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Mel

Baby Boomer in Raleigh NC. Faves include James Lee Burke, CJ Box, Baldacci, Flynn, Child, DeMille, Crais, Connolly, Thor, Coes, L'amour. Average two books/week.

Raleigh, NC, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
27
REVIEWS
26
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
36

  • The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Cantor
    Overall
    (423)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (170)

    Early in his career, A.J. Jacobs put his Ivy League education to work at Entertainment Weekly. He emerged five years later knowing which stars have fake boobs, which stars have toupees, which have both, and not much else. This realization led Jacobs on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words.

    Steve James says: "What were they thinking?"
    "Very "Sedarisian""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very David Sedarisian and quite Bill Bryson-esque.

    My normal "reads" are crime and covert-ops espionage so the occasional side venture to humor are always welcomed. The narrator here even sounds like David Sedaris who I always felt is a long lost son of Woody Allen.

    Great travel choice with the family. Maybe a few hours longer than necessary but easy to leave and come back to without having to recall any plot lines or characters..... there is no plot or characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Equalizer

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Michael Sloan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

    shelley says: "THE EQUALIZER is truly worthy of an AWARD!!"
    "Read The Book.... See The Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    EXCELLENT Book. Rather long (20 hours) for the genre. Could have easily been 2-3 separate books. Fans of Charles Bronson's Death Wish movies will especially enjoy Robert McCall, former top secret ops guy as an urban vigilante of sorts dealing with NYC street thugs AND "the Russian mob".

    All the Russian names do get confusing. If the names have Ks, Vs and Ds they are really bad guys. A movie starring Denzel Washington comes out Sept 2014.

    As with all stories of this genre.... obvious comparison to "Reacher" apply here too. Easy to imagine a series with McCall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • State of Emergency

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Marc Cameron
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Two agents, Russian and American, are brutally murdered. College students, working as drug mules, die gruesome deaths from radiation poisoning. Powerful dirty bombs explode minutes apart in San Francisco and St. Petersburg, Russia - slaughtering citizens and spreading blind panic throughout the world. But this is only a warning. The next attack will be nuclear.

    Jason says: "The series matures"
    "Having now read all three"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just discovered Jericho Quinn a week or so ago.... and immediately ordered / listened to all three IN ORDER. Definitely read in chronological order as each adventure builds on the earlier ones.

    The narrator for the first two books was (IMO) preferable to this one. This one was too much "mouse and squirrel" with his accents. But this narrator did not detract from my enjoyment. This narrator's "Zamora" did drip pure psycho-evil.

    Comparisons to more established action heroes is easy and obvious. Quinn may be closer to Mitch Rapp than many others. Looking forward to more of Jericho (and friends) from Marc Cameron.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • National Security

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Marc Cameron
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (92)

    When terrorism goes viral, one man goes ballistic. They can strike anytime, anywhere. A public landmark. A suburban shopping mall. And now, the human body itself. Three Middle Eastern terrorists have been injected with a biological weapon, human time bombs unleashed on American soil. They are prepared to die. To spread their disease. To annihilate millions. If America hopes to fight this enemy from within, it needs a new kind of weapon. Meet Special Agent Jericho Quinn.

    John says: "Excellent!"
    "A New Top Five Hero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm putting Jericho in the hero pantheon with Reacher, Rapp, Bauer, Harvath, Andreas, et al. This guy may be closer to Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp than the others.

    I look forward to completing the series over the next week. Keep'em coming Mr Cameron.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Target

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2207)
    Performance
    (1955)
    Story
    (1960)

    The president knows it's a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel. Together, Robie and Reel's talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don't trust the pair.

    L.W. says: "Several Stories in One Book..So Good!"
    "A Many-layered Classic Baldacci"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Will and Jessica save America three or four times in this one. A classic Baldacci espionage thriller that is all I ask. "Wish You Well" is my all-time Baldacci favorite which is NOT classic Baldacci at all.

    If you're considering North Korea for a possible vacation, this listen might change your mind.
    I'm going to give the author credit that his research on conditions in NK are as gruesome as he details. ..... SCARY!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting Season

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (780)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (299)

    When college kids hiking near an abandoned military industrial complex in West Virginia mysteriously disappear, special agent Janet Carter - earnest, honest, and fed up with the stifling chauvinistic environment at the Roanoke FBI headquarters - is called in to investigate. Unfortunately, there are no leads - it's as if the three just vanished into thin air.

    Sharon says: "Hunting Season"
    "An Iconic Rogue Hero ......"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fans of BobLee Swagger, Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp and Dewey Andreas - meet Edwin Kriess.... and Kriess is angry and on the hunt. Uh oh!

    I became a Deutermann fan several months ago and went thru his 4-book Cam Richter series in several weeks. This one is a stand-alone but could be a series. I guess the term "formula plot" is supposed to be a negative but not for me. With the familiar voice of Dick Hill, I am in familiar territory with a rugged iconic "operative" who has run afoul of the bureaucrats..... sound familiar?

    Some reviewers analyze books like they critique wine. Not me. I like the story - the characters - the narrator. If you like those characters I noted above, I think you will like Hunting Season too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwalkers

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (83)

    Cam Richter, needing a break from his too eventful detective career, is in search of more peaceful pastures in the North Carolina countryside. He buys a 700-acre antebellum plantation, the perfect location for restful solitude, but it doesn't take long for him to discover that his new locale is not as quiet as he'd hoped. Almost immediately, Cam finds himself caught up in mischievous pranks around his land, the site of a Civil War-era massacre.

    Pam Sturgess says: "Change of pace for Cam via small Confederate town"
    "Another Winner for PT and Cam...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just discovered Deutermann a few weeks ago and have now read the 4-book Cam Richter series. More please! Being in North Carolina I enjoy his NC settings for all four. Pretty easy to guess his locales.

    With Dick Hill's voice, its easy to compare Richter to Reacher.... if Reacher had Frick and Frack (and Kitty). Yes, there is a formula to the series.... nothing wrong with that. MUST read in order - Cat Dancers, Spider Mountain, Moonpool then this one. Now I will be reading Deutermann's non-Richter stories. Suggest you do too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spider Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (134)

    Summoned by a friend, ex-cop Cam Richter agrees to do a favor: investigate the assault of a young woman in a remote area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cam knows the misty hills and shadowed hollers of the park, and his outdoor skills might break a case that local cops can't - or maybe don't want to - solve.

    Fritz says: "Sorry Mr. Hill But Even You Couldn't Save This Dog"
    "A "Reacher" (with dogs) vs Deliverance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Comparing Deutermann's Cam Richter to Child's Reacher is an easy compliment for this less famous author. With Reacher's voice Dick Hill the comparison is even stronger.

    Living in NC makes this series even more fun. A buddy who is ex-SBI confirms that Deutermann knows his stuff. This was my 2nd Richter and I'm already into #3, with #4 on Wish List. His basic formula is apparent which I appreciate. Definitely read the series "in order" for max pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Green Hell: Alex Hunter, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Greig Beck
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (156)

    Deep in the steaming jungles of Paraguay, Aimee Weir is in trouble. The petrobiologist has found what she was looking for - a unique microorganism in a natural gas deposit - but it proves to be more destructive than anyone could have imagined. A contagion is striking down all in its wake. The camp is quarantined, but workers start to vanish in the night. Is it fear of contamination - or has something far more lethal come to the surface? Something that has been trapped beneath the miles of stone, waiting... for us.

    angie says: "Love Love Love Alex Hunter!"
    "Reilly, Rollins, Cussler ....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a fan of Matthew Reilly, James Rollins and Clive Cussler (and I am of all three) then you will enjoy Greig Beck's Alex Hunter series. I refer to this gendre as "Doc Savage stories"..... IMO, the original Mega-Hero.

    Hunter is sort of a Bionic Man.... special ops Delta/GB on steroids - battling assorted evil alien beasties.

    I really enjoy this narrator too. Check'em out!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark of the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1858)
    Performance
    (881)
    Story
    (888)

    Virgil Flowers kicked around for a while before joining the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. First it was the army and the military police, then the police in St. Paul, and finally Lucas Davenport brought him into the BCA, promising him, "We'll only give you the hard stuff." He's been doing the hard stuff for three years now, but never anything like this.

    Crystal says: "Great winding road of a story"
    "Virgil vs Lucas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my 3rd Virgil story after 10-12 of Lucas' "Preys". No offense to Lucas Davenport, but I'm enjoying "that f-in Flowers" even more than Lucas.

    The whole Minnesota "thing" doesn't appeal to me but I do enjoy the characters and the stories.

    I enjoy that Lucas is a secondary character in these but he leaves it up to Virgil to solve the cases.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Down River: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Hart
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (611)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (285)

    Adam Chase has spent the last five years in New York City trying to erase his worst memories and the scorn and abandonment of his family. Then a phone call from his best friend awakens in him a torrent of emotion and pain. Having left North Carolina and its red soil for good, he never thought returning would be easy - and being remembered as a murderer doesn't help much.

    Donald says: "Best Audiobook Ever"
    "Like Iles and DeMille"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Hart uses Salisbury NC like Greg Iles uses Natchez MS and Nelson Demille uses Long Island. He (Hart) is a modern day Faulkner in his understanding of the Southern family foibles and eccentricities. This is my second John Hart novel and I certainly will listen to the next two.

    The narrator fits the setting to my ear.

    Each Hart novel, although each set in the same small Southern town involves completely different sets of characters. I am somewhat familiar with Salisbury and find the circumstances quite believable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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