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RAMON

Avid Reader

Gray, TN, United States | Member Since 2007

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 253 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel, Book 20

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Peter Robinson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (93)

    A decorated detective inspector is murdered on the tranquil grounds of the St. Peter’s Police Treatment Centre, shot through the heart with a crossbow arrow, and compromising photographs are discovered in his room. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is well aware that he must handle the highly sensitive - and dangerously explosive - investigation with the utmost discretion. Because the case may involve police corruption, an officer from Professional Standards, Inspector Joanna Passero, has arrived to work with Banks and his team.

    Lynn says: "Banks, Annie and Simon Prebble All In Top Form"
    "A Solid Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an engrossing, well written police procedural. Its much better than most procedurals. It has intriguing story elements and interesting characters, Even the secondary characters are interesting and drawn well. Part of the story takes places in Estonia and the author seems to know the country. The reason I do not give it 5 stars is that the ending was a little disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (273)

    International superstar Jussi Adler-Olsen, with more than fourteen million copies of his books sold worldwide, returns with the fourth book in his New York Times best-selling Department Q series, about a perplexing cold case with sinister modern-day consequences. In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her in her youth, including Curt Wad, a charismatic surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in 1950s Denmark.

    Charles Atkinson says: "It's a 5 Star Story of Revenge"
    "Good Characters, Dark and Grim Subject Matter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great series with interesting characters and an ongoing mystery. But this is not a comfortable story, perhaps we should not shrink from the darker emotions and evil in the world but it was tough going at times to listen to this tale of depravity, callousness and vengeance. But Assad and Rose, minor characters are more developed and mysterious here. There are also nice twists in the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Noah Feldman
    • Narrated By Noah Feldman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. Scorpions tells the story of four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It also serves as a history of the modern Constitution itself.

    Charles M. Wyzanski says: "Narrated as admirably as it is written!"
    "Great History, Legal Analysis and Story Telling."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not only the story of four Supreme Court Justices but (albeit partial) history of the New Deal era and the legal struggles to establish New Deal programs. The lives and character (and contradictions) of the four Justices (Frankfuter, Black, Jackson and Douglas) are developed as well of those of contemporary jurists and historical figures. In addition to being a professor at a prestigious law school, Mr. Feldman is a good storyteller. The performance is excellent. Highly recommended to anyone interested in history. While initially united by their New Deal liberalism, the justices eventually went their separate way in their views of the Constitution and its interpretation. Author Feldman makes a persuasive argument of the importance of these Justices in the development of constitutional thought.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Arnaldur Indridason
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    A man is making a crude leather mask with slits for eyes and mouth, and an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a 'death mask', once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves. He has revenge in mind. Meanwhile, with Detective Erlendur absent, his baseball-loving colleague Sigurdur Óli is in the spotlight. A school reunion has left Sigurdur Óli dissatisfied with life in the police force. Iceland is enjoying an economic boom and young tycoons are busy partying with the international jet set.

    Leonard says: "Pleasantly Surprised."
    "The Maturing of A Policeman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The protagonist in this book is the kind of arrogant and oafish policeman who is a minor character or irritant in other stories. We learn how he got that way and how he matures as a person and gains some empathy. The story itself has good twists. It is also interesting to learn something about Iceland an obscure country for Americans. Its a good police procedural with cautionary lessons about greed, recklessness and the lasting effects of damage. All this without being preachy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Crowd

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Kevin Baker
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In 1941, when Charlie was district attorney, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles was Charlie's star witness against the biggest crime syndicate in New York. While under 24-hour police watch, Reles jumped - or was he pushed? - out the window of the seedy Coney Island motel where he was being hidden, and with him went Charlie's case....

    RAMON says: "Evocative but a little disappointing"
    "Evocative but a little disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story of political corruption, intrigue, murder, Irish immigrants, adultery and New York in the 40's and 50's. That's a little too ambitious. Some of the street scenes and crowd scenes are overwritten and transparent attempts to be evocative. Surprisingly, the scenes in Mexico are very evocative of a lost time. Many of the characters, especially the gangsters are vividly described. But at times the book seem to veer into being a romance novel. It is not a bad book, just a little sprawling. The solution to the central mystery was clever but took so long, it was not that surprising.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Perfect Spy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Over the course of his seemingly irreproachable life, Magnus Pym has been all things to all people: a devoted family man, a trusted colleague, a loyal friend - and the perfect spy. But in the wake of his estranged father's death, Magnus vanishes, and the British Secret Service is up in arms. Is it grief, or is the reason for his disappearance more sinister? And who is the mysterious man with the sad moustache who also seems to be looking for Magnus? In A Perfect Spy, John le Carré has crafted one of his crowning masterpieces.

    Darwin8u says: "Remembrances of loyalties past"
    "They Don't Come Any Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great, intricate, psychologically sophisticated story beautifully performed., The reader nailed the various European accents and English class accents. The story is very artfully told and structured.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Visitation Street

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Ivy Pochoda
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (55)

    Summer in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Bored and listless, 15-year-olds June and Val are looking for fun. Val wants to do something wild and a little crazy: take a raft out onto the bay. Only Val survives, washing ashore in the weeds, bruised and unconscious. This shocking event echoes through the lives of Red Hook's diverse residents. In Visitation Street, Ivy Pochoda combines intensely vivid prose with breathtaking psychological insight to explore a cast of solitary souls, pulled by family, love, betrayal, and hope, who yearn for a chance to break free.

    Janet says: "Visitation Street - An odd place to visit"
    "Highly Recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an exceptionally good read. The story and characters are original. The book does not shy away from the racial, sexual and economic tensions in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Or the same tensions experienced by adolescents and young adults. As performed, the dialogue has an authentic ring. Most of the characters are damaged-the way life damages everyone--but many are trying to do their best. There is a dose of "magical realism" but it serves the story. I think endings make or break a book and I found this book's ending satisfying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Taste of Wormwood

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Keith McCarthy
    • Narrated By Seán Barrett
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (59)

    Arthur Meadows has just returned home in his HGV from a long trip to southwest Europe, supposedly bringing back a consignment of cloth, yet is actually bringing back something far more deadly. Meanwhile, a young Asian couple are murdered in their small house in the middle of Gloucester, the killings done with ruthless efficiency. Beverley Wharton, now Chief Inspector, does not relish the investigation of the murders because she does not get on with her new sergeant, and because the pathologist Charles Sydenham would not have been her first choice.

    Kathryn says: "Mystery + strange illness"
    "Refreshingly Original Storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a police procedural where whodunnit is not as important as why dunning. I was not sure if I was going to enjoy it, but I soon got hooke and appreciated the plot twists and characters with there real life hangups and problems in addition to the stress of solving murders. A well crafted and well executed book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Istanbul Passage: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Joseph Kanon
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (165)

    A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has spent the war as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even American businessman Leon Bauer has been drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs for the Allied war effort. Now, as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, he is given one more assignment, a routine job that goes fatally wrong, plunging him into a tangle of intrigue and moral confusion.

    Maine Colonial says: "What choice do you make when all options are bad?"
    "A Spy Story The Keeps Your Interest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great spy story set in post-war Turkey. It has all the intrigue, betrayal and deception you expect from a spy story along with the mysterious atmosphere of Istanbul. I found the characters original and interesting. The protagonist is presented with the type of moral dilemma usually found in literary novels. Unlike some recent mysteries and spy stories, this one kept my interest throughout and it worth your time. The narration takes a little getting used to but the cadence fits the author's prose.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • An American Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (147)

    With only a handful of “tourists” - CIA-trained assassins - left, Weaver would like to move on and use this as an opportunity to regain a normal life, a life focused on his family. His former boss in the CIA, Alan Drummond, can’t let it go. When Alan uses one of Milo’s compromised aliases to travel to London and then disappears, calling all kinds of attention to his actions, Milo can’t help but go in search of him. Worse still, it's beginning to look as if Tourism's enemies are gearing up for a final, fatal blow.

    Joanne says: "Very complicated"
    "A Textured Spy Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a multilayered story told from multiple points of view. There are no superagents-save perhaps a sexy black woman US Spy--rather everyone on all sides are vulnerable and flawed and under pressure from somewhere. In this respect it is a realistic story. It is a thinking persons spy novel. There are many plot twists and most of them are surprises. The reason it does not rate 5 stars is that it goes on a little too long.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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