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Peterack

Alexandria, VA
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Pimp for the Dead  audiobook cover art

Fast Moving Thrill

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

Reviewed: 05-03-19

Here we go again! Former Atlanta cop, Jim Hardman and his buddy Hump Evans, circa 1970's become involved in another situation that satisfyingly takes the reader on one heck of a joy ride.

This time Jim is hired by the father of a nice girl who is now a streetwalker. This is the doorway into a case that evolves into Hardman getting mixed up, with various seedy characters, cheats and liars as a man is trying to move in and take over all of the prostitution in the area.

Author, Ralph Dennis, never wastes a word on a page, yet the economy should not be confused with brevity. This is no "Spencer" big print wide margins book, but every word on every page matters conjuring up the imagery and plot the reader needs to keep the pages turning.

For most of the work I listened via audible. It is such a delight when the right narrator is hired. Shawn Compton is perfect for the Hardman series, specifically Ralph Dennis' writing. The words on the page are delivered in the tone that accents the story. What a wonderful series!

This book could be read out of order in the series, why do that? Begin with #1 and move to #4! You will not be disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Golden Girl and All audiobook cover art

A Satisfying Roller Coaster Read

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

Reviewed: 04-25-19

Though not as good (in my opinion) as the previous book in the series, this offerring is certainly a joy ride. Like a roller coaster, once you begin reading, the ride begins and does not let up until the conclusion, keeping this reader attuned to my Audible book.

The plot has Hardman hired by a lawyer to locate a missing child, part of a custody action between parents. As usual he has the assistance of his number two man, Hump, and off they go. Soon they find the little girl is part of a bigger plot having to do with drug smuggling and selling.

The bonus to this audio-book is narrator Shawn Compton. If the story is a roller coaster, then he is the brace buckle, that keeps the reader/listener tightly in his seat. Compton's taught, terse, lightly animated reading really helps to verbally represent the tension within the plot. Rarely does a narrator add to the enjoyment of a book, but Shawn Compton continues to do that here.

Though not my favorite of the three I have read in the series, it is still worth reading/listening to this fine hard boiled mystery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

True Grift audiobook cover art

A Really Fun Listen

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

Reviewed: 03-20-19

True Grift by Jack Bunker is a delightful adventure featuring a cast of characters who, while doing wrong, get the laughs right.

JT is a down on his luck lawyer who has an idea for an Insurance scam. Yet he calls upon someone not too bright to serve as the victim. Soon an insurance attorney and be mob are involved.

This book is well plotted and excellently narrated by Harry Dyson. I frequently laughed out loud and did not want the story to conclude. My hope is that a sequel / continuation exists because this work is that good.

The Charleston Knife Is Back in Town audiobook cover art

Great Entry In A Series that has returned.

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

Ralph Dennis wrote a number of "Hardman" books back in the day and they are back! Having never read them, I am excited to be finally doing so. I liked the first one, but his second surpasses that entry by far. Hardman and his sidekick, Hump (a former football player) attend a boxing match. Following that Hump is invited to a party which he attends only to discover that it was a set up.

When the mother of one of the robbers comes to Hardman to get her son out of the gang and to safety, he and Hump take the case. What begins as a by the numbers adventure mystery soon becomes complicated when an assassin for hire - The Charleson Knive - is hired to kill the gang members. This begins a race between the two elements to locate the gang first.

What a well plotted story. The author does not waste words, and yet conveys the location, characters so well that the plot absolutely moves swifter than a hot knife through melted butter. Narrator Shawn Compton, not a "showy" narrator, still conveys individual voices for the characters and guides the reader through this taught tale.

Hopefully each book in the series is better than the previous. In short time I will be reading and listening to the 3rd in the series. Note: you do not have to read the first entry to enjoy this one. Though there is some linking of characters, the plot of the previous one is referred to so a reader who begins with this will not be lost. Grab these books and listen/read as soon as you can. You will not be sorry!

The Preacher audiobook cover art

A Great Modern Day Western

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

The Preacher is just that, a defrocked priest, and former Viet Nam War Vet who lives life playing poker. A friend from back in his seminary days calls the Preacher to his town to look into a mysterious death of another mutual friend whose suicide by helicopter crash does not look legit. The suspects? The town leaders who play a regular poker game.

The story begins and does not let up. This hard to put down novel is fast paced. Both a detective story and modern day western the plot, location, and characters culminate into a delightfully fun read.

The narrator for the audio book, Shawn Compton, does a magnificent job with the text. He is not as "animated" as some readers, yet he conveys the characters and the story well. His tense vocal performance conveys well the theme of the novel he is reading. Great work! I look forward to both reading and hearing the next book in the series!

Serenity audiobook cover art

An Okay Novel Saved by Excellent Narration

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

Serenity by Craig A. Hart is an enjoyable enough read. Unofficial private eye looking into the murder of a woman with Down's Syndrome. Her body was located on his property and he gets tangled with the local drug trafficking gangs as he looks to solve the mystery.

As mentioned the book was okay. It is a short enough read that I did not spend too much time with it, but as always Theo Holland's narration adds positivity to the experience. Theo is a wonderful, easy to listen to narrator, and he is one who does good distinct character voices without going over the top. Additionally, a challenge for other male narrators, Mr. Holland is able to do women in a way that does not distract the listener; some narrators make female characters sound like cartoons.

Finally, and something that would not be otherwise noticed is Theo Holland's ability to keep the tone of the story where the author intended. In a scene where there is some immediate danger the protagonists begin "checking out" a woman who pulls up near by and gets out of her vehicle. I do not believe it was written to be funny, and instead is otherwise ridiculous that a long conversation about this woman would be taking place amid the danger that they, and she are in. Theo's narration keeps the tension of the scene that was intended by the author, but not sustained by the author's own pacing.

All in all, if you are looking for an enjoyable short escape into a thriller novel, Serenity does provide that escape. My advice is to choose the audio version for a better experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Resume Speed and Other Stories audiobook cover art

A mostly wonderful collection

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

This collection of stories by author Lawrence Block delivers what one might expect if one is familiar with the author. For those not, you are in for a treat. The stories within run the gamut of what the author is good at. Decent stories with excellent characters and fun twists.

Though there was one entry in this collection that I did not care for, it was short, and the rest were excellent. Theo Holland who voiced other Bloch audiobooks brings his narrating and character voicing gifts to this group of tales.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Musicarolina audiobook cover art

Great Story Meets Great Narration

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

Reviewed: 10-17-18

When I read the summary of MusicArolina I was captivated. A frightening, yet music filled town, where bank robbers go to hide and then need to escape...all written with humor? The book itself is wonderfully written and I laughed audibly often! What made this an even better "read" was the audio narration by the talented Theo Holland. Theo continues to amaze me with his talents. He brings in various voices for characters, but subtly in a way that flavors the text and does not overdo the reading. He makes the story come alive, and he knows "funny," meaning when to pause and how to tell a joke (or read a line that was written for the purpose of humor). As I say the writing itself is humorous but Mr. Holland only added to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Stinker Lets Loose! audiobook cover art

Stinker Could Have Smelled Better

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

“Stinker Lets Loose” is a good idea not executed well. The premise of this audiobook is that this is the movie tie in version of a 1970s trash novel. The story features a trucker named stinker, as well as various other characters including a chimp who are on an adventure to, of all things, bring a six pack of cold Schlitz to Jimmy Carter the president of the United States.
The greatest aspect of this audiobook is the writing. I loved the near ration especially and the dialogue and all of the upsides which were hilarious. The narrator of this book knows what he is doing and it is all wonderful he delivered. Any positives to my review are hung up on that fact of good written well delivered narration.
Where the audiobook sales are through the other voice actors, many of whom seem to have been cast because of their “celebrity”. They do not fit their characters. In fact instead of most of the voice actors if the book had merely been read by the narrator it would’ve come off much better and much more enjoyable.
Another disappointing fact about this audiobook is how much unnecessary extras are headed to the beginning and the conclusion in order to make this long enough to be considered an audiobook. The author spend 15 minutes doing what should’ve been done in just a few sentences; making the listener understand the game that this is based on a real movie that never was. The conclusion comes fast if one is watching their audiobook timer, only to discover a live reenactment, lasting an hour and a half, of the books opening. Again, great with the narration, wonderful to have the audience reaction, but horribly cast with the likes of John Hamm as “stinker“.
There is a hand early in the book that they will do other audio books based on these fake dated novels, and I hope they do. I also hope, however, that they learn from this experiment and do whatever comes next better. This could have been great, but it is only mediocre.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Bishop and Hancock's Pulse Fiction, Volume 1 audiobook cover art

Great Pulp Fiction Brought Down By Narration Choic

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

Reviewed: 11-17-17

The stories in this first volume of Pulse Fiction are wonderful. These tales contain everything you want if "Pulp" is your thing - action, adventure, good guys and bad ones. It is worth having as an ebook.

Sadly, I gave this one a try via audio, and though the narrator, Chase Johnson, has a wonderful voice, his choice (or that of the director(s) of the piece have him reading the stories as if he was a wild ghost story teller from the days of old. Instead of letting the fiction bring forth the entertainment, I felt that Mr. Johnson's, dare I say "hammy" emotive vocal gesturing really got in the way for me. I'm not a kid who wants to pretend like I'm listening to a radio broadcast of The Lone Ranger, I'm an adult who wants to hear good pulp fiction. I wish those who put this audio together had made a better choice in narration style.

Perhaps it is me. I suggest that this opinion is only my own. If it helps, I was granted a free copy in order to provide an honest review, and I am doing just that, and hoping that I do so kindly and respectfully as well. If you are interested in this as an audio, listen to a sample, and decide for yourself whether to get it.

If you want to play it safe, obtain the ebook, read and enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful