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Howie

History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.

Calgary, AB, Canada | Member Since 2007

ratings
112
REVIEWS
38
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
71

  • A Delicate Truth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By John le Carré
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (262)

    A Delicate Truth opens in 2008. A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

    Darwin8u says: "A latter-day Jeremiah of espionage & statecraft."
    "Like Le Carre? You'll love this one...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    An espionage novel that works well outside the Cold War, cerebral but not pretentious.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • No Tomorrow: Victor the Assassin, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (115)

    When Victor is called to meet with an old friend who ultimately betrayed him, what he thought was an ambush is in fact a plea for help. As a Russian gangster, Norimov is accustomed to death threats, but now an unknown enemy wants more than his life. They intend to kill everyone he cares about, including his missing daughter Gisele. This time, Victor's job is not to kill but to protect. Unfortunately, locating Gisele is his first mistake - because someone is watching his every move.

    Adegoke A. Adeyemo says: "Victor is back!!!"
    "Victor developing a bit more personality!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another good addition to the Victor series, was pleasantly surprised with this series from an author and a narrator I had never heard before. Good storyline,suspenseful, at times tense and not too far fetched in terms of plot and characters imo.... Highly recommend to those that like this genre and looking for a new series to start or jump into.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (204)

    Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

    Michael Eaton says: "The Greatest Spy -- Ever Discovered"
    "Finally a great read about Philby and his Friends."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reads like a novel, John Lee does an excellent job narrating as usual. Highly recommend for anyone interested in this era of history.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1454)
    Performance
    (1305)
    Story
    (1302)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "Great Listen, one of my favourites!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story and an era I really have a weakness for WWII, fiction in this case. Right up there with The Book Thief,imo. Hard to put down or turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (918)
    Performance
    (820)
    Story
    (823)

    Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled listeners with 16 thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back - from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon - art restorer, assassin, spy - has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

    Brian says: "If new to Daniel Silva, great book. Otherwise..."
    "Too much rehash from previous books...but good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this is your first Allon book you'll enjoy it. If you have read the whole series, I'm tiring of the same stuff coming up book after book. Its good, exciting but getting to formulaic for me, think Silva is riding his coattails so to speak.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Gai-Jin: A Novel of Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (228)

    A sequel to Tai-pan, this is the sixth novel in Clavell's Asian saga and takes place in 1862. The gai-jin (foreigners) have arrived, intent on doing business with the Japanese. With laws against the use of the wheel in carriages or carts, the Japanese, their tradition-bound Emperor, and competing warlords detest the foreigners, who have ruined the Chinese with the Opium Wars.

    Caleb says: "Good, just not as good as the rest of Clavell"
    "A Clavell Epic, it's long, but worth it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyed this historical fiction, could see Hong Kong developing in my minds eye. The bitter rivalries and intrigue continue without getting old. Whats even better is the that I enjoyed the sequel to this "Noble House" even more.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Zimler
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir, Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Berlin, 1932. Sophie is a smart and sexually precocious 14-year-old coming of age during Hitler's rise to power. Forced to lead a double life when her father and boyfriend become Nazi collaborators, she reserves her dreams of becoming an actress for her beloved elderly neighbor, Isaac Zarco, and his friends, most of whom are Jews working against the government in a secret group called the Ring. When a member is sent to Dachau, she realizes there must be a Nazi traitor in the group - but who?

    Howie says: "Great story, and I learned a lot!"
    "Great story, and I learned a lot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Started slow for me, but characters are developed really well. Written in such a way that I felt immersed in the story and although long something I always enjoyed returning to. Excellent historical fiction and entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • King Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (121)

    The time is World War II. The place is a brutal prison camp deep in Japanese-occupied territory. Here, within the seething mass of humanity, one man, an American corporal, seeks dominance over both captives and captors alike. His weapons are human courage, unblinking understanding of human weaknesses, and total willingness to exploit every opportunity to enlarge his power and corrupt or destroy anyone who stands in his path.

    John says: "King Rat"
    "One of my Favourite Books......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story and told well by a master IMO, James Clavell pens another classic. Highly recommend for anyone, especially those who like historical pieces.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2835)
    Performance
    (2611)
    Story
    (2610)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Not usually my genre...but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked it nonetheless, good story well told, would recommend to anyone that doesn't usually listen to fantasy. Has a nice mix of historical fiction with life in the early 1900's in NYC.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9475)
    Performance
    (8674)
    Story
    (8687)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Enjoyed immensely...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great tale, felt I was involved in the story, great characters and got me hooked very quickly. For such a long book seemed to pass too quickly for me....Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Levanter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Eric Ambler
    • Narrated By Tim Bentinck
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Syria, 1970. Three years after the Six-Day War. Michael Howell is utterly apolitical and genetically programmed for survival, a Levantine of mixed origin with an Italian mistress and profitable business enterprises throughout the Middle East. Life is sweet for Howell until, one night in Damascus, he discovers that his factories have become the clandestine operations base for a fanatical terrorist organization dead set on destroying Israel. Suddenly, Howell is caught in the middle, with nowhere to run.

    Bull says: "Discovery of great new narrator!"
    "Really Good, stick with it through the beginning.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For me it started rather confusingly and I thought I was getting it or misssing something. Maybe it was just me or I wasn't very attentive when I started it. It really gets going and is a good story that kept intrigued and making use of google maps to get my bearings.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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