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  • The Weight of Night

  • A Novel of Suspense
  • By: Christine Carbo
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray, Sarah Mollo-Christensen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208

In a land sculpted by glaciers, the forest is on fire. Thick smoke chokes the mountain air and casts a twilight glow over the imposing mountains and vistas of Montana's Glacier National Park. When firefighters are called in to dig fuel line breaks near the small town bordering the park, a crew member is shocked to unearth a shallow grave containing human remains.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another Good Installment To The Series

  • By Lia on 08-21-17

A lot of feels

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

Reviewed: 05-22-18

I forgot how navel-gazey these things are. And Carbo seems to be taking a page from Tana French’s playbook by featuring a minor character from a previous book. So far each book has had a different lead, but continues with other characters so you get to know them all. Some too much though. Gretchen’s situation is awful, but damn do we get drenched with that deluge over and over and over. It needed some trimming. The title refers to her situation and her extreme sleep disorder. At least Monty kept his agony over his ex-wife to a minimum. Not sure I’ll continue since I don’t love the excessive feels and introspection, but the setting continues to be interesting and the solutions plausible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Weight of Lies

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Carpenter
  • Narrated by: Kate Orsini
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,674
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,537
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,534

Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Wow. That was pretty bad.

  • By Meg on 07-21-17

What is it about books with really bad mothers?

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

Reviewed: 09-02-17

I guess it’s because I didn’t have one and I wonder if I could have ended up a normal, non-mental human being if I didn’t. Some books have equally screwed up daughters, but in this one, Meg is trying. Mostly she succeeds, but her lie detector is obviously in the shop because she pretty much believes everything people tell her. Especially when it comes to her book which she hopes will cast true light on her mother's legacy, her mother’s famous book and the real events that inspired it.

Overall it succeeds. If you read enough of this kind of thing, you know that things aren’t what they seem. Everyone is suspect, particularly the people that the writer paints with innocence. The very fact of the Kitten narrative woven into the regular text should be enough of a tip off. Carpenter keeps you guessing though and there are a few surprises in the end. Not enough for total originality, but given the genre it’s hard to do. There are only so many dark and hidden secrets to go around.

And since this is an audiobook review let me say I loved the narrator. If I didn’t know her name I would have guessed it was Patricia Clarkson; her voice is very similar. The cadence and rhythm of her delivery matched Meg pretty well and added to my enjoyment of the story. I won't hesitate when Kate Orsini is reading.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

The Long and Faraway Gone audiobook cover art
  • The Long and Faraway Gone

  • By: Lou Berney
  • Narrated by: Brian Hutchison, Amy McFadden
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,131
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,127

Lou Berney's The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely compassionate crime story that explores the mysteries of memory and the impact of violence on survivors - and the lengths they will go to find the painful truth of the events that scarred their lives. In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie theater employees were killed in an armed robbery while one inexplicably survived. Then a teenage girl vanished from the annual state fair. Neither crime was ever solved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's all together here

  • By Ted on 08-25-16

Emotional tale, well narrated

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

Reviewed: 03-27-17

Subtle is how I’d characterize this book. It’s billed as two mysteries coming together, but it really doesn’t. Wyatt’s and Juliana’s situations connect in the lightest, most tangential way. As individual stories they are quite different and Juliana’s is the most exasperating. She tells herself she’s being stupid (monumentally so), but doesn’t stop and the urge to shake her is great. Wyatt, on the other hand, is trying to be smart, but is blind to certain things that I picked up on, although not totally. Both stories are tales of fate and circumstance and how just one small thing can make a life spin out of control, or end it all together. There are some surprises along the way and both mysteries are resolved in a satisfactory way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Crossing Places

  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,213
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,956
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,951

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An atmospheric creepy mystery set in Saltmarsh

  • By Sara on 05-19-14

Staying put, not crossing over

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

Reviewed: 12-07-16

Like many other readers, I pegged the killer early on and even if Erik wasn't guilty of that crime, it was easy to assign him villain status because he was just such a jerk. Seriously, why did Ruth put up with his crap? Other than her having low self esteem for form's sake, that is. Can't we just once have a professional, successful woman who isn't chewed up with insecurity? I mean a little, sure, but this woman was forever second-guessing herself and running herself down. Between that and the info-dumps delivered as mini-lectures to a conveniently ignorant cop, I just couldn't warm to Ruth despite having a lot in common with her. This series has caught my attention now and again over the years (mostly because some editions have great covers) and now I've tried one, I won't be tempted again. Also, It must be like the rule that if a cat appears in the first act it must die by the third.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Trespasser

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Hilda Fay
  • Length: 20 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,499
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,907
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,870

Being on the murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she's there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she's getting close to the breaking point. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers' quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A literary mystery

  • By lesley on 10-08-16

The narration really made it for me

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

Reviewed: 12-07-16

I don’t know what happened, but this book just didn’t have the same immersion effect for me. Antionette and Stephen didn’t mesh well. Mostly because of A’s persistent and pathological paranoia and defensiveness. I’m not saying it wasn’t justified, but it didn’t let up and got in the way of my connecting to the characters and it also blocked any sort of relationship they might have had. The magic between Richie and Scorcher, Cassie and Rob is missing much of the time. I think a lot could have been trimmed out of A’s constant inner-monologuing and complaining. And even more than in some of the other books, there’s a glorification of the Murder D that just got old as well. The fact that other cops might have thought they were gods or special snowflakes didn't mean the rest of the world did. I don’t know. Maybe she’s worn this path too much.

The murder itself was a tricky one to solve. With Rory presented so neatly on a plate it isn’t hard to dismiss him and try for the real culprit. The ending, I won’t give it away, was brilliant though. The way O’Kelly handled it was perfect and done in only a way someone with that level of experience could have done it. Maybe French will go back in time and show us how he got to be the Gaffer.

Oh and the narrator, Hilda Fay, was amazing! Tremendous job portraying all the characters and accents.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dear Daughter

  • By: Elizabeth Little
  • Narrated by: Bonnie Dennison
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 250
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 250

Former "It Girl" Janie Jenkins is acerbic, whip smart, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her glamour and fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a philanthropist best known for her string of rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie chops off her trademark hair, determined to chase down the one lead she has about her mother's killer. The only problem? Janie doesn't know if she's the one she's looking for.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too many witticisms, too little substance

  • By cristina on 08-14-14

Creatively presented, but smacks of Scooby Doo

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

Reviewed: 02-16-16

Let’s get this out of the way - there is no one to like in this book. If you’re the type who needs to be able to invite characters over for dinner, this is not the book for you. Jane is so full of hate and contempt that she becomes funny in a way. At least she spreads her vitriol far and wide by equally despising her own celebrity class as well as those poor just-gettin’-by souls in fly-over states. Seriously; any spark of personality or just plain usefulness is crushed under the weight of that attitude; all of it bad. She’s a tough narrator to stick with, but I did and mostly I was gratified.

Some of the aspects of the book were inventive enough, but the solution to who murdered Jane’s mom was a bit Scooby Doo - you can picture tearing off a mask so totally. If you believe in karma, the wages of sin, Murphy’s Law or any similar claptrap, Jane’s ultimate fate will satisfy you, but even for me it was pretty good.

Jane’s basic story is told in the first person, but there are interruptions from CNN, TMZ and a blogger named Trace. All of these are done with musical intros and outros and a male narrator takes over. At first it was jarring and somewhat annoying, but overall I think it was a great way to take advantage of the medium. Giving us each and every sound of text messages coming through was a bit much though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Man in the Moss

  • By: Phil Rickman
  • Narrated by: Seán Barrett
  • Length: 20 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

Though dead for two millennia, he remains perfectly preserved in black peat. The Man in the Moss is one of the most fascinating finds of the century. But, for the isolated Pennine community of Bridelow, his removal is a sinister sign. A danger to the ancient spiritual tradition maintained, curiously, by the Mothers' Union. In the weeks approaching Samhain - the Celtic feast of the dead - tragedy strikes again in Bridelow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another creepy wonderful Rickman story

  • By Barbara on 10-14-15

Very superstitious

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

Reviewed: 02-16-16

A strange novel that is long on atmosphere and short on action. That doesn’t mean I was bored by it, but I was mystified for longer than I think another novelist would have let me be. The story starts basically by throwing you in the middle of a situation that is really weird, fraught with tension and has backstory you’re not privy to. Slowly though, and with great deliberation, Rickman pulls the threads together and lets you make connections. It’s too long and drawn out to be anything like scary, but it is creepy. Mostly it’s a story about an old group of superstitious whackos trying to get along with an even older group of superstitious whackos only to have a tribe of even nuttier whackos show up and try to oust the oldest. Battle of the superstitions!

There’s a limited cast of characters, but there are a lot of them to keep track of. Each section of the book deals with one of them primarily, but as an audio there is nothing in words to denote a switch. In print there may be a break in the text or a line or graphic, but nothing that can be read and I think that added to the confusion. Also there are some editing issues with the audio; repeated sentences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Weight of Blood

  • A Novel
  • By: Laura McHugh
  • Narrated by: Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 962
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 859
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 856

The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not too bad but you have to pay attention.

  • By John S on 03-21-14

Distinctive story well told, but ending is iffy

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

Reviewed: 02-16-16

A bit spoilery - Proving that Chris Bohjalian isn't the only one who can write well about the forced prostitution of women. A decent thriller with plenty of atmosphere, but I felt the ending pulled its punch and the villain (who is obvious and there is no twist; he is who he is) gets no real punishment. As a matter of fact, the slavery of young women appears to just go on. And not just the girls who are sold for sex, many of the women in town are equally in bonds and cannot stop what's happening. One thing that bugged me was that the two narrators who take the alternate perspectives of Lucy and Lila sounded too much alike. If I let my attention wander I sometimes couldn't tell which was which. Really, would it be so hard to find another woman who doesn't sound like a little girl?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Simple Plan

  • By: Scott Smith
  • Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 212

Hank Mitchell thought he lived an ordinary, ordered life. But on one chilly afternoon, Hank, his brother Jacob, and Jacob's unsavory pal Lou, make a discovery that offers a chance for a life filled with riches beyond their wildest dreams. And in a fateful moment, Hank lays a plan to claim that life....and the horrific crumbling of his ordered world begins.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Awful narrator

  • By Annie&Laila on 03-09-16

In this, greed is definitely not good

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

Reviewed: 08-24-15

You know that phrase, circling the drain? That’s the best way to describe this novel about greed and the lengths people will go to in the name of it. Recently I was involved in an inheritance process that involved more money than at first suspected. It brought out the worst in some family members so the actions and attitudes of the people in this novel seemed on the money to me. I was a bit surprised by the fluidity of criminal schemes that Hank and Sara came up with on the spur of the moment and also their lack of caution in some areas (keeping the money under the bed? with a newborn in the house???), but mostly the book hung together. It’s basically one bad decision after another with things getting worse and worse, scene by scene.

Spoilers commencing -

There isn’t anyone to root for in this book, but there are degrees of dirt-baggery to be plumbed and not all the deaths are lamentable. Most are though and by the end I was hoping Hank would get caught. He and Sara deserved it. They don’t, but neither do they profit by their crimes and they seem pretty comfortable with them on the whole (all that self-serving justification must have gone down well). The FBI logged about 10% of the serial numbers and without knowing which bills are on the list, the whole pile is worthless. Sara tries everything in her power to hang onto it, right to the bitter end. In a way, I’m glad there wasn’t much denouement to the book since it would have meant spending more time with the two of them. I’m not sure the kid’s accident and subsequent near-vegetative state is effective as a sop to justice though. And I can’t imagine the law ignoring so many deaths in such a short time period, especially when there’s no GSR on Lou’s body. But other than those things, the story is good, compelling and reasonably believable if a sad testament to one of humanity’s least admirable traits.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Wolf Winter

  • By: Cecilia Ekback
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms BlackAsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So atmospheric, it hurts

  • By Bookmarque on 08-24-15

So atmospheric, it hurts

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

Reviewed: 08-24-15

The setting for this book - Swedish Lapland - really intrigued me. How people can live there NOW, never mind the early 18th century boggles the mind. Billed as a thriller, it’s got plenty of murder and treachery, but the pace is slow and the menace of a more psychological bent. There’s also a supernatural aspect that irritated me whenever it came up. I mean, living at the end of the earth in the arctic circle isn’t hard enough?

That’s an aspect of the novel that never let up - the realistic portrayal of subsistence living in the extreme north. The details about blizzards, farming, hunting, butchering, starving, frostbite, religious persecution, political scheming and weighing up sacrifices were all sharply rendered. There is no village per se, but the people, known to each other as settlers, almost always bond together and do their best to help each other out when the worst happens. That doesn’t mean all is rosy. No, there’s a worm in the heart of this withered blossom and it’s murder. The killing breeds suspicion and superstition and of course most of it falls on the newcomer and healer, Maija. Fear is a terrible thing for us humans. It makes us do the stupidest things.

The way the novel is told is pretty oblique and much of the insight comes from Maija, not that her fellow settlers thank her for it. Every time she comes into their crosshairs she raises reasonable doubt that sets them on the path to the truth. Of course nothing is as it seems and events that appear connected turn out not to be and more than one villain is hiding among them. Many of the main characters are women and the shortage of men (death, desertion and conscription) means that though they are still treated as 2nd class citizens, most of them speak their minds and deal with the harshness of life head on. Dorotea’s fate is particularly heartbreaking.

Majia’s daughter Frederika is also trying to solve the mystery of Erikson’s death. She has a more direct and dangerous reason though; Erikson himself. His ghost follows her and torments her with cryptic remarks and even manages to cut her severely with a knife. I just love how the resident Lapps tell her not to mess with the spirits etc, when she has no choice. And Erikson isn’t the only threat, both Frederika and her mother encounter wolves who aren’t the only ones starving on Blackåsen mountain.

A bit meandering, but written with real bite and an affinity for the darkness that rules Swedish Lapland half the year.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful