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  • 14
  • helpful votes
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  • Pop Goes the Weasel

  • A Detective Helen Grace Thriller
  • By: M. J. Arlidge
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Bower
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153

A man's body is found in an empty house. A gruesome memento of his murder is sent to his wife and children. He is the first victim, and Detective Helen Grace knows he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night? The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives. Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is - or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great characters!

  • By Margaret on 12-11-15

Eh, kind of formulaic, and not enthralled by the formula

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

Reviewed: 04-18-19

I thought I might like this series. I liked the first okay and gave the second book a chance. But, the main character isn’t really all that appealing. She is in some ways, but always has to make “the big moves” in a case on her own. Too “Lone Ranger,” which makes the story feel less believable.

Some possible spoiler alerts to follow.

In addition, all of the supporting cast of officers around her don’t last long. In the course of 2 investigations (1st book & 2nd book), she’s lost 2 Sargents; as well as about to lose the only Detective Constable we’ve come to know. She also lost a boss. This unit has the highest turnover of staff that I’ve come across in reading police procedurals.

I’ve also begun to wonder if Southampton doesn’t have more shuttered and abandoned buildings than any other place in the world. The 2 stories I have read have needed a lot of them to advance the plots & it makes the region sound economically depressed and depressing.

And last, 2 female serial killers in 2 stories?! It beggars belief which kept me from really getting into the story.

  • A Faint Cold Fear

  • By: Karin Slaughter
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Early
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,706
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,566
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,563

An apparent student suicide has brought medical examiner Sara Linton to the local college campus, along with her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver. But a horribly mutilated corpse yields up few answers. And a suspicious rash of subsequent "suicides" suggests that a different kind of terror is stalking the youth of Heartsdale, Georgia - a nightmare that is coming to prey on Sara Linton's loved ones.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great dark thriller!

  • By Wayne on 02-12-16

Annoying characters

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

Reviewed: 03-28-19

Think I’m done with this series, kept thinking the women would behave in ways that didn’t feel contrived, but it hasn’t happened. I like the plots, for the most part, but the behaviors of some of the characters, particularly Sarah, are often seriously annoying. Often, Lena also - although I understand her behaviors a tad better. I’m a midwestern woman, but the behavior of the men in this series make much more sense to me. The women don’t behave like women I know.

  • Insidious Intent

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 171

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away - only to leave the victims' bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate - but this may be the toughest case they've ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another stellar mystery. Unfortunate narration.

  • By motleysu on 12-09-17

Argh, really disliked ending

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

Reviewed: 03-20-19

I have enjoyed this series & really like Val McDermid’s quirky to downright odd characters. But this ending made me want to smack characters upside their heads. There were other solutions to the problem that I thought were more obvious, especially since the characters involved we know to be smart and strategic (& despite their serious emotional issues). And while these characters are their own worst emotional enemies, this was over the top, I thought.

Also, while the narrator wasn’t bad, his take on the characters was distant from Gerard Doyle who had beautifully performed the previous books in the series. I found that a bit disconcerting and I had a harder time knowing which of the characters was speaking at any given time.

  • The Next Girl: Detective Gina Harte, Book 1

  • By: Carla Kovach
  • Narrated by: Tamsin Kennard
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,839
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,690
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,687

Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again.

Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results. The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Seriously Could Not stop listening!!!!

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-16-18

Blah characters, predictable story lines

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

Bought this because it had one of those, “if you like authors Marsons and Bryndza you’ll love this book.” SO NOT TRUE. The storyline was predictable and the characters were very two-dimensional, boring and not very appealing. The narrator was good, though. Disappointing, though.

  • Kill Me Again

  • By: Rachel Abbott
  • Narrated by: Lisa Coleman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

When your life is a lie, who can you trust? When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well, although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced. But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone or why.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story... Love the narrators accent!

  • By Sara on 12-11-18

Not the best of the series

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

Reviewed: 02-02-19

I’ve really enjoyed some of the books in this series, others have left me annoyed at some of the female protagonists. This one did for much of the book. I was annoyed with how much Maggie made decisions based on what she thought was best for her husband instead of what would keep her and especially her children safe. So, the narrative based on those decisions was undermined.

  • The Back Road

  • By: Rachel Abbott
  • Narrated by: Sue Pitkin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 505
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 430
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 432

In a quiet country village, secrets abound. When young Abbie Campbell is knocked over and left for dead on the back road of the village of Little Melham, waves of shock ripple through the small community, threatening to expose long-kept secrets. For Ellie Saunders, the truth about that night puts both her marriage and the safety of her children in jeopardy - she has to protect her family, no matter what the cost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing Mystery in Small English Town

  • By Debbie on 01-08-15

There’s a decent story in there, somewhere

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

Reviewed: 01-26-19

Some of the “non-villain” characters were so annoying, and made silly and/or nonsensical decisions, repeatedly. Take away about a third of the book that spent time on (especially one) characters’ hand-wringing without advancing the story and it would’ve been more enjoyable.

Also, I liked the character of Tom Douglas from the first of this series, but he was almost completely peripheral to this story. I will try one more from this series because I like the Tom Douglas character, but if the next one is like this one, I’ll give up.

  • The Last Days of August

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,283
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,270

In December 2017 the famous porn star August Ames committed suicide in a park in the Conejo Valley. It happened a day after she’d been the victim of a pile-on, via Twitter, by fellow porn professionals - punishment for her tweeting something deemed homophobic. A month later, August’s husband, Kevin, connected with Jon Ronson to tell the story of how Twitter bullying killed his wife. What neither Kevin nor Ronson realized was that Ronson would soon hear rumors and secrets hinting at a very different story - something mysterious and unexpected and terrible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a healing masterpiece

  • By A. M. on 01-04-19

Why Bother?

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

I only got about a third of the way through when I decided it was too annoying to listen to a bunch of self involved twits (the interviewees). While I am certainly sorry a young woman is dead, couldn’t deal with the slog through the gossip and jerks.

  • Vanishing Girls

  • Detective Josie Quinn
  • By: Lisa Regan
  • Narrated by: Eilidh Beaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 686
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601

Everyone in the small town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing 17-year-old girl. All they've found so far is her phone and another girl they didn't even know was missing. Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it's clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona. Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great storyline, awful narrator

  • By D.Gettys on 12-24-18

Distracting Narrator

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

I don’t know if smaller town Pennsylvania folks have New York accents, but in this rendition they do.

I could get past that if it weren’t for the frequent mispronunciation of words, frequent dropping of syllables altogether (o-bit-chur-ee for obituary, sanc-chur-ee for sanctuary, and more). I had to listen to one part like three times before I figured out that “esteerior” was hysteria (exterior didn’t make sense in context).

Basically, it was all incredibly distracting to the story - jarring. I won’t listen to this author again unless the narrator is different. I have listened to over a hundred books on tape/audible and this is the worst narrator I’ve come across.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful