These stories might have been entertaining. Unfortunately the reader's pedantic,atonal delivery persuaded me to quit the first story after about an hour.
A child is missing and his parents hire Spenser to find him and we're off on another adventure. In the small town of Smithfield Massachusetts in the mid seventies there are still communes and Spenser enlists the aid of the high school guidance counselor Susan Silverman to help him find it. He doesn't find him there but all fingers point to him being there with his hero a bodybuilder by the name of Vic Harroway. You see Kevin has a dominant mother who is sexually promiscuous (look that one up or ask your parents about that one young people) and a father who works all the time; naturally this creates gender and sexual identification issues for the boy, because psychologically speaking Freud still rules in the 1970's. The book is dated in other ways as well such as fashion, sexuality, and the counterculture. Many of the basics that later became staples for the fans of the Spenser series aren't yet a part of this book. This is both a positive and negative; familiar elements of what later developed into cliches and people who lost their humanity and became icons are absent here. For me the earlier Spenser makes for a better read or listen and has the advantage of being new rather than repeated every book. Some of the elements of the later books are like the Fonz's "heh," (another age definitive cultural reference there youngsters). This one is a pretty good listen; not the best of the early Spenser books but worth the credit if you're a fan.
Giving this one a rating is a difficult call. Robin Rinaldi is an excellent writer and she has a way of coming clean that helps to overcome my negative perception of her. I fully realize that no one can ever truly understand the motivations of another human being. That being said the author comes off capricious, self involved and hypocritical, which is indicative that Ms Rinaldi is confessing to her own culpability rather than trying to rationalize it and blame it on Scott. The old 'well I wouldn't have needed to do what I did if he weren't so fill in the blank an excuse often used to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
In addition Kate Udall narrates this one and she's among the best that I've ever heard on audible. With all of this I'm still not certain about whether I want to recommend this one or not; I'm leaning towards give it a shot although only if you're patient.
You'd think that a story that lasts only thirty four minutes would move quickly; it doesn't. The first ten to twelve minutes is wasted but it does close strongly. Gram is a trip and Amelia manages to hit her stride about halfway through the story. The writer is talented; I chose this brief selection after reading her novel Bleed Through. This one is good enough to get a recommend from me.
This had all the right ingredients; the weather, the cop, the life and death implications, there's even a love story and a three year old boy. Unfortunately the book seemed stilted and a little too formulaic and except for his ability to correctly pronounce all the medical terminology was so god awful it was eventually embarrassing to listen to. The ending is too abrupt though by the time it happened I was more than ready.
A nice little story that was classified as Erotica but was actually more of a love story.
Ellen Porter is a newly divorced woman who by chance finds a dating service card in her lawyers office. She's just out of a bad marriage with a critical over controlling husband and has reason to believe that she may be ready to admit that she do better with a woman than with another man. She calls the service and is fixed up with Aimee Tran a makeup artist with a Tiger Mom who's been on a dry stretch for longer than she wants to think about and decides what the hell, why not.
When she meets Ellen she knows right away that isn't your regular one night stand. Ellen has been emotionally beaten down and her entire sexual history is one man; (I suppose it's possible) so her confidence in herself and her knowledge of how to act in a sexual situation are both pretty much non-existent. With a few tender words and some patience Ellen begins to find her way and their one night together is a happy one for them both. Aimee being a wise old lesbian decides that Ellen doesn't need to jump into another relationship right away , she needs to get out there and have more wild experiences with wild ladies. Don't ask me why she doesn't just go with what Ellen wants; I suppose that'd be too easy.
Since I've spilled the beans that this isn't a sex story it's a love story you already knew Ellen and Aimee come together in the end and of course become a couple. It's a sweet journey, full of caring and sentiment and even if this trip into love is oh so predictable; it's still a nice ride.
Indeed a pretty weak followup to the first selection in this series All You Need is Love. Far too often in this work the author uses a tired romance novel cliche; goes for the cheap laugh; or sticks to the formulaic rather than going for the more creative solution. The Meghan character in the first novel was a nice touch but her character appears to have become stuck in her role as a female version of Oscar the Grouch. The same is true of Nolan's Father, plus the situation with him seemed to wander absently into the mist. There was an occasional line of dialogue that worked, a few good scenes where the author 'put her back into it' so to speak. One particular very important scene that I won't identify so as not to spoil an important moment in the book was written in a subtle and understated way which contrasted nicely with much of the audio. There is a 45 minute novella at the end of book featuring Hannah and Nolan which I found silly and overly sentimental. Hannah was a much more sympathetic figure before she got a starring role. Let's hope book number three recovers some of what made book number one a good listen.
Not a bad selection but between the usual author's theme that there's always a man to blame and holes in logic of the police investigation that you could drive a truck through, it strains for three stars. The the police would have turned up the identity of the blond in a manner of hours not days. Tristan was not credible in the extent of his naivete. Finally the fact that they decided that Erin's brother was to be left behind instead of going with the ladies; given the circumstances, was one more huge hole in the book's logic.
Positively, Morgan's character and dialogue upon waking up as a nineteen year old in 1992 was a fantastic touch as well as being greatly entertaining. Also as a story twist the use of amnesia has been done so many times it could easily become extremely trite; I liked it that the twist this time was that the amnesia began and ended at a specific point in the patient's life. The narrator has a thick British accent that was distracting for me the initial thirty minutes or so but once I became accustomed to it added significantly to the listening experience. This particular book is perhaps good for rounding out your collection but I wouldn't make it a priority.
A fictional school shooting in a small Minnesota town creates an echo of childhood trauma for TV, newspaper reporter turned Journalism-English teacher Larissa Johanssen. The fact that Larissa was in Hawaii when the shooting went down is troubling for at least one of the faculty members at the school who believes it removes her from the rest of the faculty who witnessed the attack and who were at risk.. As the media gathers school begins anew and the memorial service looms Larissa becomes more undone by feelings she can't identify and the presence of a man named Pete Petrovich who claims to remember something there should be no chance for him to remember. A situation when both were present that only he remembers. I'll stop the factual recitation right there so as not to spoil the ending.
The author is evidently a prolific writer of fantasy and since I never read or listen to anything of that genre I was unfamiliar with her work. After this book I may decide to give other selections of hers a shot. There have been several works by other authors including Laura Lippman and Lisa Gardner in the wake of the number of school shootings the past twenty years but this is the best of any I've read or listened to pertaining to those events. I can't think of one time the author took the easy way out or resorted to cliche in order fill the face between events. I was so eager to listen to this one all the way through I remained awake until early morning. I'd give it six stars if I could.
The corporate culture combines with consumerism and ignorance to create a disaster. No this isn't about the sub prime mortgage crisis; it's about a coastal economy that depends on people buying land and building structures where they have no business building anything. No it's not about New Orleans and a hurricane called Katrina; it's Florida and a fictional hurricane named Ella. It's about the combination of a natural and a man made disaster and the unwillingness of people to see what's not in their best interest to see. Human nature changes slowly if at all and the manner in which people deal with issues such as self interest versus community interest; government vs. private business can be placed at the center of many types of stories. With a couple of exceptions it's a story that you can transpose easily to today. The exceptions are that weather prognostications are much more exact now and there are a lot of sources for weather now; there would be far fewer false alarms today than in 1973. The other difference that with new laws the builders would have already written new laws and regulations to exempt themselves from legal action and it wouldn't have taken illegal bribery today. Not when legal bribery is so much easier and safer to conduct. This is not the best of the non McGee books by the author but informative, instructive, entertaining and still a good listen more than forty years after it was written. Like most things written by John D I recommend this one.
After reading a couple of okay to pretty good books by this author I enjoyed her return to a great book immensely. Once again it's about finding family in the the world, when the family you have isn't up to the job. It's the story of a child that stumbles upon and then chooses to act in loco parentis for someone they happen to meet in their life. The actual parent is not so much a bad person as they are a poor parent and thus the child is in need of a real adult in their lives. The author's ability to create a few very likable characters and relationships is good enough that I've listened to six of her audiobooks ranging from good to really good or great and mostly enjoyed listening to very similar stories six times. This one might be the best of the six and at worst is third best. A full five stars for the story of a child who is forced to become an adult far too soon; and the adult who chooses to take on something very close to a parental role. I recommend both this author and this book heartily.
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