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Jade Da Costa

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  • Summit Lake

  • By: Charlie Donlea
  • Narrated by: Shannon McManus
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,910
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,765
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,767

Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water. But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. The daughter of a powerful attorney, Becca was hard-working, accomplished, and ambitious. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very sad ending to a promising young life...

  • By shelley on 09-13-17

Charlie Donlea Knows how to Write Mystery Novels

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

Reviewed: 09-03-17

Where does Summit Lake rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the best. The story is original and interesting, and the temporal converging of past and present narratives unfolds in an unique, thoughtful manner that consistently engages the reader. The characters are interesting, well-bounded, three dimensional, and - with the exception of Becka's murderer - likable and genuine. The interpersonal dynamics are fantastic and developed excellently (both by the narrator and the author). The story is always interesting and the ending is so, so good,It is unexpected, but analytically supported and developed by the narrative.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Summit Lake?

The moment you find out who Becka's murderer is. Brilliant.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending when Kelsey finds the dwelling of the murderer and the death of Becka and the circumstances surrounding it jointly unfold to reveal the twisted mind of her killer.

Any additional comments?

If you enjoy thrillers and mysteries, you need to read this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl Who Lied

  • The 2016 Best-Selling Psychological Drama
  • By: Sue Fortin
  • Narrated by: Amy De Bhrún
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 320
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 320

The truth hurts.... Erin and Roisin were friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now Roisin has discovered a secret - one Erin has kept for over a decade - and she's determined to make Erin pay for her lies. Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin - and her past.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Overall Mediocre, Slow Moving

  • By David on 01-07-17

Terrible Story, Incredibly Sexist

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

What would have made The Girl Who Lied better?

A more interesting story line and less sexism. The story was slow, and was centered around a "secret" that - at least in the context of most Western societies and communities - is only "shocking" if you first buy into an outdated anti-abortion plot. Abortion is represented as immoral and even adoption is portrayed as "abandoning" your child(red), which, frankly, is not only sexist but just stupid. What made these elements even more offensive was that there unethical qualities were taken-for-granted and presumed obvious; women who get abortions or put their children up for adoption - not matter what the circumstances - are bad people. While the actual "twist" or "secret" is somewhat interesting, it becomes obvious long before it is meant to be figured out and it slow coming to develop. In addition. there is little to no thrill, horror, psychological intrigue or suspense; it is essentially a bad drama with a little "edge." The female characters are also 2 dimensional and the female-male interpersonal dynamics are androcentric and gender normative; men are the decision makers, the intellectual, confident and independent ones, women are secondary - often described as "strong" and "independent" but never actually portrayed as such.

Would you ever listen to anything by Sue Fortin again?

No. Her books are clearly designed for individuals living in Ireland who are entrenched in a specific culture and history; their is a clear disdain for the English and the middle/upper class that seems to be particular to Ireland, as does the anti-abortion, pro-gender normative, patriarchal family structure. This book is for a very specific reader. I honestly never realized how sexist and gender normative Ireland could be - even if just culturally - until reading this book. The problematic socio-political implications were not the only issue however; the book is poorly written and slow, the "twists" are boring and badly developed (no suspense or thrill), and the characters are unsophisticated and boring.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator was dry; however, she was likely restricted by the dryness and mundane qualities of the book itself.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Girl Who Lied?

All of it.

Any additional comments?

Waste of a credit.

  • Stillhouse Lake

  • By: Rachel Caine
  • Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,579

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband's crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace. But just when she's starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake - and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too much

  • By Patti L Langston on 07-18-17

Unique and Captivating Story

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

Reviewed: 08-25-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Stillhouse Lake to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print; however, the narration was excellent. The narrator really brought life and depth to the story; the pain, ability to survive, and strength of the main character is intensely felt with every word.

What did you like best about this story?

The unique POV; telling a story from the perspective of a serial killer's (unknowing) ex-wife is interesting and different and the narrator/writer do a wonderful job developing the perspective in a thoughtful, profound way. You care deeply for the main character and her children but you do not pity her, instead, you admire and appreciate her and cannot wait to see what she does next to fend for herself and her children; the main character is intelligent, resourceful, strong, utterly human, complex, and interesting. This is the way that female characters should be portrayed in horror/thriller novels especially and in culture more generally. Moreover, the story is complex and intriguing - it develops in a timely, thoughtful manner; it is suspenseful and excellently written, and the ending is appropriate, surprising (enough) and adequately brought to fruition. I really enjoyed this book.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene were the main character goes to see her ex-husband in prison is good and the ending is also really good; without giving away anything, the ending is interesting, dynamic, and really showcases all the strengths of the main character. Moreover, the ending analytically and thematically brings everything "together."

The best scene, however, is the prologue when the main character finds out that her husband is a serial killer. It completely draws the reader in to the intensity and complexity of the book.

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

The beginning and the ending were both excellent.

Any additional comments?

The book is surprisingly sensitive to socio-political issues; it has strong feminist undertones and is critical of racism/white privilege. Also, the book includes black characters (even black female characters) which is often an issue for horror/thriller books - the black female character is also a somewhat prominent character. Representation of non-white folks is still not great, and it is only a minimal effort - but a greater effort than most books of this genre (that I have witnessed).

  • Final Girls

  • A Novel
  • By: Riley Sager
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett, Hillary Huber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,666
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,389
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,382

Ten years ago college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to - a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shocking twists and turns

  • By S. Winchester on 07-18-17

A MUST READ

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

Reviewed: 08-19-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Final Girls to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version.

What did you like best about this story?

It was unique and captivating; the narration was fantastic and the characters were well-developed, interesting, and likable (but human). The ways in which the story unfolds is dynamic and thoughtful - the contrast between the story of the present with the story of the past (or the murders) is fantastic. This is just a really, really good book.

What does Erin Bennett and Hillary Huber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They breathe life into the characters and events. The narration of the present (Quincy's POV) is really well done; Quincy is a flawed and complex, but good, strong human and the narrator brings this to life. And the narrator of the past (Pine Cottage) was my favourite part of the book. Every time I heard the narrators voice I became very excited; her narration is some of the best I have ever heard. Her calm and sultry yet intense and believable voice is perfect. She is a wonderful actor.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Merciful Death

  • Mercy Kilpatrick, Book 1
  • By: Kendra Elliot
  • Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,640
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,192
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,194

FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land - and off the grid - in rural Eagle's Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • This was not a well written book.

  • By Jacque on 02-02-17

Good Book

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

Reviewed: 08-10-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It was interesting, unique, and thoughtful. The character development was amazing, the narrator was engaging and likable, and the narrative was strong.

What other book might you compare A Merciful Death to and why?

"The Girl who was Taken;" the story is told from different points of view, in different points of time, with an interesting ending and strong characters with just enough horror and thrill.

Which character – as performed by Teri Schnaubelt – was your favorite?

Merci, hands down.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. It was good - but not intense in any way; I will not be thinking about it in a few weeks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • All the Missing Girls

  • A Novel
  • By: Ms. Megan Miranda
  • Narrated by: Rebekkah Ross
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,334
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,898
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,897

It's been 10 years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne's case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. The decade-old investigation focused on Nic; her brother, Daniel; her boyfriend, Tyler; and Corinne's boyfriend, Jackson. Since then only Nic has left Cooley Ridge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stay with it

  • By Amber on 07-03-16

Underwhelming

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

Reviewed: 08-10-17

Would you try another book from Megan Miranda and/or Rebekkah Ross?

Probably not. The ending was underwhelming, the characters were boring, and the story line was slow; the book had potential, but it consistently fell short.

What do you think your next listen will be?

A horror/thriller that is actually interesting.

What three words best describe Rebekkah Ross’s voice?

Young; endearing; light.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes, but I would not have high expectations.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Couple Next Door

  • A Novel
  • By: Shari Lapena
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,298
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,993
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,955

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all - a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • These twists and turns did not make a great ride..

  • By Claudia H on 11-04-16

A Decent Read

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

Reviewed: 08-10-17

What did you like best about The Couple Next Door? What did you like least?

I liked the complexity of the plot and the narration was well done and believable. What I liked least was that the book was a little too complex; it was over thought and fairly convoluted. It was an interesting and engaging novel. but it needed to be scaled back a bit.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was not especially surprising or shocking, but it was interesting and certainly not mundane. The ending was decent.

Did The Couple Next Door inspire you to do anything?

No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Red Hunter

  • By: Lisa Unger
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,086
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,021
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,016

Claudia Bishop's perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house - one that, unbeknownst to her, has an ugly history and may hide long-buried secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible, May be her best yet

  • By ftmgal on 05-21-17

A Good Book

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

Reviewed: 06-28-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The book was a little slow paced; and often not as exciting as it could have been. There was a lot of excellent character and narrative development which made the story interesting, it just could have been done with stronger effect - I was never dying to know what happened next.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect of the story was the ways in which the multiple narratives in concert with multiple temporal points of view came together to help develop the story line.The story is multilayered and thoughtful. The least interesting element was Raven's story line; there was something boring and lackluster about her character.

What about Julia Whelan’s performance did you like?

She was engaged and believing. She was not the most amazing narrator, but I liked her - I think that with a stronger script, she would have had a greater impact.

Was The Red Hunter worth the listening time?

Yes. It was a good - not amazing - book. I liked listening to it.

  • The Girl Who Was Taken

  • By: Charlie Donlea
  • Narrated by: Nina Alvamar
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,820
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,802

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods. A year later the best-selling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book!!!

  • By tarafarah7: Tara Brown on 06-07-17

An Excellent Read

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

Would you listen to The Girl Who Was Taken again? Why?

A 100 per cent. This book was interesting, entertaining, engaging, well developed, and unique. The characters were excellent and the ways in which the narrative was told from multiple points of view (including the novel's villain) and from various points in time, slowly piecing the narrative together with the introduction of new pieces of knowledge that constantly enrich the story, was excellent. This was one of my favourite books I have listened to on Audible.

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

Yes; refer to above answer.

What about Nina Alvamar’s performance did you like?

She felt like the characters herself; especially Nicole. She brought the characters to life and constantly engaged the reader.

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

The question isn't "why was she taken?" it is, "how did she escaped?"

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • The Memory Watcher

  • By: Minka Kent
  • Narrated by: Sally Vahle, Morgan Laure
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,758
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,447
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,438

When Autumn Carpenter stumbles upon the social media account of the family who adopted her infant daughter years ago, she finds herself instantly drawn into their picture-perfect existence. From behind a computer screen, Autumn watches Grace's every memory, from birthdays to holidays to bedtime snuggles. But what starts as an innocent fascination soon spirals into an addictive obsession that comes to a screeching halt the day the McMullen family closes their Instaface account.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved this book!

  • By Yikes on 06-24-17

A Millennial Thriller

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

If you could sum up The Memory Watcher in three words, what would they be?

Topical, unique, and engaging.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Memory Watcher?

The end is excellent, in regards to both form and content. However, the entire premise makes for fascinating moments; the focus on social media and the contrast between how the adoptive family is perceived by Autumn and how it is actually felt by Daphne is thoughtful and intelligent. The entire book is intelligent but suspenseful - one of my favourite audio books, my favourite thriller-mystery.

What about Sally Vahle and Morgan Laure ’s performance did you like?

The felt like the character's themselves; their performance is one of the main reasons the book is so excellent. They are wonderful actresses and they completely suck you into the novel; the two best narrators (with the exception of those narrating their own autobiographies) I have heard thus far.

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

Yes. Hard yes.

Any additional comments?

Read it.