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BallaghMan

North Carolina, US
  • 53
  • reviews
  • 75
  • helpful votes
  • 80
  • ratings
  • The Pale Criminal

  • Berlin Noir
  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 680
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 519
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 525

The Pale Criminal brings back Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, The Pale Criminal is noir writing at its blackest and best.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Esxcellent Historical Fiction; Gripping ...

  • By Old Hippy on 07-02-09

A good one.

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

Better written than the first effort. Less obvious “hard boiled” wise cracking and more of a detective story. Nice blend of fact and fiction as Germany tumbled towards the holocaust and war.

  • March Violets

  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 879
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 884

Hailed by Salman Rushdie as a "brilliantly innovative thriller-writer", Philip Kerr is the creator of taut, gripping, noir-tinged mysteries set in Nazi-era Berlin that are nothing short of spellbinding. The first book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, March Violets introduces listeners to Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the BEST

  • By Armen on 05-27-08

Good.

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

You can tell it’s the first book in the series - could have done with a good editor. The hard boiled thing is a bit over done at times too. But I’ll try the next one in the series to see.

  • Lethal White

  • A Cormoran Strike Novel
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,753
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,466
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,439

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best 22 hours of the last week

  • By Jennifer on 09-27-18

More tangled.

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

Still really good but I really wish she’d sort out Robins personal life and Cormorants leg before her next book. They are beginning to grate on the nerves. She sure has it in for the English upper classes in this one! The plot is very tangled but gets sorted nicely at the end. Still highly recommended. Reader is fabulous. Accents are brilliant.

  • 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 130
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

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

Not quite.....

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

The slough house concept was brilliant in the beginning but it’s getting a tad old. The plot wavered quite a bit and some segments were just too long. Needed a good editing.

  • The Shadow District

  • By: Arnaldur Indridason
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 430
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 392

A 90-year-old man is found dead in his bed, smothered with his own pillow. On his desk, the police find newspaper cuttings about a murder case dating from the Second World War, when a young woman was found strangled behind Reykjavik's National Theatre. Konrad, a former detective, is bored with retirement and remembers the crime. He grew up in "the shadow district", a rough neighborhood bordered by the National Theatre. Why would someone be interested in that crime now?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A slow burn!

  • By Rosemary on 12-12-17

Slow burner

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

A slow unfolding murder plot. A bit convoluted at first. Switches eras frequently. Worth sticking with in the end but one must persevere.

  • Lehrter Station

  • A John Russell WW II Novel, Book 5
  • By: David Downing
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 92

Paris, November 1945: John Russell is walking home along the banks of the Seine on a cold and misty evening when Soviet agent Yevgeny Shchepkin falls into step alongside him. Shchepkin tells Russell that the American intelligence will soon be asking him to undertake some low grade espionage on their behalf - assessing the strains between different sections of the German Communist Party - and that Shchepkin's own bosses in Moscow want him to accept the task and pass his findings on to them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great view of Berlin after the end of WW2

  • By Katherine on 06-10-12

Excellent fictional based on facts history of Berlin immediately post war.

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

Ok as in prior books we have a rather amazing hero and heroine. It’s just a device. The real story is the backdrop. The Jewish diaspora post Germany’s defeat. Their revenge plotting. The Soviet American machinations. The awful conditions in the city. Denazification. And other descriptive pieces. They’re quite interesting and well thought out in that context.

  • Potsdam Station

  • By: David Downing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

In April 1945, Hitler's Reich is on the verge of extinction. Assaulted by Allied bombs and Soviet shells, ruled by Nazis with nothing to lose, Berlin has become the most dangerous place on earth. John Russell's son Paul is stationed on the Eastern Front with the German Army, awaiting the Soviets' final onslaught. In Berlin, Russell's girlfriend Effi has been living in disguise, helping fugitives to escape from Germany. With a Jewish orphan to care for, she's trying to outlast the Nazis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The series is getting better and better..

  • By K R D on 09-11-18

Inside view of the fall of Germany

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

Reviewed: 07-30-18

Interesting book. Basically it’s the fall of Nazi Germany more specifically Berlin viewed through the eyes of our hero Russell (you don’t need to have read the previous books though it’s helpful to have) and his son and partner. Slow moving and very detailed. The back plot is a bit thin but the main event is the slow but sure advance of the red army on Berlin. If you’re into that history you’ll like it. If you’re not you probably won’t.

  • Stettin Station

  • By: David Downing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

In the fall of 1941, Anglo-American journalist John Russell is still living in Berlin, tied to the increasingly alien city by his love for two Berliners: his fourteen-year-old son Paul and his longtime girlfriend Effi. Forced to work for both German and American intelligence, he's searching for a way out of Germany. Can he escape and take Effi with him?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Strong Addition to the Marvelous John Russe

  • By Buzz on 11-03-11

Continuing the saga

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

Book 3 in the series continues to offer a glimpse into life in wartime Germany with all its horrors. If you look on it in that light it is possible to forgive some of the less believable passages. And it’s refreshing that a hero has a stable romantic relationship. The narration is excellent.

  • Silesian Station

  • By: David Downing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165

Summer, 1939. British journalist John Russell has just been granted American citizenship in exchange for agreeing to work for American intelligence when his girlfriend, Effi, is arrested by the Gestapo. Russell hoped his new nationality would let him safely stay in Berlin with Effi and his son, but now he's being blackmailed. To free Effi, he must agree to work for the Nazis.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Spies and Nazis

  • By Lois on 02-05-10

Very credible.

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Very interesting. Part of a series I’ve just discovered. Just finished this part 2. One feels it’s a construct to recreate ordinary life under the evolving and maturing Nazi regime. The “journalist turned spy” stories (several sub plots) do stretch credibility a bit but the meticulous recreation of the dark clouds of Nazi Germany looming over Jews foreigners and dissenters with a few communists thrown in more than makes up. Another minor criticism is the over indulgence in food cafes and restaurant descriptions (and hotel rooms! And baths!)) but again the minute detail makes you feel it’s worth it. The author must have memorized every street and building in pre war Berlin. Really liked the forays into Slovakia Prague Moscow and Silesia (had to look up that history). Some aspects are incredibly sad. Not much violence interestingly. (Yet anyway).

  • Zoo Station

  • By: David Downing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 345
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 339

Anglo-American journalist John Russell lives in Berlin and is approached to do some work for the Soviets. He reluctantly agrees and soon becomes involved in other dangerous activities, like helping a Jewish family and an idealistic American reporter. When the British and the Nazis notice his involvement with the Soviets, Russell is dragged into the world of warring intelligence services.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Review for the whole series

  • By Cookie on 08-30-12

Excellent.

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

Reviewed: 06-28-18

Really nicely written fictional historic novel set in pre war Germany. Not as taut as Robert Harris fatherland but if you like the genre it’s worth it. And the hero is not as embittered as usual and actually has a decent relationship!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful