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B. Steele

Los Angeles, Calif.
  • 22
  • reviews
  • 74
  • helpful votes
  • 114
  • ratings
  • The Sisters Chase

  • By: Sarah Healy
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44

The hardscrabble Chase women - Mary, Hannah, and their mother, Diane - have been eking out a living running a tiny seaside motel that has been in the family for generations, inviting trouble into their lives for just as long. Eighteen-year-old Mary Chase is a force of nature: passionate, beautiful, and free-spirited. Her much younger sister, Hannah, whom Mary affectionately calls "Bunny", is imaginative, her head full of the stories of princesses and adventures that Mary tells to give her a safe emotional place in the middle of their troubled world.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Starts well, peters out

  • By B. Steele on 07-15-17

Starts well, peters out

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

Reviewed: 07-15-17

Reviews hinted at hidden depths to "The Sisters Chase," and indeed the revelations start early and never stop. It's well written (and superbly read) and it does peel away layer after layer. The nonlinear storytelling works well. Sadly, though, the last third of the book runs out of engaging plot developments and just sort of meanders on and on to the end without interesting new involvements to challenge the characters. And the poetic and abrupt ending ... whaaaaaaaaa??? Very disappointing. Had I been her editor, I would have ask for a rewrite from about two thirds on. Two of the most interesting characters disappear and should have been given more than a coda. Still worth reading for the first two thirds, but you might want to increase Audible speed to plow through to the inexplicable climax.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The End of the Affair

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Colin Firth
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,017
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,426
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,385

Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth ( The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Late to the Party...

  • By Doug - Audible on 07-05-17

A tedious classic

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

Warning: This novel has little to do with adultery or love and everything to do with finding God. Or not finding God. Who knows? Narrated by an obnoxious (but articulate) atheist, it largely consists of characters ranting against a God they claim not to believe in. There's some good wordsmithing but the plot is thin and turns on contrivance and coincidence designed to direct the story ever back to the tiresome question of God's existence. Not that it will influence readers' opinions either way. The narrator's lover, whose religious struggles end their affair and muck up both their lives, is a man's poorly imagined view of a troubled good woman. She has no weight or credibility as a dramatic character. There's no real chance for any actual feelings to take hold, since it's more confused op-ed than novel. But enough. It was thought great at the time - back when atheism was edgy, I guess. You can look up literary exegesis if that interests you, but I doubt you'll care by the end. If you MUST read this book, Colin Firth's narration is as good as it gets and better than this indulgent, badly dated novel deserves.

  • Good Behavior

  • By: Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Blake Crouch
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,944
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,767

Fresh out of prison and fighting to keep afloat, Letty Dobesh returns to her old tricks burglarizing suites at a luxury hotel. While on the job, she overhears a man hiring a hit man to kill his wife. Letty may not be winning any morality awards, but even she has limits. Unable to go to the police, Letty sets out to derail the job, putting herself on a collision course with the killer that entangles the two of them in a dangerous, seductive relationship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW!! Three must read novellas!

  • By Wayne on 02-05-17

Excellent crime noir

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

Reviewed: 05-14-17

This title restored (for now) my faith in Audible's Deal of the Day. After a lot of dogs (including some crime novels), I found this collection of three novellas well worth the full price and the time. The fact that it's now a TV series is a bonus but has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the stories, which are compelling, taut and intelligently written. Letty is a great character and she's surrounded by fine suppprting figures in meticulously plotted capers. (The fact that the twist in each is based on a similar feint I'll leave for readers to debate after they've enjoyed all three. It's a gimmick but it works every time.) Highly recommended to crime fiction aficionados. And anyone else who likes a good yarn.

  • The Thief Taker

  • By: C. S. Quinn
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,178
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,059
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,062

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death. The killer’s mad appetites are part of a master plan that could destroy London – and reveal the dark secrets of Charlie’s own past. Now the thief taker must find this murderous mastermind before the plague obliterates the evidence street by street. This terrifying pursuit will take Charlie deep into the black underbelly of old London, where alchemy, witchcraft and blood-spells collide. In a city drowned in darkness, death could be the most powerful magic of all.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Plague Horror--Yes; Thriller? Not quiiiite...

  • By Gillian on 02-27-17

Mediocre mystery

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

Reviewed: 04-12-17

This is not a terrible book but I can't recommend it. The writing, especially the dialogue, is merely competent and unimaginative, sometimes plodding. The mystery is solved not but wit but by lucky coincidence and unmotivated confessions. And the attempt to set up a sequel is merely frustrating to readers who have earned answers by sticking with it until the end. I bought it out of affection for the plague setting of "The Doomsday Book," but this book treats plague more as a kind of medieval zombie attack than as a social phenomenon and has little to add, beyond some historical and geographic facts, to our understanding of that era. The multiple points of view, including the villain and the king (who is just dropped about halfway through) seem more laziness in plotting than illuminating. Mostly I was disappointed in the detecting, of which there is very little, so you're never convinced of the hero's smarts (except for his convenient and underused photographic memory). But as I said at the start, it's not an awful book. It's just that there are so many better ones, why bother with something so-so?

  • Luck and Judgement

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 3
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,020
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948

When a worker goes missing from a North Sea gas platform, there seem to be just two possible explanations - it was a tragic accident or a suicide. It does not take Smith and his detectives long, however, to discover that James Bell led a double life back onshore in Kings Lake, a life complicated enough to make him at least one dangerous enemy. Before the case can be unraveled, Smith must get a new team working together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of series so far...hope we can get the remaining books soon

  • By Mark Hancock on 03-22-17

Better than No. 2

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

Reviewed: 03-30-17

There's a good mystery here, although the solution isn't all that surprising and the book's conclusion won't please everyone. Third time out the cast of characters remains strong, with a new addition, but the very slowly evolving back story is still, well, very slow in getting anywhere and so adds little to the proceedings. Not sorry I read it but I'm not sure I'll be back for No. 4. Author's excellent attention to the vagaries and frustrations of realistic police detective work is admirable but is starting to become a liability since readers may want a more satisfying resolution. Not sure where he's ultimately going with this series. I wish him well with it, whether or not I rejoin the journey.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • But for the Grace

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 2
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,047
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 984
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 984

When another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no one is very surprised - not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary. Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I Like Sergeant DC Smith. He Doesn't Disappoint.

  • By Ted on 04-25-18

Sophomore slump

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

Reviewed: 03-22-17

Loved the series opener and happy to be back with D.C. Smith and friends but the "mystery" is a dud this time - the solution is exactly as it appears and all the moral hand-wringing doesn't make it any more compelling- and the teases to the additional back story are thin and don't get very far. I'll give the third book a shot but it needs to be a considerable improvement over this low-key entry or I won't be back again.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Another City, Not My Own

  • A Novel in the Form of a Memoir
  • By: Dominick Dunne
  • Narrated by: Dominick Dunne
  • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

Writer, journalist and chronicler of justice as it relates to the rich and famous, Gus Bailey, like the movers and shakers of Los Angeles, is drawn into the vortex of the O. J. Simpson trial. By day, he is a fixture at the lawyers, the journalists, the hangers-on, and even the judge. By night, he is courted by the most celebrated hosts, from Kirk Douglas to Heidi Fleiss, from Elizabeth Taylor to Nancy Reagan, who delight in the hottest news from the corridors of the courtroom.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Aother City not My Own

  • By Susan on 07-10-10

Riveting

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

Reviewed: 03-14-17

The perfect complement to having watched either recent TV miniseries about the OJ Simpson trial (or both). Recaps the trial highlights but mostly focuses on the gossip behind the scenes, things never brought up in court and never depicted in TV, including a parade of Hollywood A listers depicted by name (despite the author's changing the names of himself and his own family). Even better because it's read by the author. Highly recommended.

  • An Accidental Death

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 1
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,385
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,136
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,120

The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex-DCI, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear that some of his superiors wish that he would do so.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent British Mystery

  • By Customer on 09-07-16

Excellent debut

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

Reviewed: 02-28-17

This may be my favorite of all the Deals of the Day novels I've listened to from Audible. (Indeed, so many have been dogs, I no longer buy them if I haven't already heard of them.) It's got a slow start and never gets overwrought and you wonder about a reticent detective named "Smith." But the background comes gradually and the plot builds cleverly, and even though the solution bears some resemblance to the conspiracies favored by a lot of U.K. detective novels in place of old-fashioned solo murderers, it's nicely executed and far from cliche. Throughout, Smith gets more and more interesting, formidable and even funny, and his green partner develops as well. Packs a lot into a lean running time. Highly recommended to detective novel fans. I'm on to the next book in the series...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Diggers Rest Hotel

  • Charlie Berlin, Book 1
  • By: Geoffrey McGeachin
  • Narrated by: Peter Byrne
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 757
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 665
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 665

In 1947, two years after witnessing the death of a young Jewish woman in Poland, Charlie Berlin has rejoined the police force a different man. Sent to investigate a spate of robberies in rural Victoria, he soon discovers that World War II has changed even the most ordinary of places and people.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Won the Austrailian Crime Writers Award for 2011

  • By Anniebligh on 08-06-12

First & last Berlin mystery for me

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

Reviewed: 10-15-16

It's just OK. The detective's WWII back story is more interesting than the mystery, which is solved through a couple chance encounters almost at the end of the book. There's also a murder mystery thrown in, both because the main plot line is so underdeveloped and to illustrate some post-WWII social issues. The romance is rote and lackadaisical, the detective sympathetic but not charismatic. All in all, it's not awful - the picture of post-WWII rural Australia was informative, and there's one really lively supporting character - but it's just not grabby. No fault of the narrator, who does a good job. Still, I won't be buying any more mystery/thrillers via Daily Deal unless they're a known quantity. Audible is 0 for 2 on these for me.

  • Furious

  • Faith McMann, Book 1
  • By: T. R. Ragan
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,560
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,276

Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger...and she trades victimhood for vengeance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • furious

  • By Diana Hart 33 on 04-25-16

Rip off

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

Don't buy this book unless you're ready to buy others in this series. It is not a complete story. Though well intentioned, it's totally implausible and clunkily written, with an audiobook performance that's often over-enunciated and robotic. Makes me question Audible's sale book choices. Trying to unload the dogs on unsuspecting readers? Very disappointing.