LISTENER

K. Mickleson

Fairfax, CA USA
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 24
  • ratings
  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd

  • A Flavia de Luce Novel
  • By: Alan Bradley
  • Narrated by: Jayne Entwistle
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,106
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,017
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,010

In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Canada, 12-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia's blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty - and not empty enough.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Jayne Entwistle Brings Flavia to Life

  • By GSDNH on 09-29-16

Sad I missed Entwistle's Flavia before now.

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

Reviewed: 10-24-16

Bradley's Flavia has been a beloved of mine from the first book. His ability to climb into a girl's head just astounds me. But this, my first time LISTENING to her, just had me brimming over with pleasure. Entwistle's narration makes me want to go back and listen to all of them from the beginning, just to be with Flavia 'in the flesh'. The 'smile' in her voice brings one to my face. The story was one of my favorites, though it's hard for me to not think this might be the last of the series.

  • Birdsongs

  • By: Jason Deas
  • Narrated by: Nick Sarando
  • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 62

Birdsongs is a fast-paced mystery centered on former FBI agent, Benny James. Fired from the FBI for inadvertently sleeping with the perp in a murder case, he tries to disappear to a houseboat and retirement. Not having what it takes to relax, Benny starts a service offering discreet investigations. That is until a body is found crucified near his marina. The local police department requests Benny's help and he knows if he can catch the killer, redemption is his.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mayberry revisited

  • By Thomas Swennes on 04-20-16

Choice of narrator irked me throughout

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

Reviewed: 06-13-15

I'm not saying Nick Sarando is a bad narrator. He performed various characters' voices well. But he sounds like an 17 year old kid, which just didn't fit for the protagonist, Benny, who's a mature veteran FBI guy. There were times his voice was so monotonous I had to go back several minutes to re-hear what happened. I kept wishing Benny was represented by a more adult sounding voice.

The brevity of the chapters chafed at times. It's a plot story for which character development was an afterthought, which is okay for a time filler crime fiction book. But nothing particularly made me care to revisit this Benny if indeed he's in future books.

  • A Question of Blood

  • An Inspector Rebus Novel
  • By: Ian Rankin
  • Narrated by: James Macpherson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

When a former soldier and recluse murders two 17-year-old students at a posh Edinburgh boarding school, Inspector John Rebus immediately suspects there is more to the case than meets the eye.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A lot more about Siobhan and Rebus relationship

  • By J. Ellis on 03-11-17

Do I love the content or narration more?

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

Reviewed: 05-05-15

I've become so attached to Rebus' predictably annoying neurosis and his friendship with Siobhan that I forgive plot confusions and wonder if my experience of them is my fault for being distracted during the time I'm listening, or, intrinsic to his crafting of this volume. I care more about character than plot, so perhaps that's not so important.

I could listen to James Macpherson read the phone book and be absolutely entertained for hours on end, so am left unsure how to offer an objective review. If you value what I do, you'll enjoy the book. At this stage in the series we fans are just following Rebus qua Rankin as he ages with us.

Younger readers should begin at the beginning, of course. Enjoy learning to perceive imperfections of a knotty character. Such texture in character development--at least in crime fiction--grows rarer each year.

  • A Thin Dark Line

  • By: Tami Hoag
  • Narrated by: Karen Peakes
  • Length: 18 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,992
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,993

Terror stalks the streets of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana. A suspected murderer is free on a technicality, and the cop accused of planting evidence against him is ordered off the case. But Detective Nick Fourcade refuses to walk away. He’s stepped over the line before. This case threatens to push him over the edge. He’s not the only one. Deputy Annie Broussard found the woman’s mutilated body. She still hears the phantom echoes of dying screams. She wants justice.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting Mystery

  • By Pamela Dale Foster on 02-23-15

Great rendering of Louisiana cracker characters

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

Reviewed: 12-02-14

Perhaps I was primed for this romp through Cajun LA by a recent visit to New Orleans, including a trip to New Iberia, Avery Island, and Breaux Bridge.

This was my first Hoag novel, and I'm delighted I listened to it instead of reading it. The reader, Karen Peakes, rendered her portrayal of an array of corrupt cracker misogynists stunningly well. It's not likely any woman could and would choose to endure the torture of trying to be an ethical 'one of the guys' as a deputy in such a rural backwater Sheriff's department, but Hoag made it believable enough for me to hang with it.

The underlying suspense of her dangerous search for the 'real killer' amongst a host of bad
actors evokes my usual skeptic of women protagonists stupidly surging forth where their lives are in danger, but never mind.

Listen and enjoy the ride to southern Louisiana. The story lives in the early nineties, I think, and whether such dastardly law enforcement departments truly existed or exist there still, I don't know. This story captures my imagining of what it would be like. I enjoyed her ‘Annie’ and hope the narrator of Ashes to Ashes is as good as Peakes was.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Mermaids Singing

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Graham Roberts
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 801
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 718
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 720

The bodies of four men have been discovered in the town of Bradfield. Enlisted to investigate is criminal psychologist Tony Hill. Even for a seasoned professional, the series of mutilation sex murders is unlike anything he's encountered before. But profiling the psychopath is not beyond him. Hill's own past has made him the perfect man to comprehend the killer's motives. It's also made him the perfect victim. A game has begun for the hunter and the hunted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The First of a Superior Series

  • By Nancy J on 04-08-13

Too sadistic for me.

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

Reviewed: 06-04-14

I'm a pretty hard boiled crime fiction devotee, but I stopped listening to this only a bit into chapter two. I enjoy dark crime fiction. The characters held promise of good, deep development, but the details of a psychopathic sexual sadist's delight in his medieval torture chamber repelled me.

  • The Night Ferry

  • By: Michael Robotham
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 294
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 216
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 214

Police detective Ali Barba receives an urgent letter from her estranged friend Cate. Startled by the letter's alarming tone and eager to atone for egregious past actions, Ali meets Cate at their high-school class reunion. The obviously pregnant Cate begs Ali to stop those who are trying to take her baby. But the plot takes a bizarre twist when a careening car kills Cate - and Ali discovers the truth about Cate's pregnancy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well written but not a Joe O'Loughlin book...

  • By K. Mickleson on 05-01-14

Well written but not a Joe O'Loughlin book...

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

Reviewed: 05-01-14

I read The Suspect first, and chose this too hastily, hoping for another O'Loughlin book. It is taking place some time after Suspect, with Ruis from The Suspect, now retired and friendly ex-colleagues with Alicia, the feisty protagonist.

Once into it, I came to enjoy Robotham's writing again. The story tells a grim truth about human trafficking, baby selling, and attendant ugly human realities, and a woman sikh D.C.'s effort to wind her way through the knots of a complex set of agendas.

The protagonist is both good and annoying (to me) as Robotham portrays her. She's bright, incisive, aggressive and well trained as a DC. But he wrote her into many scenes requiring too much willing suspension of disbelief for me. He has her behaving like a naively brazen provocateur of bad guys who'd likely kill her instantly. She too often assumes she will be believed and taken seriously by males in the police world, thinking they'll do the right thing, when in fact, the usual self-interest reigns supreme. This naiveté didn't work for me, but there was enough of a good story to keep me engaged.

The narrator was good in Alicia's voice, but not very skilled with male voices.

I'll keep reading Robotham, hoping for more stories with the psychologist.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Red Road

  • A Novel
  • By: Denise Mina
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 194

Alex Morrow faces her toughest opponents yet in this brilliant new thriller about criminals, consequences, and convictions. Police detective Alex Morrow has met plenty of unsavory characters in her line of work, but arms dealer Michael Brown ranks among the most brutal and damaged of the criminals she's known. Morrow is serving as a witness in Brown's trial, where the case hinges on his fingerprints found on the guns he sells.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Denise Mina does it again

  • By Bonny on 03-02-14

Well written as usual, but hard for me to follow.

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

Reviewed: 03-30-14

Any additional comments?

I'm writing mid-way through listening, out of need to express my frustration. On one hand, I've read Mina's other books (not listened) and appreciated them a lot. She writes beautiful prose and is magical depicting archeology of damaged characters. The reader performs well with a lovely, exacting Scots brogue, which while authentic, leads me to rewind fairly often to be sure I caught what was said.

On the other hand, it's hard to keep track of past and present, who did what to whom, when and why, and what has evolved in the characters' lives from then to now. Some chapters start with the the 1997 date, others with no date, and we're left to assume they're happening 'now', but if you've forgotten a character from earlier chapters, it's easy to feel lost. It's back and forth, back and forth.

Thus far, I'm thinking I'd more enjoy this book as read than listened to, so I could thumb back to previous sections to remind myself of events and people. As it is, I'm disappointed and exasperated, tempted to quit reading but not wanting to. Sigh. Maybe it's just senior brain.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful