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His Name Is John: Elliott Smith Mystery, Book 1 | [Dorien Grey]

His Name Is John: Elliott Smith Mystery, Book 1

Elliott Smith wakes up in the hospital with a head injury - and an invisible companion. At first, he's convinced "John" is just a figment of a damaged brain, but when he's fully recovered John is still around and desperate to find out who he is. Reluctantly, Elliott agrees to help and discovers Chicago PD has a John Doe on their hands with six bullets in him - who died in the ER at the same time Elliott was there.
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Publisher's Summary

Elliott Smith wakes up in the hospital with a head injury - and an invisible companion. At first, he's convinced "John" is just a figment of a damaged brain, but when he's fully recovered John is still around and desperate to find out who he is. Reluctantly, Elliott agrees to help, and discovers Chicago PD has a John Doe on their hands with six bullets in him - who died in the ER at the same time Elliott was there.

As Elliott digs deeper into the mystery of John, he stumbles on a body hidden behind a wall for 80 years, meets a sexy artist who could become more than just a one-night stand, and uncovers a deadly secret that has haunted a nun for two decades.

©2008 F. Roger Margason (P)2013 F. Roger Margason

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (21 )
5 star
 (4)
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 (8)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
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Overall
3.4 (19 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
3.2 (19 )
5 star
 (4)
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3 star
 (5)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    AMC Carlisle, IN, United States 06-15-13
    AMC Carlisle, IN, United States 06-15-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    75
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Will Definitely Read the Series"
    Would you consider the audio edition of His Name Is John to be better than the print version?

    I'm not sure that the audio edition could be considered a better experience. The narrator had a unique rhythm to his reading that was somewhat distracting at times. After 30 minutes or so I'd grown used to it and was able to follow the story. Honestly, I liked the story so much I will probably buy the print versions of the others just to finish the series!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I'm a sucker for ghost stories, but I also loved that the romance developed seamlessly without taking away from the plot of the mystery. Elliot and Steve didn't fall madly in love at first sight. Elliot questioned his sanity when he heard John's voice, who wouldn't?

    Dorien Grey has a plays with language in a way that most writers only attempt and usually awkwardly. The remarkable descriptions of physical locations and the characters emotions will definitely have me buying another Eliot Smith mystery.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jim Hickey?

    I would not seek out a book narrated by Jim Hickey, but I would not avoid a book that he narrated either. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and there have been some that I have not finished because of the narration. That was definitely not the case here, but the rhythm was somewhat unusual.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I really enjoyed the way John's identity was slowly revealed not only to the reader, but also to John.


    Any additional comments?


    I listened to the audio version of His Name is John. I have to say that I really enjoyed the story a great deal and that I definitely look forward to reading the rest of the series! Not many people can use language as well as Dorien Grey and I found the characters engaging.

    I loved the manner in which Elliot's relationship with Steve developed as it didn't take away from the focus of the story which was figuring out John's actual identity. My only issue was that the narrator took some getting used to. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and there have been some that I have not finished because of the narration. That was definitely not the case here, but the rhythm was somewhat unusual. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and will listen to it again!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Putnam CT 05-29-13
    Mike Putnam CT 05-29-13 Member Since 2012

    I drive a truck so I listen to a lot of books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    16
    16
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    15
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    Story
    "I made it to chapter 3"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The summary sounded ok, however the storyline was dull and boring, I was waiting to get hooked but nothing really was happening.


    What could Dorien Grey have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I liked the summary and thought it would be more enjoyable, but a long story just to get to the basics of the book was taking to long and I drive a truck so it was not like I was being distracted.


    How could the performance have been better?

    He has the same voice for all the characters, male or female, I could tell when someone was on a phone, that was cool, but the same voice for everyone is not a performance it is a reader.


    What character would you cut from His Name Is John?

    I can not say that cutting anyone would have improved this book


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy a good listen, but when I am turning the book off because listening to music would be more enjoyable, then it is time to delete.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Seattle, WA, United States 07-10-14
    Heather Seattle, WA, United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    6
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    "Good but not Great"

    Dorien Grey generally writes a good mystery (see Dick Hardesty series) but this first book has fallen short. Unlike his other series I figured out who, both ghost & killer, early on in the book and spent the rest of the time waiting for the writing to catch up to me.
    I'm not real fond of Jim Hickey as the narrator, his style seems to be that of someone telling a story to a child, but the voice effects were good. So while I was put off, it was not enough to stop me from getting the next book in the series.
    I am hoping that the next book won't be so transparent, and that they might decide on a different narrator in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Clark California 04-15-14
    A. Clark California 04-15-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    20
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    "Was sadly let down"
    Would you try another book from Dorien Grey and/or Jim Hickey?

    no


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Dragon Slayer by Isabella Carter


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jim Hickey?

    Anyone


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from His Name Is John?

    I only got about an hour in, before I gave up. But the whole apartment scene when he just gets home from the hospital seems pointless.


    Any additional comments?

    This might have been able to be saved with a better narrator, because the voices he did were just ridiculous. But it was a horrible narration with what seemed like decent to sub-par writing, so there was no way I was wasting my time on this. Which makes me really sad, because I love these types of books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Michaelsen Atlanta, GA 07-28-13
    Jon Michaelsen Atlanta, GA 07-28-13

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
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    "An extraordinarily, inventive mystery!"
    What did you love best about His Name Is John?

    In His Name Is John, prolific author Dorien Grey has achieved the rarity few writers enjoy, which is developing a solid first novel in another series daringly different than Grey’s wildly popular Dick Hardesty private investor mysteries.

    Once again, Grey has created a colorful cast of characters we love and despise, beginning with the introduction of a middle-age Elliott Smith, a rather mild-mannered man whose vocation is real estate development in the Chicago area. Elliott and his rather motherly sister are siblings of wealthy parents who appear more interested in traveling the world and keeping up appearances than in spending time with their children and grandchildren.

    Although he is from wealth and privilege, Elliott has achieved wealth of his own by investing in historical, architecturally significant buildings to rehab and sell for profit. A great backstory that provides a solid foundation for the novel that quickly bursts to the forefront when a decades old skeleton is discovered behind a brick wall in the basement of Elliott’s latest project.


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

    No, but I certainly will listen to any Hickey narrates in the Elliott Smith series.


    If you could take any character from His Name Is John out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Elliott Smith because he's a very interesting character and we share the same love for old architecture and desire to restore historical properties to their former glory - Elliott has the resources; I have the desire.


    Any additional comments?

    Dorien Grey has written an extraordinarily, inventive, highly imaginative mystery within a mystery, complete with well-developed characters and tightly plotted prose. The incredible talent of narrator, Jim Hickey, makes this already terrific novel an even more enjoyable listen. Those listening to the audio version of His Name Is John will quickly slip into a comfortable zone hearing Hickey’s words, the perfect choice of narrator for this novel, not to mention lending the right voice to Elliott Smith’s character.
    I am looking forward to reading more Elliott Smith mysteries and hope Grey continues with Jim Hickey as narrator for future audio releases.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Sterling, Virginia, United States 06-20-13
    Robert Sterling, Virginia, United States 06-20-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A good listen, but characterization seems sketchy"
    Would you listen to His Name Is John again? Why?

    Yes, an interesting story approach, but characters need to be fleshed out more.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The evolution of John as an individual, almost like an infant learning to walk and talk.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jim Hickey?

    Probably, not a particularly dynamic reader but liked the way the audio was changed when addressing telephone calls.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The very end, when John's voice came across as his own rather than a conversation in Elliott's mind.


    Any additional comments?

    Normally, I do not care for explicit "sex scenes" in books; however, Elliot's relationship with Steve comes across very flat and not very believable. I think the book would have benefited greatly from more detail on the relationship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Trick United States 06-08-13
    Katherine Trick United States 06-08-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A page turner you won't want to walk away from."
    Where does His Name Is John rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    "His Name Is John" is one of the better audio book stories I have listened to. The story is well written, interesting and paced just right (not to slow). It definitely captures your interest right from the start.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Of course, Elliott Smith. He is an interesting character. The author gives you just enough information and background info in the beginning few chapters to get you hooked and keep you wanting to come back for more. He is a regular guy despite his very rigid and formal upbringing. He is a loveable, relateable guy. He has a sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew who love him and friends who like his company. He works hard at something he loves to do but alwys has time to enjoy his life and his family.I really liked how Elliott was not overly worried about the appearance of John in his life and regarded it as just another thing he needed to find answers to and continue on with his life while he tried to do that. He knew there had to be a reason John was there and it was just a matter of figuring it out. A detective at heart.


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

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Elliott realized that he actually was going to miss John just a little now that they had resolved the mystery of who he was and who had killed him and why. He had actually come to like John's company, even though sometimes his company was a little awkward for Elliott.


    Any additional comments?

    Mr. Grey's writing is a style that flows nicely. His characters are always just regular people with something just a little extra-ordinary happening in their lives. He makes us feel like we are a part of his character's lives in some way and we root for them to find their resolution in the end. This book is a good beginning to what promises to be a fun series to read. I look forward to the chance to read the next Elliott Smith mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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