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  • A Sticky Inheritance

  • Maple Syrup Mysteries series, Book 1
  • By: Emily James
  • Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
  • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 45

Nicole Fitzhenry-Dawes feels like she's the only failure amid a family of high achievers. Her last serious boyfriend turned out to be married and her career as a criminal defense attorney is in tatters. When her uncle passes away and leaves her his maple syrup farm in Michigan, she thinks it might be time for a career change - hopefully one that allows her to stay as far away from murderers and liars as possible. For half a day at least.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good start

  • By Beatrice on 05-02-18

Enjoyed this new-to-me author and narrator

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

So, I started listening to cozy mysteries with the Beechwood Harbor Magic Mystery series, because Amanda Ronconi was the narrator and I love her. I found the genre is everything I had heard it was. So, when Andrea Emmes, who was a narrator interview over at Hot Listens, offered me a book to give her a try, I decided to try this cozy mystery. I have not read this author before and Andrea was new-to-me too, but nothing like going for something new. I’m really glad I did.

Nicole Fitzhenry-Dawes is a lawyer in her parents firm. Everyone in her family is either a doctor or lawyer and since she’s not a fan of blood, lawyer it was. She’s not a huge fan of it, but wants to live up to what her parents want her to be. That is until she goes up to Michigan to settle her uncle’s estate after his death (her father’s brother and a former cardiologist). The uncle moves to a small town in Michigan after a heart scare. He bought a maple farm and was making maple syrup products. Nikki’s parents disown him for this, though Nikki did keep in touch.

It isn’t long before Nikki realizes something is up. Her uncle’s death was ruled a suicide and she knows this isn’t the case. I won’t go into how I feel like anyone is capable of suicide and hiding it from those closest to them, but in this case, Nikki is right, her uncle was murdered.

It is a cute story as Nikki continues to learn more about people in this small tourist town. The mystery was well thought out. I liked watching as Nikki worked through the small clues she finds. The other characters in the small town are delightful. I could see myself reading/listening to more of this series.

Narration:
This is my first listen from Andrea Emmes. I have to say I really enjoyed her narration. She did a great job with the male and female voices (and there are really more male than female voices in this story). There is also the voice of dying woman (again, heart issues), she was very weak and Andrea did a great job with portraying that in with the voice. I thought she did a good job in bringing out the light humor in the story too. Her pace and tone were spot on. I would love to listen to Andrea Emmes narrator more books.

**I received a free copy of this audiobook and voluntarily chose to review it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Head On (Narrated by Amber Benson)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Amber Benson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 682
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 636
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 637

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent's head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are "threeps", robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden's Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real, and the crowds love it. Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Sequel

  • By Craig on 04-20-18

Great mix of cop drama and sci-fi.

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

This is the second book in John Scalzi’s Lock In series. In this futuristic world, many people contracted a plague that left about one percent of the population with Haden’s Syndrome. Anyone who has Haden’s Syndrome, their minds are fully functional, but their bodies are pretty much useless, though they have to be cared for, like fed through a feeding tube and kept clean. In this world, scientist have created a neural net, which is implanted in their brains to allow them to exist outside of their bodies. The Agora is a virtual space where Haden’s sufferers can interact together or have their own personal space. They also have robots, known as threeps, named for C3PO.

Chris Shane, our main character, has had Haden’s Syndrome since they were a child. I use plural pronouns, because we don’t know Chris’s actual sex. The book is written, and narrated by two narrators, so you can choose the sex of Chris (something I didn’t realize when I listened to the first book). Chris is the child of a wealthy former NBA star. Chris is also a former child celebrity, because he had Haden’s so young and had a child size threep. There is even a famous picture of Chris giving a flower to the pope. Now, Chris is an FBI agent who works mostly on Haden’s related cases with his partner, Leslie Vann. Vann is actually a former Integrator. Basically, that means she has the neural net in her brain. She used to allow (for a fee, of course) Haden’s sufferers, to use her body for things they can’t do with threeps or in the Agora.

In Head On, we are introduced to a game that is professionally played by Haden’s sufferers. They have specially designed threeps which they beat the crap out of and try to rip the head off one of the players and get it through the goalposts. That is until someone dies in the middle of a preseason game with a lot of potential investors (including Chris’s wealthy parents). As Chris and Vann investigate, things get even more complicated.

I really enjoyed this combination of cop drama and science fiction. The characters are very well written. I’ve very invested in even the minor secondary characters, like Chris’s flatmates. I think the partnership between Vann and Chris is great. I’m also a big fan of all the sci-fi elements of this story. It really appeals to my geeky side, without being so techy, that I’m lost.

Narration:
The first book in the series, I listened to Wil Wheaton narrate the male version of the book. This time, I tried Amber Benson’s narration for the female POV. It was interesting listening to this with the different narrator. I’ve never listened to Amber Benson before. I think she did a really good job, though I thought Vann’s voice was a little too masculine for me (though, I think she did this on purpose. She is a very masculine woman).

Even though I was listening to Chris as a woman, I still continued to think of Chris more of a man. I think that is because that was the first time I was introduced to them. I still thought Amber Benson did a great job with her narration. I would listen to her in future, but will probably go back to Wil Wheaton for this series, just because Chris seems to want to be a man in my mind.

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  • I'll Be Gone in the Dark

  • One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
  • By: Michelle McNamara
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn - introduction, Patton Oswalt - afterword
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,073
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,520

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer - the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade - from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Listen to Scare Yourself in the Dark

  • By Trixie Runnin' on 03-04-18

Chilly listen

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

I’ve been on a kick of reading books about serial killers (I blame Lorelei King when she talked about narrating The Stranger Beside Me by Anne Rule in her interview for Audiobook Month in 2017). I had to listen. I had actually read the book in high school, but forgot that I had. Then I went on to listen to John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster by Judge Sam L. Amirante and Danny Broderick. Then I was building the post for Gabra Zachman’s interview for Audiobook Month in 2018, and I learned that she read the book that everyone is talking about, after the capture of Golden State Killer, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to listen to this book.

Now, there were several differences between this book and the two I listened to previously. One, this entire book wasn’t written by Michelle McNamara. She died prior to the book being finished. I do feel that the editor did a great job of pulling together Michelle’s notes to get as much of the research that she had into the book, but there is a huge difference between McNamara’s writing and what was put together after she died. She just had a great way of telling her story and you can really feel her passion in the way she writes, that just isn’t the same on on the parts she didn’t.

The second thing is that this book was written before anyone even knew who the Golden State Killer was. Hell, Michelle McNamara is the one to give this serial killer and rapist that name. She is the one who figured out that several suspects (Original Night Stalker, Visalia Ransacker and East Area Rapist, aka EAR) were all the same person. The two books I listened to, both killers had been convicted. The first one, Bundy had been convicted when the book was originally released, but had several Afterwords that were added in later additions as more came out until he was finally put to death. Gacy’s book was written after he was already put to death. This really changed how to the story felt, because there really wasn’t a conclusion to the story. And unfortunately, McNamara will never be able to write her Afterword to give her book the conclusion that Anne Rule was able to do with hers.

This book is the columlation of Michelle McNamara’s obsession with cold cases going back decades. She had a true crime website called TrueCrimeDiary. She had a fascination with the death of a girl, Kathleen Lombardo, who lived two blocks from Michelle. That just drove her to research more and more. And boy, did she learn how to research. I think she was better at it than the police (who lack for time and resources, very often, especially on cold cases). Even in the book, she talks about leaving Hollywood parties (her husband is actor/comedian Patton Oswalt) because she learned a new fact that she needed to do more digging on.


Michelle’s doggedness in pursuing this case was astounding. In a typical instance, she tracked down a pair of cuff links that had been stolen from a Stockton crime scene in 1977 on the website of a vintage store in Oregon. But she didn’t do just this; she could also tell you that “boys’ names beginning in N were relatively rare, appearing only once in the top one hundred names of the 1930s and ’40s, when the original owner of the cuff links was likely born.” Mind you, this isn’t even a clue leading to the killer; it’s a clue leading to the cuff links the killer stole. This dedication to particulars was typical. Writes Michelle: “I once spent an afternoon tracking down every detail I could about a member of the 1972 Rio Americano High School water polo team because in the yearbook photo, he appeared lean and to have big calves” — a possible trait of the Golden State Killer.


Michelle did a great job of showing the terror of the people in California when this was going on. She give just enough details to really let you know how bad things are, without getting grumesome or crude with the murders and rapes. You could really feel her compassion for the victims and even the law enforcement officers who lived through this man’s reign of terror.


The case had a profound impact not just on fear and public safety in California, but also on the way that rapes were investigated and how rape victims were treated, said Carol Daly, a detective in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office at the time…Rape victims were seen and cared for faster, and pubic hair, scratches and other evidence were examined and preserved, she said. Rape kits were standardized. “Every victim went through the process,” she said. – From 4/25/18 – NY TIMES article


I was very impressed with everything Michelle did in research and investigating this killer. She had so much information going back many decades. How she made sense of it all is pretty amazing. Add all of that her ability to write really blew me away. I think the only thing that could’ve made this better would be if she had lived to see it all the way to the end (no disrespect to the people who worked so hard to finish her work so it could be released) and if she had the ability to come back and add the update when Joseph James DeAngelo, 72-year-old Navy veteran and former cop, is arrested. Things I can’t fault anyone for. I hope that she can rest in peace knowing how she helped to bring this Southern California terrorist to justice.

Narration
What to say about the narration of books like this? Listening to a book like this isn’t the same as listening to fiction, no matter how dark or gruesome the fiction story is. This story is about real people who went through some really terrible tramas. The narrator has to make their way through these stories, giving voices to these people, who aren’t characters, their real people. You’re going through the horror that these people went through. You’re constantly repeating names of people who are no longer living because of a killer, who is in a sense, the protagonist of the book you’re reading. Gabra Zackman really nails the narration, as she narrates the majority of the book. Gillian Flynn reads the introduction that she writes, which I’m sure neither were easy. Patton Oswalt, the husband of the late Michelle McNamara, reads the Afterword which he writes, which again, must’ve been extremely difficult for him.

**I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review it.

  • Frostbite

  • An Ivy Granger Psychic Detective Prequel Short Story
  • By: E.J. Stevens
  • Narrated by: Melanie A. Mason
  • Length: 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

When a client claims her house is being haunted, Ivy tries to keep her mind open and her weapons handy. If her psychic gifts and recent cases have taught her anything, it's that you're better off arming yourself for the unexpected. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A haunting release

  • By MelHay on 06-21-18

Short, but fun story. Must listen for Ivy fans

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

So, this is a very short story (28 minute audiobook, 31 pages). It is set in the world of Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective. It takes place before the start of the series, so Jinx is the only character other we have, but she is a fun one.

So, Ivy and Jinx have their detective business. A woman comes in and tell them her house is haunted, but everyone knows there’s no such thing as ghosts. But, Ivy goes to investigate.

I can’t give more details, or I would spoil the story. Like I said, it is very short, but is a lot of fun. I think current fans of Ivy Granger will really love this story. I think it would also be a great introduction to new fans as well.

If you like Urban Fantasy with some interesting characters, humor and action, this is a series you need to try.

Narration
Melanie A. Mason has been narrating this series for a while now. She normally has a partner who narrates the male parts of the story, but that was no needed here. She pulled me back into Ivy Granger with ease. I always look forward to hearing her tell me the story.

**I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review it.

  • Jilted Prince

  • By: Eve Langlais
  • Narrated by: Tyler Donne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

Destiny is calling Chris, yet someone forgot to give him an instruction manual on conquering the world. Being the Antichrist is all well and good, but how is he supposed to know how to bring about Armageddon? He's still waiting for his army of minions, the glory, the riches. And where is the respect? You'd think any woman would be ecstatic at the thought of marrying the future ruler of the world. Not Isobel.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I really love all the Lucifer books from Eve

  • By mlsimmons on 07-16-18

I really love all the Lucifer books from Eve

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

Reviewed: 07-16-18

So this is the second book in Eve Langlais’ Hell’s Son series. It picks up at the end of the first book, Lazy Son. If you aren’t familiar with this series, it is set in the same hilarious world as Princess of Hell and Welcome to Hell series. You don’t have to have read either of those series to read this one, but you will get some cameos and easter eggs if you’ve read them.

So this series is told from the POV of Christopher, the Antichrist, son of Lucifer. He wasn’t raised by his biological mother, because she was hiding him from Lucifer. He was given to a woman and he was worshiped as the Prince of Hell. The “mother” who raised him is in prison now for murdering her boyfriend (in her defense, the boyfriend tried to poison Chris when he was only 10).

Isobel is granddaughter of the infamous wizard, Rasputin. She is a witch and has been wearing a magical chastity belt. Her grandfather had a bet with Lucifer, and Rasputin has to provide Lucifer with a virgin to wed. Lucifer decides to weasel out of it by making Chris marry her. They both know they are being coerced into a marriage, but neither knows who the other person is. That is until they meet at the end of the aisle and the veil is raised. This does not sit well with Isobel.

This is another really funny addition to this world that Eve has created. I’m a huge fan of Lucifer. He is just great, but I love all the characters around him too. There is some suspense as Chris tries to complete the impossible task which Isobel has put in front of him. His biological mother is messing with things too. Chris is pulled in different directions as people are trying to prevent or cause the apocalypse. I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here for Isobel and Chris.

Narration:
This is the second book I’ve listened with Tyler Donne (the first being Lazy Son). I like his voices for the characters. I think his pacing is great. I just feel like he could bring out the humor in the book more. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but there are narrators who really bring out the humor in a story (Abby Craden and Tillie Hooper have done this for other Eve series). He isn’t bad at all. I would just like to see a little more emotion and humor in his telling.

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  • The Myth Manifestation

  • By: Lisa Shearin
  • Narrated by: Johanna Parker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

New York is one of the most popular convention destinations in the world - for humans and supernaturals. Every hundred years, rulers of the world's supernatural races come together to negotiate and renew a peace treaty. Meeting in the same hotel are the governors of our world's goblin and elf colonies. SPI is saddled with the security nightmare of keeping the living delegates alive and the undead delegates from becoming permanently deceased. We've got our work cut out for us.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved

  • By charki on 07-06-18

I was glad to be back in Makenna’s weird world.

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

I was glad to be back in Makenna’s weird world. This series has been a lot of fun from the beginning. Mac is a seer. She can see things that others can’t and can see through glamours. She is invaluable to SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations). She isn’t a fully trained agent, but is partnered with one of the best, Ian.

In this story, the team is working a U.N. like meeting where all the different species from our plane and others come together and negotiate the different treaties and such. Vivienne Sagadraco, leader of SPI and dragon, is the one in charge of all of this. She wanted her best teams running security for this shindig. Oh, and it’s being held at Rake Danscu’s hotel. Rake is Mac’s goblin boyfriend, though things haven’t gone very far at this point.

When a portal mage is found dead, Mac, Ian and the team have to figure out what happened. Oh, and someone has locked down the hotel. No one can seem to get in or out. I guess if you’re going to be locked somewhere for a long time, there could be worse places than fancy hotel. Well, unless that hotel has dangerous creatures popping in trying to kill people.

This was another fun and high action story. There is plenty of humor mixed in with the action. What really makes this series for me are the characters. I just love Mac, Ian, Rake, Kenji (tech geek and half elf), Yasha (werewolf and Ian and Mac’s driver), Kitty (portal mage and baker) and Vivienne Sagadraco. This is a great group of characters. If you like urban fantasy, I highly recommend this series.

Narration
I’m a huge fan of Johanna Parker. I think she has a great ability to bring out the humor in a story. She does a great job with different accents and male and female voices. This series has a large cast, and she does a great job.

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster

  • By: Sam L. Amirante, Danny Broderick
  • Narrated by: Robin Bloodworth
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 842
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781

“Sam, could you do me a favor?” Thus begins a story that has now become part of America's true-crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga - the story of a young lawyer fresh from the public defender's office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation's history. This is a gripping true crime narrative that reenacts the gruesome killings and the famous trial that shocked a nation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ultimately an excellent listen

  • By A.R. on 03-03-13

Interesting read about this horrible human being

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

Reviewed: 04-15-18

I got this audiobook from Audible during a Two-for-One deal (the other is on Charles Manson). Yes, I've been in the mood for stories about cult leaders and serial killers (I've been watching documentaries on TV about Waco, Jim Jones and Warren Jeffs too). I'm really glad I picked this book up. It was very interesting.

So, this book is written by Gacy's lawyer. He opens the book talking about the Constitution and the Sixth Amendment.

--In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


He is a firm believer that everyone, even someone as horrible as John Wayne Gacy, deserve the right to an attorney. Now, he knew Gacy in passing prior to taking his case and didn't know exactly what was going on at the very beginning. Once he learned more, he stuck to his guns that even Gacy deserved counsel. Even when people issues death threats to him and his family, including his children (I do not understand how anyone can think issuing death threats to children would ever put you on the right side of history).

He tells the story of Gacy's past by starting with how the final kill that got the cops following him. This boy was Rob Piest, fourteen years old. He was working part-time at a drug store when he learns that Gacy pays really well to help with construction work. Rob wanted to get more money to buy a Jeep that he's had his eye own. So he approaches Gacy about a job, saying he would do anything for money. Gacy took that as not just construction work but also sexual favors. When Rob turns him down on the sexual part, Gacy looses it. Prior to Rob Piest, Gacy took boys from the fringes that didn't have people with the resources to look for them. He was taking prostitutes and the like.

The author goes into all the talks that he had with Gacy throughout the investigation and then the trial. It doesn't take long to figure out that Gacy isn't sane. At one point he comes to the office of his attorney and his co-counsel and goes into a drunken, rambling confession of everything that he had done. He would go into a tirade about how he wasn't gay (using a lot of gay slurs that I will not include here) and then quickly go into the first time he had sex with a man. A friend convinced him that a blowjob was the same no matter who was giving it. But he did have sex with men too.

I know these are really long snippets, but I think it really gives insight into Gacy.

After returning from Joliet and the bridge over the Des Plaines River, with Gacy incessantly begging to go to the cemetery, the next stop was Gacy's house. Gacy had admitted that there was at least one body buried on his property that was not in the crawl space, and the prosecution wanted to know exactly where it was. Further, when an accused person points out where the bodies are buried, whether figuratively or actually, it strengthens the State's case. In the event that the defendant later recants and denies his involvement in a crime, the prosecution has evidence that the defendant knew or was aware of information that only the perpetrator could possibly know.
I had advised against all of this, of course, but Gacy was on his "frolic." No one could convince him that he should stop doing the job that the police are paid to do. Frankly, as crazy as this sounds to you and me, Gacy loved the limelight; he loved the attention. It didn't seem to matter that the reason that he had the limelight trained on him was that the prosecution was building a case for murder. He was in his element. How weird was that?
Gacy's entire block had been cordoned off from all except public officials, cops, and those that were unlucky enough to have a house on it. There was a lull in the activity because jurisdictional concerns were being sorted out and new warrants were being obtained to allow a complete and extensive search of the house and excavation of the crawl space. We pulled up, and a brand-new flurry of activity was generated throughout the members of the press and others that were hanging around on the fringes of the crime scene.
Gacy was brought into his garage.
If you've ever wondered what your first concern would be when you are brought back home after being charged with the murder of a missing boy and you are the prime suspect in the murder of many, many others, well … apparently, if your name is John Wayne Gacy, your first concern would be the fact that the police that had been conducting a search of your home had left some things—some tools and some other items—out of place in your meticulously kept garage. Gacy immediately started bitching about this mundane issue as if he was going to be back in an hour or so and he was going to have to clean up the mess all by himself. He began picking up items and placing them gingerly into their predesignated spots on walls and in drawers. If not for the solemn gravity of the situation, which was completely lost on this strange little man, it would have been hilariously funny. What was wrong with this guy?
Finally, someone reminded my client that he was not there to clean the garage.
There were moments during this time, this experience, that stand out in my memory. It is all an incredible experience, of course, a tornado of activity. My first case as a private criminal defense attorney was becoming quite an interesting ride. But some moments stand out. What Gacy did next caused one of those moments.
He took a can of black spray paint and drew a box on the concrete floor of his garage. Then he drew an X in the middle of the box.
"Dig here," he said. It was like he was pointing out the spot where a buried water meter could be found. If the foreman of a crew charged with the responsibility of digging a trench for a water main was totally bored with his job, he couldn't have said it more nonchalantly, more offhandedly.
"Do you know who is buried here?" one of the guys asked.
"Yeah … Butkovitch."
John Butkovitch had eaten dinner at John Gacy's house. This kid was a particular friend to Gacy's ex-wife Carol. Little John, she called him. There was Big John and Little John. What a kooky pair, always together. John knew this kid's father. John had helped decorate Little John's new apartment. Little John was a regular visitor, a valued employee, a friend.
Now he was under concrete in Gacy's garage.
What was wrong with this guy?


As it turns out, Jack Hanley was a real person—sort of. Plus, he was really a cop. It seems that Gacy and Officer Hanley had met sometime while John was working at Bruno's, a restaurant where he worked for a while as a short-order cook after he was released from the prison in Anamosa. Of course, Officer Hanley's name wasn't actually Jack, but in John Gacy's wandering, lost mind, it was. Officer Hanley was not a homicide detective either. However, if you asked John, he would tell you that he was.
Without explanation, John Gacy would occasionally use this name when cruising Bughouse Square. He always believed that it was much cooler to say he, John Gacy, was a homicide cop named Detective Jack Hanley, a suave badass who solved the unsolvable crimes, rather than the truth—that he was a dumpy, boring smalltime contractor who lived with his mother in the suburbs. Now in his defense, John Gacy was not the first guy in the world who has told a little white lie in an attempt to get laid. I have seen a lot of multimillionaires with really bad shoes and worse haircuts in meat markets and watering holes. Most of these stories fade with the morning sunlight as the alcohol is metabolized and eliminated from the body.
For some unexplainable reason, though, John Gacy decided that it would be in his best interest to claim that Jack Hanley was his alter ego, his second personality. Unlike other men who have lied in pursuit of poontang, John seemed to adopt Jack as a second persona. So when John was flitting from cop to cop and prosecutor to prosecutor confessing his awful crimes like a bumblebee goes from flower to flower, he was telling many of them that John Gacy did not commit these grotesque acts—Jack Hanley did.
Now please keep in mind that Gacy did not mention the name Jack Hanley during the endless drunken ramblings that spewed forth during his soul-searching confession at my office with Leroy Stevens. However, he suddenly had a second personality buried deep inside when he told his story to the police. This was simply Gacy being Gacy. John always knew best, you know, or so he thought. These were self-serving statements—a silly, uninformed attempt to set into motion some sort of flimsy departure from reality.
What this accomplished, together with the fact that Mr. Gacy could not simply just keep his mouth shut, was to set in stone the only defense available to him. Motta and I would have no choice in the matter. We would be required to assert the insanity defense at trial. It was John himself that left us no other alternative. Oh yeah, there was one other reason why we were limited to asserting the insanity defense: John Wayne Gacy was certifiably, without a doubt, with all certainty batshit, bonkers, cuckoo, crazy, insane. This fact would become painfully obvious over time.


Narration
The narration of this book was really good. I know from talking to Lorelei King about her narration of Ted Bundy's book how hard it is to read about the horrible stuff these people have done in their life. I'm sure Robin Bloodworth would feel the same way. He did a great job.

  • The Secrets of Supervillainy

  • The Supervillainy Saga, Book 3
  • By: C. T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,460
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,357
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,357

Merciless, the Supervillain without Mercy (TM), is back with even bigger problems! How far will he go to fix his wife's current state of being a soulless vampire? Can he ignore his growing feelings for Cindy, despite their difference over the new Star Wars movie? Can he survive the wrath of the president of the United States (whom he accidentally stole billions from)?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent and multilayered!

  • By erobbins33 on 12-05-16

Not my favorite in the series, but still fun

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

Reviewed: 04-15-18

Merciless, the Supervillain without Mercy (TM), aka Gary Karkofsky along with Cloak have their hands full in this book. Gary is trying to fix an issue with this wife that happened in the previous book. He has also, once again, found himself doing things for the side of good. Gary has always wanted to be a supervillain, ever since his supervillain brother died. Now that he has that chance, he keeps finding himself on the superhero’s side.

This time, he is fighting President Omega. Of course, Merciless has his helpers. Little Red Riding Hood aka Cindy, his favorite henchwench and best friend is there to help. Diabloman is there to help as well. Then there is also the superhero, Ultragoddess, aka Gabrielle. Oh, and she is Gary’s ex-fiancee. There are some new supervillains too, Fruitbat and Nicky Tesla. I really loved Fruitbat (but then I really I love fruit bats in real life (they are just so cute).

I was a little surprised by the bit of a love triangle. Gary does seem to have some relationship drama with his wife’s current issue, his henchwench is in love with him, and his ex-fiancee all fighting against President Omega. Oh Death makes a couple of appearance too. She gives Gary some pretty difficult choices to make.

I will say that I didn’t like this story quite as much as the first two books. I thought Gary had a little too much relationship drama and was throwing himself a bit too much of a pity party. I did still enjoy the story. There are a ton of one-liners that I loved. There is also some good action scenes. As always, there are great pop culture references. I’m excited to get to the next book.

Turning back to the Merciless Mobile I hit the remote on my keys and the vehicle lowered into a secret alcove beneath the streets. I then headed to the front gate that open automatically at my presence and walked to the front door. Diabloman headed off to his unmarked white van.

“See those diamonds get to the Children’s Relief Fund.” I called out to Diabloman.
“I would not steal from children’s mouths.” Diablo Man called back. “Everyone else, yes.”
I chuckled.
“Do you think he is going to take any?” Cindy asked.
“Nah.” I said. “He’s skimming off the top from all the other businesses, just like you.”
“Only for good causes” Cindy said, putting her hand over her breast. “I being a very good cause.”

Narration
Jeffrey Kafer continues to do a great job with this narration. He always adds the correct inflection needed for the scene. I think he does a really great job with the male and female voices. Kafer has quickly become one of my favorite narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hunting in Bruges

  • Hunters' Guild, Book 1
  • By: E.J. Stevens
  • Narrated by: Melanie A. Mason, Anthony Bowling
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter. Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions - but some secrets are best left buried.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Fast Paced Urban Fantasy

  • By Adriana B on 04-14-18

Ivy Granger fans will enjoy this spinoff story

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

Reviewed: 04-15-18

I’ve been a fan of the Ivy Granger series for a while. This spinoff series follows a character we meet in the Ivy Granger series. It takes place after book three in Ivy Granger, but can be read as a stand alone series. Jenna is a hunter. She works for the Hunter’s Guild and can see ghosts. She really likes to kill vampires and strings their fangs on a necklace as a trophy.

So, Jenna is shipped off to Bruges, Belgium to help them find out why so many people are turning up dead. Most of the hunters are in Brussels for a big meeting, so the Bruges guild is running on a skeleton crew. The man left in charge is quite the ass. He doesn’t like women and doesn’t think they should be hunters, so him and Jenna get off on the wrong foot right from the start.

I should back up a bit, on the train to Bruges from Brussels, Jenna meets a man named Ash. He shows her around Bruges just a bit before she goes to the guild. During this time, we get a good picture of Bruges. The descriptions are really great. I loved hearing about the architecture of the old buildings.

So, back to the guild, there is Simon Chadwick who is in charge of the guild for right now and he is an ass. There is also Celeste, who is a witch that is also a bit of a junkie. She smokes stuff that would be toxic to a human, but just gets witches high. It can also cause them to lose their memory and not be very good with magic any more. Aleksey Zharkov is a one-handed guy that is the demolitions expert for the team. He likes his job a little too much. Darryl Lambert is a blind librarian who gets around pretty well, even with his handicap. Last, but not least is Benjamin Martens, the doc.

So Jenna has to find out who is killing people in Bruges and just leaving them on the street and with this ragtag group of hunters. And while Ash is trying to sight see and socialize with her.

This is a fun story. There is a lot of action and, as I said, the descriptions of the town are great. It is a bit predictable. There are a few things that I figured out pretty quickly, but I still enjoyed the story. I would love to read more stories about Jenna. She really took control and grew in this story. I didn’t love this story as much as the Ivy Granger stories. While, I enjoyed the secondary characters in this, I didn’t like them as much as Jinx and the gang back in Harborsmouth. I do think this is a great addition for people who are looking to start learning about this world or for people already familiar with Ivy Granger.

Narration
This audiobook is recorded in a format called duet. It features a female and male narrator. In this book, the female does the majority of the narration, because this book is told entirely from the woman’s POV. She does all the narration for the female dialogues and the non-dialogue pieces of the story. The male just read the sentence from the male POVs. This is not my favorite form of audiobook. I find it a bit jarring at first when the male narrator comes in during the middle of a chapter (so far, this is the only series that I listen to that is recorded in this format). The more I listen to the story, the more I’m okay with it, but at the start of each book, it always takes me a bit to get into it. I know people who love this format and prefer it over anything else. So this is a person thing for me. If you haven’t tried this format, I suggest you give it a try sometime and see what you think of it.

I will say that I do like these narrators. I think they both do a really good job. I like the voices that they use for each of the characters. I did think that this sounded a lot like Ivy, though it is hard for me to say for sure because it has been over a year since I listened to my last Ivy Granger book. I would listen to this pair again.

  • Last Dragon Standing

  • Heartstrikers, Book 5
  • By: Rachel Aaron
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,045
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,925
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,922

There is no way to write a blurb for this final book without spoiling all of the others. Suffice it to say, mysteries resolve, dragons war, pigeons abound, and Julius must risk himself in ways he never dreamed possible as Bob's grand plan finally comes to fruition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An amazing ending to an even more amazing series!

  • By Dustin on 03-01-18

I can't believe the series is over, but great ride

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

I can’t believe this series is over. It has been such a fun ride. I grew to love all of these characters, even several of the minor, secondary characters. If you are even a little bit fond of dragons (and let’s face it, who doesn’t love dragons), you have to try this series. These are some of the best dragons that I’ve read.

Now fans of the series will know who is on the cover. Yes, that is Brohomir (aka Bob, the seer of the Heartstrikers). He has had his hand in things that will come out in this book since before we were all born. We will also learn more about his pigeon companion.

How to write this review without spoiling this series for those that haven’t read it (or need to get caught up)? The previous book ended with quite the cliffhanger and this one picks up where that one left off. Julius and his friends are trying to save the world. And he is again able to do something that no dragon has been able to accomplish in centuries. He brings all the dragon clans together to fight for a common goal.

So I’m not going to get further into the plot of this story, because spoilers, but I will tell you some reasons why I think you really need to pick up this series. First, DRAGONS. I mean do you really need more reasons? Okay, second. The characters in this series. They are so diverse in personality. There are the dragons, Julius, Amelia, Bob, Chelsie, Fredrick, Justin and I can’t leave out Bathesda, their mother, and that is just listing the major ones in the Heartstriker clan. There’s also the Chinese dragons, the daughters of the three sisters and some others that we will meet in this book. There is also Marci, who has been Julius’s best friend and sidekick throughout this entire series. She is a mage and a pretty kickass one too. There’s spirits like Ghost, Raven, Algonquin and more. I also have to mention General Jackson, who is a very unique character who works for the UN. Myron is another mage that works with UN too. All of these characters are amazing.

Julius and Marci are the two main characters in this series. Their relationship grows throughout the entire series and comes to a climax in this book. I loved watching them support each other as they both accomplish things that one would think was impossible. So many people looked down on both of them, but they still were able to stand together to makes things happen.

The world that Aaron has built is pretty awesome. It is set in the future. Magic has made a comeback and Detroit (Detroit Free Zone, aka DFZ), which plays a major part of this story. It is almost a character in its own right. This book pretty much plays out entirely in the DFZ.

If you haven’t read this series, I can’t recommend it enough. It has action, suspense, humor, a little romance and DRAGONS. If you like Urban Fantasy series, this is one of my favorites.

Narration
If you even remotely like audiobooks, then this is a series that is a must listen. Vikas Adam does an amazing job with the narration of this entire series. He voices a large collection of male and female voices and does an amazing job with them all. He really puts passion into the voices of these characters and brings them to life. You feel their sorrow, their anger and every other emotion that the characters feel throughout the entire series. I really love his voices for Bob and Amelia.

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful