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R. Pontiflet

retired writer

Fairfield, CA USA | Member Since 2013

126
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 80 reviews
  • 98 ratings
  • 179 titles in library
  • 77 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
21
FOLLOWERS
38

  • W Is for Wasted: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1367)
    Performance
    (1203)
    Story
    (1197)

    Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue. The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

    karen says: "Well worth waiting for...."
    "A First Time Listen! Enjoyed It~"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first time that I've listen to a Millhone mystery but I enjoyed it and will recommend to a listener who's seeking a break from their usual interest (like myself who is a diehard Michael Connelly fan). The star here is a woman sleuth that you wouldn't expect.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Down: A Jack Reacher Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 43 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (391)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (353)

    Summoned by Military Intelligence to Washington, D.C., Reacher is sent undercover. The assignment that awaits him: The army is meeting with its Capitol Hill paymasters for classified talks on a new, state-of-the-art sniper rifle for U.S. forces. But vital details about the weapon are leaking - straight from the Capitol and probably into the hands of unidentified foreign arms dealers.

    Marci says: "Like the inside of a cinnamon roll"
    "A Super Short Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is neither abridged nor unabridged. It is simply a very short-short "sample" of Jack Reacher and his abilities of observation and deduction. I am a long-time Lee Child and Jack Reacher fan. Nevertheless, this story is so short that it's hardly worth a review because there is not much that can be said without saying too much. I agree with the other reviewers who disliked the shortness of the novel and I agree that there is a lot missing in the development of characters and the development of the storyline/plot that would have provided clearer answers as to the ending and "why" of the story. I also agree that this one is not worth a credit, but I bought thru one of audible's special offers (1.95). As usual, Dick Hill does a superb performance job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Rule against Murder: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1265)
    Performance
    (913)
    Story
    (908)

    When wealthy, cultured Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer for a memorial for her late husband, the staff springs into action. But as a heat wave gathers strength, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. And the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family now has another member to mourn.

    Sara says: "A Summer Mystery"
    "One of Three Pines' Best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the more intricate mysteries in the Three Pines series, but the story happens outside of the Three Pines village. This novel deepens the listener's understanding of one of Three Pines' dysfunctional families while providing a murder for Inspector Gamache and his team to solve. Cosham's narration is excellent as usual.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Fatal Grace: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (190)

    Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder. No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter - and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death. When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Quebec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Time to get lost and find yourself in Three Pines."
    "The Least Suspected is the Best Suspect....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed most all of Louise Penny's Three Pines novels. I believe that I have read them all. This one was really intriguing. Maybe it's because I like the style of Chief Inspector Gamache. Maybe it's because I like all of the characters of the Three Pines village. It is difficult to write a review on this one without giving away too much. The synopsis written by audible is a good description. A despicable woman has been murdered in front of many potential witnesses but nobody saw a thing or they saw but are not telling! If you like a story that is more mystery/suspense and some thriller aspects, then the Three Pines novels might be of interest to you. The narrator, Ralph Cosham, is an excellent performer. He is the voice of Gamache for me.

    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
    (21004)
    Performance
    (18836)
    Story
    (18903)

    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!"
    "Saw the Movie Instead...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A little over the half way point of listening to this book, I decided to see the movie which was interesting and really held my interest whereas the book was getting on my nerves with the back and forth reading of Nick and Amy's journals. I still have not finished listening because the movie quenched my interest. The movie was more succinct and got to the point without too much filler. While listening to the novel, I just couldn't get past how boring, drawn-out, and saggy the story had become. At this point, I assume the movie's ending is the same as the book. If so, I can say that the ending was a huge disappointment and I just didn't care what happened to either character. They were two sick puppies... they are both selfish and it is too bad they are married to each other.

    With all that said, I did find that this mystery/thriller/suspense is not your cookie cutter type in anyway. First, the writing is superb and the narration is good in terms of performance. Second, the use of twists and turns in the way Flynn depicts and unveils the dark side of this couple are unique. The premise of the storyline is good, but just too much filler in the book.

    If you can take 19 hours of listening to one novel, then this might be the listen for you. I just can't bring myself to recommend... see the movie instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Without Fail

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2822)
    Performance
    (2102)
    Story
    (2093)

    Jack Reacher is approached by a Secret Service agent who needs a favor. "I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States," she asks. She is the newly appointed head of the VP's security detail and wants Reacher to try to penetrate her team's shield. He has the skills and the stealth and no one knows him. How else can she be sure her protection is truly effective?

    Joseph says: "Series is getting better."
    "Good Story With Lackluster Ending..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of the story was good and had potential to develop into an excellent story but the ending and the ongoing guessing as to who was threatening and why the vice president was being threatened, got a little frustrating. The ending was laughable. After 30/40 years, the motivation for such a threat was not logical. I think that somebody (writers, editors) did not do their job. Somebody signed off on this one based on Lee Child's reputation or something just as stupid. I gave the high stars because overall the story held my interest and because I am a fan of Jack Reacher. Narrator, Dick Hill is at his usual best. He is the voice of Jack Reacher. I wish the ending had more grit, more teeth, more substance that made sense to intelligent readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Becoming Quinn: Jonathan Quinn Series Prequel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Brett Battles
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (248)

    Meet Jake Oliver. The day will come when he's one of the best cleaners in the business, a man skilled at making bodies disappear. At the moment, however, he's a 22 year old rookie cop, unaware his life is about to change. In a burning barn a body is found--and the fire isn't the cause of death. The detectives working the case have a pretty good idea about what went down. But Officer Oliver thinks it's something else entirely, and pursues a truth others would prefer remain hidden - others who will go to extreme lengths to keep him quiet.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Excellent Story of How A Great Hero is Made"
    "Action Packed! Loved It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This I my first read/listen by Brett Battles but certainly not my last... I picked the title based on reviews and 4.95 offer by audible. I am so glad that I took the offer and glad that I read this one first (based on the highly rated reviews of the other Quinn titles).

    The story kept me listening and on the edge of my seat throughout. This is the story of how a newly inexperienced rookie cop uses his instincts, combined with his training lands him in the middle of a professional hit and clean-up job gone wrong. He thinks outside the box and finds the clues overlooked by the detectives working the case. Quinn reminded me a little bit of a younger Colombo but much more...more modern, more action, more suspense and much more entertaining. This is the story of how Jake Oliver became Jonathan Quinn, the Cleaner. Highly recommend.

    Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators and he did an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (280)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

    meg says: "Great new series"
    "An Easy Listen...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like listening to Ralph Cosham. Generally, he uses a calm tone and use increased tension and excitement in his voices when needed. For me, his voice makes the novel easy to listen to for 9.5 hours of narration. It is character development and personality quirks that help him to distinguish his voice for each character.

    I did not read Book 1 first.. I read three of the novels before reading this story (book 1) and I have three or four more books in the series to go. So far, all the stories have held my interest throughout, however, I would strongly suggest reading this series in order if possible which will help the listener appreciate and fully understand the back stories that are referred to in each story.

    What I've found is that Ms. Penny builds each novel upon the previous story in some way. Yes, I have had to "suspend my disbelief" a little too much but I think the stories give me what I am after and that is a good whodunit while transporting me to another place even if its a fantasy/made up place. Three Pines is described so well that I feel that I could find it. Character development is very good, you get to know the reoccurring characters very well.

    In addition to the whodunit aspect which has good twists and turns, there are mystical and otherworldly undertones in this little village where everybody knows everybody and it's become a second home for investigator Armand Gamache.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Anatomist’s Apprentice: The Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (322)

    The death of Lord Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man - except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist from Philadelphia. Thomas arrived in England to study under its foremost surgeon, where his unconventional methods only add to his outsider status. Against his better judgment, he agrees to examine Lord Edward’s corpse.

    Sires says: "Gruesome but Deftly Plotted"
    "Lord Crick is Dead! Was He Murdered?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Anatomist’s Apprentice to be better than the print version?

    Never read the printed version... please do not ask this question. we are here for the audio versions.....


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The anatomist


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No favorite scene, but an unusual scene is when Lord Crick's body exhumed and opened, a storm of flies comes out and catches everybody by surprise.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.....


    Any additional comments?

    There is not much to be said about this story... it is pretty much one dimensional in that a man (Lord Crick) is dead and buried, his death ruled natural causes, but the town gossipers says that he was murdered and Lady Farrell's husband is the suspect. Lady Farrell calls on the best anatomist to investigate and -- you guessed it! -- somebody else killed him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Break In

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Dick Francis
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (236)
    Story
    (235)

    Dick Francis was a jockey and horse trainer for many years. His experience gives his questrian mysteries an authenticity that has attracted fans around the globe. To honor him, the Mystery Writers of America named Dick Francis a Grand Master for his impeccably crafted contributions to the genre. Jockey Kit Fielding has been riding the de Brescous horses in a succession of triumphs on the race course. But this winning streak is about to end. Kit’s twin sister, Holly, has come to him in desperation. Threatened by financial scandal, she and her husband may lose their training stables.

    Aaron P. Lazar says: "One of the Best Audio Books Ever!"
    "Horse Jockey Turned Detective: Lies & Video Tapes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Break In in three words, what would they be?

    Light-Hearted Entertainment


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    No, the plot did not keep me on the edge of my seat, but I thoroughly enjoyed the easy, relaxing listen.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I had not listen to Prebble before but enjoyed listening to his variety of voices. He has a good range of voices he produced for the characters. I look forward to listening to him again.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    An Interesting Political Twist on Wire Tapping.


    Any additional comments?

    This suspenseful drama is set in England and is largely about the behind the scenes of horse (jumping hurdles) racing... the who's who among the owners, etc. and the back biting that goes on to get the upper hand over your opponents. There is no real sex scenes but a little talk.... The main character is a Jockey who investigates to find out who is giving a newspaper rag lies and misinformation about his sister and her husband's financial information and their horse training business. Interesting and Entertaining....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Case of Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1615)
    Performance
    (1393)
    Story
    (1406)

    A high-profile attorney in the middle of a leave of absence following a personal tragedy is drawn back into the legal arena amidst a media firestorm when he agrees to represent a popular rap artist accused of brutally murdering his pop star girlfriend. With its powerful voice, pause-resisting tension, and strong cast of characters, Adam Mitzner’s novels are reminiscent of such best-selling authors as Scott Turow and John Grisham.

    cristina says: "Excellent"
    "An Interesting Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like this writer. His stories are usually very interesting. This story had a strong beginning, middle and an ending that at first I thought "what the hell" does that do for the ending of a pretty good story and what does that have to do with redemption?!!. But upon reflection, I think the attorney did get his redemption afterall, but not in the way that he had hoped it would be.

    Suffering the loss of his wife and child, this attorney agrees to take on a "hot button" case that he believes will help him redeem himself if he can save the defendant from a "death" sentence. He had just won a case even though he knew the defendant was guilty. And now he is suffering the tragic loss the his family. He is feeling guilty that he was a workaholic and didn't spend enough time with his wife and child before they was tragically taken away from him. He thinks that maybe if he could help save an innocent man's life, he could redeem himself in the process.

    The story moves along at a good pace and had good twists and turns, and the ending had a good "didn't see it coming" twist. At first I was totally disappointed but after reflection I realized that, Yes, the attorney did save a person's life but not in the life or death kind of way he had hoped for, but from a more romantic kind of way.

    The narrator did an excellent job with differentiation between male and female voices. Kevin T. Collins' voice is soothing yet with lots of energy. The kind of narration that I like. The price for this novel is low and worth the listen... Recommend.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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