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Ted

Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

1085
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 272 reviews
  • 348 ratings
  • 653 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
140

  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1539)
    Performance
    (1373)
    Story
    (1395)

    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"
    "End it… Don't… No end it… No No… Don't… but… Ye..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is good stuff!

    On the down side, Pessi breaks out in rashes of over-writing… She also suffers in one scene from I-Need-An-Editor flu. But… but… Hollywood tells us that there are only what, 8 different stories? Well, I have no idea into which I'd drop this imagination explosion… These characters are so magnetic… I cared about them. Enough that the torrent of what at first seemed like epilogues pulled me into an entirely different experience. Yep, kept expecting an ending but…

    Let's step out of the review here and talk about something unique to audio books. Unlike a hardbound on your lap, you're never spontaneously aware of how much more is to come. That's a good thing if you want the author to own surprise. Sooo back to the review.

    Chapters began to end the story… then abruptly Jake Webber announced another… and another and… And it works. I'm convinced that Pessi's brilliance blended with Weber's talent will forgive almost everything.

    Steven King once wrote like this, but he'd depend upon the gross-out to snap him away from trouble. Pessi keeps portending, but she has another solution. Not to worry, no spoiler alert here… Just another satisfaction with her startlingly complex talent.


    I hope that next time Pessi will sand down some histrionics, and maybe disobey the rules and tell us rather than show every detail. Won't matter though… I'll preorder whatever she does next. Pessi's a resonant new psychological thrill pilot.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • NYPD Red 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Marshall Karp
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (109)

    NYPD Red is the elite, highly trained task force assigned to protect the rich, the famous, and the connected. And Detective Zach Jordan and his partner, Kylie MacDonald - the woman who broke his heart at the police academy - are the best of the best, brilliant, and tireless investigators who will stop at nothing to deliver justice.

    Linda Lou says: "AWFUL!"
    "45 Stars So Far For NYPD Red!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wealth is a heat seeking missile.

    Once again, Patterson and Karp cranked up the heat. Look, start this series at the beginning with NYPD/RED, then NYPD/RED2 before kicking up the volume on this installment. The relationship between Detectives Zack Gordon and Kylie MacDonald deserve to get savored from the start.

    Except for that old… "The rich are different from you and me because they can afford to be" theme, there're are no cosmic issues here, no tours through the human psych, no complex internal monologues and dark introspection. Nope… These are forgettable fun police procedurals written by two gordo commercial artists at the peak of their powers.

    There ain't nothin' NOT to like here if one of the reasons you read thrillers is to turn off the world for a time and let craftsmen (including the brilliant Edoardo Ballerini) entertain you.

    Recommendation… Get it, listen, then pre-order the next installment of NYPD/RED. It's my fave series du jure.

    My score so far… 15 stars for each book X 3 = 45 stars. Whoa!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pattern of Wounds: A Roland March Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By J. Mark Bertrand
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    It’s Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman’s brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison 10 years ago. Is it a copycat - or did March convict the wrong man? Alienated from his colleagues, and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives a series of taunting messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home.

    Ted says: "So Much Tension… Whew!"
    "So Much Tension… Whew!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's Bertrand's thesis that the Huston Police Department's a dysfunctional family. Oh, and that Roland March, his lead character, has a dysfunctional family. And that the society around him is, well, dysfunctional. March's life is a schizzo's irritating dreamworld. Mrch is essentially without emotional support from anyone. And yet…

    Bertrand is a powerfully strong writer. The characters are deeper than saucepan grease, and get heated sufficiently to sizzle the story into your appetite to keep on listening. Still, it's such a cliché to include the detective's bosses among a book's heavies. It'd be nice to read a procedural novel today where the team supported one another.

    MAJOR ALERT… This is Part Two of an epic novel which Bertrand started in "Back In Murder" a book I enjoyed. But, this plot is so dependent upon the earlier novel that YOU MUST READ IT FIRST, and perhaps review it before starting "Pattern Of Wounds". I'm a busy guy and frankly the dependence of this book upon that one really reduced my enjoyment since, well, I didn't want to work so hard to review all of the characters and details to follow this one.

    So, on balance, I may buy another Bertrand book. But if he waits too long to write the next Roland March novel, I'll probably pass… I know that I'll forget too much of the plot to make the next in this series accessible.

    Mel Foster did an OK job, but once again, the list of characters is sufficiently large that Foster had difficulty keeping their voices sufficiently distinct.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Ritual Bath: The First Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Faye Kellerman
    • Narrated By Mitchell Greenberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (795)
    Performance
    (419)
    Story
    (416)

    Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD is stunned when he gets the report. Someone has shattered the sanctuary of a remote yeshiva community in the California hills with an unimaginable crime. One of the women was brutally raped as she returned from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed.

    Eva Gannon says: "Good Read"
    "Just Fine. Nice Read. Want The Next Decker/Lazarus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, "Ritual Bath" did not blow my socks off. But they're rolled down some. Enough that I want to read how the relationship between Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker grows. Kellerman gives Mitchell Greenberg a lot to work with yet he does it good, keeping the large cast of characters well defined throughout.

    And this – is– a relationship novel with the chemistry between the leads a flirty magnet to readers who enjoy this sort of adventure. Frankly I don't know how Rina will become part of these continuing adventures… and that mystery's got me intrigued enough to get "Sacred & Profane", the next in this series, just to find out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The English Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1109)
    Performance
    (651)
    Story
    (643)

    Israeli art restorer and occasional secret agent Gabriel Allon has a problem. He finds a prominent Swiss banker dead in front of his Raphael, and he's the prime suspect. After some diplomatic intervention, Allon is freed. However, the banker's daughter tells him that her father's French Impressionist paintings, acquired under dubious circumstances during WWII, have been stolen by the murderers. Once Allon knows about the wartime misdeeds, he is pursued by a shadowy killer known only as "the Englishman."

    Oxi says: "I'm hooked..."
    "Silva's Done Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Revealing my problem with this story will trigger a spoiler alert. Yep, it's near to the ending and leaves the rest, and even the buildup, frustrating as if you bit into a Hostess Twinkie, that lacked inner icing.

    John Lee's indeterminate continental accent adds a veneer of sophistication to Silva's work, but as I've just written, perhaps the story leaves Lee's efforts sounding a tad pretentious.

    Still, Silva stuck in a low gear is better than a lot of others who's plotting might be better tuned, but rarely purr with (in this case) Swiss engineering that Silva can bring to the page. I'll get another one of this guy's books, and if you already enjoy him… Hey, you ought'a get another one too - Instead of the "English Assassin".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Turning Angel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (741)
    Performance
    (554)
    Story
    (549)

    As two of the most prominent citizens of Natchez, Drew Elliott and Penn Cage sit on the school board of their alma mater, St. Stephen's Prep. When the nude body of a young female student is found near the Mississippi River, the entire community is shocked - but no one more than Penn, who discovers that his best friend was entangled in a passionate relationship with the girl and may be accused of her murder.

    Sharon says: "Boring, too long and drawn out"
    "Two Stars? Yep, That's Generous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had to skip hunks of this story, and crank my iPod to 2X for a lot of the second half.

    Iles, who I usually REEEEELY enjoy is a powerful writer, which is why I plowed through to the end of "turning Angel". Unfortunately he's determined here to justify intimacies between middle aged men and high school girls… justify by showing not telling.

    Pity, especially since Dick Hill's such a masterful actor that he adds power to Ilies detailed scenes of one couple's graphic experimenting while the other two are voyeuristically immersed in moist details of the other's May/December couplings. It reminds me if the ingenue who explained that her on-screen sexcapades were, of course, fully justified by the plot.

    I'm crushed. Until "Turning Angel" Greg Iles was one of my favorite authors. I'm going to VERY carefully read reviews before purchasing another of his novels.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gutshot Straight

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lou Berney
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (340)
    Story
    (338)

    When Charles "Shake" Bouchon, professional wheel man, walks out of prison after a three-year stretch for grand theft auto, he's got only two problems: he's too nice a guy for the life he's led and not nice enough for any other. So he says yes when he's asked to run a simple errand for his former boss and lover, Alexandra Ilandryan, the formidable pakhan of the Armenian mob in Los Angeles.

    Richard Delman says: "A whole lotta fun."
    "Rocking The Twisties... 15 Stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know when you're caning it through twisties on a high end bike and how you're tucked into that way-lean... Left. Then right... Then back... Forth... And you grab a handful of throttle and you're so on the rails you almost giggle?

    Okay, maybe neither of us has done that, but... but... That's the feeling Lou Berney blows in your face from Gutshot Straight. So many twists yet this guy makes them all feel so perfectly designed and the ride so tightly engineered that... Whoa!

    Was the ending improbable? Which one? OK, let me try a different metaphor. Imagine a heavy metal rift and the final chord that resolves ... That sucker never comes... Just another explosion of finger popping mega-watts.... Think Ratt! Or think Shake Buchon and the bomb-shell Gina... And, well I can't wait to read the next in this series... Both for the rifts... or the twists... Or maybe a resolution.

    Know what? I hope it doesn't come... Um, I think I hope that... Or maybe I just want to lean into twists, and feel the axe-man-Berney blow his stuff through my hair.

    Oh, the front man here... Edoardo Ballerini? Yeah, he rocks like that high end hog leaning into a....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Valley of Bones

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Michael Gruber
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes, Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    The setting is Miami. Rookie cop Tito Morales arrives at the Trianon hotel to investigate a routine disturbance call and, to his shock and horror, watches as a wealthy oil man plunges ten stories and impales himself on a nearby fence. Soon Morales is joined by detective Jimmy Paz, famous throughout the city for solving, or at least providing a plausible solution to, the so-called Voodoo Murders that left Miami burning months earlier.

    Timothy says: "Spies Thugs in a World of Intrigue, Mystery"
    "Hagiography: "A Book About The Life Of A Saint""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Haven't read one of these stories since Sunday school. OK, this is a fictional saint, but then again, most hagiographs are probably as fictional as this one. So Gruber's made one up that's as fit into our modern moment as the writers of the early Christian era fit their stories into their moments. How'd he do that? Well that's what makes this an unusual book. Any more description will kill this complex story's mystery.

    And like every hagiograph... There have to be miracles, and blood, and martyrs, and bad... bad... satanically baaaad villains. They're all here. Oh, and there's a murder along with detectives and sex.

    And had I known this was going to be a hagiography, I'd not have bought it. But, it was weirdly interesting particularly since Gruber's a terrific writer and Forbes and Davis are pros. And of course it all comes together in the end because, well... God works in mysterious ways :-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Six Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3237)
    Performance
    (2793)
    Story
    (2814)

    Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie....

    G. House Sr. says: "Obsession, mystery, and you're hooked!"
    "Love Besotted Professor Acts Stupid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jake Fisher, is the dumbest man in mysteries. Odd, since we're to believe he's a tenured (?) PhD professor in a New England College that's at least as prestigious as Williams. Oh, and he's surrounded by equally idiotic decision makers.

    Have you seen the TV ad where kids escaping a horror villain hide behind the power saws? Yeah? Well their decision making is light years ahead of those which Jake Fisher keeps repeating throughout this perplexing plot. Was this early Coben? The authorusually stops short of asking readers to accept that a guy with all of these "smart-credentials" can be dumber than a drunk monkey.

    You know the way a magician tries to distract with his left hand so you won't notice what his right's up to? Well maybe the frazzle headed oafishness of Jake Fisher was meant to distract me into ignoring the torrent of coincidences Coben demanded I accept to make the plot sensible. No way that could happen.

    Scott Brick gives a less-than-over-the-top reading this time which makes it one of his best that I've heard.

    Can't recommend Six Years, hope it hasn't turned me off on Coben.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Back on Murder: A Roland March Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By J. Mark Bertrand
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details until an unexpected break gives March one last chance to save his career. And his humanity. All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track: a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything.

    Thomas Allen says: "Great murder mystery, but why all the preaching?"
    "Strangely Clever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mark Bertrand teases. He reveals Roland March slowly, using foreshadowing much like a potter might use his fingers. For a time I thought I'd missed an earlier book in this series since the plot seemed to feed upon facts not in evidence. And yet, much like a morning mist dissolves, things clarified and somewhere deep inside I muttered, "Of course".

    "Back On Murder's" worth the time and I'll buy more of Roland March's adventures. Look forward to them. Oh, Mel Foster's OK, but he faced a particular challenge with the book.

    There are too many characters with useful speaking parts in this story. I wish Bertrand had cut away at the supporting ensemble. Unlike a print version, it's hard to go back and recall who each character might be, hence the reader/actor has to create a uniquely differentiated ensemble. Foster does it OK, but perhaps it's not his fault that I can't say, "He done it reeeeely good." Y'know?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Christine Falls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Benjamin Black
    • Narrated By Timothy Dalton
    Overall
    (886)
    Performance
    (429)
    Story
    (424)

    It's not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It's the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse, and concealing the cause of death.

    Heather says: "Plodding, no plot, and incomplete characters"
    "Okay... I Give Up. What's the point here?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Four hours of heavy tedium have caused any interest I've got in listening to this... this... thing reveal what it's about to dissipate like a parking lot puddle in searing heat. Nope, bad metaphor. This book and the word "heat" should never appear in the same sentence. It is cold and not even interesting enough to be called boring.

    Perhaps this is a "literary" author's attempt to become more commercial by having his book marketed as a "mystery" or a "thriller"? The mystery here is what went through the publishers' minds when they green lighted this thing. Maybe they acted on a pitch instead of actually reviewing a manuscript and once granting an advance found themselves stuck?

    Dunno. But I do know that Benjamin Black is on my, er, blacklist. I'll return this book, but no way that Audio can give me back four hours of my life. Pity.

    Oh, and Timothy Dalton? His read was as uninspiring as the text. They made a good match.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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