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Elle in the Great NorthWest

I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
240
REVIEWS
234
FOLLOWING
40
FOLLOWERS
228
HELPFUL VOTES
941

  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7614)
    Performance
    (6633)
    Story
    (6624)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    Amazon Customer says: "A great book"
    "Roberts version of Dragon Tattoo protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Since the "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo",strong intelligent tech/geek women have been the female protagonist do jour.... I guess it's no surprise that Roberts has her own entry...in the form of Lizzy ( aka Abagail), a young woman with Mensa level intelligence who, as a teen,accidentally connects with the Russian mob, goes into witness protection, escapes the bad guys and is on the run from everyone for a decade.` etc etc etc.

    This same type of woman shows up in "The Informationist ",( Audibles listeners choice award) and "The Breach" a sci-fi trilogy with similar female lead. Each of these 4 female protagonists is quite similar, they all have amazing computer programming and hacking abilities, are Chuck Norris with martial arts and Jack Reacher with knowledge of firepower . I wonder how many more versions of this clone will appear in novels to come......
    .
    The plot and character development are much improved over what Roberts has been phoning in the past several years--I've been picking them up at the used book store and have read just one book of the last 2 trilogy series due to negative reviews and personal experience with the initial book. I'm pleased that she put more effort into this book.

    Roberts knows her readers, and knows what they want so even though this lead character is slightly different than her usual-still her writing remains the same. This time it's a more w take charge female protagonist and equally strong male protagonist who wants to take care of his little woman and bad guys who have chased after Lizzy (Abagail) since she was 17.

    And while loyal readers will enjoy the better quality over the past couple of works, still this is a definite rip off of the Dragon Tattoo (minus the tattoo) main character. Still the writing is tight and crisp and plot is not quite predictable. It held my interest more than the last 2 trilogies did and worth the credit for those of us who appreciate Roberts when she's writing well.

    Julia Whelan gives a very nice reading of the novel, bringing it to life and doing a good job of male characters voices...not overly dramatic or soapy.

    All in all an above average listen to typical Roberts writing and plot.

    53 of 58 people found this review helpful
  • Until Tuesday

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Narrated By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (765)
    Performance
    (598)
    Story
    (602)

    A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. In constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; he cut himself off from those he loved. Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever....

    Char says: "Very Good Book"
    "Nicely read by the author, Tuesday is a great dog."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Montalvan writes very compassionately about his bonding with service dog "Tuesday" and how they come to learn about and understand each other.

    A dog lovers dream of a novel, I recommend it to anyone who has a friend who relative who has been thru the Middle East wars or even Viet Nam.

    Of course I had a few tears towards the end of the book, but I do love animals and have a friend who uses a service dog herself.

    Well worth a credit and your time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (167)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    ""New To Me" author writes of aging Mafia/surf bum"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know how I've missed author Don Winslow and his So Cal Surf Scene novels but I'm glad I found him. This rather strangely plotted book tells the story of a retired mafia hit man known as Frankie Machine who would rather stay retired from his hit man job and focus on early morning surfing, his bait shop on the pier and as fish supplier to 4&5 star restaurants.

    Unfortunately Frankies Boss man has other ideas.

    If you haven't read Don Winslow, I think this is a good book to start in with. I found Frankie to be a basic nice guy who is shoved into situation he'd rather avoid.

    Worth the credit and your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1607)
    Performance
    (1454)
    Story
    (1452)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "WWII women flyers /a good, interesting novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though not the type of book I might normally buy, "Code Name Verity" surprised me by its captivating, real life look at UK women aviatrix and their striving to be allowed to fly combat type missions instead of just being the ferry pilots.

    Elizabeth Wein has authored a real tension filed novel that is beautifully narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell as code name "Verity" and "KittyHawk"-Verity/Julie is captured and tortured while KittyHawk searches for her in war torn France and bemoans the fear she has of the loss of her pilots license.

    Well worth the listen and credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snowbound

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (116)

    For Will Innis and his daughter, Devlin, the loss was catastrophic. Every day for the past five years, they wonder where she is, if she is - Will's wife, Devlin's mother - because Rachael Innis vanished one night during an electrical storm on a lonely desert highway, and suspected of her death, Will took his daughter and fled. Now, Will and Devlin live under different names in another town, having carved out a new life for themselves as they struggle to maintain some semblance of a family.

    Barb says: "Better Than A Good Movie!"
    "Excellent novel..one of the best mysteries around"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I very much enjoyed listening to this narration of a great mystery. This was one of those books that seem written to be narrated for an audio book and the narrator was the perfect choice for it.

    Highly recommended for those who enjoy mysteries

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Web of Evil: A Novel of Suspense

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J.A. Jance
    • Narrated By Karen Ziemba
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (49)

    As she passes the site of a horrifying accident, Ali is grateful that it's no longer her job to report the news, until she finds out that the news is her own: the victim is Ali's cheating husband. And soon she'll find herself the prime suspect at the center of a terrifying web of evil.

    Cheryl says: "Disappointed in you, Judy!"
    "Exciting series-Jance at her best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book 2 in the Alli Reynolds series kept my interest as well as the first book. I can tell I'm going to enjoy this series, based in Sedona, AZ, though much of 'Web of Evil' takes place in Los Angeles.

    The trials and tribulations of Ms Reynolds do get a bit dramatic but anyone who has dealt with the LAPD knows that "Innocent until proven guilty" doesn't hold much sway there.

    Enjoyable, exciting and with an occasionally confusing story arc, I did enjoy listening to this novel and intend to purchase the 3rd and 4th in the series.

    If you like dramatic storytelling this is a good series to start on a cold winters night!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance
    • Narrated By Kris Faulkner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    Successful TV journalist Alison Reynolds' career comes to an abrupt end when top executives decide they need a "younger face". As if that's not enough, Ali discovers her media mogul husband is cheating on her: and her best friend from high school is missing.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Book 1 of new Jance series"
    "Book 1 of new Jance series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all the Beaumont and Johanna Brady books over the years-especially liked Beaumont's tough gritty cop and if you haven't read these now somewhat dated stories, they are still worth perusing.

    I was interested in this new series and thought I'd try the first..and found it very enjoyable, written with Jance's usual tight plot intrigues and containing sufficient side story arcs to keep my interest as I recover from surgery..audio books are the best things for recovering in a nursing home where you share a room-can't sleep? Can't keep the light on all night? Get out the iPad and headphones and listen until you do fall asleep.

    I've already purchased books 2 & 3 in the series, even though there are negative reviews, I want to make my own mind up about it.

    Reviews to come.
    Elle in Oregon

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Soul of Discretion: Simon Serrailler Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (60)

    The cathedral town of Lafferton seems idyllic, but in many ways it is just like any other place. As part of the same rapidly changing world, it shares the same hopes and fears, and the same kinds of crime, as any number of towns up and down the land.When one day DC Simon Serrailler is called in by Lafferton's new Chief Constable, Kieron Bright, he is met by four plainclothes officers. He is asked to take the lead role in a complex, potentially dangerous undercover operation and must leave town immediately.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Leaves you wanting the next episode in series"
    "Leaves you wanting the next episode in series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I have enjoyed each of the Simon Serrailler novels, from Hills tight plotsnto Paceys wonderful narration, this novel was the most gripping of all the books in the series in my opinion.

    Based on up to date horriffic social issues that none of us really want to read about, Simon is sent underground into a dangerous situation fraught with perils where he is discovered as a spy. Any more info would create a spoiler and I don't want to mess up your excitement.

    Simons family reaches situations that have been building over the past 4-5 books and placed in less than hopeful circumstances that not only tax Simon but threaten the peace had harmony we've come to expect from his sister and her friends who seemed to have reached some joy in their lives.

    This may be the Last book, as many story arcs come to a less than satisfying end, but other new plot lines were brought out and the listener is left to ask herself "can Simon overcome the horrible situation?". And wonder what will happen next.

    If you enjoyed most or all of the series do listen to this 2014 issued audiobook to become enthralled as you might have been with the first introductory novel.

    I loved it and it's amongst the top 5 on my 2014 reading list.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Risk of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    A kidnapper is at large; a schoolboy has disappeared. There are no leads, and no closure. The police have failed, and morale at Lafferton Station has collapsed. Then DCI Simon Serrailler receives a call: a child has been snatched in Yorkshire. Has the abductor struck again? The Risk of Darkness picks up where The Pure in Heart left off. It is set in a world in which a widowed husband's crazy grief turns to obsession and violence, and women - both old and young - feel threatened.

    Janet H. Maddox says: "Love this Series"
    "Steven Pacey-A most excellent UK mystery narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Over a period of 3 weeks, while recovering from surgery, I have been kept company by the wonderful UK mysteries written by Susan Hill and narrated by Steven Pacey.

    These take place in mostly current times, though I estimate Hill has been writing the series over the past 10-15 years so current events and tech has changed from "Dashing to a pay phone" to a 15 year old with a cell phone..In other words these aren't vintage novels.

    Steven Pacey has a wonderful ability to bring Hills writing to life, especially when it comes to characters voices. I've listened to all 8 books and have come to know and enjoy the dialogue between Simon and Cat,the arguments between teen Sam and his sister that lead to anger and typical sibling bickering, and to know the stern father of the 3 triplets and his wonderful second wife-just thru Paceys intonation. Spectacular-especially with Paceys cultured accent that can swiftly change to Cornwall or Northern or Scott accents--how does he do that?

    I've read negative comments about the series-not exciting enough, no plot etc. This hasn't been my experience at all.

    Hill doesn't write shoot 'em up mysteries with American gumshoes and car cases. His cop shop is full of men and women who work hard and with diligence to discover the perp.

    Try it-I bet you'll like them!

    Well worth the credits

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sea Swept: The Chesapeake Bay Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By David Stuart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1045)
    Performance
    (736)
    Story
    (755)

    A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father calls him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changes overnight.

    Louise says: "Outstanding"
    "Great narration and classic NR writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I honestly thought this series of 4 books was written 15-20 years ago..it seems to be a classic in her genre.

    David Stuart is an excellent narrator who gave a typical and not always touching Roberts book a touch of class. Both the first and second book in the series are narrated by Stuart, the 3rd and 4th novels in the series are good, narration wise, but not of the same quality.

    The 4 books in this series take place in the Chesapeake Bay part of the eastern seaboard, the 4 protagonists, all adopted step brothers whose early childhood years were those of abuse and terror. Novel 1, Sea Swept, tells the story of European playboy and fast car and/or boat driver Cameron Quinn. A man whose life is now one of supermodels, road races, winning tickets and a future of fun and sex. As I said...a typical Roberts story arc that manages to excite and enthuse readers.

    However it turns out that this novel is of excellent Nora Roberts style and between the 3rd and 4th novels the quality remains 5 star

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1211)
    Performance
    (1115)
    Story
    (1121)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    S. Csorna says: "Listen to this now!"
    "One of her finest novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written in the now predictable multi character style, Leaving Time is a superior work IMO. Picoult has written a few books that I couldn't get thru but this was an all night listen for me-all nite and into the next day in fact.

    I admired the primary protagonist and really felt for her. The secondary characters, especially the young son, were equally well written, with lots of character development and family conflict.

    Story arc flows beautifully from scene to scene-I'd give it more stars were they available.

    Buy it!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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