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Elkay

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  • 120
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  • Silent Victim

  • By: Caroline Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden, Steve West
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 657
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 574
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 574

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen. It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge.... Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Would have rated four stars if narrator was better

  • By Loves2Read on 03-24-18

Learn from my mistake

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

Reviewed: 03-05-18

I listened to over half of this (enough that returning it feels like a cheat), hoping it would get better, but it didn’t. Learn from my mistake and save ten hours of your life. First, there’s the story: a young teenaged girl is sexually assaulted, and it’s never even really addressed. I can understand it not being dealt with in the context of the story, but it’s like the author didn’t quite understand that even a “consensual” relationship between a teen girl and a much older teacher is hugely problematic. Then, the girl (now a woman) is casually gaslighted by every other character in the book “for her own good,” except the ones who serve no discernible purpose in the story (there are several of those). I hated everyone, and they were not complex characters that were fun to hate. They were all just dreadful.

Finally, a minor quibble: the writing, ugh. “‘Why do you say that?’ she asked, seeking information.” Yeah. We know she’s seeking information. She asked a question. Give us some credit.

34 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Mrs. Parrish

  • A Novel
  • By: Liv Constantine
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Elise Freeman, Meghan Wolf
  • Length: 12 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,713
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,779
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,757

Amber Patterson is fed up. She's tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more - a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne - a socialite and philanthropist - and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale. Amber's envy could eat her alive...if she didn't have a plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The house of lies!

  • By CMiles1985 on 11-21-17

Stick with it

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

Reviewed: 12-25-17

I was pretty sure this one was going to bomb for me, until I got to the second half. The first part of the book is bogged down with slightly lame dialogue and barely-sketched characters, but the second half gets things moving and ratchets up the tension. If you're paying any attention, you'll see the twist coming a mile away, but that doesn't make it any less satisfying.

  • In a Dark, Dark Wood

  • By: Ruth Ware
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,549
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,756
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,738

Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her nest of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn't seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora ( Lee) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable, yes, but mostly just frustrating

  • By De Plume on 07-31-17

Fun, Suspenseful, A Little Frustrating At The End

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

Reviewed: 09-11-15

Mostly, I enjoyed this; the story unfolds at a good pace, the narration is great, and overall this was an enjoyable thriller. One complaint: it was difficult to believe that a person who is a crime writer would behave quite so idiotically during the last few chapters (at one point the main character refers to herself as "nightmarishly stupid" and I agreed completely).

So, if that's something you can overlook, I'd definitely recommend this. If that's something that makes you crazy (it usually makes me crazy), maybe skip this one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Blue Labyrinth

  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Rene Auberjonois
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,194
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,175

A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast's most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California's desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family's sinister past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Did not want it end!

  • By Marvin R. Taylor on 05-08-15

Bizarre, Outlandish, Wonderful Fun

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

Reviewed: 11-18-14

One does begin to wonder how many homicidal billionaires bent on exacting some sort of multi-generational revenge there can realistically be in the world - but of course, if you're a fan of P&C, you're probably pretty comfortable suspending disbelief so you can enjoy the spectacular ride.

As a fan since "The Relic," I found this story really satisfying - a deliciously twisty mystery that takes us from an abandoned resort town in California to the slums of Rio de Janeiro to the basement of the New York Museum of Natural History. And of course all the unusual suspects are here as well: irascible curators, intimidating Brazilian drug lords, exotic poisons, and clues that lead back into the Pendergast family's sinister past...

I've actually read positive reviews of this book by people who haven't read any of the previous entries in the Pendergast series, but it's hard to imagine reading this as a standalone - there are so many favorite characters from previous novels and references to earlier events. Those who have followed the many adventures of Pendergast will be thrilled, though - I certainly was. The best of this series in a long time!

Rene Auberjonois is, as always, marvelous.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • The Wolf's Hour

  • By: Robert R. McCammon
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 22 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 782
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 724
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 720

Michael Gallatin is a British spy with a peculiar talent: the ability to transform himself into a wolf. Although his work in North Africa helped the Allies win the continent in the early days of World War II, he quit the service when a German spy shot his lover in her bed. Now, three years later, the army asks him to end his retirement and parachute into occupied Paris. A mysterious German plan called the Iron Fist threatens the D-Day invasion, and the Nazi in charge is the spy who betrayed Michael’s lover. The werewolf goes to France for king and country, hoping for a chance at bloody vengeance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engrossing story

  • By LRoger01 on 02-08-15

Can a Story be Insufficiently Ridiculous?

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

I was really ready to love - or at least like - this book. I like spies, I like historical fiction, I like werewolves, and I think Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series is just great. I was absolutely ready to embrace WWII werewolf spies! And then...the story just didn't grab me. I didn't really connect with the main character, and his relationships with other characters in the story were uninteresting.

The werewolf-focused parts of the story were pretty good - even realistic, which may have been part of the problem. McCammon successfully addresses the workaday aspects of being a werewolf. Michael Gallatin is very chill about being a werewolf. I needed some excitement! YOU'RE A WEREWOLF SPY IN WWII. This should be completely off-the-chain crazy, and it's not even as over-the-top as most Bond novels.

Robert McCammon can be very, very good - and he can also be just OK. This is just OK. If you're looking for a straight-ahead, slightly pulpy action story about a werewolf in World War II, you've come to the right place. If you want a really compelling story about a werewolf in World War II, you might have to go write it yourself. And I'll read it if you do!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Vixen

  • By: Jane Feather
  • Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Saddled with Chloe Gresham, his beautiful and irresponsible young ward, Sir Hugo Lattimer, a man driven by dark memories and a tormenting despair, has no intention of caring for her - until he falls in love.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Why? Why did I buy this?

  • By Elkay on 11-11-14

Why? Why did I buy this?

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

I think I read this in traditional paperback format years ago and I remembered liking it - but I really, really hope that I am misremembering. This was DREADFUL.

I don't mind age differences in romance novels - I actually tend to like that. I don't mind guardian-ward romances. I can handle all the sick sex cult stuff - I'm not saying I condone sick sex cults, I don't, but I can read about them without feeling traumatized for life. I'm not even bothered by the idea that the hero was once in love with the heroine's mother. Nope, all that, I could've taken in stride if there had been ANYTHING romantic about their relationship - but there wasn't.

Chloe is an improbably featherheaded, immature person, and Hugo is a depressed alcoholic twice her age. They don't really relate to one another, and didn't have any chemistry to speak of. Chloe is childish and silly, and Hugo treats her like a little badly-behaved toddler...and then sleeps with her. And then sends her to her room.

They don't treat each other with respect and both behave like people who have never had emotions before. If you like romances with large age differences, I would recommend "What I Did For a Duke" by Julie Anne Long, which is actually worth reading

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The River of Souls

  • Matthew Corbett, Book 5
  • By: Robert R. McCammon
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,395
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,284
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,283

The year is 1703. The place: The Carolina settlement of Charles Town. Matthew Corbett, professional 'problem solver,' has accepted a lucrative, if unusual, commission: Escorting a beautiful woman to a fancy dress ball. What should be a pleasant assignment takes a darker turn when Matthew becomes involved in a murder investigation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • SPOILERS! Still love Matthew Corbeett

  • By Frances on 06-14-14

That's It?

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

I waited a while after listening to this before I wrote a review, because my disappointment was extreme when this one ended. That was partly due to the length of the story - it's short, compared to the earlier entries in the series - but also due to the rather flimsy content.

Just when things would start getting REALLY weird and interesting in one of the previous books, this one just...ended. On a cliffhanger. After a series of events that felt contrived and silly. Man-eating alligators? Quicksand? Amnesia? Really?

There were still some positives here: as usual, the characters are good, the plot is swift, the writing draws you in. Robert McCammon is a good writer, Edoardo Ballerini is a fabulous narrator, you won't get bored.

There were also more negatives: where the earlier books give us meaningful struggles and fascinating character arcs, this one was just a series of implausible and ridiculous pitfalls. There's no satisfying conclusion to any of it - it was all so much sound and fury that served to set up the NEXT book, which promises to be more interesting. I'll chalk this one up to a bad year and look forward to the next entry.

To make this review more useful, I have some recommendations:

1) If you love everything Robert McCammon has ever written, you'll be a little disappointed by the length, but will overall enjoy this story and look forward to the next entry. Get this book!

2) If you like this series, but aren't interested in, or didn't like, anything else by McCammon: proceed with caution. This has nothing but its essential McCammoniness to recommend it.

3) If you only liked a few books in this series: skip this one. If you decide to read the next one, just read the last two chapters of "River of Souls" and you'll be good to go.

4) If you haven't read anything by Robert McCammon: I suggest you try "Speaks the Nightbird," the first book in this series, which is excellent!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Magician's Land

  • A Novel
  • By: Lev Grossman
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,245

Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can't hide from his past, and it's not long before it comes looking for him. Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of grey magic and desperate characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A beautiful ending to a great masterpiece

  • By Mor on 09-30-14

THIS is how to finish a trilogy

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

I showed up for "The Magician's Land" ready to have my 30-something worldview shaken around once more by the horrifying genius teenagers from the previous novels, only to find them all grown up (at least, those who survived) and behaving much more sensibly, and sensitively, than I expected.

Quentin finally gets some perspective! He has become the likeable adult that often results from a troubled and disaffected youth. It's incredibly refreshing, and so is the first part of the story: Quentin, working as a magical gun-for-hire, gets involved in an ill-advised heist for some shady characters. It's funny, a little sad, and insanely dangerous, and it sucked me into the story at once.

In the end, everything ties back to Brakebills and Fillory - and this is where this book really starts to stand out as something exceptional. Previously, we experienced everything through the lens of the main characters' (often tiresome) teenaged jaded world-weariness. Now, Quentin has had time to reflect on the world, magic, and life in general, and he's more optimistic, thoughtful, and creative.

There are some really beautiful themes woven into this story - about the way people experience stories as children, teenagers, and adults; about growing up, and of course love, redemption, all that stuff. But it's also thrilling and exciting and totally unpredictable. It's huge, I loved it, and I wholeheartedly recommend it!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Suffragette Scandal

  • Brothers Sinister, Book 4
  • By: Courtney Milan
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461

Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now. Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LOVED!!!

  • By Heather K (Dentist in my Spare Time) on 11-09-15

Huzzah! Suffragettes!

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

Rosalyn Landor reading Courtney Milan is one of my very favorite things, and this book did not disappoint. If you like your heroes and heroines to be genuinely intelligent; if you like your stories to be more than just a loose framework for a series of sex scenes; if you've ever thrown down a romance novel in disgust and wondered what that ninny of a heroine saw in that boorish, rapey thug of a hero, then you are exactly the audience for this book (and this whole series).

Ms. Milan crafts stories that boldly address social injustices without being preachy - on the contrary, her characters balance heartbreaking vulnerability, moral courage, and senses of humor in perfect proportion. Somehow, this book - which addresses themes of sexism, war, family discord, and torture - trips along on prose light as meringue and is often laugh-out-loud hilarious.

The heroine, Free, is everything you'd want the editor of a feminist newspaper to be - brash, confident, courageous, smart - but she's entirely relatable. Even if you think you're not a feminist, you'll still like her. The hero, Edward, is obviously perfect for her from the start, but there are still plenty of surprises along the way.

Complaints? The obstacle to the hero and heroine's ultimate happiness starts to wear a little thin by the end, and the primary villain is so thoroughly unsympathetic I found him a little unbelievable - but it didn't really matter. Courtney Milan now sets the bar for historical romance, as far as I'm concerned, and this book was awesome.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Hard Magic

  • Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles
  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,034
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,074
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,069

Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I thought it was going to be.

  • By Clinton on 08-06-11

Fun and Awesome

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

This is a classic "can't judge a book by its cover" case for me. I looked at the cover of this book, read the blurb about a magic private eye, and I doubted. I doubted a lot. Happily, I was desperate for something to listen to/read, and I had credits to burn, so I figured what the heck - and I was treated to 16 hours of one of the most entertaining stories I have ever heard.

Bronson Pinchot is a virtuoso of audiobook narration. He is a genius. He was born to read books to people. I will listen to him read cookbooks. It's worth buying this book just to hear audiobook narration done amazingly, crazily right.

The story: the description makes it sound like this will be like "The Maltese Falcon" with magic in it, but it really didn't have much in common with a detective novel or the noir genre. It's more of a speculative fantasy thing - if I were describing this to a friend, I'd tell them to think "The Untouchables," except with magic powers, and instead of Al Capone they're trying to stop a shadowy cabal based on WWII's Axis powers from destroying the world. If you mashed "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and "The Wizard of Oz," you'd get something not totally unlike this book.

So: fun, fast-paced and totally over-the-top story plus mind-bogglingly good narration. Fantastic combination! I'm glad I stumbled upon this deservedly well-reviewed book!