As a family we listened to all the Lemony Snicket books. Although it has been a few years, my children who are teens still remember these books. I use to have to download the audio books and then burn them onto CDs. Now I just play my ipod through the blue tooth connection on my car. Although the technology has changed, these books are classic. One of the best attributes is that you and your children can learn some big new words. Its great for vocabulary building. If you have a long drive your kids will sit there and listen to these books for hours on end. Since you will be trapped in the car with them, you will also have to like books. I enjoyed listening just as much as they did.
This is both an international spy thriller and a courtroom drama book. The author does a great job of combining the 2 genres into one compelling novel. If you like John Grisham or Tom Clancy you will like this book.
After the crash of Marine One and the death of the president a witch hunt begins to assign blame for the crash. The likely target is the helicopter's builder and a French company World Copter. Was it a plot by the French to kill the president or just a bad design? (The story is partly based on reality because there was a big hoopla over who would build Marine One, and the contract was given partly to an Italian company. The trial in the novel also brings up the cost of the helicopter which in reality at $400M each costs as much as Airforce One, the president's 747).
The lawyer called on to the defend the company, Mike Nolan, is a helicopter pilot himself, and quickly realizes that something is not quite right. As in any good courtroom drama, the truth comes out, and the culprit's are not the ones anyone suspects.
The narration is quite good. If this book was from a better know author I am sure it would be on the top seller list since it is actually better than many of the ones there at this time.
Fast pace and fun and well worth one credit for 12 hours of listening..
This book starts fairly slow but picks up the pace rapidly. Once you start its hard to put down ( or stop listening). Having lost his wife and not sure she is dead or alive, Will Innis must run away because he assumes he will be the most likely suspects in his wife disappearance. (Just like the husband in Gone Girl). He is put on the hunt for his wife by a rogue FBI agent and then the action never stops. The plot is highly believable and keeps you guessing.
I would have given this one more star except for the ending. The author insists on one more plot twist (won't give away) that is unnecessary. If I had edited this book I would have cut last chapter. However, this is a great thriller and worth the credit. I would compare it to Gone Girl. Slightly more violent though. I can see this being a movie some day.
The Narration was 5 stars. Narrator handles both men's and women's voices quite well.
Although there is a thriller plot to this book, you need to like computers to enjoy this. The Avogadro Corp basically runs most the on-line applications (webmail) and searches on the Internet. Basically, it really reminds me of Google. The CEO of the corporation is even a Russian wonderkid.
The corporation has developed an on-line application for email that basically searches other peoples email so you can write winning proposals. Although sounding far fetched, its probably something Google could do today. Take a email addressed to a gmail account, search the recipients gmail and then make suggestions based on that search. Frightening but doable. The story goes a little SCI FI when the application starts to take over the entire internet and starts ordering people to do things like arm floating server farmers with automated missiles and machine guns. It gets even more far fetched by the end. It does give you an idea of the massive scale that firms like Google have to handle web traffic throughout the world.
So in summary long on techno facts and thin on plot, but still enjoyable if you like books about computers taking over the world. Sort of surprise ending which I won't give away here.
Unless you have a semi believable plot, a thriller is not so thrilling. It is more like science fiction. This book starts with an airliner being blown out of the sky by what are thought to be arab terrorists. In reality, they are paid mercenaries who are hired by a secretive group bent of creating world chaos so they can financially benefit. The group consists of greedy American businessmen, Russian Mobsters, and even the Israeli secret service. THis plot has been many times and this novel does not improve on it. (James Bond aka Dr. No) If you want to make money by being extremely violent then there is always the drug traffic. So after a few chapters the author introduces this group and your reaction is "oh come on, this is silly." They even meet on a Caribbean island where they build a multimillion dollar retreat and then blow it up after one day's use as a meeting site. You ask, "why". There is no logical answer.
The other half of the book seems to be about the "hero", Michael Osborne and his whining lawyer wife. She gives him a hard time when he is ordered by President to meet with the alleged terrorists. She has to miss an appointment at a fertility clinic because he is called into action. Most of the book she spends crying. And then there is Michael who has been sitting at a desk job in the CIA but of course has super ninja skills and can kill men with his bare hands. Why are there never any CIA agents who are overweight and who couldn't beat up an old lady let alone a deadly international assassin?
Then there is the assassin who is trained from birth to kill. He goes to great lengths to hide is identity, but then kills people with the same three shots to head, thereby telling everyone, hey it's me killing all these people. At the end he can collect his millions for his hits and just go into hiding, but no, he has to track down Michael and his wife as a new vendetta. You can guess how it ends. Good guy shots bad guy and kills him. NOT. Even though the CIA agent makes the claim of being a great marksman he can't hit the guy with two whole magazines of bullets while he is less than 30 feet away. (Of course it's in the the typical blinding rainstorm on a dark and cloudy night) He escapes, and we are told the evil group of men who hired him have killed him to silence him. But no, he's not dead and reappears in the last chapter. Totally confusing so I guess so we can now have a just as stupid sequel.
I thought I wold listen to this book since business books is not my favorite genre. This book does a great job of explaining how Alan Mulally did a great job in saving Ford motor company. The basic lessons in the book are that
-Eventually every big organization will be complacent
-Board of directors are mostly in it for the money and prestige and are mostly clueless
-An organization that does not tolerate failure will eventually fail
-When you surround yourself with "yes men" you are disengaged from reality
-Sometimes smaller is better, Being big for the sake of being big is foolish.
The basic problem with Ford at the time of arrival of Mulally is that the company was out of touch with the market. Most of the top managers did not own or drive a classic "Ford" preferring the luxury brands of Jaguar and Range Rover which the Mulalay dumped as Ford divisions. He makes them drives Fords and even competing brands. When they do, they realize that at the time Fords kind of sucked. Ugly, poor quality, and no fun to drive. Most of America had come to that realization years earlier. No one was ever held accountable for failure at Ford because no one ever failed. He implements a management tracking system that makes it difficult to hide problems such as delays in car launches, quality issues, and cost problems. At one point he asks how many models of cars the company sells. Nobody knows so he goes to all the company web sites and prints out a picture of every model and shows it to the board. There were over 400 different models.
Its a good listen if you like cars and business. It does get tedious at times but you can just skip forward
Virgil Flowers is just the younger version of Lucas Davenport. John Sandford has the problem that his mainstay character is getting older and in doing so is getting more conservative. I have read almost all the books in this series and the Prey series and while I enjoy them all, they are basically mindless reads, or listens. This book is not much different.
I would rate this one of the better Virgil Flower books based on the dialogue. At some times it is actually funny. The villains in this book are a bunch of dog nappers, a murderous school committee and a bunch Meth cookers. The links between the three are rather tenuous at best. It's mostly that they commit their crimes in the same rural town in Minnesota. Virgil gets called to the town to solve the dog napping case and then gets caught up in the other two crimes. Nothing really that sinister here but a bunch of "hillbillies" and middle aged murderers trying to cover up a theft of school funds.
However, the banter between Virgil and the other characters is humorous at times in the fashion of "oh christ not again." Also about every third line seems to have the F#$# word in it. There are humorous scenes of not so fast chase in boats that putt along and then in golf carts. There are also scenes of breaking up an illegal dog auction and hundreds of dogs escaping.
So in summary, if you like this series you will like this book. If you are looking for a good detective thriller there are much better options such as Jon Nesbo, Jussi Olsen, Lisa Gardner. Having said that I am sure I will listen to the next Virgil Flowers book.
Although this book has some of the usual Stephen King supernatural aspects, inherently it is a book about growing old. It starts with the lead character at age 5 and follows his life, with the book having many flashbacks as the character narrates the book at the end of his life. The writing as usual is great, but the "suspense/supernatural" aspects are almost an afterthought, The reverend who discovers a new for of super electricity appears and then disappears for large portions of the book. His invention of a new form of electricity reminds me of John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. The story telling also reminds me of John Irving, another great American writer.
I would not view this as a thriller or even as a suspenseful book, but more melancholy narration about getting older. I suspect it is because Stephen King himself is coming to terms with his own advancing age. I would recommend this book for both the narration and writing skills, but it is not the Stephen King of old. That does not make it bad, just different.
This book reminded me so much of Stephen King's It. Instead of the killer clown we have The Rainbow Man. It's an interesting story but has a rather religious theme just to let you know. Visions by a young girl predict the happenings in a small town in Virginia. Again it reminds me of a Stephen King book Under the Dome. The mayor in both books is named Big Jim. So if you want a Stephen King book with a Christian theme, this is your ticket. There is also tension between the young girl's parents that is never really explained other than the father has a job and has to work to support his family. He keeps getting in trouble just because he has to see his patients as a therapist. This makes the other two characters sound like a duo of crybabies.
The narration is quite excellent going from a young girl with sutter to an old man.
This book was sort of "disjointed". Although we have the same characters Psychologist Joe O'Laughlin and the retired police detective, the plot is hard to follow. Actually it really does not make that much sense. It involves money being stolen from Iraq banks so of course we have the arab terrorists, double crossing CIA agents and your other usual characters including the beautiful arab girl. I would say it is not a "terrible" book but the others from this author are much better. I preferred Shatter and Bomb Proof. If you have not listened to those start there first. If you don't like those than you won't like this. The narration of all these books quite good.
I like this genre, but after reading so many they get sort of repetitious. This one had a different slant and I found it interesting. THe basic theme is that there is a plague that is slowly wiping out the world's population. However, this one is different in that it is not actually transmitted from person to person but is triggered by a different method, resulting in what are called dead zones. People within a certain radius of just a few hundred yards almost instantly drop dead. Obviously this can cause mayhem if people are operating cars or other heavy machinery. So we have a thriller that involves the typical chaos when lots of people start to die, the world taken over by gangs bent on murder and mayhem, and a science thriller of tracking down the cause of the deaths.
It's a long book (26 hours) and the author has a tendency to add too many unneeded details, but it holds your interest. The narration is fairly good with the single narrator able to have a rather large range of voices. So if you like books like Stephen King's The Stand, or "plague" books you will like this. No zombies however, (Not sure I can take another Zombie Book) The length of the book makes it a good "bang for your audible buck." . You need a little patience in the beginning as the author introduces the major characters, a CDC doctor and a Nobel Prize winning Scientist.
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