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Pamela

Member Since 2009

187
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 70 reviews
  • 385 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Blood Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (229)

    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!!"
    "Ambivalent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started with the first Cork O'Connor book and have very much enjoyed WKK's writing and his characters. This was the first one about which I have been less than enthusiastic. The characters and mystery plot were, in my opinion, hampered by the attempt to bring religion into it.

    I wasn't expecting such a leap. There had been sufficient prior mention about certain characters' beliefs to individuate the characters and their points of view. It was disappointing for him to start diving so deeply into that theme. If it continues and especially if it increases, these novels will cease to be mystery novels to me. If these turn into Cork's quest for the existence of a god, I won't read any more of them.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Reykjavik Nights

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Arnaldur Indridason
    • Narrated By George Guildall
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The loner, Erlendur, has recently joined the police force as a young officer. The beat on the streets in ReykjavIk is busy: traffic accidents, theft, domestic violence, contraband.... And an unexplained death. When a tramp he met regularly on the night shift is found drowned in a ditch, no one seems to care. But his fate haunts Erlendur and drags him inexorably into the strange and dark underworld of the city.

    Pamela says: "Well done Icelandic Noir"
    "Well done Icelandic Noir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fans of the solitary and relentlessly serious Detective Erlandur may enjoy going back to the case which led him to discover his obsession...forgotten missing persons. Young, in uniform, and completely inexperienced at detective work, he comes across the death of an alcoholic tramp who has been found dead in a boggy field and is written off as an accidental drowning, as well as the disappearance of a woman, who is an assumed suicide. His affinity for cases like this is, as we know by now, a result of the tragic disappearance of his brother in childhood, but this is when his past first comes together with the detective he is to become--a seeker of the disappeared, an advocate of the forgotten and abandoned.

    This case is none of his business, being a junior uniformed cop, but he can't help himself and pursues the answers to his own questions in what will become his trademark independent doggedness. In a decade when battered wives and the homeless are treated with casual disregard by society and the law, Erlandur is driven to find justice by his own ghosts--which, fortunately (for me, anyway), are less belabored here than in Jar City. We also first find out how ineptly he relates to others, especially women, and that even though he is obsessive in his pursuit of truth, he is still able to retain his equanimity when pulling together the clues he needs from endless interviews with the characters in the story. In the course of these interviews, these characters become fully dimensional and real to both Erlandur and the listener.

    A well-written, slow-paced novel of a bleak but interesting man, seeking relief from personal anguish through his work in a bleak but beautiful country. As usual, a good narration by George Guidall, in spite of the fact that his voice is simply becoming too old for many of the characters he reads.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunting Dogs

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jørn Lier Horst
    • Narrated By Saul Reichlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Seventeen years ago William Wisting led the investigation into one of Norway's most notorious criminal cases, the murder of young Cecilia Linde. When it is discovered that evidence was falsified, he is suspended from duty. It looks like a man has been wrongly convicted, and suddenly the media are baying for blood. Wisting, who has spent his life hunting criminals, is now the hunted.

    L. K. says: "Excellent, thoughtful police procedural"
    "Well-crafted police mystery..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Jorn Lier Horst novel, and I will be reading more of his work. It was also proof that there is plenty of diversity in the Scandinavian branch of the genre. This was a very thoughtful, well paced mystery, sprinkled with sufficient suspense to keep me hooked, and kept me guessing for as long as it meant to.

    Horst doesn't delve too deeply into his characters; just enough to make us care about long-time detective William Wisting, and his journalist daughter, Lena, as they struggle to get the the bottom of accusations brought against Wisting of procedural wrong-doing in the 17 year-old conviction of a supposed kidnapper/murderer.

    Make no mistake: Wisting is no deeply flawed maverick Harry Hole. In the latter years of a long, up-til-now honorable and distinguished career, baffled and hurt at the accusations, Wisting is suspended. Nonetheless, he doggedly follows deeply ingrained police techniques, helped out by the very inquisitive Lena, and some old friends in the crime business, in his search for answers, hopefully in time to save a newly abducted young woman.

    It's interesting to compare this Norwegian novel to police procedurals set in America. We have such a huge crime rate here that a cop would not likely connect a new abduction to a 17 year old crime so easily, but in a country with such a low population (esp. the criminal population), and which sees relatively few abductions and murders, credibility is not at all strained by such a suspicion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skewed

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Anne McAneny
    • Narrated By Emily Sutton-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    No birth announcement could top the headlines from the day Janie and Jack Perkins entered the world. As twins born to a mother in a coma - courtesy of a bullet from their father - the sensational story of their birth never quite died down. While Jack still craves the flash of a camera, Janie seeks sanctuary behind the lens - as a crime scene photographer.

    Linda says: "Good book but"
    "Imaginative and well-crafted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Twins born to a fatally injured mother kept alive until their birth. The mother murdered by the father of the twins, charismatic, high-powered, political candidate Grady MacLemore. Thirty years later we catch up to the twins, gone their separate ways, Jane into crime scene photography, and Jack into politics. Photographs from the crime scene mysteriously come into Jane's possession, and put her on the trail of the truth about why her mother was murdered--a question never answered by Grady's trial and conviction.

    The plot is imaginative and unusual, convoluted but mostly successful, the writing more than adequate. I don't think the author pulled off the chasm in the twins' relationship, but the switches from past to present were done well enough and worked for me. The ending was a little strained, but still held together, and until close to the finish, had me wondering. I recommend this book as interesting and entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Thin Dark Line

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Karen Peakes
    Overall
    (805)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (725)

    Terror stalks the streets of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana. A suspected murderer is free on a technicality, and the cop accused of planting evidence against him is ordered off the case. But Detective Nick Fourcade refuses to walk away. He’s stepped over the line before. This case threatens to push him over the edge. He’s not the only one. Deputy Annie Broussard found the woman’s mutilated body. She still hears the phantom echoes of dying screams. She wants justice.

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Exciting Mystery"
    "Not great, but enjoyable Cajun detective novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the hands of a better wordsmith and plot-crafter, this could have been a tense, tight, culturally rich story, and no doubt could make a good movie. I've read Hoag's Kovac and Liska books and while they too suffer from a too-heavy literary hand, they're really OK.

    I'd say this one was no worse or better than the previous Hoag mysteries--perhaps I found Kovac and Liska a bit more likeable. The love story within this book became too cheesy for me, and the last half of the tale was too forced, yet I had no trouble finishing it, and was almost surprised at the end.

    If I hadn't already read all my favorite detective/mystery novels (and therefore am always looking for new ones) I might not have stuck with Hoag past the first Kovac/Liska book, but I am and I did, and I can honestly say that most people would find them a satisfying read, as long as the gruesomeness of the crimes do not put them off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24324)
    Performance
    (22332)
    Story
    (22340)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "Houston, we have a problem..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In one of a series of Mars exploration missions, set in a more or less contemporaneous time frame, Astronaut/Botanist/Mechanical Engineer Mark Watney is left behind as dead during a forced evacuation. Except he isn't. Some of the story is told variously from the POV of the Hermes crew which left him, and the NASA managers and scientists back on Earth. Most of it is spun out as Watney's log of his time on Mars.

    Time in which he must find a way to survive until the years-off next mission. Survive on what, you might well ask, since the Hermes mission left little food or water behind. The details of this adventure are impressively tech-y, delightfully creative, and satisfyingly fraught with major difficulties.

    The author is obviously a nut for space travel, botany, and Mars. Unlike Packing For Mars (which I loved), this is pure fiction, but I'll wager the tech stuff is pretty on-target. It was very convincing to me.

    Some of the potential tension of what could be nothing less than a nightmare of a situation is diffused by the casual attitude of our hero Mark, who describes the most harrowing and discouraging events in such a "S**t...oh, well" manner, that we don't always appreciate how incredibly terrifying it really is.

    In spite of this, and the too little uncertainty about the outcome, I found this to be an extremely fascinating listen, and highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Share in Death

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Michael Deehy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (673)
    Performance
    (574)
    Story
    (576)

    A week's holiday in a luxurious hotel is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But his vacation ends dramatically with the discovery of a dead body in the whirlpool bath. Despite a suspicious lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised significantly when a second murder occurs....

    connie says: "series readers, start here"
    "Enjoyable traditional British cop mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Small rural British village where the existence of the computer age is irrelevant, check. Small cast of quirky characters, check. Intelligent, dogged detective (Scotland Yard here), check. Multiple murders in a contained setting with violence at a remove, check. Many very polite interviews in pursuit of information, check. No sex whatsoever, check. This gentle series looks like a good fit with Louise Penny, Charles Todd, Ian Rankin, Agatha Christie et al. I've heard people call them English Cozies, or something like that; I believe it. This one is not as cleverly written as some of the aforementioned, but it was an easy and enjoyable few hours of listening--to a very pleasant narrator. I'll try another one and then see. Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his Sgt Gemma Jones are very traditionally drawn British detectives, except that so far they seem healthier than the average copper. While Kincaid is lonely and on the lookout, and Gemma is a somewhat harried single mother, neither of these two likable characters is a smoker, an alcoholic or obviously tortured and self-destructive. If you like Louise Penny, Anne Perry and their ilk, want something better written than MC Beaton, or need a break from the complexity, violence and intensity of a Jo Nesbo, Greg Iles, or even the occasional James Lee Burke or John Sandford, then this might do the trick.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (1556)
    Performance
    (1375)
    Story
    (1365)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Diane says: "Incredibly disappointing"
    "Well...I really liked 50% of it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What in the world caused Ms French to think that anyone would enjoy having every other chapter in a 20 hour book comprised of the simpering, sniping of a group of adolescent Irish Valley Girl wannabes? Even the hard-to-understand breathy, little-girl voice of Lara Hutchinson couldn’t damage the grating dialogue further.


    Don’t get me wrong. The structure of this book is a beautiful thing. Having all the players trapped in a confined area while the detective weeds through the witnesses and suspects in an unsolved murder case, playing them against each other even as the detective is being played, is a tried and true device and was worth the effort. Fifty percent of the chapters show off Ms French’s well known talent for interpersonal interaction and dialogue, as prickly and unpopular (i.e., won’t play along with the sexual hazing game) female Detective Antoinette Conway with chip on her shoulder, and murder squad aspirant, Detective Stephen Moran are thrown together for one intense day of frustrating interrogation at an exclusive private girls’ school.


    For all I know, aping Valley Girl behavior is what Irish school girls are into right now. But in my opinion, it was an unfortunate distraction from what should have been and could have been (if severely edited) an important part of this story—the interaction between the students. I’m sure it will ruin the book for many. Also bogging down the story were a few irrelevant sidetracks. The mystical touches, (the lights, the spinning bottle caps) which seemed to me most likely meant to reflect psychedelic drug experiences, were neither integrated well, nor explained at all, so who really knows what they were about and should have been left out altogether.


    I didn’t have any trouble finishing the book, but by the end I was ready to pull out my hair. The use of the irritating dialogue might have been cute in “Clueless”, but it just trivialized French’s considerable talent. I’m hoping she does better on the next one. Totally.

    38 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • Big Lake

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Nick Russell
    • Narrated By Bruce Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    When an armored car hijacking leaves two men dead, Arizona Sheriff Jim Weber takes the crime personally, because one of the dead men is his brother-in-law. His hunt for the killers leads him into a world of sordid sex, deceit, and violence, with a suspect list that includes jilted women, a family of anti-government survivalists, and the beautiful wife of the richest man in town. With a plot that has more twists and turns than an Arizona mountain road, a cast of characters you won't soon forget.

    Steven L. Fletcher says: "Always Something Happening"
    "I couldn't finish..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Any chance this mediocre book had of drawing me in was completely destroyed by the narrator. And since the rest of this series seem to be read by Bruce Miles, I doubt I will buy any more of them. I read mediocre literature all the time; for us Mystery, Crime and Thriller fans, there just aren't enough quality choices out there for prolific readers. But narration can make or break average writing. Take The Dresden Files for example. The writing, while better than this, is nowhere close to great literature, yet James Marsters' narration takes them to another level. Not so here...


    I got as far as chapter 10. Neither the plot, the writing, nor the dialogue was able to get me past Mile's narration. His default voice is pleasant enough and so the narrative parts were acceptable, though the cadence was too sing-songish. But for some inexplicable reason almost ALL dialogue, also too sing-songish, whether male or female, was delivered in some variation of a high pitched, strained rasp which just grated on my nerves until I could no longer pay attention to the story. The most irritating were the females. Everyone sounded the same and had the same inflection, except some were louder than others. The tone of this narration did not suit a crime novel at all.


    I'd say if someone wanted to read this series, the hard copies are likely to be more enjoyable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Angels Flight: A Harry Bosch Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1024)
    Performance
    (907)
    Story
    (917)

    An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch's Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive - and the dead man's enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous - that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating. Harry's year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile L.A. murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?

    Janels says: "Suffers from poor narration"
    "One of best stories so far, average narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started this series at the beginning, got sucked in, and I'm going the distance, knowing the road will be, as in most long series, uneven. Overall, they are well-written, with fairly intricate plot lines, good, not great, editing, and decent development of major characters. Lots of detailed but interesting police procedural; though I don't know how accurate it is, it sounds pretty believable to me.

    I think this was one of the better tales from Connelly so far, but no thanks to the narrator. It would have been a really solid 4 stars with Hill. I've heard Peter Giles before when I read the Mickey Haller books, and likely some others. I don't like the Haller series as well--some of that may be due to the narrator. Giles 'reads' the books, Hill 'performs' them. Giles makes little distinction between characters, but mostly, it's that I don't like the voices he gives to either Bosch or Haller...they are kind of flat and monotonous and for some reason he seems to think they need to be breathy/raspy. (Other characters are not).


    But. To be fair, while mediocre (not terrible by any means), Giles didn't keep me from enjoying this particular story; it was that interesting. I notice the next book is yet a different narrator; I'm keeping my fingers crossed, as I have become quite attached to Hieronymous Bosch and his story by now.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (855)
    Performance
    (764)
    Story
    (758)

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Russell says: "A Break From The Harry Hole Series Is a Hit"
    "Jo Nesbo's done it again..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A bit different for Jo Nesbo. This story is less twisted (not to be confused with less complex) and brutal; instead a little more gentle, and strangely touching. Very heavy on the character development of both Sonny "The Boy", the placid, riding-the-rap-for-other's-crimes-in-exchange-for-heroin prison inmate whose discovery about his father completely turns his life in a different direction--escape and revenge, and Simon, the cop who is searching for him. Not wanting to give away all the turns this story takes, nor what is very much an unexpected ending, I will only say if you are a Nesbo fan, then I believe you will like this very much. If you are new to Nesbo, it's a good place to start.

    Unlike a number of reviewers, I liked Gildart Jackson's narration. I was dubious at first, with the hesitant, sometimes word-at-a-time delivery, but soon it felt like the right choice, especially the more I got to know Sonny and Simon.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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