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  • In the Woods

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 20 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12,853
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,259
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,245

As dusk approaches a Dublin suburb in 1984, mothers call their children home. But on this evening, three children do not return. When the police arrive, they find only one of them. He is gripping a tree trunk, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective. When a girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox must investigate a case chillingly similar to the unsolved mystery.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very mixed feelings (semi-spoilers included)

  • By Dottie B. on 02-14-13

Engrossing mystery, interesting characters

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

Reviewed: 05-24-19

This is the first of Tana French's wonderful Dublin mysteries. The main character is unusual largely because of his own personal history but also because he is unreliable. The story is told in the first person and we as readers don't realize until far into the book that he has significant blind spots. His partner Cassie is a terrific character but you don't really get to know her until French's second book The Likeness, where she is the main character.

I was disappointed in Steven Crossley's narration. He was great at portraying Rob, the main character, but not so great at everyone else. I kept forgetting that the novel takes place in Ireland because of Crossley's English accent. Rob picked up an accent in boarding school but everyone else is supposed to sound Irish. There are plenty of narrators who can do both English and Irish accents in one book: Gerard Doyle, Healther O'Neill who narrates The Likeness, and Davina Porter, among many others. Some of the characters sounded dumb just because of the narration.

That's a minor criticism: it's an excellent listen. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

  • What Angels Fear

  • Sebastian St. Cyr, Book 1
  • By: C. S. Harris
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,960
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,955

It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol found at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man - Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Addictive Series

  • By Bibliophile1963 on 10-17-16

I feel like I've read this before....

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

Reviewed: 05-22-19

This isn't a bad book; it was mildly entertaining.. It's just that everything feels familiar. The main character, Sebastian, is portrayed as exceptionally talented,, with extraordinary fighting skills and nearly superhuman powers of sight and hearing. He is also handsome, rich, cheerful, and irreverent. He fights off enemies, eludes the police repeatedly and, in essence, is a cartoon. There is no tension or doubt. We know how it will end. The poor, hungry street urchin who turns out to be smart and wily and loyal (Tom) is a bit too reminiscent of the character Scuff in the William Monk novels by Anne Perry.

I was hoping that the love of Sebastian's life, Kat, the Irish prostitute, would die of her injuries at the end. That would have been far more interesting than the star-crossed lovers bit. I'm not going to read the next one. I don't think I can take more of Sebastian and Kat's undying love for each other.

As always, Davina Porter is extraordinary and her narration made the book far more pleasurable than it should have been.

  • The Likeness

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Heather O'Neill
  • Length: 22 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,668
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,660

In the "compelling" and "pitch perfect" follow up to Tana French's runaway best-seller In the Woods, it's six months later and Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder squad. But an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "This is a re-issue of a great book.

  • By Nancy on 02-15-18

Wonderful characters, excellent narrator.

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

Reviewed: 04-02-19

This has been reviewed many times but I want to stress how great Heather O'Neill's narration is. Many distinctive voices, male and female. When she is narrating a section with four or five people in a room, you can always tell who is talking.

The plot itself is unlikely and yet it's so compelling that I was willing to suspend disbelief. Terrific, interesting characters.

  • Drums of Autumn

  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 44 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 29,927
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,325
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 25,215

Twice Claire has used an ancient stone circle to travel back to the 18th century. The first time she found love with a Scottish warrior but had to return to the 1940s to save their unborn child. The second time, 20 years later, she reunited with her lost love but had to leave behind the daughter that he would never see. Now Brianna, from her 1960s vantage point, has found a disturbing obituary and will risk everything in an attempt to change history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Can't Get Enough!

  • By Eugenia on 02-15-10

Surprising. Fascinating.

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

Reviewed: 08-23-18

The third novel in the series, Voyager, was somewhat disappointing (the bulk of it was wonderful but some was awful) and I assumed that the series would go downhill from there. When I read that the action in Drums in August would take place in colonial America in the 1760s I didn't even want to read it. I felt that the novels were at their best when the main action was in Scotland but were weaker when they strayed from there. France in the 18th Century, America in the 20th: very good but less satisfying. The West Indies: bad.

To my surprise, this novel was gripping, fascinating, and lovely, full of extraordinary detail, thrilling by turns, terribly sad, and surprisingly calm in the end. Like the 2nd and 3rd novels, there were sections that went on for too long, but that's a minor complaint. I didn't particularly like Brianna and Roger in the previous books but they became more real and interesting in this one. There were spiritual aspects of this novel that were new and compelling.

Brianna in Lallybroch!! Fabulous.

  • Voyager

  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 43 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,768
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,351
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21,316

Set in the intriguing Scotland of 200 years ago, the third installment in the romantic adventures of Jamie and Claire is as compelling as the first. Now that Claire knows Jamie survived the slaughter at Culloden, she is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. She aches to travel back through time again to find the love of her life, but, in order to do that, she must leave their daughter behind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite Gabaldon book

  • By Karen on 12-09-09

I'm sorry to have to give this a mediocre review..

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

I just started reading this series in 2018. I loved Outlander and loved most of Dragonfly in Amber, but I was surprised and disappointed by Voyager. The only parts I really liked were about Jamie's life in the 18th century after Claire leaves. . But the 1968 sections aren't good largely because Brianna and Roger aren't interesting. They first appeared in Dragonfly and were underwritten then. They are just as unaffecting in Voyager. I don't care about them. Smaller characters in the other books are totally different. You can really see them. But Brianna and Roger are still strangers to me even after reading this book.

The worst thing is that when Claire and Jamie are reunited after 20 years apart, I expected a real emotional wallop. But no. This earthshaking, remarkable reunion is marred by many distracting, ridiculous, unimportant events. Within 24 hours they're running around Edinburgh, dealing with Jamie's bizarre drunken Chinese friend, the murder of a stranger , Jamie's smuggling business, the brothel he supplies with liquor, references to a serial killer of prostitutes, a fire in Jamie's business. Claire never asks him if he has a woman friend or has remarried or any of the normal questions you would think she would ask... He asks her nothing about the last 20 years except about their child. Really?

No one reads a fantasy/time travel/adventure story looking for realism. But the plot is so hectic and over the top that it finally left me cold. They travel to the West Indies in search of Young Ian who has been captured, after first going to France to get a ship. There's.Hispaniola, Barbados, Jamaica, the slave trade, another murder, the return of a few characters from earlier books, many near-disasters, frantic searches, close calls and other plot twists that feel too manufactured. And it goes on and on and on until they finally depart by sea in a hurry, land without knowing where they are, and discover they have reached the coast of the royal colony of Georgia in 1767.

I'm really sad about this and I hope the upcoming novels are better.

  • London Rules

  • Slough House Series, Book 5
  • By: Mick Herron
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179

At MI5 headquarters Regent's Park, First Desk Claude Whelan is learning the rule (cover your arse) the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself. Over at Slough House, the MI5 satellite office for outcast and demoted spies, the agents are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. Plus someone is trying to kill Roddy Ho. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The latest and best of a great series

  • By Terry on 10-27-18

The funniest of Herron's Slough House books

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

Clever and engaging, with great narration by Gerard Doyle. This is the 5th Slough House novel and the series appears to be getting better with each one. It is satirical and contemporary, with subtle digs at Trump and unsubtle satire about the bigoted Brexit folks. The point of view slips easily and believably in and out of different characters' heads without losing its focus. The new kind of terrorist in this novel comes in the form of a small group of young North Korean men on a violent assignment. Herron manages to make them three dimensional. Roddy Ho's cluelessness is what sets this story moving, and it's really very funny. My only disappointment -- and it's a small one -- is that River Cartwright is barely a presence in this story. Even though Herron has called these the Jackson Lamb novels it has never felt that way to me. In the first book, Slow Horses, River is the protagonist and in the most recent one, Spook Street, his is the leading role too. I think he should stay at the forefront. Lamb is a great character but never changes and the descriptions of his slovenliness are getting a little old. That said, this is an excellent listen. I highly recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • What I Talk about When I Talk about Running

  • A Memoir
  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 4 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,740
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,744

From the best-selling author of Kafka on the Shore comes this rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running and the integral impact both have made on his life. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Murakami's four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from Tokyo, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston, among young women who outpace him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It is what it says it is

  • By Rick on 03-10-09

Boring

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

Reviewed: 05-30-18

A few insights. Not much more. Reads as though it was his publisher's suggestion, to put another book out there and make more money. Maybe for very serious Murakami devotees.

  • Rain Dogs

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 5
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,138
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,990
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,977

When journalist Lily Bigelow is found dead in the courtyard of Carrickfergus castle, it looks like a suicide. Yet there are a few things that bother Duffy just enough to keep the case file open, which is how he finds out that Bigelow was working on a devastating investigation of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond. And so Duffy has two impossible problems on his desk: Who killed Lily Bigelow? And what were they trying to hide?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator IS the Story

  • By Craig on 03-15-16

I forgot to mention how fabulous Gerard Doyle is!!

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

The Sean Duffy books are brilliant and I've written reviews of them but I am here to sing the praises of the narrator, Gerard Doyle. He makes the different voices of many, many characters distinctive, women's and men's alike. He does a lovely French accent, an excellent American accent, and a great variety of accents from Ireland, Scotland and England. I am never confused about which character is talking. In the course of these novels he sings a snippet of opera, chants prayers in latin, and does a surprisingly good imitation of Mohammed Ali. I've heard him narrate books from other series and he is unfailingly wonderful.

  • The Cold, Cold Ground

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 1
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,741
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,399
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,380

Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a stunning book

  • By Alan on 01-17-12

The first in a brilliant, funny series

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

Buy this book right away. You won't regret it. It's funny, interesting, clever and mesmerizing, as all of the other Sean Duffy novels are.

  • In the Morning I'll Be Gone

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 3
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,173
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,993
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,986

It's the early 1980s in Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze prison. In the course of his investigations Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot's whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Dangerous Gamble

  • By John on 03-21-14

This is one of my favorite Sean Duffy books.

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

The six books in this series (so far) are all brilliant, from The Cold Cold Ground to Police at the Station, but this one is perhaps my favorite. It starts with Duffy kicked out of CID and demoted to policeman, then finally "fitted up" and kicked out of the force altogether. But since that's only the beginning you know that things will go up from there.

The plot is rich and satisfying: a locked-room mystery inside a larger mystery, with many subplots that move so quickly you barely notice that the story is studded with little gems. There are many characters who are -- remarkably -- all presented in swift but complex fashion. I'm not sure how McKinty manages that. There is a very funny scene with Joe Kennedy II (son of Robert F. Kennedy) which is not crucial to the plot but doesn't feel gratuitous at all and is a tiny gift to the reader, esp American readers.

Many of the women in these novels are also complex and interesting even though -- as is typical of a police procedural -- they aren't at the forefront for very long. But in this story in particular, as Duffy suspects in the beginning, the women are important. McKinty is particularly good at creating male characters who are magnetic, brilliant and toxically self-centered.

I love that every book in this series includes or revolves around real historical events, from a tragic restaurant bombing to Joe Kennedy's visit to Belfast to the escape of IRA prisoners from the Maze Prison.

And how can you not love Duffy? Clever, modest, funny, self-deprecating, erudite in a casual way, warm-hearted, rash, overly fond of addictive substances, cynical, and irresistible.