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Charles Atkinson

Greensboro, NC, United States
  • 564
  • reviews
  • 8,344
  • helpful votes
  • 831
  • ratings
  • The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 363

An 11-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • King at his Best!

  • By Yvonne on 05-23-18

I love his characters...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-24-18

I can’t think of any author who creates characters better than King. I love them all and it’s the characters who always keep me interested to the end.

I just don’t care for the supernatural focus anymore. So I give it 3 stars for great characters and a ridiculous story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • California Fire and Life

  • By: Don Winslow
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,025
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,020

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A book about an insurance adjuster, oh yea.

  • By John S on 04-18-15

It’s a barn burner!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-22-18

This is a novel with a lot of characters and information, which means it’s complicated. But it’s also ingenious, particularly how Winslow brings it all together in the end.

  • The Dollmaker

  • Forgotten Files, Book 2
  • By: Mary Burton
  • Narrated by: Christina Traister
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,122
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 994

Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it's her job to aid the agent leading the case - even if that agent is her estranged husband.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creepy!

  • By shelley on 11-17-16

Burton does procedurals like a pro.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-28-18

It is pretty easy to guess what the doll maker does with women. It’s pretty sick stuff, borderline horror material. Nevertheless the police procedural part was terrific.

Christina Traister does another great job with narration. However, with the male leads in both The Shark and The Dollmaker her voice is low and unemotional. She does an excellent job with accents and both sexes otherwise.

This is the second novel of 3 in The Forgotten Files trilogy. This time the focus shifts to Detective Dakota Parks of the Virginia State Police. His estranged wife has returned to his life and he isn’t sure how he feels about their relationship. She is the new Medical Examiner, which means they must work together. The Dollmaker case suddenly takes a personal turn for the couple, which furthermore complicates their lives.

Mary Burton is a great mystery writer!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Keepsake

  • By: Mary Burton
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Riker
  • Length: 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Murder is not a one-size-fits-all crime. People kill for many reasons. Revenge. Jealously. Hate. Even love. Officer Georgia Morgan with the Nashville Police Department Forensics Unit didn’t generally care about motivation behind a killing. That was big picture. She cared about the micro picture: hair fibers, fingerprints, DNA, and all the other minute details that proved guilt or innocence. Homicide Detective Jake Bishop was her opposite.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Police Interrogation

  • By Charles Atkinson on 03-27-18

A Great Police Interrogation

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-27-18

A short story that covers 19 years? Brilliant! Smart police work in one heck of a interrogation. I’d love to hear more from the detective !

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Shark

  • Forgotten Files, Book 1
  • By: Mary Burton
  • Narrated by: Christina Traister
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,993
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,788
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,782

At the grisly murder scene of a teen prostitute, Virginia state trooper Riley Tatum's past roars back to haunt her. When she was a teenage runaway, she was kidnapped, drugged, and left unconscious on the streets. She has no memories of what happened, only strange recurring dreams of two men playing cards. Former FBI agent Clay Bowman, Riley's old flame, is Shield Security's newest member. He's plagued by the unsolved case of a serial killer nicknamed the Shark who murdered girls as part of a sadistic poker game.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • worst performance ever

  • By W.H. on 01-13-17

Play for blood? That's just my game!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-26-18

Mary Burton does suspense as well as anyone. The Shark features great characters, a unique and believable premise and great storytelling.

Christina Traister narrated this novel brilliantly. Her southern accents are dead on, particularly the upper crust, old south drawl of the main character.

No spoiler here, but the quote above is from the film Tombstone, when Doc Holiday confronts Johnny Ringo. It fits in nicely with this particular story.

This is fast, fun ride with plenty of tense moments.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Murder in an Irish Village

  • By: Carlene O'Connor
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,554
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,244
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,229

In the small village of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland, Natalie's Bistro has always been warm and welcoming. Nowadays 22-year-old Siobhan O'Sullivan runs the family bistro named for her mother, along with her five siblings, after the death of their parents in a car crash almost a year ago. It's been a rough year for the O'Sullivans, but it's about to get rougher. One morning, as they're opening the bistro, they discover a man seated at a table with a pair of hot pink barber scissors protruding from his chest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Debut of the feisty O'Sullivan Six!

  • By MDJeepGirl on 04-08-16

Quaint village with all the charm of the Irish

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-20-18

As with similar series, such as Her Royal Spyness, the mystery and story are secondary to the characters and the settings. So if the main characters are lacking in any way, the novel is sure to disappoint. Fortunately O’Connor created charismatic characters in a charming Irish village with just the right amount of humor and conflict.

For a fast read or light listening, you cannot go wrong with this novel.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • An Engineered Injustice

  • By: William L. Myers Jr.
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172

What if the deadliest train wreck in the nation's history was no accident? When a passenger train derails in North Philadelphia with fatal results, idealistic criminal defense attorney Vaughn Coburn takes on the most personal case of his young career. The surviving engineer is his cousin Eddy, and when Eddy asks Vaughn to defend him, he can't help but accept. Vaughn has a debt to repay, for he and his cousin share an old secret - one that changed both their lives forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting legal thriller!

  • By Wayne on 02-11-18

Intriguing Legal Story

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-18

This is a first rate legal story, good enough to make a great movie. As you aware from the publisher summary, a passenger train is derailed and everything seems to point to an engineer 's error. Within hours after the crash, powerful litigation firms, all the local and national media zero in on the engineer. To complicate matters, one of the victims is the son of a Philadelphia mafia don.

My issue is in the lack character development. I found all of the characters intriguing, but I felt disappointed and wantedvto know more about the families and especially the law firms.

The narrator was far to bland for my taste. I felt he could have been far more creative with key characters.

This is indeed a great story. Despite my criticisms, I plan on trying more novels from this author.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Born to Run

  • By: James Grippando
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Best-selling author James Grippando is back with another innovative and action-packed thriller featuring the ever-popular Jack Swyteck. Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck guards his own family secrets as closely as anyone, and while his father's two terms as Florida's governor made some family rifts public, things are finally better between the two men. Whenever Harry Swyteck asks for Jack's help, he gets it, and suddenly he needs it more than ever before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Blackmail, murder and Jack Swyteck!

  • By shelley on 02-27-18

Jonathan Davis/Grippando = Synergy

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-18

Great characters come from great writing. However, if the novel is in audio form the narration of a book is almost as important as its author. Nowhere is this more true than the Swyteck series narrated by Jonathan Davis.

I give the story only 3 stars for a 5 star experience. It’s because while I struggle with the believability of it’s premise, I find the main characters are so authentic I love every moment with them. Jack Swytech, his father Harry, best friend Theo and his girlfriend Andy’s interactions and responses in very mysterious and complicated situations are as believable as they are heroic.

You can read the publisher’s primer for the story. What it cannot tell you is how magnetic the characters really are.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Afraid of the Dark

  • By: James Grippando
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

Then: Sergeant Vince Paulo held his best friend's daughter, McKenna, bleeding in his arms as she uttered the name of her murderer and ex-boyfriend, Jamal. That was minutes before a blast made everything go black for Vince - forever. Now: Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck has been called in to save Jamal from the death penalty for terrorist activity. Despite urgent warnings from his fiancee, undercover FBI agent Andie Henning, to stay away from the case, Jack finds himself inextricably drawn to Jamal's past - even believing his alibi that he was abducted....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smart Writing, Great Narration

  • By Charles Atkinson on 03-02-18

Smart Writing, Great Narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-02-18

Great characters, clever narrative, a complicated and exciting story, wonderful writing and perfect narration make this another home run for Grippando. This novel, like all in the Swyteck series stands on its own merit. I have read five installments and none in sequence.

This story is complicated because Grippando takes into the dark worlds of surveillance, human trafficking, private military firms and Islamic terrorism. Thankfully it Is written with great clarity and authenticity. As the mystery unravels the suspense grows.

I realize Audible’s audiences are diverse and extremely well read. No author can please all of us. But if you are a fan of suspense like I am, James Grippando is the hidden treasure we have been looking for. Certainly many people are familiar with him, but thanks to two fellow Tar Heel reviewers, Wayne and Shelly, I have become a huge admirer of his work.

I read many of your reviews before I purchase a novel. In fact, I hold listener reviews far higher than professional reviewers. If this review is helpful, I would appreciate you acknowledging it!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • When Darkness Falls

  • By: James Grippando
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 75

Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck isn't looking for a new client, at least not one who is homeless and in jail for threatening to jump off a bridge. But from the moment Jack is called to defend the man, who calls himself Falcon, something is amiss. For one thing, Falcon comes up with the $10,000 bail in cash. Then, the body of a brutally murdered woman is found in the trunk of the abandoned car in which he is living.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better Than Expected

  • By angel on 08-20-07

An Evil Man is Haunted by His Past

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-18

This is not a courtroom drama like those that have served the Swyteck series so well. Nevertheless it still a remarkable legal and political novel.

The publisher lays out the premise well enough, but like reviewer Shelly I was moved by the brutal political purge of thousands in Argentina in the 1970s. I was blown away by the author’s take on its history and have subsequently begun to research the subject on my own.

That said, the characters, suspense, intrigue along with Jonathan Davis’ outstanding narration make this a 5 star experience.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful