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Janels

ratings
293
REVIEWS
130
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
45
HELPFUL VOTES
185

  • Identical

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (307)
    Story
    (308)

    Identical, based loosely on the myth of Castor and Pollux, is the story of identical twins, Paul and Cass Giannis, and the complex relationships between their family and their former neighbors, the Kronons. The audiobook focuses principally on events in 2008, when Paul is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County, and Cass is released from the penitentiary, 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Athena Kronon.

    Jacqueline says: "Courtroom Drama Takes a Back Seat"
    "This is probably one book better read in print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For a non-Greek, the names, nicknames and random and constant references to Greek tragedies, this book is more difficult to follow. Especially the female character whose odd name sounds like another English word, and the two were used in way too many sentences together, putting a listener at a disadvantage. It seemed to be an allegory for a Greek tragedy, and not the Turow I expected. It is not the mystery I thought I would get from this master.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • First to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3331)
    Performance
    (2393)
    Story
    (2395)

    When you're the best at what you do, it's not always easy to walk away. Nathan McBride was retired. The trained Marine sniper and covert CIA operative had put the violence of his former life behind him. But not anymore. A deep-cover FBI agent has disappeared along with one ton of powerful Semtex explosive, enough to unleash a disaster of international proportions. The U.S. government has no choice but to coax Nathan out of retirement.

    Ed says: "Sniper thriller par excellence"
    "My first, a good Reacher substitute"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This could have been a Jack Reacher story, it was so close. Good character development, plot and characters. It really gets you emotionally involved. As this is my first of this series, a few things stuck out, most notably McBride's weird affectation of winking--at everyone--who does that? It would have been more in character to crack a grin. Otherwise, good character, good characterizations and a good Reacher substitute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man with a Load of Mischief: A Richard Jury Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (281)

    At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer - except for one Melrose Plant....

    C. Telfair says: "Favorite Revisited"
    "Showed promise for the series to come"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As is my unfortunate habit, I read this book after becoming hooked on Grimes' Jury character and books. That was just as well, because this didn't have anywhere near the character depth and entertaining mannerisms that developed in future books, so I may not have gone further with the series had I read this first. I am glad to know the origins of the characters, and how the Jury-Plant friendship formed. But having the characters become so much more entertainingly eccentric in newer books was so much better. Plant is so much more than he showed in this book, as is Agatha. And Jury is too one-dimensional here--his subtle mannerisms have not appeared yet. The plot is kind of exaggerated, as would be good for a stage play, but is still Grimes, and Grimes is generally quite good. Glad to have this one under my belt to go on reading her more recent and more entertaining tales of Jury, Plant, et al.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Keeper: Dismas Hardy, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By John Lescroart
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (221)

    On the evening before Thanksgiving, Hal Chase, a guard in the San Francisco County Jail, drives to the airport to pick up his step-brother for the weekend. When they return, Hal’s wife, Katie, has disappeared without a clue. By the time Dismas Hardy hears about this, Katie has been missing for five days. The case strikes close to home because Katie had been seeing Hardy’s wife, a marriage counselor. By this time, the original Missing Persons case has become a suspected homicide, and Hal is the prime suspect.

    P. Giorgio says: "Where did Hardy go?"
    "Good plot, but way too predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the story line and characterizations of this author, and the narration was acceptable--to a point. I could not figure out why so many of the people were given southern accents--didn't make sense, and was quite distracting. The story was very entertaining, and the plot was pretty good, only it was so disappointingly predictable--kind of like watching an old Western and knowing the villain by his black hat. Right from the start, every indication pointed to the murderer, and the "clues" weren't subtle enough, I guess--although I do respect a mystery that gives them all, rather than pulling a rabbit out of a hat at the end. I enjoyed the writing style, which succeeded at being engrossing, even though predictable. I will likely give this author another read to see if he can surprise me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Brett Battles
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (250)

    The meeting place was carefully chosen: an abandoned church in rural Ireland just after dark. For Jonathan Quinn--a freelance operative and professional "cleaner" - the job was only to observe. If his cleanup skills were needed, it would mean things had gone horribly wrong. But an assassin hidden in a tree assured just that. And suddenly Quinn had four dead bodies to dispose of and one astounding clue - to a mystery that is about to spin wildly out of control.

    virginia says: "absolutely wonderful"
    "Not as good as the prequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I generally read books out of their published order, and had read "The Cleaner" awhile ago, but wasn't inspired to read more of Battles. The real breakthrough and character development came for me when I read "Becoming Quinn", which really fleshed out Jonathan Quinn and gave the character depth. Deciding to continue reading Battles after enjoying the prequel so much, I chose this one, based on some of the reviews and the narrator being one of my favorites. I found the character development of Quinn still somewhat shallow, and almost unrecognizable from the depth of the prequel. The other things that bothered me were some trite dialogue. Not sure if I'll try Battles a third time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    Three months have passed since Richard Jury was left bereft and guilt- ridden after his lover's tragic auto accident, and he is now more wary than ever. He is deeply suspicious when requested on a case far out of his jurisdiction in an outlying village, where a young woman has been murdered behind the local pub. The only witness is the establishment's black cat, who gives neither crook nor clue as to the girl's identity or her killer's.

    Brad says: "Thoroughly Enjoyed Latest Edition to Series"
    "Where is Steve West?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been working my way through all the Grimes/Jury books, and in general, enjoy them enormously. This is despite them being somewhat tediously formulaic--always a child, usually a cat--but delightful and humorous characters. Steve West embodies and embraces this formula, and always does a masterful job with all characters, giving them just the right touch of irony or humor. This book is, again, borne of that formula. But without West narrating, they all sound alike and the humor and irony seem to fall short of the mark. This narrator does not do justice to Grimes' writing, and effectively shatters the beloved characterizations that have been built up through her other books. He is the wrong person to narrate, ruins it, makes the characters unmemorable and inseparable--a waste for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 24 Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (295)

    24 Hours begins with the perfect family...on the perfect day...about to become trapped in the perfect crime.

    Will Jennings is a successful young doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, with his whole life ahead of him. He has a thriving practice, a beautiful wife, and a young daughter he loves beyond measure.

    Suzn F says: "Exciting Book, so well read"
    "Thriller! But needs better medical pronunciations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an excellent thriller from start to finish. The most distracting part, was, oddly, the seasoned narrator Dick Hill. Because medications, conditions and treatments were crucially important to the plot, Mr. Hill should have been given a primer in their correct pronunciations--very distracting having to figure out what he was trying to pronounce, then missing the ensuing dialogue. His southern accents seemed harsh and difficult to distinguish between better educated and lower-life accents--and none seemed anything but contrived. He does better with Reacher. However, the book was truly an edge-of-the-seat thriller about the abduction of a diabetic child without sinking into graphic cruelty. Other issues brought forward were wives sacrificing their careers to raise children and men, particularly doctors, putting their conventions and meetings above family. It also highlights the harsh reality that no one is really safe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1807)
    Performance
    (1616)
    Story
    (1628)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "Book suffers from awful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You would think that a best selling author would choose/rate first class narration--not on this book. First of all, the female who reads rather than narrates sounds as though she is a teenaged Valley girl. She literally reads (every sentence starts with voice higher and ends at voice lower at period). When she tries any intonation, it is misleading as she breaks up sentences inappropriately and puts the wrong emphasis on the wrong words. Furthermore, she absolutely can't do different voices for different characters. The listener becomes easily confused, unless there is a "he said" or "she said", as you can't tell the differences among the female characters and there seems little if any difference between male and female voices. Except her ridiculous hillbilly caricature. The lead female, Samantha, is supposed to be a 29 year old attorney. The narrator voices her as a high-pitched much younger sounding character.

    Aside from the grating and ruinous narration, the book seems to have a new (for Grisham) gripping plot. I'm only half way through, and the narration is so disturbing that I decided to comment now. This is definitely a book much better read (as in hard copy) than listened to. Too many of the characters are lost to poor narration and it detracts from the plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • These Things Hidden

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Ali Ahn, Angela Lin, Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (349)

    Once the golden child of tiny Linden Falls, Iowa, Allison Glenn watches her reputation crumble as she is sent to prison for five years—convicted of a terrible crime. But what really happened that fateful night? Allison’s younger sister is the only other person who knows the truth. Now out of prison, Allison is more desperate than ever to set the record straight, but the revelation of the truth could have far-reaching consequences.

    C. Morris says: "Please save yourself the time"
    "Jumbled, only comes together at end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This continually lost my interest, and it was only sheer endurance that made me listen until the end. It begins with several different readers telling several seemingly unrelated stories...very confusing. It came off as very disjointed and uninteresting, until the end when it quickly pulled it all together. It felt as though I were being intentionally mislead until the rabbit was pulled out of the hat--and the various versions just didn't have enough depth. I would not listen to something from this author again--too much work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rainbow's End

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    When three women die of "natural causes" in London and the West Country, there appears to be no connection - or reason to suspect foul play. But Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury has other ideas, and before long he’s following his keen police instincts all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, in the company of a brooding 13-year-old girl and her pet coyote, he mingles with an odd assortment of characters and tangles with a twisted plot that stretches from England to the American Southwest.

    Janels says: "Always interesting, but bad American stereotypes"
    "Always interesting, but bad American stereotypes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jury mysteries are always witty and amusing, but this one seems to veer out of its comfort zone by adding ridiculous American stereotypes, bad dialogue, and bad American accents. Kind of seemed as though the author took a trip to New Mexico and just had to make Jury fit into it. He didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Seventh Secret (Signet)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Irving Wallace
    • Narrated By Chet Williamson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (62)

    Eminent Oxford don Sir Harrison Ashcroft, on the verge of proving that Hitler did not die in the bunker, is murdered in Berlin. His daughter, Emily, continues this quest. Her life is endangered but she has new and unexpected protectors: Rex Foster, researching the vainglory of Nazi architecture; Nicholas Kirvov, curator of a Soviet art museum; and Tovah Levine, Mossad agent. The four prove a tough match for a coterie of neo-Nazis conspiring to perpetuate Hitler's image and obscure the details of his death.

    Keith says: "Solid Conspiracy Theory"
    "Robotic narration and dated dialogue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a new story, but the narration was uninspired and robotic, the love scenes just plain embarrassing, and the story interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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