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cristina

Somerville, MA, United States | Member Since 2015

1207
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 180 reviews
  • 201 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
75
FOLLOWERS
263

  • The Darlings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Cristina Alger
    • Narrated By Jonathan Fried
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (62)

    Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position. But Paul's luck is about to shift....

    glamazon says: "Another Madoff Spin-off"
    "I enjoyed it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There were too many characters for all of them to be well-developed, but the story kept me entertained as the seemingly separate people come together in a semi-plausible way. It's clearly a Madoff spinoff, but you know that going in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Whites: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Richard Price, Harry Brandt
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (185)

    Back in the run-and-gun days of the mid-'90s, when Billy Graves worked in the South Bronx as part of an anticrime unit known as the Wild Geese, he made headlines by accidentally shooting a 10-year-old boy while stopping an angel-dusted berserker in the street. Branded as a cowboy by his higher-ups, for the next 18 years Billy endured one dead-end posting after another.

    Bradley P. Valentine says: "Richard Price sets the high water mark in genre"
    "Well worth the read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story of interconnected stories. Great characters, with more depth than one usually expects in a typical police procedural because it's more than a mere police procedural--it's a story about inner conflicts and demons, about love and friends and choosing between what's right and what's wrong when love and friends are involved. I will look for more from this author, in both his aliases.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Old Knives

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos, Juliana Francis
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    Nine years ago terrorists hijacked a plane in Vienna. Somehow a rescue attempt staged from the inside went terribly wrong, and everyone onboard was killed. Members of the CIA stationed in Vienna during that time were witness to this terrible tragedy, gathering intel from their sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground with a series of texts coming from one of their agents inside the plane.

    Darwin8u says: "Pushing, incrementally, toward le Carré"
    "A five-star novella"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost didn't download this because I thought it would be impossible to craft anything truly engrossing in such a short time. The truth is that it didn't feel like a novel. As I suspected, too short. However, if viewed as a novella (or a long short story), it was outstanding. Great story. Delivered in layers (the 'present time' is less than a day, the flashbacks recount a time seven years earlier). Excellent performances.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • California Fire and Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Jon Lindstrom
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Jack Wade, a claims adjuster for California Fire and Life Mutual Insurance Company, is one of the best arson investigators around. He's a man who knows fire, who can read the traces it leaves behind like a roadmap. When he's called in to examine an unusual claim, the tracks of the fire tell him that something's wrong. So wrong that he violates his own cardinal rule - "You don't get personal, you don't get emotional. Whatever you do, you don't get involved" - and plunges into the case.

    cristina says: "Very entertaining"
    "Very entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Roller-coaster from beginning to end, with a very likable protagonist. Will have to look at more Winslow books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (164)

    A strange plague called the "Gets" is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget - small things at first, like where they left their keys... then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily - and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia" has been discovered - a universal healer, from initial reports.

    Charles says: "Troubling"
    "Shocked by the good reviews"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved "The Troop" and actually saved "The Deep" for an upcoming trip. What a disappointment!!! In The Troop, the characters come alive amidst the horror. In The Deep, the characters remain shallow and unbelievable. Not a single one becomes real. And the story, quite frankly, never progresses. Creepy, horrific thing after creepy, horrific thing happens to the protagonists but I, for one, did not care. And don't be deceived by the promise of what this author could do with a plague that makes people forget (two thirds of the publisher's summary devoted to this theme)...the book itself deals with this issue for about as long as the publisher's summary. Perhaps if I had not kept waiting for the book to return to that subject, I would not have been so impatient with the novel. Did the author forget...?

    Mr. Cutter is a great craftsman, in total command of his words. The writing is indeed good. Wish the story was better.

    Mr. Brill does a phenomenal job with the narration. I probably would not have bothered to finish it were it not for him.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Moving Day

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stone
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (401)

    Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke - they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago. When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps, dodging Nazi soldiers.

    Joe Crescenzi says: "What a fantastic story... a real treat!"
    "Loved this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At first, it seems like a pretty simple (but enjoyable) tale of bad vs good: the old man gets robbed and refuses to take it lying down. But then the novel becomes much more, culminating in a terrific finale. I enjoyed every minute and don't want to spoil it for you. Download it. You won't regret it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tutor

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Peter Abrahams
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    When Scott and Linda Gardner hire Julian Sawyer to tutor their troubled teenage son Brandon, Julian seems like the answer to a prayer. He's bright, courteous, refined, and connects with Brandon in a way neither of his parents can. They embrace Julian almost as a member of the family. But the tutor has his own dark agenda. For Julian, the Gardners are like specimens in jars, creatures to be studied - and manipulated.

    Galadriel says: "A unique battle of wits - excellent!"
    "Pleasantly surprised"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit that I did not expect this to be so enjoyable. A great mix of humor and suspense. The 11-year-old heroine is funny and smart. The plot is great. You don't even realize that you are on the edge of your seat because you're smiling most of the way. Towards the end, I could not put it down. In fact, I stayed awake in bed listening to the last twenty minutes at one in the morning. Can't wait to read something else by Peter Abrahams. And James Daniels did an excellent job as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger of the Wolf: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Marche
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Hunters found his body naked in the snow. So begins this astonishing new work of literary fiction. The body in the snow is that of Ben Wylie, the heir to America's second-wealthiest business dynasty, and it is found in a remote patch of Northern Canada. Far away, in post-rash New York, Jamie Cabot, the son of the Wylie family's housekeepers, must figure out how and why Ben died.

    cristina says: "Disappointing"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The publisher's summary says "The Hunger of the Wolf is a novel about what it means to be a man in the world of money. It is a story about fathers and sons, about secrets that are kept within families, and about the cost of the tension between the public face and the private soul." Except that THAT is what The Hunger of the Wolf wants to BE...but isn't. It starts out brilliantly--Mr. Marche is a phenomenal writer--but then it fizzles. The commentary about what it means to be "a man in the world of money" isn't insightful or revealing enough--there are moments of cleverness, but simply moments. The relationship between fathers and sons (yes, it's meant to be a key part of the novel) is not paid off because none of the relationships depicted here have any real depth (the novel covers three or four generations and it's only 8 hours long...that should tell you something). And the costs of maintaining a public face while hiding the truth about yourself is too obvious a theme, revealed without any subtlety. The brothers are werewolves (I am not giving that much away; you find out as soon as the caretaker's son stumbles upon all kinds of documents spelling out the family's history--hard to believe that a family so obsessed with privacy would leave all these documents laying around for the taking, but whatever). But the werewolf theme is just there, barely affecting anyone, really (in fact, if you like werewolf novels, this one will disappoint you; if you don't like werewolf novels, that won't be the reason you dislike this one). It is almost a side note, even though it's meant to be 'the key' to the family's tragic history (yes it's supposed to be a metaphor for the 'wildness inside' except that, again, it is not a deep or surprising metaphor. Simply there.) I think this novel needed to be longer--although I am loathe to say this since I really couldn't wait for it to be over. Cannot recommend, which is a tragedy itself considering the promise of the first 20 minutes or so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbecoming: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Scherm
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she's from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she's in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail.

    Mel says: "Staying a step ahead of her lies"
    "Ridiculous and boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The most interesting thing about this book is the publisher's summary. The book itself is incredibly tedious. At the start of the novel, the totally unlikeable heroine is indeed panicked (as the publisher has told you) when she realizes that her boyfriend and friends are about to be released from prison. You realize that she did something bad and left them behind to pay the consequences. OK, so far the story shows promise. Except then...it doesn't go anywhere. You see endless flashbacks to the girl's childhood which are kind of predictable. She has it tough (although not that tough, really--there's a five minute bit where the author tells you how the girls parents were not married when she was born so she drifted from this home to that home to that home until her parents got back together again and moved to the town where the story takes place...that feels like it was added after the fact because the author realized that the girl's current home life was not bad enough to account for the girl's feeling of self pity!). She meets the town's loved child. She meets his friends. They drift aimlessly (the kids' stupid behavior is hard to believe....well, it is actually IMPOSSIBLE to believe, as is the entire novel). Then bad thing happens and guys go to prison while girl goes to Europe and ends up repairing antiques (the descriptions of some of these antiques are annoyingly long...and lack any kind of beauty; sounding almost like excerpts from wikipedia). Then the kids get out of prison...and more preposterous plot 'meanderings' ensue(not surprising enough to be called 'twists'), some are actually groan-worthy...Anyway, read at your own peril. Or if you need something to help you fall asleep.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16094)
    Performance
    (13415)
    Story
    (13410)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Don't count on getting anything else done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit I could not stop listening. Rushing by real life just to get back to this. Great writing (yes, there are some actions that stretch credibility, but it didn't really affect my enjoyment). Rachel is one of the best unreliable narrators I have encountered. She is giving you the wrong account of what happened but only because that's the account that she believes at the time...and because she can't quite remember. The 'truth' is that everything here is not as it seems: the way the characters remember the past is unreliable, the way the characters perceive the present is unreliable, and--most importantly--the way the characters see each other is not to be trusted.

    The three narrators (Rachel is one of three female first persons telling the story) are excellent readers. Their voices pitch perfect.

    I can't wait for this author's next book. What will she think of next?

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pursuit: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (118)

    Thirteen bodies are found in a Louisville restaurant. When the police can find no suspect or motive, the family of one of the victims seeks the services of the enigmatic and solitary specialist Roy Prescott, known for his ability to find people who don't want to be found.

    Maxine says: "Great book"
    "Couldn't get into this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It starts out great. You expect to see two cunning, ruthless masterminds pitched against each other. Except it goes nowhere. One step forward (the current plot line from the murderer's point of view), two steps back (a story from his past that is supposedly going to help us understand him). One step forward (the current plot line from the hunter's perspective), two steps back (a story from his past that is supposedly going to help us understand him). One step forward again, two steps back again; one step forward again, two steps back again...It would have been fine if the current plot line got farther faster...or if the backflashes actually felt meaningful, but after the first one all of them start sounding the same...and the whole thing becomes extremely tedious. I tried, but could not finish this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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