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Sires

South Point, Ohio
  • 130
  • reviews
  • 1,015
  • helpful votes
  • 224
  • ratings
  • The Stranger Diaries

  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott, Esther Wane, Sarah Feathers, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 141

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger”, left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the story lines of her favorite literature. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Gothic Tale Pegged to a Victorian Ghost Story

  • By Sires on 03-14-19

A Gothic Tale Pegged to a Victorian Ghost Story

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

R. M. Holland wrote a well received short ghost story. He then found that all publishers wanted from him was similar stories. He ended his life as a shut in at his own home. After this it is turned into a school and Claire Cassidy one day comes to teach there. The older section of the school, the original house, has R. M. Holland's study maintained as it was at the time of his death. Cassidy becomes fascinated with Holland's life as well as the mystery of his wife's death and the question of who Mariana is-- Holland's daughter? And what was her faith?

I've been a little tired of some of the more recent Ruth Galloway mysteries, but this is fresh with interesting, well drawn characters and kept me interested to the end. This is a standalone novel and while I really liked the characters I hope it stays that way, but that will probably depend on how well received it is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Demon Next Door

  • By: Bryan Burrough
  • Narrated by: Steve White
  • Length: 2 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15,595
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14,036
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,968

Best-selling author Bryan Burrough recently made a shocking discovery: The small town of Temple, Texas, where he had grown up, had harbored a dark secret. One of his high school classmates, Danny Corwin, was a vicious serial killer. In this chilling tale, Burrough raises important questions of whether serial killers can be recognized before they kill or rehabilitated after they do. It is also a story of Texas politics and power that led the good citizens of the town of Temple to enable a demon who was their worst nightmare.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Less sensational than advertised

  • By Kingsley on 03-01-19

Just As Long As It Should Be

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

This is a pretty well done true crime story about a serial killer that I had not heard about before. Set in Texas in the latter part of the last century, the author paints at times a harrowing portrait of the killer.and crimes, but it's never too over the top for my taste. Well read also. It is short but that makes it better. It is just as long as it should be.

  • The Boy

  • By: Tami Hoag
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 17 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,178
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,171

When Detective Nick Fourcade enters the home of Genevieve Gauthier outside the sleepy town of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana, the bloody crime scene that awaits him is both the most brutal and the most confusing he's ever seen. Genevieve's seven-year-old son, P.J., has been murdered by an alleged intruder, yet Genevieve is alive and well, a witness inexplicably left behind to tell the tale. There is no evidence of forced entry, not a clue that points to a motive. Meanwhile, Nick's wife, Detective Annie Broussard, sits in the emergency room with the grieving Genevieve. A mother herself, Annie understands the emotional devastation this woman is going through.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Like watching dominos...

  • By shelley on 01-04-19

I Was Hoping Tami Hoag Had Returned to Form

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

Set in Louisiana, this mystery involves the murder of a child, which would put off a number of readers. This book is not as bad as the last one I read by her which was fixated on bullying. Instead of just writing a good, fast paced story she fixates on a social problem and then the plot becomes rather wooden because honestly it is rather hard to be on the internet without being aware of the issues associated with the problem.

Even her two main characters are not in an interesting position in their relationship. The only thing I was thankful for was that she did not throw in more romance (like her very early Louisiana books) and the Cajun accent was not too overwhelming.

  • Hope to Die

  • DS Nathan Cody, Book 2
  • By: David Jackson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307

On a bitterly cold winter's night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city's Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage. Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic - no one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder. And Cody has other things on his mind, too.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I'm Hooked

  • By Ted on 01-07-18

Drags in the Middle

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

Reviewed: 05-05-17

The first DS Nathan Code book was a winner as far as I was concerned. There was horror and a touch of humor and the relationships between the characters was intriguing. However, DS Cody's second outing is not nearly as interesting.

It began with a brutal murder on the grounds of a Cathedral in Liverpool. Is it a one off or part of a future series? Did the killer know the victim or pick her out at random? And the more that Cody learns about the victim, the less likely it seems that someone would choose her as a murder victim.

Then things slow down and get far less interesting..Too much time is spent on the relationship between Cody and his former girlfiend who appears to be getting on with her life. However she still seems to be hung up on Cody. Then there is her fiance who is handsome, well off and devoted. Add to that some unlikely suspects and Cody's boss whose attitude toward Cody has not been explained. But the excitement and the sense of threat that filled A Tapping at My Door is missing. There was one scene in Tapping in a pub where Cody and his partner had to face off against some dangerous thugs that hated cops that I thought was nothing short of brilliant. There are no moments like that in this book.

Things do pick up at the end but it's too late to save the book in my opinion. I'll read the next one but I will be more wary about picking it up.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Hanging Tree

  • Rivers of London, Book 6
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,776
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,647
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,643

Where the Marble Arch stands today in London was once the Tyburn gallows - also known as The Hanging Tree. The walk toward those gallows along Oxford Street and past the Mayfair mansions has a bloody and haunted history as the last trip of the condemned. Some things never change. For both blood and ghosts have returned to those mansions of the super-rich. And it's up to Peter Grant - England's last wizard and the Metropolitan Police's reluctant investigator of all things supernatural - to get to the bottom of the sinister doings.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Continuing Splendor of Peter Grant

  • By Tim on 02-01-17

Peter Grant Back in London

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

Reviewed: 02-02-17

I gave this five stars because I love this series set in a London where magic works and the mundane police are reluctantly coming to accept that it is coming back into prominence. Because I am writing this a fan, you have to accept that there are things I like about this book which may make a non-fan think it is four stars or below. Because this is the 6th book in the series it is loaded with references to previous books. Be warned. I would suggest listening the first books before tackling this one.

I listened to the book twice after it turned up in my library. The first time was for the story and the fabulous narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Peter is back in London and pursuing the Faceless Man, helped and hampered by new and old friends and enemies. A lot of characters from earlier books in the series make appearances, some brief, others more substantial. It may be ok as a stand alone novel, but I'm a bit dubious.

The second time I listened to it was to catch any pop references that I might have missed. Aaronovitch has written for the Doctor Who franchise, so those references are no surprise, but there are a whole lot more, including a nod to Phil Rickman.

Recommended for those who like this sort of fiction.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Fall of the House of Cabal

  • The Johannes Cabal Novels, Book 5
  • By: Jonathan L. Howard
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 14 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 516
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 516

Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, has come into possession of a vital clue that may lead him to his ultimate goal: a cure for death. The path is vague, however, and certainly treacherous as it takes him into strange territories that, quite literally, no one has ever seen before. The task is too dangerous to venture upon alone, so he must seek assistance - comrades for the coming travails.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One selfish plea

  • By Marianne on 05-07-17

Funny, Morbid, Horrific and Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

I began listening to the Johannes Cabal, neuromancer, novels a few years ago and unusually for me, I ended up listening to them in order. While I think that with the assistance of the author's voice at times, this works as a stand alone novel.

Johannes Cabal's much loved wife has been dead but preserved by his necromantic arts since before the first book. He has been seeking through the entire series something that would allow him to bring her back to life. Now he thinks he has found a solution and takes off accompanied by his brother, Horst, a gentlemanly vampire that Cabal had wronged early on; the devil succubus Zarenyia, part woman and part spider with whom Cabal had earlier made a pact; a criminologist who Johannes met in the first novel, when he and Horst were running a traveling carnival and a witch.

I stayed up late to finish this occasionally startling the dog and cats by laughing out loud as the story spins on to its satisfying end. I have my fingers crossed that this will not be the last I see of these characters.

Narrator is Nicholas Guy Smith who has narrated most of the Johannes Cabal books and short stories and he, as alwaysl, does a stand out job.

I don't give a full five stars frequently but this book deserves it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Detective's Secret

  • The Detective’s Daughter, Book 3
  • By: Lesley Thomson
  • Narrated by: Paul Ansdell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Jack Harmon craves silence and a bird's-eye view. From his new home in Palmyra Tower, he can raise binoculars to watch over West London. If he watches for long enough, he will learn who has secrets. He will learn who plans to kill. But Jack does not see everything. October 2013, the month of the great storm of St. Jude. A man dies beneath a late-night Piccadilly line train, verdict: suicide. Jack's friend Stella Darnell, the detective's daughter, suspects it could have been murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite of This Series So Far

  • By Sires on 01-08-17

My Favorite of This Series So Far

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

Stella Darnell owns a successful cleaning service. Her deceased father was a police detective. After his death she began to look at some of the cases he was involved in but did not solve. There are also mysteries in her own life and the lives of her employees, friends and family that are incidental but important to the development of the main plot. This is not a traditional mystery or a traditional literary novel.

Sometime engine driver, sometime cleaner and Stella's friend, Jack Harmon, witnesses the death of a man beneath the wheels of a train where he is a passenger, not a driver. Stella is approached by the dead man's brother to try to find out if his brother, who owned a computer security firm was murdered. Jack meanwhile is offered the opportunity to rent an apartment in Palmyra Tower, a repurposed water tower where some years ago a man died. Stella's mother is on her way home from an extended trip to Australia, where Stella assumed she was meeting a man that her mother found on the internet. Stella is both right and wrong.

Not a fast moving story, it moves back and forth through time and honestly when I started the series I wasn't sure that I would stay with it because the characters are all off kilter and not particularly likeable and at times just plain weird. To begin with I thought they were all probably on the autism spectrum but as more is revealed about their backgrounds, it is clear that that their oddities are based not on neurological issues but on family and childhood experiences. Like an onion, it is necessary to peel off the layers to find out what is at the center of the events in this book. And Thomson does a very good job of pulling them all together.

I enjoyed this book very much and am looking forward to reading the next one that is already in my library.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Named of the Dragon

  • By: Susanna Kearsley
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 557
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 509
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 504

The charm of spending the Christmas holidays in South Wales, with its crumbling castles and ancient myths, seems the perfect distraction from the nightmares that have plagued literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw since the loss of her baby five years ago. Instead she meets an emotionally fragile young widow who's convinced that Lyn's recurring dreams have drawn her to Castle Farm for an important purpose - and she's running out of time.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not Kearsley's best

  • By Fuzzy on 06-27-16

Reminded me of 1960s-1970s Gothic Novels

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

Anyone who grew up reading early Mary Stewart, early Victoria Holt and early Elizabeth Peters will feel right at home with Named of the Dragon. While those books had stereotypical themes that Kearsley echoes-- for instance after reading a few of these novels you always knew who the good guy and the bad guy were and that it was a really bad idea to go wandering around at night by yourself.

Kearsley's book is a less obvious and more complex with regard to plot and characterization, but I really kept waiting for some action besides early morning walks across the fields. There's events that could be paranormal or could be dream sequences that lead the heroine on a quest to find out exactly what is behind events occurring at the home she is staying at for the winter holidays in Wales.

The main character, Lyn Ravenshaw, is a literary agent who was invited on the trip by a sucessful author of books for children who wants Lyn to distract their host and the author's current lover, while the author pursues another love interest. The host is a literary author that Lyn would like to sign to her agency. Living not far away is a well known playwright. There's a young widow with a child who is about the age Lyn's still born baby would have been had it lived and the host's younger brother and a collection of employees and local people, some judgemental and some not.

It's a pleasant sort of way to pass a few hours with a true shot of nostalgia for those of us of a certain age.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Elementals

  • By: Michael McDowell
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,506
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,279
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,271

After a bizarre and disturbing incident at the funeral of matriarch Marian Savage, the McCray and Savage families look forward to a restful and relaxing summer at Beldame, on Alabama's Gulf Coast, where three Victorian houses loom over the shimmering beach. Two of the houses are habitable, while the third is slowly and mysteriously being buried beneath an enormous dune of blindingly white sand. But though long uninhabited, the third house is not empty. Inside, something deadly lies in wait.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Haunted House Book - and that's rare!

  • By Uber Femme on 06-28-18

Savage Mothers Eat Their Children

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

This was my absolutely favorite Michael McDowell horror novel. I really regret that we lost McDowell too young because he had a great talent for southern gothic fiction. Listen to the Audible sample for a taste of super narration of one of the scariest books that I have ever read. Whoever picked this as the sample passage did a brilliant job because while the rest of the book is not as gory but psychologically horrific, the theme of Savage Mothers Eat their Children runs through the book. McDowell had an MA in English from Harvard and a PHD from Brandeis but don't let that put you off. While his books are literate and you can spend as much time as you like deconstructing them, the first read just tell you this is a master story telling.

Following a funeral, a group of mourners go to Beldame where there are three beach houses. The one in the middle has been uninhabited for years but there is a presence there, a presence that will creeped me out when I first read the Paperback Orginal in the very early 80s and still creeps me out today. In fact until this was reprinted I wouldn't even loan out my paperback copy for fear of not getting it back.

The horror is ambiguous and subtle but no less scary for that. The atmosphere is suffocating.

The narrator is perfect for the subject matter.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl in the Ice

  • Detective Erika Foster Crime Thriller, Book 1
  • By: Robert Bryndza
  • Narrated by: Jan Cramer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,440
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,715
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,696

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound, and dumped in water around London.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Okay

  • By Meg on 05-26-16

Case with a Revolving Door and a Somewhat Weak End

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

The premise sounded interesting-- so interesting that I had the book in my Kindle library but had not tried it yet. Then I found out I could add the narration for $1.99 so I did and downloaded to listen to it on a trip.

Just to let you know where I am coming from I'm a fan of Sharon (SJ) Bolton, Stuart MacBride, Tammy Hoag, Ian Rankin, Stephen Booth and a lot more whose plots are gritty and gorey and whose characters are somewhat foul mouthed.

However in this book the swearing by the characters struck me as at inappropriate times and sometimes just too much to the point that it lost the ability to support character or give emphasis to events.

The book had a good beginning when Erica Foster, one time eastern european immigrant to the UK as an au pair, now a respected DCI, is brought into a high profile case and put in charge. She also probably has PTSD from her last case that had resulted in the death of five officers including her husband. And that makes me wonder why she and her husband were working on the same team. I thought there were rules against that. At least that was what Jane Casey told me in her Maeve Kerrigan series.

Foster needed some more time off and probably therapy because she immediately causes problems with DCI Sparks, the former head of the investigation without even knowing anything about him. She then annoys the desk sargeant and gets in a fracas with a member of the public. When investigating she fails to keep her colleagues informed of her location and keeps going into potentially dangerous situations without back up even before she gets kicked off the case and Sparks given back his old position. She also is apparently given a car without video and audio recording equipment installed and proceeds to make her situation worse by questioning a witness in it and obtaining potentially valuable information that she cannot substantiate.

Incidents keep happening that do not get woven back into the plot. Not even red herrings.

I have got to stop here because the longer I think about this book the more questions I have as to the author's choices and it really wasn't THAT bad. In fact I think it could have been cleaned up into a better than average read. But something needed to be done with the solution. Definitely weak-- I'm not talking about the actually end of the book which was pretty exciting, but the reason behind all of the deaths and whatnot in the case.

The narration was fairly good and the eastern european names were smoothly pronounced.

Book contains violence, descriptions of explicitly sexual photographs, inconsistent characterization, and adult language.