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lacey

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 108
  • helpful votes
  • 66
  • ratings
  • Something in the Water

  • A Novel
  • By: Catherine Steadman
  • Narrated by: Catherine Steadman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,997
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28,908

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Give this a HARD PASS

  • By 3dewdrops on 06-27-18

great narrator, interesting protagonist, meh story

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

Books read by their authors almost always have that fascinating extra layer of empathy, that deepened look into the characters' heads, and this one is no exception. In addition, Catherine Steadman has a great voice and is a very solid actor--listening to her read her own words is both riveting and calming. Her first-person protagonist is thoughtful and a little snarky--the type of head that's fascinating and companionable to be inside. Something womp-womp happens around the middle of the book, though--the plot never seems to pick up steam, or maybe the characterizations aren't powerful enough to fuel the whole book, or maybe so much is given away at the beginning that there are few surprises left for the end, and the ones that are there are small and relatively uninteresting. From the midpoint to the end, all that's left to hear about are the "hows," and who cares, really? Also, as others have mentioned, there's a suspension of belief that is difficult to uphold--who would :really: make these choices in these situations?--and that made the reader (in my case) lose some empathy for / closeness with the protagonist. In sum: a good effort, glad I read it, will remember it, looking forward to what Catherine Steadman does next; not ever going to reread it or recommend it to a friend.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Next Girl: Detective Gina Harte, Book 1

  • By: Carla Kovach
  • Narrated by: Tamsin Kennard
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,714
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,710

Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again.

Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results. The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Seriously Could Not stop listening!!!!

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-16-18

possibly the worst book on earth

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

Just really, really awful. I have a read a lot of awful books, and I genuinely can't think of one that is more awful than this one. I honestly don't know what the "heart-stopping twist" even WAS. Seriously. If someone could tell me, that would be awesome. NOTHING happened in the book that could be termed a "twist." The book isn't even a MYSTERY. The reader knows all the answers from the first page and the whole book is just (a) gratuitous descriptions of everyone's suffering, and (b) incredibly frustrating monologues by dumb-as-rocks detectives--who (SPOILER ALERT) don't even solve the crime! The crime just, in the end, bubbles up and out of its setting and into their laps. The characters are not dimensional enough to be even one-dimensional. And don't even get me STARTED on the depiction of mental illness. Good lord, if you are going to write a book with a character with mental health struggles, do even one iota of research about mental health. This book, in addition to being meritless, goes far in creating and affirming stigma against people with mental health struggles. So. Thanks for that. I shouldn't have taken a break from Louise Penny. Everyone, don't bother. Read Louise Penny instead. How do these books get good reviews?!?

68 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Missing, Presumed

  • A Novel
  • By: Susie Steiner
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,205
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,205

At 39, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep - and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A mystery lover's treat!

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-20-16

a solid Good

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

Reviewed: 10-30-17

Other reviewers have complained of a slow pace, but I think that's what made me appreciate this book so much. It was half mystery / police procedural and half character study, with enough of the former to keep me listening and enough of the latter to make it a full, immersive experience. I've mentioned that, with nailbiter mysteries, I often can't listen straight through--I have to skip to the end, get the answers, then go back and listen to the full book--and because this one was so much a whole story, rather than a one-note puzzle, I listened straight through for the first time in ages.

However, although some of the supporting characters are awesome, the main character is kind of drab. One of the first things she does in the book is, blithely and without words, abandon an internet date because--I think--he's taller than she would like (?). I read that and thought ICK, then she never really redeemed herself. Her work on the mystery plods along as average and not Holmesian-stellar, and when she makes morally-positive decisions, the book is very clear that she's doing so because she feels backed into a corner. I appreciate, in theory, the draw of the unlikable or everyman (or somewhere in between) heroine, but, you know, on an emotional level, a book is so much more satisfying when you can have strong (even if complex) feelings about its protagonist.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Emma in the Night

  • By: Wendy Walker
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer, Julia Whelan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,809
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,685
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,674

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: 15-year-old Cass and 17-year-old Emma. Three years later Cass returns without her sister, Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family, Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Could not stop listening

  • By Pamela (@SpazP) on 08-23-17

ok.

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

Reviewed: 10-25-17

This one was all right. I didn't hate the narrator; the story was compelling and made sense; the research into mental health was well-done enough and not totally off the wall (although a bit heavy-handed).

My only complaint is that at about chapter 8, it was a little bit plodding so I skipped to chapter 22, telling myself that I would just check in with it and then go back to chapter 8--this is largely a distress-tolerance problem that I have with mysteries and not the fault of the book at all, but--omg--listening to chapter 22, I didn't hear a single missed beat. Like I literally just listened to the rest of the story from there, and, besides not knowing what happened in St. Bart's with the sunscreen, feel 100% like I got the entire complete story. So, that was a bit of filler there, huh.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Visitors

  • By: Catherine Burns
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 300

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John, in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her 50s who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John's rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door...and turning a blind eye to the women's laundry in the hamper that isn't hers. For years she's buried the signs of John's devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind - until the day John is crippled by a heart attack.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • wasted potential

  • By lacey on 10-23-17

wasted potential

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

Reviewed: 10-23-17

I really loved and appreciated the literary value here--this book reads, at least for the first several chapters, as--well, what would you call it if it's southern gothic but you're not sure that it's set in the south--suburban gothic, maybe. It reads like Flannery O'Connor, Shirley Jackson, or Donna Tartt--that thick, beautifully overwrought sense of space and time, combined with a creeping sense of dread that you feel but can't name as it just gets darker and darker.

However, the real joy in O'Connor, Jackson, or Tartt is that they reward you--either with a crashing thundering climax, or with continuous character growth, or both--and this one didn't do that. Instead it floundered somewhere between repetitiveness, predictableness, frustration, and--well, just getting grosser and sadder--and, like other reviewers have said, when the climax came, it was too little, too late, and I really just wanted a shower. I'm left with uncomfortable flashbacks that I wish I didn't have, with nothing to ponder or chew on, and I wish I'd read something else.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Watching You

  • By: Teresa Driscoll
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,000
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,408
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,406

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it - until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she's decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls - beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard - has disappeared.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Creepy Thriller With Depth

  • By Sara on 07-15-18

terrible.

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

Reviewed: 10-15-17

This book was awful. So a girl goes missing, and then four (? I don't even remember exactly, that's how little I liked them or cared) people go on and on and onnnnnnnn about themSELVES. The main one says about 10 times that she WOULD have done something to help the girl, but then she heard the girl's friend having sex in a train bathroom so knew that they weren't NICE girls. Awesome, thanks for the slut-shaming, glad to have it reinforced that women who like sex deserve to die. The second person (the friend) goes on and on about what a TRIAL it is that the police want to talk with her. Great, awesome, thanks for helping--and nice to have it reinforced that teenagers are insanely self-centered and whiny. It goes downhill from there. I tuned out repeatedly but never felt like I missed anything--just more droning and annoyance. No character seems like a real person, or evokes any empathy at all. The ending comes out of nowhere--just about two inches away from "surprise! it was this person you didn't even know." (Another review said the ending was "ham-fisted," which is the perfect descriptor.) I've been reading a lot in this genre, and this broke my streak of good books. Don't waste a credit! Go for anything by Rachel Abbott, or Silent Child, or The Child Finder, instead.

9 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Nowhere Child

  • By: Rachel Abbot
  • Narrated by: Lisa Coleman
  • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Someone is looking for Tasha. But does she want to be found? Eight months ago Tasha Joseph ran away, and her stepmother, Emma, has been searching for her ever since. She is desperate to give Tasha the home and security she deserves. The problem is, Emma isn't the only one looking for Tasha. The police are keen to find her, too. She could be a vital witness in a criminal trial, and DCI Tom Douglas has a team constantly on the lookout for her. But Tasha remains hidden, and nobody appears to have seen her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best.

  • By lacey on 10-06-17

Best.

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

Reviewed: 10-06-17

There is fiction that has moved me beyond belief (Marilynne Robinson, Arundhati Roy, Lydia Millet, oh my god) and that will always live in my head. This book is, admittedly, not that. It's not precisely- and poignantly-crafted great literature for the ages. But it's not trying to be. It IS: well-researched, genuine, kind, thoughtful, and populated with characters who are Real and whom the reader loves. And: because I loved the characters when they were in their last book, and because that one ended unresolved, I am so unbelievably thankful that this book exists. So, so thankful. Despite my desperate love for the books listed above, *this* is the first time in my life that I have wanted to write a personal thank-you to an author.

*Note that you *should* read Stranger Child before you read this. You won't care in the same way, otherwise.

*Also note that the only observable flaw (and it was SMALL) (tiny spoiler alert follows) that I found was a little bit of what sounded like the author having done a lot of research around a topic (the types and mechanics of explosives, for instance) in order to gain the authority to write about it--GREAT!--and then maybe accidentally going on a little too long with her newfound knowledge. Such a minor flaw, though. I learned things, and now I can be impressive in conversations with firefighters!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Darkest Secret

  • A Novel
  • By: Alex Marwood
  • Narrated by: Beverley A. Crick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,050
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,051

Real estate mogul Sean Jackson is throwing himself a splashy 50th birthday party, but trouble starts almost immediately: His ex-wife has sent his teenage daughters to the party without telling him; his current wife has fired the nanny; and he's finding it difficult to sneak away to his mistress. Then something truly terrible happens: one of his three-year-old twins goes missing. No trace of her is ever found. The attendees of the party, nicknamed the Jackson Associates by the press, become infamous overnight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By Christina on 09-14-16

Gross.

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

There is never a point in this story where its entertainment value surpasses the nagging feeling of slimy grossness that you have just from being in close quarters with such repulsive characters. (And there is no literary value to speak of.) Yuck.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Child Finder

  • A Novel
  • By: Rene Denfeld
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,144

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now - if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder", Naomi is their last hope.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beauty and Brutality, Haunting and Healing

  • By Marisa on 10-03-17

as atmospheric as it looks on the cover!

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

Entertaining, nicely crafted, evocative, and also contains emotions and some good one-liners. At the top of its game for this genre.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Don't Let Me Go

  • By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Narrated by: Chris Chappell, Cassandra Morris
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,355
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,894
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,879

Former Broadway dancer and current agoraphobic Billy Shine has not set foot outside his apartment in almost a decade. He has glimpsed his neighbors--beautiful manicurist Rayleen, lonely old Ms. Hinman, bigoted and angry Mr. Lafferty, kind-hearted Felipe, and nine-year-old Grace and her former addict mother, Eileen. But most of them have never seen Billy. Not until Grace begins to sit outside on the building's front stoop for hours every day, inches from Billy's patio.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspirational and humbling and awesome.

  • By Michele on 11-08-15

just break my heart.

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

Reviewed: 09-29-17

Very, very sweet. Well-characterized and rounded characters--all of them complex, almost all of them endearing in some way. A heartwarmer.

I did have to stop listening in the middle part, from about 6 hours left until the end--trigger warning for people who've had parents with substance abuse stuff--so I didn't get a ton of hours out of the purchase. But that was my own fault / my own deal, and what's remaining is sweet and powerful enough that I want to keep it on my shelf.