworld, he was the assassin Caine. Real monarchs lived and died at his hands and entire governments were overthrown...all for the entertainment of millions back on Earth. But now Hari, stripped of his identity as Caine, must fight his greatest battle: against the powerful corporate masters of Earth and the faceless masses who are killing everything he loves.

    Daniel says: "Why the bad reviews?"
    "Depressing, disappointing sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I loved loved loved Heroes Die, but I couldn't stomach this book. It was unrelentingly depressing and brutal. If he had only lightened it up a little bit and left out the unnecessary scenes of torture, that do nothing to further the story. I particularly hated the cannibalism and the sexual arousal of every evil doer at the time of committing acts of violence.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Matthew Stover again?

    Probably. He is a great writer and story teller, but I would like to put some Prozac in his corn flakes and have him rewrite this book


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I couldn't get through it. the only good part was that he finally got rid of Pallas Ril, my least favorite character. I finally quit when I realized that I had to force myself to turn it on.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Mostly disgust and depression


    Any additional comments?

    i understand about spinal cord injury, but nowhere in this book (at least as far as I got) was there a point where Caine/Hari comes to terms with his disability and moves past it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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