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Richard

Atlanta, GA, United States | Member Since 2005

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 292 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • The Ghosts of Belfast

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Stuart Neville
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1096)
    Performance
    (482)
    Story
    (483)

    Fegan has been a "hard man" - an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by 12 ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. As he's working his way down the list, he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too.

    David P. McGivern says: "What an unexpected good read!"
    ""Freedom Fighting" to Racketeering"
    Overall

    Through the psychological struggle (insanity?) of the central character, Stuart Neville brilliantly captures the rough edges of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland. He does a great job painting the backdrop -- how criminality became "freedom fighting" or "loyalism," then morphed back into racketeering as the peace process took hold in a post 9/11 world.

    I used to spend childhood summers in Northern Ireland during the 1960s and early 70s, so I was particularly alert for flaws in authenticity. If there were any, I missed them.

    The narrator, Gerard Doyle, is excellent -- superbly capturing both the nuances of the psychosis of the main character and the Belfast brogue. He seamlessly transitions between condescending Whitehall officials and Belfast thugs.

    Given the death toll, this book is not for the squeamish or for listening with youngsters in the car. The detail is certainly designed to make the reader/listener uncomfortable -- and ultimately how I was drawn into the head of the central character.

    In summary, an excellent yarn, very well produced as an audiobook.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Red Tsar: A Novel of Suspense

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sam Eastland
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    Shortly after midnight on July 17, 1918, the imprisoned family of Tsar Nicholas Romanov was awakened and led down to the basement of the Ipatiev house. There they were summarily executed. A decade later, one man lives in purgatory, banished to a forest on the outskirts of humanity. Pekkala was once the most trusted secret agent of the Romanovs, the right-hand man of the Tsar himself. Now he is Prisoner 4745-P. But the state needs Pekkala one last time.

    Sara says: "Wow What a Book"
    "Historical Detail and Layers of Suspense"
    Overall

    Through a series of flashbacks, Sam Eastland layers on the suspense in this historical thriller. It's a first-rate yarn read by a first-rate narrator, Paul Michael.

    The author has a researcher's keen eye for historical detail and he uses that detail to paint background pictures of two worlds -- life in the orbit of the Czar before the revolution and the less-than-idealistic reality of the already stumbling Soviet state.

    Each time I thought I had the plot figured out, there was another twist that propelled the book forward.

    Well worth the investment of time. With luck, we'll hear from the Emerald Eye again.


    11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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