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Geraldine

A book lover with varied interests: history, political and technical and economic thrillers, mysteries, crime dramas, futuristic fantasy.

Palmdale, CA, United States

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 160 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • The Cutting Season: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Attica Locke
    • Narrated By Quincy Tyler Bernstine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (220)

    Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate's owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property.

    C. Telfair says: "Mystery + Atmosphere = A Definite Winner!"
    "A Worthy Atmospheric Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Attica Locke’s “The Cutting Season” is one of those rare books which enfolds the reader into the everyday life of Belle Vie Plantation. The protagonist was a hardworking single mother whose ancestral roots traced back several generations on Belle Vie. The author weaves an intricate story line, revealing a familial mystery spanning several generations. Though it seems that previous relatives possessed clues, it took the intelligence, curiosity, and bravery of Caryn Gray to solve the puzzle. Locke’s style cajoles even the most reluctant reader into understanding and appreciating her modern-day life at Belle Vie Plantation. This is a story of connections among diverse individuals to a shared past. It is also a story illustrating the importance of knowing when it’s time to move on leaving the past behind. Caryn Gray aptly demonstrates the key to overcoming trauma – acknowledging personal mistakes , picking up what’s left, and moving on. The protagonist earned our confidence and respect, which assures us that wherever she ends up, she will succeed. The narrator, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, instilled a New Orleans flavor and was largely responsible for making this reader feel at home.

    4 of 4 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
    (9376)
    Performance
    (8512)
    Story
    (8577)

    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"
    "Should have been Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a long-time fan of Dan Brown, I eagerly awaited his newest book. The book attempted to cover too much territory. Inferno dealt with such issues as transhumanism, genetic engineering, and global overpopulation. (It seems that such issues should be studied in an academic treatise rather than a fictional book.)
    As a result, the plot of the story seemed to suffer. The storyline was basically linear in nature. For example, near the beginning of the story when Professor Landon and his companion were attempting to escape their pursuers, they passed through several monuments and sculptures. Mr. Brown described each in detail, noting its history as well as a detailed physical description. Areas of the novel read like a travelogue while others read like a history book.
    There was an attempt at the book’s end to tie in the overarching theme of Inferno with those inherent in Dante’s work. There is where I found the Dan Brown I have so enjoyed over the years. Too bad that same spirit does not dominate the book in its entirety.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fantasy in Death: In Death, Book 30

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1204)
    Performance
    (687)
    Story
    (694)

    Bart Minnock, founder of the computer gaming giant U-Play, enters his private playroom, and eagerly can’t wait to lose himself in an imaginary world, to play the role of a sword-wielding warrior king, in his company’s latest top-secret project, Fantastical.

    Judy says: "Another Home Run!"
    "A Friend Indeed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fantasy in Death was an engaging book. Lt. Eve Dallas was the perfect mixture of hardboiled professionalism, determined sleuth, and complicated and seductive wife. She was an in depth, independent thinker who held her ground even when that perfect husband of hers vehemently disagreed with her methods. She was neither too tough nor too compliant. This character was set in the backdrop of an intriguing story. How was the consummate gamer able to commit the dastardly deed while physically being somewhere else. Also, I have always been intrigued by villains. This story depicted a villain so lethal that he was able convince a trio of gaming friends of his love for years. At the end, when his treachery had been exposed, he, of course, blamed the victims. This is the third J.D.Robb book I have read, and it is my favorite, thus far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Matter of Justice: Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (203)

    After two London men end their business partnership, one of them is savagely murdered in a medieval tithe barn on his estate in Somerset. Investigating the killing, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the victim was universally despised in Cambury - even the victim's wife and the town's police inspector are suspect. And yet in London circles, the man was highly regarded. What triggered his death?

    Marie says: "Entertaining procedural through the end"
    "A Comforting Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The biggest challenge of A Matter of Justice was the ability to recall individual characters and their corresponding places in the story. The book was like a puzzle or, better still, like an onion (minus the smell) which the protagonist expertly peeled from the outside in. You had to do your best to hang onto the separate peelings. Then, like all puzzles, as the pieces slide in place, there is a feeling of accomplishment. The plot itself was a comforting one. The evil doers were punished. Due to some exhaustive detective work, Inspector Rutledge, who himself suffered personal hardships, prevailed. His efforts enabled him to eventually ferret out the villain. When the book ended, I had the feeling that all was right with the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faithful Place: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3481)
    Performance
    (1888)
    Story
    (1890)

    New York Times best-selling author Tana French has won the prestigious Edgar, Barry, Macavity, and Anthony awards. As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves Dublin without her—thinking never to return.

    Buffalogal says: "Incredible"
    "A Good Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Faithful Place by Tana French is long on cultural conventions and traditions but short on mystery. That was okay because the ways and language of the people of Dublin was intriguing -- in many ways reminding me of my own teenage years. Poverty bites and French faithfully captures its sting. Escaping poverty is tricky, as Frank Mackey demonstrates. Something always happens to thrust one back into the place from which he is frantically trying to escape. Narrator Tim Reynolds was fabulous. He was able to personify the characters: their heritage, education, temperaments, and motives. This was a good read -- somewhat different, but in a good way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Power Down: Dewey Andreas, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Ben Coes
    • Narrated By Peter Hermann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (1078)
    Story
    (1086)

    There was one factor that the terrorists didn’t take into account when they struck the Capitana oil platform off the coast of Colombia - slaughtering much of the crew and blowing up the platform - and that was the Capitana crew chief, Dewey Andreas. Dewey, former Army Ranger and Delta, survives the attack, rescuing as many of his men as possible. But the battle has just begun....

    Tommy says: "The best thing to happen since Mitch Rapp!"
    "What a Psychological Ride!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Power Down was the best political thriller I have read recently. Intense energy follows every thread from the Capitana platform outside of Columbia to the city of Long Beach into the White House and beyond. The physical and intellectual strength and stalwart dedication of Dewey Andreas makes one thankful that such a warrior is watching America's back. The book was thoroughly researched. Each detail thrusts the reader into the action. Psychological warfare against an intractable enemy is a major theme and a potent inducement to keep reading. I can't wait to read Coup D'Etat. (I'm not sure what the politician's interview of the author at the end of the book is supposed to do. I recommend skipping it.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Haunting of Hill House

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By David Warner
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (89)

    Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, the lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

    Carl Cravens says: "Different, but good."
    "A Haunting Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Hauntiing of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a deliciously descriptive tale of suspense and horror woven together by intricately drawn characters. These characters are then placed within an artfully drawn setting so vivid that the house itself becomes a character. I could actually feel the coldspots, hear the moans, and smell the decay as the characters move from room to room. While licking at the edges of the supernatural, the author presents a most compelling story. David Warner's performance was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Child 44

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Rob Smith
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1754)
    Performance
    (641)
    Story
    (638)

    It is a society that is, officially, a paradise. Superior to the decadent West, Stalin's Soviet Union is a haven for its citizens, providing for all of their needs: education, health care, security. In exchange, all that is required is their hard work, and their loyalty and faith to the Soviet State. But now a murderer is on the loose.

    Melvin says: "Terror from all sides."
    "A Great Read!"
    Overall

    Set in Stalinesque Russia, Child 44 is a unique serial murder mystery. The listener lives the vicious brutality of the time. We experience the treachery of neighbor pitted against neighbor. We feel the sheer horror of being accused of anti-Russian sentiment, knowing that to be named is to be guilty in the eyes of the State. Residents realize that the only way to lessen their suffering is to sacrifice someone else. People denounce loved ones and foes alike -- only to find themselves on the executioner's block anyway. Leo's biggest error was the fact that his search for the child killer was in direct violation of the State's edict. This betrayal designated him as a western sympathizer. During the course of the story, Leo makes a profound change from a State supporter to a dissident in a relentless search for a murderer. He is not a western sympathizer; he does not want to abandon his country. He just wants to catch a killer; and in the process he becomes an honorable human being. Also, the narrator was phenomenal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Memorial Day

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2587)
    Performance
    (1736)
    Story
    (1718)

    It's just seven days before Memorial Day, and a spike in CIA intelligence has pointed to a major terrorist attack on the United States. Now it's up to counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp to pull out all the stops. Rapp immediately leaves for Afghanistan, where he leads a special forces unit on a daring commando raid across the border into a remote Pakistani village. Their target: an al-Qaeda stronghold. Rapp and his team soon discover plans for a catastrophic nuclear attack on Washington, DC.

    Guy says: "Flynn's best Mitch Rapp Book"
    "Maximum Plus"
    Overall

    Of the three Vince Flynn books I have read, Memorial Day is by far the most entertaining. The nonstop action and political intrigue kept me involved until the very end. As always, Mitch Rapp continues his inexhaustible pursuit of the sworn enemies of the United States. Vince Flynn takes a combustible situation and combines it with bodacious brutality in a last ditch effort to save America from her enemies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Treachery In Death: In Death, Book 32

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1888)
    Performance
    (1178)
    Story
    (1172)

    In a New York City fifty years in the future, Detective Eve Dallas tracks down those who break the law - including the ones sworn to uphold it. Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a brutal, senseless crime - an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. And for the first time, Peabody is primary detective on the case, which means she has to get used to a new level of authority and responsibility. Good thing she learned the ropes from a master like Eve. But after rounding up the perps, Peabody stumbles upon a much trickier situation.

    Jean says: "Treachery in Death"
    "Too Ordinary for the Future"
    Overall

    The real star of Treachery in Death is narrator Susan Ericksen. She made the story live, where it was otherwise dying. As a thriller junkie, this story was a little mundane for me. I had a difficult time getting into the storyline. But gradually, with Ericksen's help, I found a footing and hung in. If the writer intended to produce a female character who was often abrasive, overbearing, sanctimonious, vindictive, and violent, she succeeded. (By the way, I like strong female characters.) Eve Dallas' top dog status almost made me feel sorry her enemy, who came across as the underdog. J.D. Robb continues to be one of my favorite writers, but this one just didn't do it for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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