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Lisa

  • 20
  • reviews
  • 46
  • helpful votes
  • 175
  • ratings
  • Dead Certain

  • A Novel
  • By: Adam Mitzner
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,045
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,845
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,843

Ella Broden is living a double life. By day, Ella works as a buttoned-up attorney on some of the city's most grueling cases. By night, she pursues her passion for singing in the darkest clubs of Manhattan. No one knows her secret, not even Charlotte, the younger sister she practically raised. But it seems she's not the only one in the family with something to hide. When Charlotte announces she's sold her first novel, Ella couldn't be more thrilled...until she gets a call that her sister's gone missing.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed Review

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-16-17

Suspension of disbelief a must.

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

I enjoyed this book & found it engrossing enough to overlook how hokey the plot was. The writing is probably what saved it from being snort-worthy.

I probably won’t read another from this author but it was a good way to pass the time during a spring clean. And it was on sale. 😊

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Livia Lone

  • By: Barry Eisler
  • Narrated by: Barry Eisler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,063
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,872
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,869

Seattle PD sex-crimes detective Livia Lone knows the monsters she hunts. Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason; marooned in America; abused by the men who trafficked them...the only thing that kept Livia alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason. Livia has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison. Or, when that fails, by putting them in the ground.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is a heartbreaker that makes u want 2 hit someone!

  • By shelley on 10-27-16

Grim, moving, empowering

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

Reviewed: 10-28-17

Parts of this book were hard to stomach. The author is unflinching in the depiction of the horrors of child abuse & trafficking.

Livia is a strong, likable, relatable anti-hero and I found my self doing mental fist pumps when she dealt to her abusers. Some people simply don’t deserve to live.

The writing is tight & jumping between then/now never confused the story. The narration was excellent.

  • Ratking

  • Aurelio Zen, Book 1
  • By: Michael Dibdin
  • Narrated by: Michael Kitchen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 133

A powerful industrialist, Ruggiero Miletti, is kidnapped. Inspector Zen is transferred to Perugia to take over the case - but finds that there are many obstacles in his way. The local authorities see him as an interloper, and the victim’s family, one of the most powerful in Italy, seem content to let Miletti languish in the hands of his abductors. Zen has crossed swords with the establishment before - and lost. Can he succeed this time?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Main character let me down....

  • By Janet on 04-27-14

Couldn't finish. :-(

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

Reviewed: 08-21-16

I love the 2011 3-part Zen TV series so I thought I'd give the books a go. This could be a great story/series but I won't be finding out from the audio versions.

Ninety minutes in, I gave up after realizing I'd not taken in any of the story because of the awful narration. His voice is nice enough but his choppy/biting manner of (over)acting rather than narrating is very irritating. If I don't like a narrator, I can usually put push through to the end but I was beaten by this one.

I'll stick to the printed version on this series.

  • Villa in Italy

  • By: Elizabeth Edmondson
  • Narrated by: Nicolette McKenzie
  • Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 863
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 767
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 770

Marvellously atmospheric tale of strangers summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast. Each of them has been named in a will, but nobody knows their benefactress.... Four very different people are named in a will. Delia, an opera singer robbed of her voice by illness; George, an idealistic scientist who cannot face what his skills have created; Marjorie, desperately poor and unable to dislodge her writer’s block; and Lucius, ostensibly in control but whose personal life is in chaos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gentle mystery.

  • By Lisa on 08-19-16

A gentle mystery.

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

Reviewed: 08-19-16

I was having a bad week. I listened to this book and, as corny as it sounds, it lifted my spirits. This book is not what I'd consider 'high art' or a classic but it's wonderfully evocative and a good escape. If I had to pick one word it would be 'soothing' and I'll be listening to it again.

This is a slow building story with the first 2/3 of the book fleshing out the characters, their backstories and the villa itself. The main characters are very likable, even the often irritating Marjorie, and you really get a sense of their burdens and how the villa and its inhabitants help them 'come alive' again. The visitors are mostly unlikable and come off as shallow and selfish, which is a nice contrast to the main players. However, on getting to know them a little better as the story unfolds they're actually OK (Theo & Felicity)... except Richie; he's a jerk. The last 1/3 has the reveals coming thick and fast (but it's not hard to guess them). Relationships are revealed, mended, ended and cemented and everything is wrapped up nicely. I came away from this book feeling a lighter and happier.

Excellent narration. With so many characters, it would be easy for the listener to become confused but Nicolette McKenzie has given them each a unique voice. I think I'll try one of the other Elizabeth Edmondson books she's narrated, maybe Villa on the Riviera.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • A Time of Torment

  • A Charlie Parker Thriller, Book 14
  • By: John Connolly
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so destroyed himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized. But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him and of an entity that hides in a ruined stockade. Parker is not like other men. He died and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • True Return To Form

  • By Bill on 08-30-16

Read this book!

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

Reviewed: 08-09-16

I downloaded this book the day it was released but before listening, I went back and listened to the previous 2 books (definitely recommend it). I finished 'A Time of Torment' yesterday and it's really been playing on my mind, which is a good thing.

I loved this and didn't want it to end. This is not a fast paced book; the story unwinds slowly and in great detail and no scene is wasted. The writing is very descriptive; The Cut gave me the heebie jeebies in the same way that Caleb Kyle in 'Dark Hollow' did (Parker certainly knows how to find isolated, corrupt communities and/or weirdos) and Paige's story gave me a lump in my throat. Parker's deadliness has been nicely built up in the previous books but until now, it's been more subtle. In this book, it's on full display; even the mention of his name is enough to send folks running for cover. Parker's relationship with The Collector just keeps getting better. Angel & Louis... I know they kill people and all but I just love them. And Sam... she's scarier than all of the characters put together.

This book has reminded me why I loved this series in the first place. I think I'm going to have to go back and listen to some of the earlier books to keep me busy until the next in the series comes out.

Excellent narration by Jeff Harding.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Song of Shadows

  • A Charlie Parker Thriller
  • By: John Connolly
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 364

Still recovering from his life-threatening wounds, private detective Charlie Parker investigates a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War. Parker has retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to regain his strength. There he befriends a widow named Ruth Winter and her young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth has her secrets. Old atrocities are about to be unearthed, and old sinners will kill to hide their sins.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie Parker reboot.

  • By Lisa on 08-07-16

Charlie Parker reboot.

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

Reviewed: 08-07-16

I really like this series but (to me) Parker seemed to have been drifting in many of the previous books. 'Parker on a mission' is one of the more interesting aspects of the series and he seemed to have lost that for a while. The events in 'Wolf in Winter' and this book have given him his edge back and, although still recovering, he's much more driven & lethal than before.

The supernatural element is still there but seems more focused (I can't think of a better word). Parker's relationship with his daughters is both touching & ominous. The scenes with Angel & Louis are still great and I'm looking forward to seeing how Parker's connection to The Collector plays out in the next book, which I've just downloaded.

Excellent narration; Jeff Harding is always great though.

Overall, these last 2 books have really renewed my interest in the series and I'm excited for the next one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Witness [Brilliance Audio Edition]

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,852
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,517
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,479

Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • JUST SIMPLY FANTASTIC LISTENING ! !

  • By Gary on 04-24-12

Sweet and well written

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

Reviewed: 07-28-16

Romance books usually aren't my thing but I really enjoyed this one and it's become one of my 'comfort' books that I've listened to multiple times.

Roberts has created some well-rounded, intelligent and funny characters (although there are some stereotypes in this story as well) and Julia Whelan makes the story very easy to get lost in.

It was nice 'watching' Abigail blossom from rigid, frosty and guarded to more open and humorous. I loved her self-sufficiency and non-traditional views on relationships and her social awkwardness was endearing. Brooks' laid-back nature, tenacity and in-your-face family was a perfect match for her. The Gleason family's acceptance of Abigail was moving, given her non-relationship with her own mother. Even Bert (the Italian, French & Farsi understanding dog) was a great character; I would've liked to have 'seen' him in action.

Ms. Whelan did a great job with voices and accents. She easily goes from Abigail's straighforward logic to Sylbie to Sunny to a drunken Tybal. There's no confusing any of the characters.

I've found Nora Roberts books to be hit-and-miss but this one hit the mark with me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Death and the Brewmaster's Widow

  • By: Loretta Ross
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405

When firefighter Randy Bogart perishes in the arson fire at an abandoned brewery known as the Brewmaster's Widow, Death Bogart and his girlfriend Wren Morgan travel to St. Louis, Missouri, to find closure. They discover that Randy left his badge behind at the firehouse before going to the brewery. But the coroner finds another badge on Randy's body, leaving Death and Wren with more questions than answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By Beatrice on 04-10-16

Another winner

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

Reviewed: 07-28-16

If you could sum up Death and the Brewmaster's Widow in three words, what would they be?

Fun and funny.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Not so much the plot, which was kind of obvious. I really liked how this picked up immediately from the 1st book and the relationship between Death and Wren. These are 2 intelligent, well-rounded characters who have good chemistry and a nice connection.

What about Amanda Ronconi’s performance did you like?

Ms. Ronconi is outstanding is almost every book I've heard her narrate. She gives Wren, Death, the Keystones (love them!) etc depth and humor.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Any additional comments?

I'd really like to hear more about Wren's background.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Waning Light

  • By: Loreth Anne White
  • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
  • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,855
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,856

Two decades after her sister's brutal attack and murder, Meg Brogan has finally found happiness...or so it appears. A bestselling true-crime writer, Meg has money, fame, and a wealthy fiancé. But when a television-show host presses her to tackle the one story everyone claims she cannot write - the story of her own family's destruction - her perfect life shatters.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Yes it is a suspense thriller, but...

  • By Wayne on 05-22-16

I've already forgotten most of this story

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

Reviewed: 07-28-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Just give this poor woman a break. She's in her mid-30s and her sister has been brutally murdered, she nearly died herself, lost her memory, her father died in prison after being convicted of the murder, her mother committed suicide (or did she?) and she was taken in by an aunt who now has dementia. Oh, and her rich, handsome boyfriend is a jerk.

The characters weren't very well developed. The premise of the book was interesting (old murder mystery, small town secrets) but somehow it never really grabbed me.

What was most disappointing about Loreth Anne White’s story?

The author turned what could've been an interesting relationship between Meg and Blake's son into a cliche.

And the Hollywood ending was irritating (although, as said above, I think Meg has suffered enough).

What does Tanya Eby bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She was easy to listen to and did a good job with the male/female voices.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was only $2.95.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Obsession

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Shannon McManus
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,266
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,806
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,726

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father's crimes and made him infamous. Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she's ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up - especially the determined Xander Keaton.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Total Letdown

  • By McChica04 on 07-11-16

Likeable characters ruined by the narration

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

Reviewed: 07-28-16

Would you try another book from Nora Roberts and/or Shannon McManus?

Nora Roberts, yes. Shannon McManus... not sure

What other book might you compare The Obsession to and why?

No idea. The first part of the book with young Naomi finding out what her father is was well done but after that it kind of became predictable. The baddie was obvious from the get-go, the profiling aspect (which could have been made very interesting) was cliched. I did like the house renovation parts though. And the dog.

Would you be willing to try another one of Shannon McManus’s performances?

It depends but I'd definitely listen to a sample and take note of other reviews before downloading. She did a good job with the female voices but I found the male voices irritating (I think she was going for 'commanding' but her dragging out of the beginning of sentences and over pronouncing was distracting)

What would have made this romance irresistible?

If they'd cut out him always telling her what to do and her yelling "stop telling me what to do".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful