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Jennifer

  • 21
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 66
  • ratings
  • Black Like Me

  • By: John Howard Griffin
  • Narrated by: Ray Childs
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,303

Writer John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) decided to perform an experiment in order to learn from the inside out how one race could withstand the second class citizenship imposed on it by another race. Through medication, he dyed his skin dark and left his family and home in Texas to find out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book brings back memories...

  • By Wayne on 11-26-15

Phenomenal

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

Reviewed: 04-13-19

Truly one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read on race! It’s heartening to know how much has changed and, yet, disheartening to recognize how much has stayed the same. Anyone interested in justice or racial disparity should reach this book!

  • Last Light: A Detective Lucy Harwin Novel

  • By: Helen Phifer
  • Narrated by: Alison Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45

Detective Lucy Harwin is called out to attend the discovery of a woman’s body in an abandoned, crumbling church and is quickly plunged into a case that will test her leadership skills to the limit. With no leads except the crudely-fashioned crucifix the victim was displayed on, Lucy is at a complete loss. That is, until another body turns up: an elderly woman who devoted her life to the church. Faced with a killer stalking the streets of her small coastal town, while also throwing herself into work to forget the love of her life, Lucy’s first case is turning into a nightmare.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is the first book in the series

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-29-18

Almost a Prequel Without a Cause

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

Reviewed: 02-09-19

It took me about 3/4 of the way through this novel to realize how this novel could work as a prequel. When writing a prequel, it should serve a purpose to inform the previous novels. Well it does, like I say, serve this purpose close to the end, there are at least four major events over the course of this novel that would’ve informed the behavior and the references in the previous two novels but didn’t. It almost makes me wonder if this author thought up this prequel after-the-fact to answer some questions from the first novel. Strategic authors plan their novels ahead so that if something in the future needs to inform something in the past, they’ve incorporated information into the earlier novels.

Otherwise it’s a perfectly fine novel and I enjoyed it.

  • Dark House

  • By: Helen Phifer
  • Narrated by: Alison Campbell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 298

For decades the Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now - when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to an ancient gurney. Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging the asylum's wrongs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting

  • By Becky on 04-24-17

Imperfect but Original

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

Reviewed: 02-09-19

It seems as if the last 10 British female authors I’ve listened to have had one thing in common, make that several things in common. All of them had a female DI, all of the female DIs are super screwed up in some way, and all of the stories revolve around finding missing girls or missing young women. Needless to say, it has become irritating to hear the same story time after time after time.

Well there are a few flaws in this novel, they can be overlooked because the storyline was the first original storyline I’ve heard in quite some time. Equally, while DI Harwin has some quirks and imperfections, they’re the same ones we all have which make her relatable.

I can’t even count how many authors I’ve read and decided to stop after the first book. I’m pleased to be able to continue on with the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bring Them Home

  • DS Karen Hart, Book 1
  • By: D S Butler
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80

When two young girls disappear from their primary school, the village of Heighington is put on high alert - and not for the first time. Called in to investigate, Detective Karen Hart is sure that parallels with a previous disappearance are anything but coincidental. DS Hart is still reeling from a case she tried and failed to solve eighteen months ago, when a young woman vanished without a trace. She’s no nearer to the truth of what happened to Amy Fisher, but with two children missing now, too, the stakes have never been higher.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Solid first book

  • By Carla C. Galeano Ferreyra on 10-18-18

This author has potential, narrator needs some coaching

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

So let’s start with the biggest frustration. I’ve heard this narrator before and I can tell she’s really trying. The challenge is that she has almost a flat affect at times and it’s possible she’s been getting some coaching because I hear a slight improvement. When the narrator does not modulate much, there are two unfortunate things that happen. First of all, it’s much easier to zone out. Secondly it makes the character seem like they’re devoid of personality, and it’s really becoming endeared to the characters that makes listeners want to continue reading the book as well as the series. Equally, a lot of her character voices for the ancillary characters become really nasally so I do hope someone will work with this narrator to help her learn how to do different voices that are a little easier on the ears. Oh, and I would also encourage some dialect training for her Scottish accent.

One thing I liked about this book, because it seems like almost all of them are now about missing girls (can someone come up with an original idea?), was that we didn’t have to go back-and-forth between the detectives, the suspects, and the missing girls. It was such a relief not to hear the missing girl’s perspective. That has become really contrived and trite in this genre.

Last of all, there are some inconsistencies as follow:

The reference to what Jasper says Dean would likely do is considered absurd by the detectives when they considered and investigated that very possibility almost as recently as one or two chapters earlier.

Emily’s mum blames herself for the abduction because she didn’t pick the girls up from school even though everyone knows they snuck out of school before school was out

The narrator uses a voice for the culprit in the Prologue that bears no resemblance to the voice the culprit uses throughout the novel. I suppose this was to try to prevent listeners from guessing the identity which would have been difficult to ascertain from reading instead of listening to the book. I guessed the identity pretty early but I still felt this device was dishonest. Note to Authors: with the popularity of audiobooks, you may want to consider how something will read visually as well as audibly so this technique doesn’t have to be used. The omniscient narrator should never lie, only throw out red herrings.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • West Cork

  • By: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Narrated by: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24,598
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,992
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21,995

This much we do know: Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered days before Christmas in 1996, her broken body discovered at the edge of her property near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery. Gripping, yet ever elusive, join the real-life hunt for answers in the year’s first not-to-be-missed, true-crime series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ENTERTAINING AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING

  • By Ann on 02-13-18

Not as Compelling aa Serial

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

This was an interesting story. Did it captivate me as the Serial, Season 1 podcast did? It did not.

It certainly grabs you at the start but it gets bogged down with the chief suspect. I have no idea if he committed this crime but I am confident he is a narcissist. And the journalists spend far too much time with him. The man seems devoid of empathy or accountability and yet listeners are subjected to his whinging and self-absorption, a place in which I could have happily spent at least 50% less time.

If these journalists continue to produce such stories, I would remind them that “variety is the spice of life.” Spend more time with other participants in the story. They’re a great deal more interesting.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Death Note

  • By: Caroline Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 108

Women who gave a child up for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up. For Detective Ruby Preston and her team, it is a race against time to connect the dots before the killer can strike again. But when Ruby receives a sinister email, the case takes a terrifying personal twist.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Suspense Thriller!

  • By Candice on 01-24-17

So Bad I Couldn’t Finish It

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

Usually when a novel isn’t very well-written, I can get through it but then I don’t continue on in the series. This novel is so poorly crafted, I had to stop reading it early on.

The main character is not likable. She consistently lies and makes poor choices. Nothing about her is compelling.

The storyline is unoriginal and one-note.

  • Little Girl Lost

  • Detective Robyn Carter Crime Thriller Series, Book 1
  • By: Carol Wyer
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,288
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,288

A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances and a man is murdered at a local reservoir. For Detective Robyn Carter, there's no obvious link between the cases. But as she starts to delve into them, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail's connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing subject matter

  • By S. Klinger on 07-11-17

So-So but Sloppy

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

Reviewed: 11-22-18

I had planned months ago on writing a hearty review but time has passed so I’m just going to focus on three elements that drove me to distraction.

(1) The omnipresent narrator should absolutely throw out red herrings to make the mystery compelling and hold the reader’s interest BUT they should never flat out lie to the reader. In this novel, the omnipresent narrator does just that - names the murderer fairly early on. BUT it’s a lie. I’ll speak more to this in my more general third point.

(2) Unless the novelist is writing a story taking place in the 19th century, any legal name change would be the very first thing a detective would uncover in searching records on the key players. (On a side note, this author is not the only one to make this fatal mistake but it certainly removes credibility from the author).

(3) This is a detective novel, not a fantasy novel. I read authors who cleverly throw out red herrings and when you get to the “whodunnit” portion of the story, you say to yourself “ah! I get it”. This author comes up with answers to the red herrings that are so contrived, it leaves you scratching your head asking “would that even be possible in a modern police investigation?” I carried on and read the rest of series and she improves a little (no more narrator lying to the reader) but she can strengthen the veracity of her stories by resolving question marks with valid answers that don’t require a major suspension of disbelief by the reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Girls in the Water

  • Detectives King and Lane, Book 1
  • By: Victoria Jenkins
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197

When the body of Lola Evans is found in a local park on a cold winter's morning, Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane are called in to lead the hunt for the killer. Chilling and totally compelling with an utterly surprising twist, The Girls in the Water is perfect for fans of Robert Bryndza, Sarah Hilary, and Patricia Gibney.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ENJOYABLE SUSPENSE

  • By Janet Willis on 05-18-18

Unoriginal, Predictable, and Major Gaps

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

Is this the worse novel I’ve read? No. Will I continue listening to the series? I’m really not sure I have enough interest in continuing to invest in Alex and Chloe.

There are so many talented authors out in the ether, I’m sure it becomes a great challenge to come up with an original idea. If you’re an Anglophile who consumes British detective novels as comfort food, this novel may not satisfy, but it might be a hearty enough snack to hold you over until, say, a new Marsons or Bryndza novel is released.

As to the gaps. First of all, there seems to be an entire chapter missing. I’m not sure if it was left out of the book or if it’s in the book and they simply forgot to include it in this audio version. Every single interview is a chapter unto itself, but what would most likely be one of the most important interviews, with a character named Grace, is missing. Important details she told them in her interview are referenced but the interview itself is nowhere to be found. This was so alarming that I went back to several chapters to see if I somehow skipped it or just zoned out. Nope, there’s no such chapter. Secondly, after very specific information is withheld from Harry, he somehow seems to speak to said withheld information when he meets with Chloe. As I often ask “where are the editors?” I think they should hire me to replace them.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Silent Girls

  • By: Dylan Young
  • Narrated by: Tamsin Kennard
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

When a young girl disappears on the edge of the Forest of Dean and blood is found where she was last seen, the town is terrified a killer has returned.The local police are convinced it’s the same man who stabbed a girl to death 18 years ago. They know who he is. They’re desperate to finally have the evidence they need to put him away. To save another girl before it’s too late. Only Detective Anna Gwynne is sure he isn’t the real killer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smart, savvy suspense

  • By Candice on 01-21-18

Polished and Sophisticated

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

Of late, so many of the mysteries I’ve read have been sloppy, filled with continuity issues, or just plain over the top.

While this novel may not be as fast-paced as the aforementioned novels, it’s well-written, smart and polished in a way those novels and novelists could never be. There’s a, what I’m guessing will be a storyline throughout the series, “Silence of the Lambs” parallel, but I think it works.

I rarely solve the mystery and I did so in this novel and pretty early on. I’ve wracked my brain and I attribute this not to any failing on the novelist but rather it just being on of those occasions in which I had real clarity of thought.

My only sadness is that there are only two novels so far but I suppose that means I have many more to look forward to!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Chosen Ones

  • Detective Robyn Carter, Book 5
  • By: Carol Wyer
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135

On a hot summer’s morning, a young father is found murdered in a cornfield outside the quiet town of Colton, tied to a post, arms spread wide. Detective Robyn Carter is reminded of the crucifixion, and she knows she’s looking for a killer with a twisted sense of right and wrong. Robyn vows she will find the killer - no matter what. But then a local doctor - a popular woman with a young family of her own - is found dead outside her surgery. There are similarities between the first body and hers, and Robyn must take another look at the picture-postcard town, where no one has any enemies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Completely hooked

  • By Wally on 06-16-18

Sloppy, Sloppy, Sloppy

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

This novel starts out strong but the ending is clunky, anti-climactic, and just plain silly. Robyn refers to the murderer as having become “careless and sloppy” toward the end. I think the author is projecting.

Notes on general continuity issues for the author, editor, publisher, audiobook producer, and narrator. (Spoilerish)

(1) Robyn refers to the cat, Schrodinger, as having belonged to “a retired widow who had been murdered”. WRONG! Schrodinger was Tessa’s cat, Tessa the young, vibrant, single woman FROM JUST THE PREVIOUS NOVEL!!! Seriously? Does anyone read these books before they’re published? Does the author not keep an index of all her characters? Please don’t treat your readers like we’re stupid. We should not know more about the characters’ history than you do!

(2) The aunt has a Barbadian accent so why doesn’t her sister??? Hmmmm?

(3) Let’s talk about the aunt’s voice. Not only does she have this lilting, Barbadian accent but it’s like the voice of the narrator at the beginning of a Disney movie reading the prologue to a fairytale. That was an odd choice.

(4) How could the aunt have been so unaware of how the children were being treated? And how could they have missed school for days and/or weeks on end without any school official raising the alarm? Is this supposed to be one of those “suspension of disbelief” scenarios?

(5) And last but not least, we hear the memories of a character who is long since dead well before the novel begins. That’s bizarre. You couldn’t even come up with a diary entry or something akin to that? That’s lazy writing.

Where are the editors?

That is all.