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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

441
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 176 reviews
  • 336 ratings
  • 649 titles in library
  • 144 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
94

  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tom Franklin
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1326)
    Performance
    (739)
    Story
    (749)

    Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother - their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again.

    Ann says: "Excellent story, terrific narrator."
    "Story & Characters are Brilliantly Conceived"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book just ended for me less than 10 minutes ago and I am forlorn! I didn't want it to end. In fact, I wish there was a sequel to continue to untangle the relationship of Silas and Larry. Having none, we will just have to imagine all the possible endings, happy and otherwise.

    The story is completely engaging; as is the narration of Kevin Kenerly whose portrayals of the handful of characters is nothing short of brilliant. His intonation and pace were so perfect and true to the story he was reading that he brought it to life.

    Make no mistake, this is a painful, poignant story of the old south recounted in a south that is coming of age. There are injustices and hurts that most of us can only imagine, having not experienced life as a poor African-American boy or a young man wrongfully accused of a grotesque crime. Larry, Silas, Wallace and others are captivating characters that will have you hooked early on in the story and you will be awed at how these relationships play out as the story evolves.

    Loved this book! Hope that you will too!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Providence Rag: A Liam Mulligan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Bruce DeSilva
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (98)

    Edgar Award-winner Bruce DeSilva returns with Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan knows every street and alley, every priest and prostitute, every cop and street thug. He knows the mobsters and politicians - who are pretty much one and the same. Inspired by a true story, Providence Rag finds Mulligan, his pal Mason, and the newspaper they both work for at an ethical crossroad.

    Richard Delman says: "Really lukewarm. Tepid, in fact."
    "Third Book in a Terrific Series - Love Them All"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author and narrator of this series have done a fabulous job of creating a wonderful series featuring journalists and cops and criminals. Read them in order (1- Rogue Island, 2-Cliff Walk, then 3-Providence Rag.) Mulligan is a lovable, flawed reporter for the Providence RI newspaper, which by the way, is on life support as are most newspapers these days. The story is VERY contemporary, citing everything from Obama Care to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Each story is unique and different enough to grab your attention and engage your brain in solving the various conundrums the characters face. Political mud, mob crime, serial murders, and the ethics of modern day journalists are central to the stories and make for very good listening!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (511)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Ronna says: "best book to come along this year!!"
    "Ordinary Grace is an Extraordinary Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In some ways this is a "coming of age-coming to Jesus story"; but it is much more too. Circa 1961, a preacher's kid encounters personal losses and moral decisions that prove to be too much for a twelve year old boy.

    This is an enormously satisfying story of a family and community that is at once ordinary and yet very unusual. Discrimination against Native Americans and those handicapped is visceral and leads to behaviors and decisions that create enormous hurts. The mystery of three deaths, all on or near the river are central to the story.

    In the end, a young boy and his brother are faced with grave, all consuming decisions that will shape their lives forever.

    The narration is superb, the story engaging and awe-inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Conflict of Interest: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2135)
    Performance
    (1739)
    Story
    (1756)

    Alex Miller is a criminal defense lawyer leading the life he always imagined. At thirty-five, he is the youngest partner at New York City's most prestigious law firm, with a beautiful wife and a perfect daughter. When Alex's father suddenly passes away, Alex is introduced to Michael Ohlig, a rich and powerful man who holds an almost mythical place in his family lore. But Alex is surprised when Ohlig admits that he's in serious legal trouble, accused of crimes involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Melinda says: "My 2 Cents"
    "Legal THRILLER? Not! Good Listen? YES!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is categorized as "mystery/thriller - legal thriller" but it seems that is a bit of an exaggeration. It has plenty of mystery and much, much court room drama, but I could not find the "thriller" element of the story. In fact, the story is told in a calm, matter-of-fact way that reduces any anxiety or thrill that might have come along.

    That said, it is a very good legal/court room drama story with numerous plot twists that will keep you listening. In this one, a litigator (white shoe law firm partner, husband, son, father) finds himself in the midst of a host of dilemmas, including representation of a family friend whom he distrusts and despises, infidelity, lying under oath, suicide/re-murder questions, and more.

    I liked David Ledoux's narration very much and enjoyed the way the story developed. It was not a nail-biter by any means, but did get a gasp or two from me near the end of the story as surprising new twists are revealed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (666)
    Performance
    (575)
    Story
    (572)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "A Good Saga. . . Long, but Enoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed other Courtenay books more, but this is a very good story. For me, the difference was that in his other books, I have found a female character to empathize with/relate to; and found none in this one. Jack's mother, teachers, "girl friends" and others were just fleeting characters in the story.

    Jack is bright but sure makes some crazy (aka stupid) decisions throughout the story. Nonetheless, he survives, even thrives and his life story takes the listener to interesting and exotic locales where he makes his way with music and/or gambling.

    Humphey Bower as always, did a magnificent job narrating the story. I simply would have liked to "care" a little more about the characters, including Jack.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Ice Cold Grave: Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1199)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (550)

    Called to tiny Doraville, North Carolina, Harper investigates the disappearance of several young boys. After finding them buried in a secluded wood, it becomes clear that a sadistic serial killer is stalking the town's children.

    A User says: "Cant wait till november!"
    "Grisly, Explicit, Shocking Story Line"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book 3 in the "Harper Connelly" series. I had not read books 1, 2, nor 4 in this series. . . which was okay, because this book can stand alone. I don't think I need to read the rest of the series, since the descriptions of the plots are more of the same. Typically, stories about the supernatural are not interesting to me, but something within the first minutes of this one hooked me.

    That said, the plot became quite complex and the story line muddied at times. The lead characters, (presumably step sister and brother,) are featured in the grisly as well as the sexually explicit parts of the book and it was a bit tough to listen to at times. Serial murders, sexual torture of children and the like can make my stomach turn.

    The narration made listening okay. Besnahan's performance was terrific and I give her five stars. That done, I can only barely award the story itself 3 stars overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rembrandt Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1280)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (575)

    Determined to sever his ties with the Office, Gabriel Allon has retreated to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall with his beautiful Venetian-born wife, Chiara. But once again his seclusion is interrupted by a visitor from his tangled past: the endearingly eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood. As usual, Isherwood has a problem. And it is one only Gabriel can solve.

    Howard says: "Get Set for an Action Ride"
    "Another Great Thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have become an avid fan of Silva's novels. . . particularly enjoying the ones that feature Gabriel Alon. . . terrific pacing and plot, great characters and best of all, exotic locales where all the action occurs. This is another of Silva's really good stories. Am already anxious to start the next one in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mark of the Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (570)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (285)

    When a commercial airliner is blown out of the sky off the East Coast, the CIA scrambles to find the perpetrators. A body is discovered near the crash site with three bullets to the face: the calling card of a shadowy international assassin.

    Dennis says: "Worth your time"
    ""The Mark" Will Keep You Listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Silva is a master at plotting and character development. This is a fine example of his work and a novel that will keep you engaged and listening. Scary thing is how the story concludes. . . the assassin who leaves "the mark" will likely be back in future stories. I can hardly wait.

    0 of 0 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
    (587)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (531)

    "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.

    Pamela says: "Well...I really liked 50% of it"
    "Tana French Nails It! Everything You Could Want!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Recipe: Boarding school for odd and/or bitchy and/or cliquish teen girls. Boarding school for randy teen boys. Naive school officials, nuns, masters and mistresses at both. Oh, and throw in a cold case murder on the girls' school grounds -- of one of boys from the neighboring school. Great story? Yes, please!

    I have to admit, that the above recipe in a book by most any other author would not have gotten it to my reading list. But who can resist Tana French? And this time, she wrote (aka nailed) a fabulous tale of mayhem and murder amongst teens. The detectives and the detecting are superb, which makes the story most engaging.

    After the fact, there is nothing I disliked about this book. However, in the first passages, the female narrator is VERY difficult to understand. Thankfully, her enunciation gets better and her British accent lessens as the story proceeds.

    Five stars Tana! Hurrah!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing the Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Natalia Sylvester
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (5)

    Andres suspects his wife has left him - again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: She’s been kidnapped. Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative novel is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’d do anything to get her back. Or will he? As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home.

    Paula says: "A Good, Surprisingly Suspenseful Story!"
    "A Good, Surprisingly Suspenseful Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Think 1992, Lima Peru. An era of widespread criminal activity featuring kidnappings for ransom. Two women in Andres' life have been kidnapped (at different times) and this story reveals human shortfalls and strengths in a spectacular way. What will he part with to get his wife back from her kidnappers? What will he do to help a childhood friend recover from the horrors of her kidnapping? What will his wife do with her life when she returns? Good story. Great suspense all the way.

    The central characters in the story are minimal and though they could have been developed more, what we find out about them as the story unfolds turns out to be adequate.

    I have only one minor criticism. The book is read in third person. Every time a character speaks, it is followed by "she said" or "Andres said." The narrator could have/should have used better character voices and avoided that redundancy. It got tiresome, for sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Simple Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (425)

    Michael Fiske broke the law when he took Rufus Harms's prison letter from the Supreme Court. But he also sealed his own fate. Now Michael's brother, a cop turned attorney, is coming to Washington to find out why his brother was murdered - and what it had to do with a crime that Rufus Harms committed 25 years before.

    Ted says: "Disappoint? Balcacci? Not Likely!"
    "Oh Mercy How the Truth Escapes Us!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Baldacci has provided legal-drama addicts with a good one here. The characters were terrific and of course, the various lawyering doings were excellent as usual. Enjoyed this one from start to finish!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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