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L. O. Pardue

I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.

Atlanta, GA United States | Member Since 2010

175
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 63 reviews
  • 65 ratings
  • 241 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
16
FOLLOWERS
40

  • Sign of the Cross: A Collins-Burke Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Anne Emery
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (113)

    Monty Collins is a sharp-tongued public defender who just wants to represent an upstanding character for a change. A priest with something to hide isn't quite what he had hoped for, but when the literate, arrogant, and tight-lipped Father Brennan Burke is implicated in the strange murder of a young woman, Monty doesn't just take the case - the case takes him. When Burke won't come clean, Monty is forced to play private detective, traveling into his client's past. Things look good for the case until another body is found....

    connie says: "Hybrid Mystery"
    "Audible Reviewers I Follow Led Me to this Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After several hits and misses, I have discovered about a half-dozen Audible reviewers that I trust for enhancing my choices on the next mystery / legal / police procedural series to try. I am not sure I would have been drawn to Anne Emery's series without all of them raving about this audio-book. I owe these reviewers a great debt because this mystery story surprises you with its warmth and originality.

    With this book you get a solid mystery, smart attorney, modern family life, lovely music, theology, eccentric characters, wit, Nova Scotia, and my favorite - Father Brennan Burke. I don't want to reveal much, because it is too much fun to discover as you listen. Instead, if you enjoy a thoughtful, sophisticated mystery series, trust my reviewers -- they know what they are talking about. Try this audio-book next.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Stonecutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Camilla Läckberg
    • Narrated By David Thorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (210)

    The remote resort town of Fjällbacka has seen more than its share of tragedies, but a little girl found in a fisherman's net may be the worst yet - especially when the postmortem reveals that this was a methodical murder, not an accidental drowning. Local detective Patrik Hedstrom has just become a father, and it’s his grim task to discover who could have killed a child both he and his partner Erica knew well. He realizes that the solution lies with finding a motive for this terrible crime.

    Maureen says: "Extremely enjoyable"
    "A Mystery that Solves Itself?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing is well done and the narration is great. I am struggling with this review because it just had too many characters. In addition, all the characters get a full back-story which made this story way too long. A significant editor's cut should have been done on this book.

    This story is more of a psychological thriller as only about 20% of the book contained any actual police investigation by Patric (a favorite character of mine) and his crew. The actual "solve" of the mystery was more like the clues fell into the Patric's lap instead of actual crime solving. I wasn't surprised by the ending. The twist comes so late and after so much reveal of the characters, you just want to get on with it.

    Yet, Camilla Lackberg can tell a story in a very interesting way. It just wasn't the story I wanted. Hopefully, the next book will be more of the crime solving genre that I crave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mortal Bonds: Jason Stafford, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Michael Sears
    • Narrated By John Beford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    William von Becker ran one of the largest privately held investment banks in North America, until the bottom fell out, and the whole edifice was demonstrated to be a fraud. After von Becker dies in prison, financial investigator Jason Stafford is hired by his family. There is still a lot of missing money out there, he's told, and they want Stafford to find it before the Feds do - and certain other parties, some of whom are nowhere near as scrupulous in their methods. Bad things start happening to the people Stafford talks to. Soon bad things are happening to him as well.

    Ted says: "Way Beyond Terrific! But Read 'Black Fridays' 1st"
    "Another Wonderful Financial Thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Sears is not a “one hit” wonder. His second book is just as good as the first one which I enjoyed immensely. To enjoy this series fully, plan to read them in order so that you don’t miss out on the importance of the character relationships and the progress being made with the autistic son, “The Kid”.

    I can’t say I understand these complex financial crimes from the first description, but the author does such a good job of keeping the story going until this Bernie Madoff type crime becomes obvious to the listener. I feel much smarter about financial dealings and crimes whenever I finish a Michael Sears book.

    The narrator for this second story was good, but I must admit the narrator for the first book was outstanding.

    I will definitely use my credit for the third book in this series, when it is available.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (2957)
    Performance
    (2622)
    Story
    (2606)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Jane says: "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."
    "My Favorite Author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I save my all-time favorite authors and mystery series for those times I have challenging chores to finish. With a July 4th party coming up, I knew I could whip my house into shape while listening to Connelly's latest in the "Lincoln Lawyer" series. As I expected, it was great fun, and the time flew by. As I go back over my older reviews, I can remember the difficult home projects I finished while enjoying Connelly, Louise Penny, Steig Larrson and Jo Nesbo.

    I won't re-hash the story as that is done well in other reviews. Instead, my love of Connelly has a great deal to do with his thoroughness in fitting all the puzzle pieces in the end. He can write a very complex, multi-faceted story, but it all makes sense, yet is tough to figure out. His characters, Harry Bosch and Micky Haller, for 2 different series are meticulously written. Connelly doesn't let a chapter go by without defining Bosch or Haller with acts or situations where their character become fully realized - and it carries over from one book to the next very consistently. I wish more authors could write like Connelly. I can find no faults. Just what a mystery lover, like me, craves in a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbo
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (833)
    Performance
    (651)
    Story
    (651)

    A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star - a pentagram, the devil’s star. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work. A wave of similar murders is on the horizon....

    J.R. says: "New Steig Larsson? Hah! The new Raymond Chandler!"
    "Written by a Master!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another great book from Nesbo. To enjoy this book fully, you must read "The Redbreast" and "Nemeis" prior to reading this "trilogy" as there is a dramatic resolution to a long-running murder that is referenced in these three books. Harry Hole's obsession with this murder has caused his downfall into drunkenness, unreliability, hostility and estrangement from his loved ones. At times, I wanted to give up on Harry, but his vulnerability and empathy had me cheering for him. Harry's redemption in the end is so satisfying to the story and to me.

    That said, the main story line is about a serial killer loose in Norway during a hot Summer. The killer is leaving behind a star-shaped diamond and taking away a finger at each scene. In addition, Harry is made to work with someone he despises. The story builds and builds to a twisty resolution that will have you holding your breath. Robin Sachs is "Harry Hole" to me. Since his recent death, I have learned to savor every book narrated by Mr. Sachs.

    The story starts off so strange -- a droplet of water moves through a centuries old house and ultimately causes the finding of the first victim. After replaying it several times, I realized how creative and brilliant a writer Nesbo can be. I would pay to read his shopping list.



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (131)

    After 17-year-old Charlotte Kane, the beautiful, brilliant, and brooding daughter of a rich widower, disappears on a drunken New Years' Eve snowmobile ride, a raging blizzard soon snuffs out all search efforts. When her body is found during the spring thaw four months later, preliminary evidence implicates her ex-boyfriend: Ojibwe bad-boy Solemn Winter Moon. But then a second Charlotte Kane turns up dead, and Cork isn't sure of anything any more.

    Ronna says: "Winter snows leave a body in the spring thaw!!"
    "Too Much Religion - Not Enough Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hung in there until the end of the story, but wanted to quit every time it started getting preachy and so so very spiritual. I thought this was going to be a police procedural, but I saw every turn coming before the twist because Krueger has become predictable with this one.

    The narrator, David Chandler, reads these stories, but does not act or perform them. I think I would enjoy the stories more if there were more emotion and expression.

    My opinion is that Krueger is a very capable writer. I have enjoyed his previous books, but he lost me with this story in the series. Will I try again? Yes, I will give it one more try in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (516)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (348)

    After a woman is brutally slain, investigators bring psychiatrist Joe O'Loughlin in for expert consultation. Joe is shocked to discover the dead woman is a former patient of his who cried rape when he rebuffed her sexual advances. Citing doctor/patient confidentiality, Joe hides this information. But the truth emerges, and suddenly he is the prime suspect.

    Bonnie says: "Found"
    "Good Book, Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think most people that enjoy sophisticated mysteries or thrillers will find something to like in this story, but it likely won't make it to your favorites list. That said, parts of the book were very intriguing and well-written, especially the parts utilizing the main character's psychology training. Unfortunately, the middle of the book is better than the ending.

    Would I listen to another Michael Robotham book? I would say yes because he strives to write something more unique in this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8347)
    Performance
    (7532)
    Story
    (7527)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Grisham at his Best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven’t read John Grisham in years, but loved his early writing. When I heard “Sycamore Row” was a sequel to “A Time to Kill”, I used my Audible credit immediately to get it. You don’t have to worry about knowing the previous story, as Grisham wrote this follow-up without reference to the “previous case” – except a few times in passing. Still it was wonderful to read about the main character, attorney Jake Brigance again. I had forgotten what an excellent story-teller Grisham can be.

    Still, a 20+ hour book is daunting, especially with the subject of a dispute with a Will. The trial preparation and trial was absolutely riveting. I admit that the audio-book could have been shorter and felt redundant at times, but overall, I loved the story and never wanted to stop listening. I laughed, cried, got angry and had every emotion in between throughout the book. One thing that Grisham does better than any other author I read is describing life and racism in the South -- the good, the bad, and the ugly and cruel. He isn’t preachy, but tells the story as honestly as possible. You will have several cringe-worthy moments, but it feels accurate for the timeframe in the story.

    The narrator, Michael Beck, was wonderful. It was a great performance with lots of different voices and dialects. I felt I was there in the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kindness Goes Unpunished: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (1829)
    Performance
    (1379)
    Story
    (1365)

    Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mysteries are critically acclaimed. Longmire's third outing takes him from Wyoming to Philadelphia to investigate a brutal assault on his daughter, Cady. Walt believes her ex-boyfriend is behind the crime and searches him out. But when he turns up dead, Walt is back to square one.

    TravisD says: "Wyoming Fun-- in Philadelphia"
    "Love Walt Longmire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As long as Walt Longmire, Henry Standing Bear and "Dog" are part of the story, I would listen to any audio-book. My only complaint is that this book is set in Pennsylvania and not in Wyoming, where these characters belong. Still, Craig Johnson wrote a great story (as usual) about Walt's visit to see his daughter, Cady, in Pennsylvania. Lots of things happen as soon as he arrives that keep him busy solving crimes far from home. Despite the toughness of the characters, there is a load of wittiness and kindness.

    George Guidall is the best narrator and reads these stories brilliantly. Start at the beginning of the series. I savor each of these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Fridays

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Michael Sears
    • Narrated By Erik Bergmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (121)

    Sometimes a man can be redeemed. But not in the way he expects. Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big - there are problems, all right, the kind that get you killed. But it’s not his only concern. Stafford has another quest as well: to reclaim his five-year-old son, "the Kid", from his unstable ex-wife, and then learn just what it means to make a life with him.

    L. O. Pardue says: "Lots of Intrigue and Charm"
    "Lots of Intrigue and Charm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was concerned about spending my credit on this book as financial mysteries don't usually spark my interest -- especially where the protagonist, Jason Stafford, was a white collar convict. I kept hearing about this new book from friends and from the good reviews on this site. I finally decided to give this audio-book a try. I immediately loved the narration by Erik Bergmann. He can act and read in so many unique voices. Well done, Erik!

    While the financial mystery turns out to be very interesting, the best part of the story is how Jason interacts with his 4-5 year old autistic son "the Kid." Every scene with both of them was priceless. I used another of my credits to buy the next audio-book in this series before I even finished this one. I look forward to continuing this story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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