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Barbara H. Lockard

keuka

NY, United States | Member Since 2010

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 375 titles in library
  • 52 purchased in 2014
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  • Where Memories Lie

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (51)

    New York Times best-selling author Deborah Crombie pens suspenseful English mysteries that have drawn favorable comparisons to the best of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell. Her novel Dreaming of the Bones made the Independent Mystery Booksellers of America’s list of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the 20th Century.

    Barbara H. Lockard says: "Maybe Best in the Series"
    "Maybe Best in the Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read each of the books in sequence in this series and am very fond of the main characters, Gemma Jones and Duncan Kinkaid. The highly competent detectives' personal lives provide the subplots that enhance the storyline. These are "real" and "normal" people. Each of them and those around them seem to grow and change in each work as their professional and personal relationships and associated dilemmas ring very true. This one is one of the most satisfying reads in the series with a compact plot and believable resolutions. Crombie's emphasis on character and human nature provoke deserved favorable comparisons with P.D. James and Ruth Rendell. I didn't give this five stars because I was confused about the timing of the plot. Erika, Gemma's good friend, was a key character here. If this book was set in real-time (published in 2008), she was a very active senior who was well into her 90s. Jenny Sterlin gives Gemma a wonderful, sensitive voice but it is sometimes hard to differentiate between her male voices, particularly Duncan Kinkaid and his associates. Minor quibbles .... as this truly is one of those series that I hope keeps on going and going...

    2 of 2 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
    (967)
    Performance
    (877)
    Story
    (873)

    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.

    Hank Reads! says: "Completely absorbing!"
    "Simply one of the Best (Maybe THE Best) of 2014"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This has to be an award-winner in waiting. It will certainly fall in the top 10 best book lists of 2014 next January. It is a poetically beautiful story that anyone and everyone might be enriched by. The work is entrenched in historic reality but at the same time has a thick atmosphere of "magic realism." Although it is touching, there is nothing falsely sentimental or maudlin about it and even the most abhorrent characters have a shred of humanity that draws empathy. At the same time, I never have read a book that made me feel what it is like to live idaily life controlled by "occupying forces." The "magic" is subtle and makes one understand that it is always there with us in this beautiful world even in the most horrendous of conditions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow White Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nele Neuhaus
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1296)
    Performance
    (1130)
    Story
    (1125)

    On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.

    C. Vincent says: "Great narrator, unbelievable, never-ending story"
    "Good Suspense Story but Not for the Usual Reasons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is easy to understand why this German suspense novel is an international hit. It is a page turner (or whatever the audio equivalent is called). It has a bit of everything - sex and violence and sort-of necrophilia. But the titillation is all pretty mild - nothing gratuitous or shocking as that of the many other recent Nordic sensations which explains why others regret that it can't be compared with Stieg Larssen's novels.

    The narrator has a flat American accent but renders the occasional German (mostly names) with precision. It works most of the time but sometimes when the plot hits one of its many convoluted twists he sounds a bit naive (as if he is relating a fairy tale?). The story isn't much of a fairy tale but the author does owe some debt to other works of German literature for the theme of small town narrow-mindedness and conformism.

    What makes Snow White Must Die worth the long listen is in the human relationships of the central characters - the accused - Tobias, his father, the wild teenager Amelie, and the honorable but very human detective partners, Pia and Oliver. Each of these is an attractive, sympathetic character, and I will happily come back to visit with the police officers.

    P.S. It is too bad that American readers have met Pia and Oliver in book four of the series. Perhaps the publisher will give us the earlier ones in order so that we can catch up.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5972)
    Performance
    (5181)
    Story
    (5171)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "A Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Now I understand why Beautiful Ruins was rated so favorably and was so popular. I held off listening to this one since it sounded a melodramatic and improbable, but was swept along once I started to listen. The main characters are very endearing and other minor characters, including celebrities, are colorfully drawn. Some of its impact may be lost on readers not old enough to remember the perpetual presence of Liz and Dick on the front page of supermarket tabloids through most of the '60s. I would recommend Beautiul Ruins for no other reason that it is the rare book that pulls you up and down an emotional gamut - not the least of which are parts that are laugh-out-loud hilarious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By C. J. Sansom
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (350)

    Consistently appearing on US and UK best-seller lists, C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake mysteries have earned considerable critical acclaim, including a CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. At the behest of a former servant to Catherine Parr, Shardlake travels to Portsmouth to investigate claims of unspeakable crimes committed upon a young ward of the court. There, Shardlake uncovers disturbing evidence even as England’s continuing war with France rages around him.

    Marie says: "Shardlake has begun to annoy"
    "Outstanding Series But Not the Top Entry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sansom has compelling characters in lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak as he has they navigate interesting mysteries and subplots during the time of Henry VIII. Shardlake crosses the path of most of the significant political and royal figures of the time. Heartstone perhaps has one of the most contrived mystery plots of the Shardlake books but includes the tale of one of the most dramatic historical events - the tragedy of the Mary Rose battleship.

    I gave it four stars overall because the story wasn't as suspenseful as previous books in the series and although Steven Crossley read the others and I'd be happy to hear him read anything, I had a hard time distinguishing between many of the male voices. I don't remember having this problem in earlier books, but perhaps there were just too many minor characters here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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