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Alex

ratings
29
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
13

  • The Shipkiller: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Justin Scott
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (287)

    Before he was anointed to carry on the legacy of Robert Ludlum's Janson Command series, and before he collaborated with Clive Cussler on the fan favorite Isaac Bell series, Justin Scott created this suspenseful adventure tale, a novel of love and revenge set on the high seas. Written in 1978, this is considered by many to be one of the best maritime thrillers of all time. As an expert in the world of ships and sailing, Justin Scott creates an authentic maritime world, making The Shipkiller all the more thrilling because it could be a true story.

    Jean says: "A story of revenge"
    "A great story- well written and performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I took a flier on this book- there were no written reviews when I purchased it- and I'm very glad I did. The best book I've listened to in a very long time (I have hundreds of audiobooks)

    Scott's tale crackles with energy, with a driven character who stops at nothing to achieve his ends. His thorough knowledge of sailing and the intense war his protagonist wages for survival at sea is enough by itself to keep you riveted.

    Vietor's narration too is spot on- no wooden deliveries, no histrionics or overwrought voice acting, he strikes the perfect tone, allowing the listener to enjoy the story in a voice that seems perfectly in tune to the material. A reading one might imagine the author would have it read. Outstanding.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Watching You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (324)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (293)

    Marnie Logan often feels like she's being watched: A warm breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes when she turns her head. She has reason to be frightened. Her husband Daniel has inexplicably vanished, and the police have no leads in the case. Without proof of death or evidence of foul play, she can't access his bank accounts or his life insurance. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin.

    bernadette says: "Wow!"
    "Wow. With an asterisk."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my second Robotham novel, having just finished Bombproof. Like that novel, "Watching You" is very well written and tightly plotted. Characters are three-dimensional, natural and interesting. Very little was predictable and the usual cliches avoided. Both books kept me turning the pages right to the end.

    So, intelligent thrillers for readers who appreciate having their own intelligence respected. What's not to like?

    For me, it's characters who don't control their own destiny and are instead buffeted around by circumstances or victims of a relentless string of poor choices. This was particularly true of Bombproof, but also largely the case with the chief protagonist in this novel, and while all this behavior is well supported by the plot, I find it frustrating. "Weak but interesting" just isn't enough for me.

    I'm probably going to give Robotham another go because he's such a good writer and storyteller and those are all too thin on the ground. But if, again, I get repeatedly knocked around by circumstances as I follow the protagonist through the book, I'm done.

    But that's me. Maybe you won't mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Professionals

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Owen Laukkanen
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (196)

    Four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it's no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise - quick, efficient, low risk - works like a charm. Until they kidnap the wrong man. Now two groups they've very much wanted to avoid are after them - the law, in the form of veteran state investigator Kirk Stevens and hotshot young FBI agent Carla Windermere, and an organized-crime outfit looking for payback.

    Richard Delman says: "A thrilling new voice in thrillers"
    "Really?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started off with great promise. A fast-paced story with a compelling premise and very well performed by Ballerini. There's just one problem- I don't enjoy reading about characters who areā€¦ stupid. Yup, the lead character styles himself and his gang as professional, but most professionals I know aren't, you know, stupid.

    I could list all the points along the way where I was metaphorically slapping my forehead in slack-jawed wonderment at the various choices made by the "professionals", but who has the time? On the other hand, if you're a fan of unintentional comedy, there are lots of guffaws to be had in this novel, particularly as things spiral out of control in the book's second half. The plot wraps up in predictably maudlin fashion, but no need to worry as by then you will be long past caring.

    It's too bad. Laukkanen knows how to keep things on the boil, and the first third or so doesn't stray too far from intelligent. If the author could have a bit more respect for his readers he could grow into a decent thriller writer. Wake me up when that happens.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Plain Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Christina Moore, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1147)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (390)

    The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that 18-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life.

    Susan says: "Plain good!"
    "forced and implausible"
    Overall

    When I read the other posts here, I have to assume the other reviewers have read a different book.

    Characters behave stupidly and without proper motivation. You quickly grow to hate the accused, Katie, whom we presume the author would like us to sympathize with. As Katie is her own most determined enemy, doing everything imaginable to ruin her own case and credibility, that isn't easy. Furthermore, we are supposed to believe her constant, whiney self-justifications and endless prevarications neatly cohabitate with the honest and self-effacing character of the Amish. By the time the book is half done, I was so disgusted with this character (and others), I was actually rooting for the prosecution.

    Worse, the author built such a fragile plot that a single question, one any intelligent five year old could have posed at any number of points, would have brought down the whole house of cards. The holes are too many to list, but suffice to say we're asked to believe a hot-shot lawyer couldn't see what is laughably apparent to the reader. We're also asked to believe that this lawyer, who didn't want the case in the first place, would put up with the constant lying and betrayals of her own client, making her equally unlikable as a character.

    This book insulted my intelligence in almost every scene. It was not helped by the halting, melodramatic reading that made the characters appear even dumber than they might otherwise. But let's not blame the messenger. This isn't a 'who-dunnit' so much as a 'who cares'. The crime isn't in the book- the crime IS the book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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