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Paula Not from Gualala

Practically Paradise, CA
  • 17
  • reviews
  • 70
  • helpful votes
  • 20
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Monster: A Psychological Thriller audiobook cover art

It's pronounced 'buh tn' not 'buh-en'

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

Reviewed: 07-01-19

Unlike other reviewers, I didn't mind the narrator droppin' the g while she's readin' the book; the story takes place in the south so no biggie. I do very much mind the lazy and annoying pronunciation of "cer-en" words like "written." Dear Miss Marlowe, the T is not silent and thus we don't say "wri--en" or "frigh--end." I might have thought it was all part of the southern patois but the title page was read this way also.

As for the story, I don't mind gruesome but this one tried too hard to shock. Also, the narrative swung so madly between the present, past, and hallucinations that I felt a little whiplashed. Kind of wish I'd returned it but it kept me somewhat entertained while gardening.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

The Perfect Husband audiobook cover art

Later, Lisa Gardener became a better writer

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

Reviewed: 05-19-19

Happy to say, based on personal experience, I can't call the book plausible or not but I do wonder if an abused woman, married to a serial killer, would focus more on boinking/falling in love with a virtual stranger or worrying about her 4 year old daughter kidnapped by the serial killer husband.

I always get the latest from Ms. Gardner but I think I'll pass on the older titles in the future.

3 Truths and a Lie audiobook cover art

Real-time mystery

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

Reviewed: 03-19-16

Fun premise--a reluctant speaker at a crime writers seminar D.D. Warren challenges the audience to spot the lie in her summation of an investigation of a gruesome and puzzling murder. Naturally we're also trying to figure out what's true and what's not. We're usually doing that in detective novels anyway but this time we're overtly invited to play the game. Clever.

Seems like a number of reviewers disliked the narrator. I thought she was quite good. Miss DD is kind of a smart arse and the reader went with it.

Hunted audiobook cover art

Murder. What a crack up!

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

Reviewed: 10-24-15

If you read as many murder/detective books as I do, you know the drill . . . authors, presumably in an effort to forge a reputation, seem to devise more and more gruesome murders (mostly of young women) related in great and gory detail. Which I like. But this one was different. Yes, the murders were bizarre and unpleasant but also . . . funny. Which is central to the plot.
I thought this book was imaginative and had a broad range of characters. Our man, Heck, doesn't seem fully fleshed but then again, this is the first book I've read in the series. Won't be the last, though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Broken Monsters audiobook cover art

From Out of Left Field

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

Reviewed: 05-17-15

Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention as I gardened and listened but a big supernatural aspect at the end really threw me. I figured reference to another being in the killer was just his own Mr. Crazy talking.

Other than that (which kind of ruined the book for me), it entertained. The murders were wonderfully freaky, the characters human with all our foibles, and the narrators did a fine job.

You audiobook cover art

Good story, amazing narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-22-15

The story is a fairly simple one--a man pathologically obsessed with a young woman but what makes it so gripping is the first person narrative. His character isn't so much explained to us but revealed by his feverish thoughts and rationalizations. He's despicable but also funny and smart; hate to be gender-ist but I'm more than a little impressed by this female writer getting so deeply into her male protagonist's head.
And may I say Mr. Fontana's narration is superb, perfect for this story. Excellent timing, excellent interpretation of the material. Definitely recommend. (It didn't offend me, but be warned the language is "adult."

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Cell audiobook cover art

Interesting story. The writing? Not so much.

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

Reviewed: 02-15-14

Several deaths occur in patients with multiple serious health issues who also happen to be beta testing iDoc, a cell phone app "primary care doctor" developed by a huge insurance company. Are the deaths coincidental? A result of the evil machinations of an insurance company intent on watching the bottom line? Or something else?
The fictional iDoc of the book is probably already in the works. Sign me up please when it launches! The book makes a good argument for this technology or maybe it simply accepts the inevitable. I liked the discussions about medical ethics, the paucity of accessible health care for everyone, and the very real concerns about allocation of health care resources. Opinions abound, I'm not sure there's a definitive answer.
The writing is . . . ummm . . . pretty simple, sometimes to the point of cringe-worthy. But still, I do recommend this book for a little glimpse into the not-too-distant-future of medicine.


1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Tell No Lies audiobook cover art

Don't let your FOSB dissuade you

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

Reviewed: 12-15-13

I almost didn't buy this because of FOSB (Fear of Scott Brick) but was pleasantly surprised that he seems to have toned down his inherent Scott Brickiness. Ha! I'm halfway through, think I've figured out the connection among the murder victims, and am particularly enjoying the stories and dialog of the counseling sessions led by the main character. Lots of implausibilities here but what the heck, it's not a textbook.

34 of 47 people found this review helpful

The Next Time You See Me audiobook cover art

Tragedy, love, disappointment, hope. AKA "life"

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

Reviewed: 07-04-13

One of the better books I've heard in the last couple years, reminiscent of Crooked Lettter, Crooked Letter, a favorite. The characters are written with such depth and feeling. One Audible reviewer complained, finding them stereotypical. On the contrary, I found them--the middle school bully, the killer, the school teacher, the cop, even the victim--complex and multifaceted. The story weaves in and out of the character's lives, back and forth thru time, revealing the part each plays in the sad drama.

Some reviewers were unhappy with the ending; I found it to be just right. To me the themes of the book were inevitability and lost chances; events unfolded in the only way they could and the ending perfectly illustrates this.

The reader was very good. She has a light touch which, oddly, works well here. A voice laden with portent (insert Scott Brick here) wouldn't be nearly as successful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Kin audiobook cover art

Murder, dismemberment, incest, cannibalism

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

Reviewed: 06-29-13

And that's in just the first hour.

Part X-Files' episode "Home" and part original "Hills Have Eyes" with evil, murderous Southern backwoods (why are they always from the South?) family preying upon hapless travelers. If you like this sort of thing, as I do, you'll probably find this book somewhat entertaining.

"Somewhat" because I wasn't able to listen for a couple days and completely forgot what I'd been listening to. Not super compelling but a fine diversion while weeding the yard.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful