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Roberta

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  • reviews
  • 48
  • helpful votes
  • 154
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  • A Clockwork Murder

  • The Night a Twisted Fantasy Became a Demented Reality
  • By: Steve Jackson
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 223

In April 1997, pretty, 22-year-old Jacine Gielinski stopped her car at a red light in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She had no idea that the two young men looking at her from the car next to hers would in that moment decide she would be their target for unspeakable horrors.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • well written, excellent narration

  • By Roberta on 07-08-17

well written, excellent narration

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

Reviewed: 07-08-17

This is not a run of the mill true crime book. The victims were not engaged in risky behavior. The criminals conduct was not predictable. Even the court room scenes provide clear insight into the workings of the justice system. Usually I find the court proceedings tedious and obvious. Not so with this book.
The author guides us so we get to know the victim's family and feel empathy. Thus, this is not just another "case".
The Narrator did an excellent job. I could find no fault with his reading.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Portrait of a Monster

  • Joran van der Sloot, a Murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery
  • By: Lisa Pulitzer, Cole Thompson
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

In May 2005, Natalee Holloway disappeared from a high school trip to Aruba. A 22-year-old Dutchman, Joran van der Sloot, was arrested in connection with the murder, only to be released after questioning. He admitted to being present for Holloway's death - but later recanted his statement.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting from beginningto end!

  • By Cynthia on 10-19-11

two story lines interwoven well

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

Reviewed: 01-16-17

This is a good book, however, the author seemed to eulogize the victims. The victims' social circles and families were was presented as too good to be true.
The narration was fine except she pronounced the name Joran as URINE. This she said repeatedly. I do not speak Dutch, but I think if that is the only way to use this name, the narrator should have used his last name or searched for a nickname. It was VERY distracting to hear urine every few sentences.

  • Accused

  • My Fight for Truth, Justice and the Strength to Forgive
  • By: Tonya Craft
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 150

Tonya Craft, a Georgia kindergarten teacher and loving mother of two, never expected a knock on her door to change her life forever. But in May 2008, false accusations of child molestation turned her world upside down. The trial that followed dragged her reputation through the mud and lent nationwide notoriety to her name. Tonya's life spiraled into a witch-trial nightmare in which she was deemed guilty before her innocence could be determined by a jury.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heartwrenching Story

  • By Mary F. on 11-27-15

a terrifying true story

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

Reviewed: 12-28-15

If you could sum up Accused in three words, what would they be?

Could be anyone!

What did you like best about this story?

Well told, held my interest, insightful and inspiring. God helped her when she prayed.

What about Hillary Huber’s performance did you like?

Just the right tone, not shrill. Emphatic stress when appropriate.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The entire ordeal is moving. There is relief from the tension as she describes other events.

Any additional comments?

This book would be a good gift for someone who is seeking faith in God. The woman's faith got her through this nightmare.
This could happen to anyone.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • If I Can't Have You:

  • Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children
  • By: Gregg Olsen, Rebecca Morris
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington, Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,534
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,422
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,414

The tragic story of Susan Powell and her murdered boys, Charlie and Braden, is the only case that rivals the Jon Benet Ramsey saga in the annals of true crime. When the pretty, blonde Utah mother went missing in December of 2009 the media was swept up in the story - with lenses and microphones trained on Susan's husband, Josh. He said he had no idea what happened to his young wife, and that he and the boys had been camping in the middle of a snowstorm.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Coward and the Angels

  • By Pulplife on 05-20-14

held my attention

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

Reviewed: 05-11-15

Would you listen to If I Can't Have You: again? Why?

No. I rarely listen to a book twice. I learned facts about criminology I was unaware of.

What other book might you compare If I Can't Have You: to and why?

This is not as interesting as Starvation Heights which Olsen wrote.

Which character – as performed by Laural Merlington and Kevin Pierce – was your favorite?

Susan's mother.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

not for the faint of heart

Any additional comments?


  • How to Speak Money

  • What the Money People Say - and What It Really Means
  • By: John Lanchester
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 233
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 207

How to Speak Money reveals how the language of money is often a tool to conceal and mislead; he explains hundreds of common economic terms, from GDP to the IMF, amortization to securitization to collateralized debt obligation; and he argues that we all need to speak money lest those who do write the financial rules for themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Broker! I hardly hedged her.

  • By James on 03-02-15

strong liberal bias

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

Reviewed: 04-26-15

This book comes with excellent professional reviews and is worth reading. However, the author displays antagonism towards conservative thinking without using facts or logic to support his position.
Lancaster dismisses supply side economics by saying Why hasn't it worked yet?
Anyone who submitted that concept as a senior thesis would receive a failing grade.
Still I learned a lot and do not regret listening to it. The Narrator is pleasant.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Murders Unsolved: Cases That Have Baffled the Authorities for Years

  • Murder, Scandals, and Mayhem, Book 3
  • By: Mike Riley
  • Narrated by: Paul Aulridge
  • Length: 2 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 26

Murders Unsolved is a collection of the most baffling cases of murder from around the world during the last century. From the murder of Marilyn Reese Sheppard, the possible basis for the TV show and movie The Fugitive, to the sad and lonely Boy in The Box, and from the cruel murder of Dian Fossey to the still unsolved case of young Amber Hagerman that brought about today's Amber Alert system, these cases are confusing, irritating, and still unsolved!

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • superficial, poorly written

  • By Roberta on 04-23-15

superficial, poorly written

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

The author refers to the violent and brutal murder of Mrs. Sam Sheppard as "the fuss". Her seven year old son sleeping in the next room was not awakened by "the fuss".

The writer fails to mention the underlying social and economic factors of the case. Sam Sheppard's father and two brothers were all osteopaths. They owned and opened their own hospital and were taking business from the local medical establishment.

All four men were well known womanizers.

Anti Semitism was also a factor as these four osteopaths were Jewish.

The other cases are fairly interesting. Mediocre book.

  • Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies

  • The Real West
  • By: Bill O'Reilly, David Fisher
  • Narrated by: Tom Wopat
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,834
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,627
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,632

How did Davy Crockett save President Jackson's life only to end up dying at the Alamo? Was the Lone Ranger based on a real lawman-and was he an African American? What amazing detective work led to the capture of Black Bart, the "gentleman bandit" and one of the west's most famous stagecoach robbers? Did Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid really die in a hail of bullets in South America? Generations of Americans have grown up on TV shows, movies and books about these western icons. But what really happened in the Wild West? All the stories you think you know, and others that will astonish you, are here--some heroic, some brutal and bloody, all riveting. Included are the ten legends featured in Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies docuseries -from Kit Carson to Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok to Doc Holliday-- accompanied by two bonus chapters on Daniel Boone and Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book

  • By Daniel J. Williams on 08-11-16

entertaining, informative nonfiction

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

Reviewed: 04-16-15

The Narrator is not quite as good as when the author does the narration. The book is well written, however, the story lacks comic relief.

Many crimes are related, but the gruesome nature of the acts is not over played.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Evil Intentions

  • The Story of How an Act of Kindness Led to Senseless Murder
  • By: Ronald J. Watkins
  • Narrated by: Greg Lutz
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Evil Intentions explores to depravity of this crime, taking the listener into the lives and minds of the killers, relating the tragic consequences to her family and loved ones. Written by the court investigator who prepared the presentencing reports on the killers, it offers rare insight into the criminal investigation, plea bargaining, and trial.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • bought this book without listening to the sample..

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-13-15

gripping story, disappointing narration

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

Reviewed: 12-31-14

The Narrator has a sing song lilting voice suitable for reading a fairy tale, not suitable for true crime.
However, this nonfiction book was still worth listening too. The crime is unspeakable. Facts are related without sensationalizing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Vampire Next Door

  • The True Story of the Vampire Rapist
  • By: J.T. Hunter, RJ Parker Publishing
  • Narrated by: Rob Shamblin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 64

John Crutchley seemed to be living the American Dream. Good-looking and blessed with a genius level IQ, he had a prestigious, white-collar job at a prominent government defense contractor, where he held top secret security clearance and handled projects for NASA and the Pentagon. To all outward appearances, he was a hard-working, successful family man with a lavish new house, a devoted wife, and a healthy young son.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too twisted

  • By Veruka on 02-06-15

nonfiction described as a novel

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

Reviewed: 12-18-14

The author explains that this is a nonfiction work with some speculation. The one surviving victim relates a riveting description of her capture, torture and rape. Many interesting facts are revealed and this book held my interest. However much of the psychiatric "science" is little more than psycho babble or pseudo science. The murderer's imperfect parents are offered as an explanation for the man's evil which I find unfounded. Prior to the man's death he was smiling an upbeat. This we are advised indicates he was not suicidal. It is a standard principle in psychiatry that once someone resolves to kill them self, their depression lifts and they are nonchalant. Thus, cheerfulness is not an indication that the person did not take their life.
The Narrator neither adds nor detracts from the story.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Pain and Gain

  • The Untold True Story
  • By: Marc Schiller
  • Narrated by: Bill Fike
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 45

What if you were kidnapped, tied to a wall for a month, starved, humiliated, tortured and then they tried to murder you, but you survived? What stories would you tell of how you were able to survive and the struggles you went though? What if you went to the police and they did not believe you? What would you do to evade those trying to kill you and how would you bring the criminals to justice before they struck again? How would that change your life and the way you perceived the world and people?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 star listen pain and gain.

  • By Damien on 05-25-15

a living nightmare, well told

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

Reviewed: 12-14-14

This nonfiction account of kidnapping, torture and identity theft is compelling. The author manages to insert comic relief with wit and sarcasm, making the story bearable.

The author, who was also the victim, does not address this crime in a larger social context and thus leaves unanswered questions.

This ruthless crime is unusual in the USA which is why the police and even doctors refused to believe him. How many of the criminals were born in the USA? Are these crimes common in the countries they came from? The victim's wife was not American. In the country she came from the police are corrupt. Did this explain why she did not notify the authorities when her husband went missing?

Why was the press not alerted if the police would not respond? Why was a Congressman not notified?

The larger issue of the impact of immigration on crime was not addressed. This exploration would have added dimension to this story.

The narration is very well done.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful