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R. Pontiflet

retired writer

Fairfield, CA USA | Member Since 2014

213
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 113 reviews
  • 137 ratings
  • 228 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
48

  • The Confession: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3698)
    Performance
    (1392)
    Story
    (1410)

    An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him. Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high-school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.

    Suzn F says: "I confess, I loved it!"
    "Couldn't Finish!!! Boring!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started and stopped listening to this book three times!! Couldn't finish... I want to be entertained with some suspense, drama or mystery that is not predictable. After 10 chapters, I gave up on this one. I gave three stars because I love most of Grisham's books, Sycamore Row was good entertainment. I found that the narrator had long, dull, lackluster passages to read and it sounded like he was "reading" not Performing the novel. Boring

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Rainwater

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (409)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (249)

    The year is 1934. With the country in the stranglehold of drought and economic depression, Ella Barron runs her Texas boardinghouse with an efficiency that ensures her life will be kept in balance. Between chores of cooking and cleaning for her residents, she cares for her 10-year-old son, Solly, a sweet but challenging child whose misunderstood behavior finds Ella on the receiving end of pity, derision, and suspicion.

    Amazon Customer says: "A MUST read (or listen!)"
    "Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good story set in early years of the depression, when segregation and racial tensions were rolling along as a benign backdrop in the community. This story uses tidbits of the racial tensions to provide the listener a good description and understanding of the environment in which this story takes place. It is more about greedy men and the lengths they will go in order to remain in their positions of power; about a mother's love for her child and the lengths she will go in order to protect him; and Mr. Rainwater who is much more than he appears to be. The ending of this story is heartwarming and "somewhat" heartbreaking but more than that, a good reflection of real world possibilities.

    Audible's publisher's summary is good. Solly is telling the story of how he became the owner of the gold watch which was given to him by Mr. Rainwater. Mr. Rainwater plays an important and intricate role in this story. He epitomizes the ole saying "don't judge a book by its cover", and in the first quarter or so of the story he is somewhat of a mystery. Little by little we learn more and more about him. We learn that he is much more than he appears to be. Mr. Rainwater takes an interest in Solly and begins to devote time and thought on how not only to understand him, but to help him as well.

    I think this is one of Sandra Brown's best, along with Envy, Mean Streak and Play Dirty. These are the ones that, for me, has a more "unique" storyline. So far, my experience of SB writings has been more positive than negative. I've returned only one of her books - Dust to Dust - mainly because I didn't like the narrator's voice.

    This narrator, Victor Slezak, is much more suited to Sandra's stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slow Heat in Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (641)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (411)

    The adopted daughter of the most powerful man in town, Schyler Crandall left Heaven, Louisiana, a brokenhearted girl. Now a crisis has brought her home to a family in conflict, a logging empire on the brink of disaster, and seething secrets that make Heaven hotter than hell.

    bluebelle says: "Spectacular, Kept me guessing the whole time!"
    "Modern "Gone With The Wind" ??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story had "Gone With The Wind" overtones and undertones. From the name of the "family's estate - Belle Terre" to the name of one main character "Skylar"... the entire tone of the book made me think of a dramatic "soap opera" based on the "long ago" behaviors, habits and manners of wealthy southern folks. But don't get it twisted, I am a loyal Sandra Brown fan!

    Having said all that, I must admit that the story had plenty of dramatic and sexual scenes that held my attention, just like "Gone With The Wind" did.

    Now, Dick Hill is one of my top three or four narrators. He is the voice of Lee Child's Jack Reacher. I've read all of the Reacher series and when I hear Dick Hill's voice, I can only think of Reacher and that little stickler distracted me somewhat. But as I said, the story was interesting enough to hold my attention throughout the entire listen. The other distractor for me, was the similarities between the Reacher and Cash characters. Cash is a big guy known as a womanizer. He is wanted by lots of women because of his "package" reputation. Whereas Reacher is 6'3" and has superhuman abilities. He can fight two or three guys at the same time and win the brawl - he's tough .... Both characters had military training that continues to benefit them.

    Dick Hill provided a great performance as usual. He performed the story and he is not responsible for the storyline itself, but I did not like the sound of the voice he gave Cash. Cash is a smart guy, military trained, and a "doctor" of sorts trained by his mother, but the combination of the author's assigned words and mannerisms plus the voice Hill used made Cash sound, in my opinion, like an adult who had to ride the "yellow bus" to school....

    Interesting story with a few flaws but entertaining.... recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust to Dust: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (343)

    Sorry. The single word is written on a mirror. In front of it hangs a Minneapolis Internal Affairs cop. Was it suicide? Or a kinky act turned tragic? Either way, it wasn't murder. At least not according to the powers that be. But veteran homicide detective Sam Kovac and his wisecracking, ambitious partner, Nikki Liska, think differently. Together they begin to dig at the too-neat edges of the young cop's death, uncovering one motive - and one suspect - after another.

    Jane Salley says: "This May Be Her Best"
    "Couldn't Hang With This One, Gave Up!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am super disappointed with this Tami Hoag novel. I quit after nearly four hours. The novel is over 14 hours long. I have read 3 or 4 of her novels so far and have loved! loved! loved! them. This one does not feel or sound like it was written by Tami Hoag. The wording was stilted and sounded forced maybe because there are a lot of clichés used. What I heard was repetitious, the story seemed to be going in circles and not moving forward.... too much fluff... I know that there are many positive reviews but this one was not for me.

    I did not like the narrator at all.. In addition to his lack of performance abilities and limited voice tones, his nasal voice sounded whinny and was very annoying.... Couldn't take that voice. I am sorry to see that this narrator is used for a lot of this author's novels..... oh well.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thin Dark Line

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Karen Peakes
    Overall
    (766)
    Performance
    (689)
    Story
    (691)

    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"
    "Complexed Mystery/Suspense Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author Tami Hoag grabbed my attention with her Oak Knoll series (Down The Darkest Road, Deeper Than The Dead and Secrets To The Grave). Her storylines are different - not "cookie-cutter" and her characters are developed well enough to get you interested in what going on in the story and how the main character(s) are impacted by the doings of the bad guys. And, of course, there are twists and turns... some twists/turns can be seen coming but mostly you are blindsided and you can't see the them coming.

    This was an interesting story with plenty of action and murders. The setting is the Louisiana French Bayou with the upcoming Mardi Gras/Carnival as part of the backdrop. So pay close attention during the first couple of chapters until the names and who's who are introduced and sorted out. This story has characters who I labeled as "undiagnosed" because they are "sick, sick, sick"! with personality disorders, stalker qualities, and OCD (obsessive/possessive compulsive disorder)...

    The biggest twist is in the last three or four chapters. As I like to say, the least suspect should be the first suspect. I saw it coming and I think you will too, but it doesn't take away from the action, suspense, and tension as you root for the main character to hurry up and figure out who the villain truly is.

    The narrator was okay, can't complain, but I think Kirsten Potter is better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Driving Force

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Dick Francis
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (62)

    A dead hitchhiker, empty canisters found at the bottom of several trucks, and the murder of a harmless mechanic are the bizarre events that lead ex-jockey Freddie Croft to suspect that his transport company, Driving Force, is involved in drug smuggling, or something far worse.

    argus says: "good, but not great"
    "A Good Suspenseful Mystery...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story... and Simon Prebble's narration. The story had enough mystery and suspense to hold my attention throughout. Prebble is the voice of Francis' novels, the voice that brings the story to life. Other Dick Francis novels that I like better are "Break In" and "Bolt"... as I well know, some stories are better than others. Recommend.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vanished Man: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (245)

    Forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme is called in to work the high-profile investigation of a killer who seemingly disappeared into thin air just as the NYPD closed in. As the homicidal illusionist baits him with grisly murders that grow more diabolical with each victim, Rhyme and his protégée, Amelia Sachs, must go behind the smoke and mirrors to prevent a horrific act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Gripping mystery of a psychopathic illusionist."
    "Eh.....Did Not Like!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not like the storylines or the narrator. This story was all about illusions and magic tricks which are more suited to visual entertainment. I understood the illusions well enough but the story never kept my attention for long... I was bored and my mind wondered often. I wanted another Lincoln Rhymes story like the Bone Collector, but I didn't get it..... too bad Denzel established Lincoln's voice in the Bone Collector....I didn't like the narrator either!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • You're Next

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3019)
    Performance
    (2585)
    Story
    (2573)

    Mike Wingate had a rough childhood  —  he was abandoned at a playground at four years old and raised in foster care. No one ever came to claim him, and he has only a few, fragmented memories of his parents. Now, as an adult, Mike is finally living the life he had always wanted  —  he’s happily married to Annabel, the woman of his dreams; they have a precocious eight-year-old daughter, Kat.

    Janice says: "Edge of my seat."
    "Casinos and Corruption Makes A Great Mystery...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Casinos and corruption!.... need I say more? well, yeah I do because this storyline takes those two words in a new and unique direction. Well, maybe not so new or unique but thrilling, exciting, suspenseful, surprising and intense are a few of the descriptors I use to describe this story. The twist that comes later in the story was a happy surprise.

    If you are looking for a suspenseful mystery, you might like this one. I loved it! It was well paced and I did not want it to end. Speaking of the ending, it was great too. I enjoyed the twist that was totally unexpected.

    As other reviewers have said, Scott Brick does a wonderful job narrating. Pretty much Brick nailed it!

    Recommend....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Smoke Screen: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (173)

    When newswoman Britt Shelley wakes up in bed with the handsome and hard-partying Jay Burgess, a rising star detective in the Charleston PD, she remembers nothing of how she got there...or of how Jay wound up dead.

    Kathy says: "Well crafted"
    "Murders Most Foul and Vindication"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another good one by Sandra Brown. ... I enjoyed this novel... plenty of despicable characters. It was hard to figure out who the "truly" bad guys were. Nevertheless, It was not too hard - about midway through - to figure who the "ultimate" bad character was going to be. This is a fast moving intense, suspenseful and scandalous mystery. This one is high on my Sandra Brown list with Envy at the top. I highly recommend Sandra Brown for original and enjoyable storylines..

    This is an intense story of corruption in high places, revenge and justice.... police corruption... sounds familiar? That's what I like about Sandra Brown's stories. They are so realistic that long after the novel is finished, the storylines are memorable.

    Victor Slezak's narration is excellent. Yes, his range may be limited in that some of his characters sound alike, but the top-flight writing skills of Ms. Brown helps the listener keep whose speaking straight. Slezak's voice is quite velvety and fits Ms. Brown's stories very well. I am a sucker for his voice and I much rather have his voice in my ear with a few glitches than someone whose voice is not enjoyable.

    Also, as a negative that I put under the "who cares" category, the author takes creative liberties with technical things such as having one character remove stem caps from automobile tires which is supposed to cause the tires to slowly go flat. Well, I know that this is not true. I've had the stem caps off my car tires and nothing happened. You must keep pressure on the inner part of the stem to let out the air! But who cares about this odd but useful technicality when the overall story is entertaining and keep you listening and wanting to know more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Envy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1646)
    Performance
    (795)
    Story
    (795)

    New York book editor Maris Matherly-Reed knows a best seller when she sees one - even if it is just a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. Maris is intrigued enough to search for him.

    DMHVetSurveyor says: "Envy"
    "A Plot Within A Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a Sandra Brown fan... this is the third listen (Play Dirty and Mean Streak) by SB and overall this one is the best so far and with the most complex plot. It's a story within a story that's well developed with lots of mystery that kept me listening and wanting to know what's going to happen next. As far as flaws in the story are concerned, I didn't like how Daniel ignored his common sense and put his safety in jeopardy. To me that was a stretch that most 70-something year olds would not do.

    Sure, there are a couple of flaws but who cares, the story is good and entertaining. I liked how the two stories were weaved together and especially liked the ending. The characters are likeable and I could not have disliked the main villain more.

    This is a story about revenge for a murder triggered by "envy", one of the deadly sins. It's a story about an elaborate plan of revenge for a murder that happened 14 years ago and that story is the catalyst for this story. While the link between the two stories is evident early on, it does not take away from the other mysterious elements as the story develops. There are sex scenes which I think were well done and not over-the-top.

    Victor Slezak is an excellent narrator. I really have come to enjoy his voice which is sort of laid back and relaxed but with serious acting skills that fit this story very well.

    Highly recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Play Dirty

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (838)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (286)

    Griff Burkett has a multimillion-dollar contract with the Dallas Cowboys. But at the end of his football career, deep in debt, a crime kingpin offers him a chance to resolve his loans by throwing a game. Griff agrees, and walks into an FBI sting. After serving time, he finds only closed doors. Then he is summoned by eccentric millionaire Foster Speakman. Speakman, a recluse since a car accident left him crippled, is impotent. Deadly consequences ensue when he hires Burkett to impregnate his wife.

    Dave says: "Typically satisfying Sandra Brown novel"
    "Extremely Twisted, But Entertaining....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my second Sandra Brown listen (first was Mean Steak), they are both enjoyable. I describe this story as a romance/mystery. It's a story of a quadriplegic, wealthy, eccentric husband who offers a broke, corrupted, just out of jail, good-looking ex-football player a lot of money to make his beautiful wife pregnant. As we all know, this scenario is fraught with pitfalls and somebody's feelings are going to get hurt. Well, that's true and much, much more. The sex scenes were handled in a sensitive way, and the number of sex scenes seemed appropriate in order to convey to the reader how the two participants were reacting to each other as they "struggled" to achieve the pregnancy. The reason the husband gave as to why he wanted the baby conceived in the traditional way, I thought was kinda weak, but okay it's fiction and meant to entertain.... it achieved that goal.

    I thought the narrator did a wonderful job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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