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Jennifer

Santa Cruz, US, Canada | Member Since 2008

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 347 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2015
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  • Kidnapped: An Irene Kelly Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jan Burke
    • Narrated By Eliza Foss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Years have passed since Richard Fletcher was murdered. Although his stepson was convicted of the crime, Irene isn’t so sure. To finally uncover the truth, the investigative journalist joins forces with Richard’s son Caleb, a graduate student in forensic anthropology.

    Jennifer says: "Perfectly absorbing"
    "Perfectly absorbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit it, being so badly injured has left me desperate for an alternate reality. First I adopted VI Warshawsky, and now I feel like pounding on Irene and Frank's door and trying to convince them to let me hang out there for a while, like so many of their characters have done through these nine books. Sadly, there is only one book to go and I will need to surface and look for a new place to hide out all too soon. I can't believe how quickly I made my way through these books.

    Burke gets better and better with each mystery she tells. The motivations behind this plot are a bit garbled. We understand more or less in the end, but the weaknesses are forgiven because of our fascination for the innocent, but bright kidnapped kids, the confused and hugely mistaken adults, and the network of people whose jobs require them to investigate the ill doings from a variety of perspectives.

    Certainly the extraordinarily good narration contributes to why become part of it all, and keep turning out for another long beach walk each day so I can return to Irene's reality yet again.

    I don't want to give away anything of this story. Trust me, this is well worth the download

    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
    (12484)
    Performance
    (11298)
    Story
    (11324)

    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"
    "This book succeeds in being an amazing work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My interest was captivated all the way through and I loved the thoughtful ending, though also felt that it could be trimmed and polished a lot. There are unrealistic aspects to this book -- like perhaps nearly the entire thing -- and that prevented me from being fully a fan. I recommend it for sure and I won't forget this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hypnotist's Love Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1456)
    Performance
    (1268)
    Story
    (1264)

    Ellen O’Farrell is a bit unusual. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s never met her father. And she can’t seem to keep a relationship going. (Okay, that’s more normal that we want to admit.) When Ellen meets Patrick, she’s hopeful nevertheless. But when he says he needs to tell her something, she fears the worst. When Patrick reveals that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen thinks, "Is that all?" She’s more intrigued than frightened. She’d love to meet her. What she doesn’t know is that she already has.

    S says: "a twisted love story...so interesting!"
    "I'm teetering between not liking and loving this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    She's close to achieving something excellent, but falls short. I wanted this to be better and hoped it would be as it developed. I detected in this woman a wonderful writer that just couldn't quite launch her book with the full seriousness that I felt it deserved. Her main character -- a hypnotist -- was almost too pat. But then again, she wasn't quite too pat. Her husband was better than he seemed and almost too good to be true. The stalker was too good to be true, but maybe not. It was all just resting on the edge of being just too pat. However, now that I have read the third one, I recommend that you read this and her other, slightly older book first. Read them in order, and you will end up being a great fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5863)
    Performance
    (5155)
    Story
    (5169)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Perfectly Executed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This writer has hit her stride. This book is just perfectly written, revealing itself with intensity and with each of many characters being so well developed. I am enchanted with the ending -- and I always hate endings. There is just nothing to complain about here and I am certain there are many fellow lovers of Moriarty. She has achieved what I didn't dare hope she would when I finished two of her earlier books, which left me disappointed and even put off a bit, because I was worried she was just too pat. She is NOT. She has captured slices of life with such realism that I find her impossible to ignore I'm off to read another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1221)
    Performance
    (1089)
    Story
    (1085)

    Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

    Sharon says: "Louise, what were you thinking?"
    "I can't be timid about any Louise Penny review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know Louise's characters as if they were living next door to me, or better yet, as if I too resided in Three Pines. I seriously consider moving there and then realize again that there is no such place.

    There is subtext to her books that is greater than the surface "facts." She tells stories of human development that are weighty and pressure me to think of my own situation and take action to fix it. I care so much about her characters that I do not want her to be untrue to any of them.

    Her narrator is the best possible Gamache. I can't imagine how he could change. And, of course, he does all of the other characters so well, but he IS Gamache.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Silent Partner

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By Alexander Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (90)

    At a party for a controversial Los Angeles sex therapist, Alex encounters a face from his own past: Sharon Ransom, an exquisite, alluring lover who left him abruptly more than a decade earlier. Sharon now hints that she desperately needs help, but Alex evades her. The next day she is dead, an apparent suicide. Driven by guilt and sadness, Alex plunges into the maze of Sharon's life - a journey that will take him through the pleasure palaces of California's ultra-rich, into the dark closets of a family's disturbing past.

    Ruth says: "Antiquated/needs disclaimer: BPD are throw aways"
    "Prolonged, improbable, yet I listened"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Each time I start a new Kellerman, I'm minutes from giving up on it. Yet, I always finish them, and am left with the same questions -- what did this really say about our protagonist or anyone else in the story? As complex and evolved as the characters seem to be, I'm never quite sure about them. The plot does not lack detail, but I find myself backing up to the portion I missed -- I do that a lot anyway, but in Kellerman's books, I'm very likely to miss more and perhaps to never figure it out. Yet I still hang in there. I keep thinking. I'll learn something new about the protagonist, his gay friend, his girlfriend the luthier and the social mores in general. I never quite break through though.

    In this one, the temporary separation from Robin allows our hero to not re-engage with an old flame and to feel guilty nevertheless. Wonder what Robin did in the meantime?

    There's twins, or perhaps triplets due to administration of some hormones, because why again? These twins may be Howard Hughes' or perhaps his partner's?

    So sometimes we think there are twins, then perhaps triplets, and in the end, twins again? I confess to being unsure even of that resolution. One kills the other, or maybe she doesn't.

    In the end, I can't figure out if its my inattention, over attention, or what that made this so difficult. As always, I wonder if I'll be back for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naughty in Nice: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2283)
    Performance
    (2007)
    Story
    (1979)

    Lady Georgiana Rannoch has once again been called into service by Her Majesty the Queen. This time she's sent to Nice on a secret assignment that's nothing to sneeze at: recover the Queen's stolen snuff box. As much of an honor as it is to be trusted by Her Majesty, an even greater honor awaits Georgie in Nice - as Coco Chanel herself asks Georgie to model her latest fashion. But when a necklace belonging to the Queen is stolen on the catwalk, Georgie has to find two priceless items-and solve a murder. How's a girl to find any time to go to the casino?

    Lindsay says: "Lots of good fun"
    "The complete distraction I too-often want"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Georgie is pretty willing to steal back a snuff box, given that she seems pretty smart and hard to fool too. In fact there are dichotomies throughout the book, where she is fooled and shouldn't be, while she is too wise to be so fooled. That's my criticism. My praise is for the amusement of it all. I'm embarrassed to say, I'm certain I'll be back for more. its like over-eating cookies at Christmas time -- uh oh, its exactly like that, as my next book in the series is about Christmas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Over the Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By Alexander Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (125)

    When the phone rings in the middle of the night, child psychologist Alex Delaware does not hesitate. Driving through the dream-lit San Fernando Valley, Alex rushes to Jamey Cadmus, the patient he had failed five years before - and who now calls with a bizarre cry for help. But by the time Alex reaches Canyon Oaks Psychiatric Hospital, Jamey is gone, surfacing a day later in the hands of the police, who believe Jamey is the infamous Lavender Slasher, a psychotic serial killer. Wooed by a high-powered attorney to build a defense, Alex will get a chance to do what he couldn't five years ago.

    P. Giorgio says: "Like a psych textbook"
    "A bit hard to follow and believe, but.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll probably be back or more of this series. I find the psychological discussions interesting, when I didn't think I would. I like the friendship between Milo and the protagonist more than I understand the relationship between the protagonist and his girlfriend. The complexity of the plot and the unreality of it were an interference, so that's why it gets 4 stars. The performance, the characters, and the tone were absorbing. If this writer matures from book to book, I'm pretty sure I'll like the later books a lot more, given that this one has promise.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Disturbance: An Irene Kelly Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jan Burke
    • Narrated By Eliza Foss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    One of America’s most popular and acclaimed mystery writers, Jan Burke has earned the Edgar, Macavity and Agatha Awards for her thrilling tales. As founder of the Crime Lab Project and a member of the board of the California Forensic Science Institute, she brings unmatched authenticity to her novels. In Disturbance, resourceful newspaper reporter Irene Kelly has her hands full investigating a chilling case.

    Jennifer says: "I've a serious addiction to this series"
    "I've a serious addiction to this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the characters, the point of view, the struggle with life that is portrayed, the appreciation of the struggles of the writers that came before Irene. I wish I were one of her friends, because I would so love a good cup of coffee overlooking Frank's garden, chatting with her accumulated regular guests. I'm sad to say that this may be the absolute last one. If so, that will be sad. I recommend this series. Savor it. It makes the perfect long walk rehabilitation companion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4776)
    Performance
    (4262)
    Story
    (4263)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "Man and Dog Damaged and Healing Together"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maggie is brilliant and her owner isn't bad either. I love both characters, and the narration was solid. This kept my interest and I'd read more, but I have the feeling its a one off. Don't miss this if you like to see how a puzzle solver works and how a friendship between man and dog develops.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • When the Bough Breaks: An Alex Delaware Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By Alexander Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (373)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (320)

    Dr. Morton Handler practiced a strange brand of psychiatry. Among his specialties were fraud, extortion, and sexual manipulation. Handler paid for his sins when he was brutally murdered in his luxurious Pacific Palisades apartment. The police have no leads, but they do have one possible witness: seven-year-old Melody Quinn.

    Jane says: "3 ½ stars. Slightly above average."
    "Perhaps its better than my rating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm giving Kellerman another listen. This one is pretty sick, as in the historical meaning of the term. The killings were done by one sick person -- or was it more than one, I can't recall at the moment. The reasons kind of made some vague sense, maybe. The vision is pretty depressing. Yet, I like the protagonist and his friendship with a cop. I see a future in there somewhere and have downloaded the next in the series. I'm hoping this will be like Jan Burke, where each books gets better than the previous. Also, Delaware is a Psychologist and his examinations of human illnesses is interesting. This is set in West L.A. where I grew up, so that helps a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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