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  • The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons

  • Bernie Rhodenbarr, Book 11
  • By: Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151

Ever since The Burglar on the Prowl climbed the best seller lists in 2004, fans have been clamoring for a new book featuring the lighthearted and light-fingered Bernie Rhodenbarr. Now everybody's favorite burglar returns in an 11th adventure that finds him and his lesbian sidekick Carolyn Kaiser breaking into houses, apartments, and even a museum, in a madcap adventure replete with American Colonial silver, an F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscript, a priceless portrait, and a remarkable array of buttons. And, wouldn't you know it, there's a dead body, all stretched out on a Trent Barling carpet....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • As usual, corny but very funny.

  • By MidwestGeek on 05-15-14

Excellent Book but Weird Resolution

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

One of the most enjoyable of the Burglar mysteries, with so much good character development, intellectual content, and intricate plotting. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but just want to say I am dismayed to see murderers get away with murder simply because they are rich. That’s morally gross.

  • In a House of Lies

  • By: Ian Rankin
  • Narrated by: James Macpherson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76

Rebus' retirement is disrupted once again when skeletal remains are identified as a private investigator who went missing more than a decade earlier. The remains, found in a rusted car in the East Lothian woods, not far from Edinburgh, quickly turn into a cold-case murder investigation. Rebus' old friend Siobhan Clarke is assigned to the case, but neither of them could have predicted what buried secrets the investigation will uncover.  

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • This series has run out of gas

  • By Cat L. on 02-05-19

Complicated

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

Reviewed: 01-06-19

Not the best Rebus novel ever, but very good. It involves two old cases, with the crimes all in the past. That makes for a somewhat less exciting story than we are used to from Rankin. Still, it’s very enjoyable and I never want to see the series end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Sacred Night

  • A Ballard and Bosch Novel
  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Christine Lakin, Titus Welliver
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,171
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,763
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,732

Renée Ballard is working the night beat again and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out but then checks into the case herself, and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger. Bosch is investigating the death of 15-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So So

  • By Paul Beer on 11-16-18

Excellent in every way

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

Perfect braiding of the Bosch and Ballard narratives. The start of a beautiful friendship? They both love justice.

  • Lethal White

  • A Cormoran Strike Novel
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,503
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,096
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,064

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best 22 hours of the last week

  • By Jennifer on 09-27-18

Disappointment

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

I have read all of Rowling’s work and this is the first stinker. More like a Harlequin romance than a detective novel. Robin is supposed to be 27 but thinks like she is 12. Implausible, dull, repetitive. The mystery plot is ridiculous.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Area X

  • The Southern Reach Trilogy - Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance
  • By: Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, Xe Sands
  • Length: 26 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,216
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,006
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,021

Dive into the mysteries of Area X, a remote and lush terrain that has inexplicably sequestered itself from civilization. Twelve expeditions have gone in, and not a single member of any of them has remained unchanged by the experience - for better or worse.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Almost Great

  • By clifford on 12-26-15

The writing goes downhill fast after Book 1

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

This trilogy was very frustrating and disappointing. The first book is fascinating and engaging, raising lots of questions and with a plot that keeps advancing.

Book 2 is almost completely plotless. The story material that is there could easily be summarized in a few sentences. The rest of the book consists of seemingly ENDLESS and POINTLESS conversations, often inside a character's own head. "Does Grace think this is true? Hm. Why is she here? And what about Lowery--what is his plan?" etc, etc. A novel should be driven by action, story, not just sit in one place with characters asking themselves endless banal questions.

Book 3 is almost as tedious, the story barely creeping along and the writer falling into the same pattern of padding out a thin shred of story with long, dull, inconsequential conversations, pointless fantasies and boring dialogues inside characters' heads. Oh, but in Book 3, there are multiple points of view, so we get even more people wondering: "Where was The Biologist? I wonder what Jackie is doing?," etc. I fell asleep listening several times because literally hours would go by with no advance in the action.

  • The Punishment She Deserves

  • A Lynley Novel
  • By: Elizabeth George
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 22 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,338
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,238
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,228

Inspector Thomas Lynley of Scotland Yard and his pugnacious and deeply loyal Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers find themselves up against one of the most sinister murder cases they have ever encountered. Fans of the longtime series will love the many characters from past books who join Lynley and Havers, but listeners new to the series will quickly see why Elizabeth George is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers of our time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Time heals old wounds

  • By wisconsinclark on 03-25-18

Hurrah! Elizabeth George Is Back in Top Form!

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

Reviewed: 03-28-18

This book is fantastic. I have read or listened to nearly all of George's Lynley books, and this is my new favorite. I am so relieved and happy because the past several books had shown a decline. I won't go into that now, but want to say how superb this one is. The story is--as usual--very complex and character-driven. The multiple human actions and motivations that lead to a crime are threaded through the narrative in just the right way so that each plotline reaches its climax in the last part of the book. What is so wonderful here is that the characters' actions are completely plausible as well as fascinating. There is a theme beneath the various storylines that is never hit upon directly but is there for the attentive reader to think about. George plies her characteristic technique of going into the minds of multiple characters with the utmost skill and a deeply satisfying result. Several important storylines (for Lynley, Havers, and Isabel) are advanced to believable and deeply moving positions.

The narration by Simon Vance is first-rate. Male and female characters are brought to life with ease.

My only sadness is that now I have a long time to wait for her next one!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Sleeping Beauties

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King, Owen King
  • Narrated by: Marin Ireland
  • Length: 25 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,385
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,641
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,603

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: They become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.... The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Save your credits.

  • By Scott F Feighner on 12-03-18

Exciting, Insightful, Moving, Very Well-performed

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

Reviewed: 02-02-18

I am a Stephen King fan, and this book definitely feels like a Stephen King novel--long, complexly plotted, freakishly imaginative, hard to put down--but with a difference. Owen's influence and contributions may be the reason the book seems somewhat more thought-driven, though still principally an exciting story. The story concept is somewhat similar to King's "Desperation," "Cell," "The Green Mile," and even a shade of "The Stand," but is by no means a copy of those excellent books. Some passages are resonant of the Dark Tower stories but the authors hold back from blending that world into this one.

The performance by Marin Ireland is superb. It took me a few minutes to get used to a woman narrator for a King novel, but the material of this book makes that an obvious best choice. Ireland is very talented, maintaining a large cast of male and female characters with consistency and actorly intelligence. Her choices in the reading of Eve's wonderfully-written lines are surprising and haunting. I listened to this fairly long book in three days because I did not want to stop listening. I found it a very satisfying experience.

0 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Midnight Line

  • A Jack Reacher Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,553
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,705
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,668

Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reacher doing what Reacher does!

  • By shelley on 11-07-17

An exciting and surprising storyline

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

Reviewed: 12-22-17

I actually found parts of this book to be emotionally moving, which is not something I expect from a Reacher novel. I won't say more because I don't want to harm the surprise element for other readers, but it deals with dark material in a fresh way and takes some surprising turns. Lee Child doesn't seem to care what most people think, and I like that. He defies conventional attitudes, just like his hero. Way to go, Lee.

As to the reader, like everyone I do feel at home with Dick Hill reading these books. I am so used to it. But isn't his northeastern accent getting stronger? It seems odd for the narrator to be dropping Rs all over the place (remembah, Novembah, etc.). It's not a major problem but it does take me out of the story momentarily.

  • The Lost World

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,496
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,740
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,747

It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end - the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, the island indefinitely closed to the public. But there are rumors that something has survived.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dodgson! We've got Dodgson here...

  • By Cage on 05-17-12

Pretty bad writing

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

Reviewed: 12-22-17

The book is very sloppy in its logic so that Crichton could squeeze out what was no-doubt a big money-making follow-up to Jurassic Park. Even speculative fiction needs to follow certain rules of logic so that the reader can suspend disbelief. Here we are asked to believe that all those extremely public deaths and destruction before a world-wide audience at the theme-park that was Jurassic Park are--years later--a secret that no one knows about? That the technology that the park creators used is still a baffling mystery? Just so Crichton can basically tell the same story again? Uh, no. That's absurd.

As are the reportedly brilliant characters (the author keeps TELLING us how brilliant they are) who keep doing stupid thing after stupid thing. And the cloying children who manage to fulfill every cliche the author picked up from a hundred cutesy movies. In sum, the story is stupid, the characters are cardboard nothings--the villain may as well twirl a mustache--and the author's frequent intrusions to express his half-baked "scientific" ideas are pretentious and dull. I came to hope that the entire half-baked cast would get eaten by dinosaurs, but alas . . . It's like a bad children's book except it's sprinkled with the F word and a few predictable gross-outs. If only there had been more . . .

The narration is okay but slow and portentous. If you must listen, it helps to set your playback to 1.25. It's over quicker that way.

  • Two Kinds of Truth

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,656
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,801
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,746

Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drugstore where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bosch Survives Two Career Ending Threats

  • By Russell on 11-20-17

Connelly still has it

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

Reviewed: 11-08-17

I have read all of MC’s work over the decades. That after so many years he still produces such entertaining and well-crafted work so consistently is much to be admired. I am grateful for his artistic integrity and energy. It’s true that he has now found a comfortable pattern for each Bosch novel (the other books are similar). There is here as always in recent years a central A plot and unrelated B plot to provide variety for the reader and double the mystery. Both are plausibly and satisfyingly resolved by the end. But MC is more than just a maker of good plots. Both stories do meet up in the mind and personal journey of our trusted Harry as he faces his mature um senior years with characteristic courage and his unflagging love of justice. Go get em, Harry. Please never stop.