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P. Bowen

New York, NY United States
  • 23
  • reviews
  • 118
  • helpful votes
  • 187
  • ratings
  • Luck and Judgement

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 3
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,057
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 983
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 983

When a worker goes missing from a North Sea gas platform, there seem to be just two possible explanations - it was a tragic accident or a suicide. It does not take Smith and his detectives long, however, to discover that James Bell led a double life back onshore in Kings Lake, a life complicated enough to make him at least one dangerous enemy. Before the case can be unraveled, Smith must get a new team working together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of series so far...hope we can get the remaining books soon

  • By Mark Hancock on 03-22-17

Carefully rendered world

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

Reviewed: 08-22-17

What did you love best about Luck and Judgement?

I've come to love most of Grainger's novels, mostly for the methodical way the characters are created and their worlds come into view. But I keep expecting more of mystery or thriller than it is expected. Indeed in some ways they are barely thrillers at all. But more novels of consciousness.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Brat Farrar

  • By: Josephine Tey
  • Narrated by: Carole Boyd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,532
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,288
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,283

A stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family’s sizeable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on Patrick’s mannerisms, appearance and every significant detail of Patrick’s early life, up to his 13th year when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great all around

  • By Catherine on 10-23-11

Classic Suspence

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

Reviewed: 08-22-17

What did you love best about Brat Farrar?

Josephine Tey is such a great writer that each sentence and description was a joy. And it is masterful the way she ratchets up the suspense.

What other book might you compare Brat Farrar to and why?

Patricia Highsmith's books.

Any additional comments?

I loved it all, except the ending felt very quick and insubstantial.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Prussian Blue

  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 402

From New York Times-best-selling author Philip Kerr, the much-anticipated return of Bernie Gunther, our compromised former Berlin bull and unwilling SS officer. With his cover blown, he is waiting for the next move in the cat-and-mouse game that, even a decade after Germany's defeat, continues to shadow his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best Bernie hunter series!

  • By Alexandra on 05-18-17

Vote Bernie

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

Reviewed: 08-17-17

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

I have read nearly all of Kerr's Bernie Gunther series. Of course, the early ones, as in Berlin Noir, are classics. Later ones were always pleasurable, although sometimes felt like Kerr was phoning it in. But this returns to complex Nazi roots, with amazing historical detail, fascinating ethical questions, and hard-boiled noir fun.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Magpie Murders

  • A Novel
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Samantha Bond, Allan Corduner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,865
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,837

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the best-selling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A British Whodunit

  • By Sara on 07-24-17

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 08-17-17

What did you love best about Magpie Murders?

As a big fan of Horowitz's TV work, this book did not let me down. But more it explored both the guilty and pleasure behind us who find a guilty pleasure in cozy murder mysteries.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • My Cousin Rachel

  • By: Daphne du Maurier
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Pryce
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,551
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,435
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,425

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AN INCREDIBLE NOVEL -- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • By Janna Wong Healy on 07-08-15

Remarkable psychological profile

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

Reviewed: 08-17-17

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

I've been on Daphne du Maurier binge recently, This is classic du Marnier--well-written, sly, mysterious, and just a bit crazy. Jonathan Pryce's narration was great. The only thing is that it ends so abruptly and, to be honest, a bit unconvincingly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow of the Lions

  • A Novel
  • By: Christopher Swann
  • Narrated by: James Anderson Foster
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,115
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,023
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,023

It has been almost 10 years since Matthias graduated from the elite Blackburne School, where his roommate and best friend, Fritz, fled into the woods, never to be heard from again, in the middle of their senior year. Fritz vanished just after an argument over Matthias' breaking of the school's honor code, and Matthias has long been haunted by the idea that his betrayal led to his friend's disappearance. When he is offered the opportunity to return to Blackburne as an English teacher, he sees it as a chance to put his life back together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the finest books I've heard on Audible!

  • By Kathi on 08-07-17

Tedious and predictable

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

Reviewed: 08-17-17

What would have made Shadow of the Lions better?

I picked this because of the reviews, but this was a slog. Pretentious and predictable, the novel was like a generic thriller. Every surprise was telegraphed pages before hand. And his "expose" of boy's prep school was filled with every cliche, from Tom Brown's School Days to A Separate Peace, with mock surprise and horror at teenage drug usage and child abuse. Indeed its fear of being homoerotic made the whole thing teeter on on edge of homophobia.

Would you ever listen to anything by Christopher Swann again?

NO

Would you be willing to try another one of James Anderson Foster’s performances?

No

70 of 88 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Pilgrim

  • A Thriller
  • By: Terry Hayes
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 22 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,177
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,528
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,536

An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please let this all be fiction.

  • By B.J. on 08-08-14

Couldn't stand more than an hour

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

Reviewed: 07-24-15

What disappointed you about I Am Pilgrim?

This was the worst written book that I have ever gotten from Audible. I love thrillers and mysteries, but this was one of those book where the narrator keeps telling us how brilliant and clever his hero is without ever demonstrating it. The action that did occur never rose above the level of a less-than-average spy adventure––if that––mixed with a heavy does of Islamophobia and sophomoric geo-political analysis. Flat, pedantic sentences with awkward adjectives that felt like they were lifted from a thesaurus in order to give the writer some veneer of intelligence.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Lawrence Block

How could the performance have been better?

Hard to blame the performance since the text was so stupid.

What character would you cut from I Am Pilgrim?

The hero.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Everybody Dies

  • By: Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by: Mark Hammer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

In Everybody Dies, Matt is finally leading a comfortable, almost respectable life - until he helps an unlikely friend uncover a nameless enemy. The Big Apple seems to be mellowing now that the crime rate is down and gentrification is sweeping the old neighborhoods. But when a hoodlum buddy from the past asks Matt to investigate the murders of two employees, the spruced-up sidewalks seem as mean as ever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Rich on 09-30-07

Great Story, Terrible Narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-21-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes. The narrator. I'd listened to several Matt Scudder novels with Joe Barrett as the narrator, and the experience was so enjoyable, it became nearly addictive. I bought audible book after another. But then when I ran out of Scudder-voiced-by-Barrett books, I tried a different narrator. What a let down. Even though Scudder is in recovery, Mark Hammer's gravely voice makes him sound like he's a continually hungover. Second, Hammer can't capture the voices of characters. Elaine sounds like a drag queen. TJ like some redneck barroom imitation of an African-American. And don't get me started with what Hammer does to Irish voices. I will continue to listen to hear how the story turns out, but with little enjoyment in listening to it.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the Matt Scudder series.

Would you be willing to try another one of Mark Hammer’s performances?

No.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Betrayal of Trust

  • A Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler Mystery, Book 6
  • By: Susan Hill
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 231

Simon Serrailler is faced with that most complicated of investigations - a cold case. Freak weather and flash floods have hit southern England. The small cathedral town of Lafferton is underwater, and a landslip on the moor has closed the roads. As the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave - and a skeleton - is exposed; 20 years have passed, and the remains of missing teenager Joanne Lowther have finally been uncovered. Joanne, an only child, had been on her way home from a friend's house that night.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Love the series; this one not my favorite

  • By Janet H. Maddox on 11-22-13

Truly engaging

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

Reviewed: 01-15-14

What made the experience of listening to The Betrayal of Trust the most enjoyable?

I've listened to all of the Susan Hill/Simon Serrailler novels. I can't say what makes them so engaging, but they are. They are not the best mysteries, but it hardly matters, since the characters are so real and engaging, that I'm happy to follow them along as they do their day-to-day activities -- be that cooking meals for their families or solving murders. They are like those long BBC detective series that are long on detail w/o much action, which for me are a great pleasure to watch.

What other book might you compare The Betrayal of Trust to and why?

Any P.D. James

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • To Say Nothing of the Dog

  • Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last
  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 20 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,572
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,655
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,659

In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Sentimental Favorite

  • By Margaret on 05-28-16

Loved this

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

Reviewed: 01-15-14

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

This was such a delight to listen to. I love how wonderfully Ms. Willis captured the exuberance and fun of the period without ever sounding like pastiche.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful