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Ruth Nielsen

  • 109
  • reviews
  • 781
  • helpful votes
  • 280
  • ratings
  • So Cold the River

  • By: Michael Koryta
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 810
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 565
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 565

It started with a documentary. The beautiful Alyssa Bradford approaches Eric Shaw to unearth the life story of her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old billionaire whose childhood is wrapped in mystery. Eric grabs the job, even though the only clues to Bradford's past are his hometown and an antique water bottle he's kept his entire life. In Bradford's hometown, Eric discovers an extraordinary past.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not bad

  • By Scott Simons on 08-16-10

An intriguing story with a boring title!

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the title- and I mention it only because it’s hard to find good books and the title and cover art on this one were so mundane they almost made me pass it by. The title is so ordinary it could be a book about anything - and this book is deserving of a much more inspiring or imaginative title to go with a unique and imaginative story!

I’m glad I read the publisher’s summary since it hinted at a rather unusual tale of an old time remedy and a town with history and mystery tinged with the supernatural. Once I started listening I was hooked. The narrator did a great job and there were sound effects woven into the narration that added a touch of an old radio show- very fitting for the story.

I’m not good at guessing what’s going to happen next and this book was full of surprises. The characters were well done and the suspense built up nicely. I couldn’t stop listening towards the end and enjoyed it thoroughly. Highly recommended if you like mystery with a twist of the supernatural mixed in.

  • The Dark Winter

  • By: David Mark
  • Narrated by: John Curless
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

What Ian Rankin is to Edinburgh David Mark is to the seaport of Hull in Northern England. This is the beginning of a dynamic, thrilling series featuring detective Sgt. Aector McAvoy, a psychologically-probing investigator who finds patterns and motives in seemingly unrelated deaths in his hardscrabble town.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An intriguing tale

  • By readqueen on 02-17-13

Ok but not great...

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

The plot itself was pretty good with a serial killer targeting people who had survived precious horrors - but the writing was hard to wade through at times. The author chose to write in the present tense which I found irritating and pointless- it didn’t help the story and struck me as rather pretentious. The main character was portrayed in ways that made him seem stupid at times like a big lumbering oaf - more of a caricature than a real person. The attempt to create some sexual tension between the hero and his boss was kind of creepy and sleezy. I’m not going to read any more of this series because the author just didn’t do a very good job of telling the story.

  • Library at Mount Char

  • By: Scott Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,019
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,024

Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. After all, she was a normal American herself once. That was a long time ago, of course - before the time she calls "adoption day", when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful and Thought Provoking

  • By D. Marie on 12-04-15

Couldn’t Finish It

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

There are so many great books I want to listen to that I’ve decided not to waste my time on books that don’t suck me in and make me care about the story and/or characters. This book got some great reviews so I gave it a chance but after several hours I had enough - I’m returning it. The summary of the plot sounded intriguing but the characters were flat and I didn’t care about them. The gore/violence/torture aspect of the story was unnecessarily graphic- if it was really necessary for the story it could have been presented in a much more sophisticated/subtle way instead of detailed descriptions of intestines hanging out - it was gore just for the sake of gore. I kept waiting for the characters to grab my interest and they never did. I’m not wasting any more time on this one - on to something better!

  • Beneath the Water

  • By: Sarah Painter
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected. At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by a string of tragic deaths. No less intriguing is its eccentric and handsome young owner, Jamie Munro, who hires Stella as his assistant while he pursues a seemingly impossible aim.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I really enjoy this author

  • By NMwritergal on 03-04-18

Pleasant listening-not complex

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

Reviewed: 12-18-18

I was looking for something entertaining that wasn’t overly dramatic or complicated and this fit the bill. It’s a bit of romance and mystery without any over the top extremes. The same story elements could have been developed more but it was ok for what I was in the mood for. Narrator did an excellent job.

  • Dread Nation

  • By: Justina Ireland
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,156
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,088
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,081

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Dead Are Never Lonely

  • By Cynthia on 05-15-18

Great Heroine Makes the Story

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18

There are two genres I generally avoid - zombie novels and anything to do with the Civil War - just not my cup of tea. So i was amazed at how much I liked Dread Nation that combines both of these elements - a retelling of the Civil War era with zombies!
Dread Nation makes a great story because the narrator/heroine really carries the day. Jane is a young black woman trained to fight the undead in a world where the Civil War was interrupted when the dead started rising and eating the living soldiers on the battlefield. Society has evolved into a racial caste system not much better than slavery where blacks are trained in the art of fighting the undead in order to protect the more privileged white folks. Racial prejudice is the strong theme of the book with zombies as the background for the racial tension and captivating adventure.
I enjoyed Jane’s story so much that I am
actually looking forward to a sequel.
The narrator is superb and perfect for this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Half a Heart

  • By: Karen McQuestion
  • Narrated by: Emily Durante
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,106
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,103

At nine years of age, Logan Weber knows the routine. Keep quiet, make the food last, and don’t ever cause trouble. He’ll do what it takes to evade the rages of his troubled, violent father. Even though he’s only a child, Logan already knows too much - has seen too much. So when the opportunity presents itself, Logan runs. He has no idea where his journey will lead, or that the grandmother he’s been told is dead is desperately searching for him. Alone with no home of his own, Logan looks for a safe place to hide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Grandmother's Quest

  • By Elaine M. Panzeter on 05-28-18

Lovely little feel good tale :)

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

Sometimes I just want a story where good things happen to good people and the bad guys get what they deserve. This is that kind of story - happy ending to a story of a grandmother searching for her grandson and multiple characters exploring the meaning of family. It’s not particularly complex or deep - just a sweet story of family love - like curling up with a teddy bear and a warm blanket :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • One Plus One

  • A Novel
  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,761
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,749

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math-whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can't afford to pay for. That's Jess' life in a nutshell - until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess' knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages...maybe ever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sometimes I need a book that is just fun to read.

  • By Kathy on 07-05-14

Feel good story of family & forgiveness

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

Reviewed: 10-18-18

JoJo Moyes does “feel good” - not perfect people but people who try their best to make their way through life’s problems. This story has multiple layers of family issues and what makes a family - and deals with likable characters who may not always make the best choices but ultimately want to do the right thing. I was in the mood for a “feel good story” with a happy ending and this fit the bill. Multiple narrators for different characters added enjoyment to the story.

  • A Death in Eden

  • A Sean Stranahan Mystery
  • By: Keith McCafferty
  • Narrated by: Rick Holmes
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

The seventh novel in the acclaimed Sean Stranahan mystery series: Scarecrows are appearing in the cliffs above the Smith River in Montana, and state investigator Harold Little Feather is trying to discover the culprit leaving the hay figures in the cliffs, with signs painted that read "No Smith River Mine - Not on My Watch." The event is related to a copper mine project that threatens the river, but his investigation takes an ominous turn when a little girl claims that a scarecrow chased her in the night. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Entry in a Great Series

  • By Ruth Nielsen on 09-26-18

Best Entry in a Great Series

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

Reviewed: 09-26-18

I’ve enjoyed this series since the first book - and happily the series has gotten better and better with each book. Sean Stranahan is a fishing guide & water color artist who also occasionally acts as a private investigator. This combination of talents makes for an interesting character and the backdrop of the beautiful wilderness of Montana is a perfect setting for Stranahan’s adventures. Highly recommend the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Free Fall

  • A John Ceepak Mystery, Book 8
  • By: Chris Grabenstein
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,012
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 905
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 900

“I didn’t do it!” is something cops hear all the time. But when the plea comes from a close friend who’s fallen on hard times, it’s tougher to ignore, especially for young Officer Danny Boyle. It’s the start of another action-packed summer for the wisecracking Boyle and straight-arrow cop (now chief of detectives) John Ceepak down the Jersey Shore as they do their best to help Danny’s friend, a young nurse who claims she has been falsely accused of aggravated assault by a prestigious Sea Haven doctor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • absolutely fantastic. perfect narration and story

  • By Dr Dionne P Joseph on 05-12-13

Huge Fan of John Ceepak - another winner!

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

I really enjoy the John Ceepak novels -the balance between the upstanding Ceepak and his 20-something side kick Danny Boyle is what makes these books so much fun. Boyle is the just the right narrator- flawed,immature and struck with admiration for Ceepak. Listening to the relationship grow between the two is better than any underlying mystery. The narrator is perfect bringing the Jersey seashore to life. I hope this isn’t the last in the series - if it is I’ll have to start listening again from Book 1!

  • Jane Steele

  • By: Lyndsay Faye
  • Narrated by: Susie Riddell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 722
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 666
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 666

A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre "last confessions" of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died, and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful reinvention!

  • By Barbara on 06-01-16

A rollicking Victorian Adventure

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

I’ve listened to other books by Lindsay Faye and this is my favorite so far. Faye does a nice job with historical English fiction and her characters in this book - while reminiscent of more famous literary figures - stand on their own and are more interesting and less traditional. I’ve never read Jane Eyre so any reference to that book was incidental to this story and I would have enjoyed Jane Steele without the Eyre references at all. Ms. Steele is bold and resourceful and not the traditional heroine of a sappy Victorian romance. While she may fill the role of governess she does so with a knife up her sleeve and the vocabulary of a sailor. My kind of heroine who is not swooning waiting for the master of the house to rescue her! I enjoyed the book even more than I expected to and recommend it as an entertaining adventure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful