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Polly

An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

111
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 81 reviews
  • 142 ratings
  • 286 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
14

  • Until Proven Guilty: J. P. Beaumont Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance
    • Narrated By Gene Engene
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (213)

    Lurking in the dark corners of J. P. Beaumont's bizarre case was not just a demented mind obsessed with murder, but secrets so deadly that even a street-tough cop could die guessing.

    Jean says: "Until proven guilty"
    "Tough Guy Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So, I love the tough guy, as long as he is honest and respectful of women. And J.P. Beaumont fits the bill perfectly. This series centers around a crime and J.P. Beaumont and his pals. There is usually a drop-dead gorgeous woman involved. But in spite of these cliched elements, the stories are good and the narration is excellent.

    I highly recommend this series.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Curse of the Spellmans

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Lisa Lutz
    • Narrated By Ari Graynor
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (75)

    When Izzy Spellman, PI, is arrested for the fourth time in three months, she writes it off as a job hazard. She's been (obsessively) keeping surveillance on a suspicious next door neighbor (suspect's name: John Brown), convinced he's up to no good - even if her parents (the management at Spellman Investigations) are not.

    Sherri says: "What a difference the narrator makes"
    "Pretty Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a follow up to the introductory novel, this book was just OK. I still enjoyed getting to know the Spellmans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Labyrinth

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (222)

    A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast's most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California's desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family's sinister past.

    G. House Sr. says: "Twists and Tuns in the Pendergast Family Tree"
    "Way to Go, Constance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is #14 in a series, so do NOT start with this one.

    I LOVE Agent Pendergast and all of the other characters in this series. I miss them when I am between books.

    I also love the fear-factor in the series; some of the plots are really scary, some tense, and some neither; this one is a good mystery but not at all scary, if that matters to you.

    What makes this story stand out is the fleshing out of the character of Constance Green, Pendergast's ward. She turns out to be quite an asset (no spoilers from me), and long-time fans will love her role in this novel. Wow!

    The writing of Preston & Child has gone up and down pretty dramatically. This book is somewhere in the middle, and definitely worth reading. Here is what bothered me: 1. Character omission: Lt. Vincent D'Agosta figures prominently, but his wife is invisible. As another police officer, she would have been a natural, even if on the sidelines. 2. HUGE unanswered questions: WHY was it necessary to stage the revenge activity (not really a spoiler) in the odd, remote spot out west, and why were the elaborate details necessary. They weren't, so why include them ???

    So, yes, read this book, but no it is not of the caliber of Relic and Reliquary.

    P.S. 5 stars for the narrator - Rene Auberjonois.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spellman Files

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lisa Lutz
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (118)

    Isabel Spellman may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism - but she's good at her job as a licensed P.I. with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy and all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. But when Izzy decides to get out of the family business in search of normalcy, she ends up taking on the most important case of her life.

    Lisa Worthen says: "The Spellman Files (Unabridged)"
    "Hilarious with a Small Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Zany. Unpredictable. The descriptions of this book sort of turned me off. I expected it to be "silly." But Lisa Lutz is a very good writer who has fleshed out believable characters I care about. She has also included one real mystery (one of the cases Izzy is working on as a P.I. in her family's firm) and a series of plot convolutions that held my interest.

    And the narrator is fabulous. Ms. Moore does not have to produce the menu of accents you might find in a Follett novel whose storyline crosses Europe, the UK and the U.S., but she has what I believe is a much harder task. She has to distinguish between a mother and two sisters in the same family, and several male characters using subtle differences in tone and cadence. I was really impressed.

    If you have any sense of humor at all, read this book. Fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20068)
    Performance
    (17969)
    Story
    (18032)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "A Story Built Block by Block"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You all know what this book is about since it is now a major film. But I hope you don't know the complete plot. I didn't have any idea what was really going on, and I had no idea how it would end, until I listened to the book, I am glad to say.

    Ms. Flynn builds the story one step and a time, one brick after another. There is nothing missing, nothing skipped over. It would be a great book for a class on fiction-writing or story-telling.

    When the audio books begins, you may groan at the peppy voice of Kirby Heyborne, but hold on for a bit. It gets better. In fact, I am sure that Heyborne was intentionally annoying at the beginning to emphasize his character's journey.

    Worth reading? Yes.

    The best book ever? No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1296)
    Performance
    (1157)
    Story
    (1177)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "Good Story but not at all Scary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am amazed at the number of reviewers who said this book would make you grab your pillow, have sleepless nights, get goosebumps. Not at all. Is it interesting? Yes. Are there many moments when I am not sure what is real and what isn't? Yes. But not scary.

    (If you want to be scared, read "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King, or read "Relic" and "Reliquary" by Preston & Child.)

    I enjoyed it, I recommend it, and I will miss the main characters, especially Nora.

    P.S. If you like narratives that tie up all loose threads by the final pages, do not read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1334)
    Performance
    (1194)
    Story
    (1199)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "History of My World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is part 3 of another fabulous Follett series, "The Century Trilogy." I highly recommend them all. Especially now that part 3 is available, I envy anyone who is just starting the set with book 1 "The Fall of Giants."

    The story follows the characters in families in England/Wales, Russia, the U.S. and Germany from the very beginnings of WWI through the election of Barack Obama. An overwhelming task, definitely fiction, but including and based on historical facts.

    The only criticism I have is that the stories are just a bit too positive. There certainly was tragedy and loss for each family, but it bothered me that so many of the characters become movie stars, elected officials, famous writers, etc. Narrator Lee excels at all accents except American, but I still love the series.

    VERY long - loved that too!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3910)
    Performance
    (3603)
    Story
    (3601)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "A Modern Hero: Cormoran Strike"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had serious doubts when I read Robert Galbraith's first novel, "Cuckoo's Calling." It was hard for me to imagine that RG -- widely known to be the pen name of J.K. Rowling -- could write something so different from the complex fantasy of the Harry Potter series. But she/he did, and it was excellent.

    In this second of the series, the characters of detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin have grown. I know and like them even more than I did before.

    The plot is just complex enough to make the mystery difficult to solve, but not so complex that I am confused and lost.

    The narrator, Robert Glenister, is one of the best I ever heard. He uses various types of British accents, and he perfectly represents one character who is British but spent a lot of time in the U.S. Absolutely superb.

    I STRONGLY RECOMMEND. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (758)
    Performance
    (692)
    Story
    (688)

    Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

    David Walker says: "Back in 3 Pines"
    "Still Love Three Pines and Inspector Gamache"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series is second-to-none. Read ALL of these novels, but you MUST begin with the first one. (This is book 10.)

    EXCELLENT! Narrator, writing, plot, character development ... everything.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold, Cold Ground

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1389)
    Performance
    (1203)
    Story
    (1199)

    Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.

    Alan says: "What a stunning book"
    "Just not my Taste"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a badly written book. However, it simply did not hold my interest. I waited several weeks to write this review because I was not sure what to say.

    The bleak and battered Irish towns, the tormented main character ... just not my style. If I had to label it, I would say this book reminded me of a film-noire movie. If that appeals to you, please read this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Test of Wills

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Samuel Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (152)

    Ian Rutledge returns to his career at Scotland Yard after years fighting in the First World War. Unknown to his colleagues he is still suffering from shell shock, and is burdened with the guilt of having had executed a young soldier on the battlefield for refusing to fight. A jealous colleague has learned of his secret and has managed to have Rutledge assigned to a difficult case which could spell disaster for Rutledge whatever the outcome. A retired officer has been murdered, and Rutledge goes to investigate.

    Carol says: "Difficult to follow the narrator"
    "Confusion of Characters and Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really expected to like this book because one of my favorite Audible.com reviewers did. However, I can't recommend it.

    There is one well-drawn character in this book, and that is Hamish, the Scottish soldier who "haunts" main character Ian Rutledge. It is a brilliant and effective technique for author Todd to use, and I applaud him. However, I couldn't distinguish between any of the female characters or most of the male characters. I never developed any real picture of them, never developed opinions or attachments or interest, and was often confused. ("Which character said/did that?") I am not sure if a different narrator would have made a difference, but I doubt it.

    And, the ending. Wow. It was out of left field, in a way that made me roll my eyes. I won't spoil it for you, but I'll say that what Todd wants us to believe is outrageous and unlikely in the extreme. Puleeze.

    Don't bother.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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