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  • Dark Sacred Night

  • A Ballard and Bosch Novel
  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Christine Lakin, Titus Welliver
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,158

Renée Ballard is working the night beat again and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out but then checks into the case herself, and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger. Bosch is investigating the death of 15-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of Connelly's best; great narration!

  • By Wayne on 10-31-18

Somewhat disappointing Bosch entry

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

There's a lot of what we love about Bosch books here--especially Bosch and his relentless pursuit of justice. Ballard is also a compelling character--perhaps Bosch's equal in detective skills and stubbornness. Yet, the audiobook suffered, I think, because of the dual-narrator structure. Particularly when Christine Lakin, voicing Ballard, reads dialogue from Bosch, the effect is quite jarring, particularly as the familiar voice of Titus Welliver as Bosch narrates around a third of the chapters. The crime solving also relies a bit too much on coincidence. Finally, the ending is less than believable as Ballard and Bosch undertake wholly unnecessary and risky actions that could have doomed the successful prosecution of a cold case that could have been otherwise obtained with an investigation proceeding in an orderly, "by the book" fashion. It seemed the imperative of suspense trumped police procedural verisimilitude.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Dark Redemption

  • A Carrigan and Miller Novel, Book 1
  • By: Stav Sherez
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

A Dark Redemption introduces DI Jack Carrigan and DS Geneva Miller as they investigate the brutal rape and murder of a young Ugandan student. Plunged into an underworld of illegal immigrant communities, they discover that the murdered girl's studies at a London College may have threatened to reveal things that some people will go to any lengths to keep secret.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Over-narrated

  • By Glenn on 06-29-12

Police procedural falls down on procedure

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

There's a lot to like about A Dark Redemption--the writing and pacing are excellent and the narration is quite good. However, the genre is a police procedural and, even to this American civilian, the details about British police procedures range from dubious to outright absurd. To take but one example, a detective inspector and detective sergeant accompanied by uniform constables wielding a battering ram would not take the lead in 'clearing' each room of a murder suspect's home while the uniformed constables cool their heals outside; an armed police detail would be leading the charge. There are many other similar procedural missteps which mar an otherwise decent novel. The author would have benefited from befriending an ex-copper who could have given his manuscript a good read. Other aspects of the plot really don't hold together, but they could have been overlooked.

  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,994
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,801
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,793

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

Excellent literary mystery/thriller

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

To say I got my credit's worth with "The Witch Elm," would be a great understatement. Tana French's Dublin police novels have been terrific. In "The Witch Elm," a stand-alone novel, she takes her art to a new, higher place. On one level, it is an exquisite, puzzling series of mysteries--"who did it?" But in another, it is a contemplation of "fortuna," as the Romans would say, or fate, or luck as the protagonist of "The Witch Elm," starts and ends this book. Two things make this book well suited to audio format. First, it is a first-person narrative, so hearing the protagonist tell his story seems very natural. Second, the book has several lengthy scenes, set-pieces of dialogue, either conversation or police interrogation, interrupted with very little narrative. At times, some or these scenes sounded like a verbatim transcript. It is a literary device that worked very well in this book, and probably even better on audio. The narrator was excellent. The only reason I withhold a fifth star is that, in some of these extended dialogue scenes, the voices of different characters tended to blur together a bit. Also, the characterization of Leon, the protagonist's gay cousin, was a bit too campy. These are small cavils. Overall, this book is highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Norwegian by Night

  • By: Derek B. Miller
  • Narrated by: Sean Mangan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,502
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,299
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,300

Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient, and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. Sheldon is an ex-Marine, and he feels responsible for his son's death in Vietnam. Recently widowed and bereft, he talks to the ghosts of his past constantly. To Norway's cops, Sheldon is just an old man who is coming undone at the end of a long and hard life. But Sheldon is clear in his own mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Miss This Amazing Book

  • By Sara on 07-17-14

Memorable, but hard to categorize, novel.

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

Miller's Norwegian by Night is very engaging--combining philosophical (even theological) recollections of an old man, within a thriller context. It kept me very engaged and eager to listen to the sequel. My only cavil is with the narrator who was otherwise fine: he used specific Canadian pronunciation of "been" rhyming with "bean" not "ben," and constantly changing the pronunciation of the mostly-off screen character, "Saul," as alternatively "Saul," "Sol" and "Sal."

  • The Word Is Murder

  • A Novel
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,581
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,493
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,486

The New York Times best-selling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty brilliantly reinvents the classic crime novel once again with this clever and inventive mystery starring a fictional version of the author himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes, investigating a case involving buried secrets, murder, and a trail of bloody clues.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Something New

  • By Alice on 06-26-18

Ingenious mystery

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

This was a delicious mystery, with an very innovative and clever modern take on Holmes and Watson. Very enjoyable.

  • Time and Tide

  • DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 7
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 407
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404

Change is afoot at Kings Lake Central police station. A most unexpected new detective inspector takes up his post this Monday morning, and the oldest detective in the place takes a momentous decision. Around them, other officers are considering their own situations, and even the building itself seems to be facing an uncertain future. But life and death go on, nevertheless, and by lunchtime someone will make a grim discovery on the Norfolk saltmarshes. A stranger seems to have suffered a slow and agonizing death out there.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful British modern detective series!

  • By Wayne on 01-26-18

Let's hope DC Smith returns!

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

Reviewed: 04-18-18

Peter Grainger and Gildart Jackson voicing DC Smith are an irresistible combination. In Smith, Grainger has created a wonderful character, ready to deploy brilliance and sarcasm in equal measure. With Smith's retirement, this appears to be the finale of an incredible series, but i hope Grainger brings Smith back from the brink, allowing him to continue to manage his colleagues of senior and junior rank.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Kremlin's Candidate

  • The Red Sparrow Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Jason Matthews
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,359
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,141

Russian counterintelligence chief Colonel Dominika Egorova has been a recruited asset of the CIA, stealing Kremlin secrets for her CIA handler, Nate Nash, for over seven years. In the dazzling finale to the Red Sparrow Trilogy, their forbidden and tumultuous love affair continues, mortally dangerous for them both but irresistible. In Washington, a newly installed US administration is selecting its cabinet members. Dominika hears a whisper of a closely held Kremlin operation to place a mole inside a high intelligence position.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Torn from today’s news

  • By Gary on 02-15-18

Great ending to great series.

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

This is an excellent finale to the Red Sparrow Trilogy. With the exception of somewhat unbelievable plotting and dubious tradecraft towards the end, which were absent from the two earlier entries in the series, the book was excellent. Fans of quality espionage (e.g., LeCarre) won't be disappointed.

  • A Treacherous Curse

  • By: Deanna Raybourn
  • Narrated by: Angele Masters
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 972
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 971

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can't resist the allure of an exotic mystery - particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I rarely give a book a 5, but....

  • By bigdjunta on 04-27-18

Has this series reached its limit? For me it has.

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

Maybe it's me, but this series seems to be getting a little tiresome. The elaborate Victorian dialogue wears on me, the characters seem even less realistic, and the plot seems strained. Even the narrator's arch tone has become grating. Time for me to move on, I guess.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • A Tapping at My Door

  • By: David Jackson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,025
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,009

From the best-selling author of Cry Baby, the beginning of a brilliant and gripping police procedural series set in Liverpool, perfect for fans of Peter James and Mark Billingham. A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She's disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes. DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Star Start, Wowed.

  • By green ice cream garden on 06-28-16

Not credible police procedural

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

Reviewed: 06-06-17

As a police procedural, this book falls very far short of credibility. The protagonist suffers from such clear PTS, it's doubtful he'd be permitted to return to duty. His heroics defy belief, and the motivations of the deranged villain seem unconvincing. The author has an annoying habit of withholding information discovered by a character for chapters to build a false cliffhanger sense--a very cheap literary trick. Other characters, including the DI and the love interest are paper thin and not believable.

  • Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 6
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,650
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,543
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,544

Belfast, 1988. A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave. Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing better than a Duffy tale!

  • By 6catz on 03-10-17

McKinty and Doyle do it again!

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

Reviewed: 03-13-17

I can't think of a single author whose new books I eagerly await more than Adrian McKinty. In the Sean Duffy series, McKinty has created a truly memorable, complex character, living and working as a Catholic policeman in the protestant Ulster Police Force in the late 1980s. Gerard Doyle voices Duffy (and other memorable characters, particularly Sgt. "Crabby" McCrabben, brilliantly. I would recommend listening to this series in order.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful