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MidwestGeek

Ann Arbor, MI, United States
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  • Judas

  • By: Amos Oz
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 124

Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a biblical scholar, is adrift in his young life when he finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. There is, however, a third, mysterious presence in his new home. Atalia Abravanel, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader, a beautiful woman in her 40s, entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Amos Oz is artist of words.

  • By Lahana Singer on 05-15-18

Good but not his best.

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

Reviewed: 08-31-18

Since we can no longer follow reviewers on audible, for full review, please see my entry on goodreads.com.

  • The Disappeared

  • By: C. J. Box
  • Narrated by: David Chandler
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,560
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,426
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,423

Wyoming's new governor isn't sure what to make of Joe Pickett, but he has a job for him that is extremely delicate. A prominent female British executive never came home from the high-end guest ranch she was visiting, and the British Embassy is pressing hard. Pickett knows that happens sometimes - these ranches are stocked with handsome young cowboys, and "ranch romances" aren't uncommon. But no sign of her months after she vanished? That suggests something else.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sheridan takes a lover!

  • By Richard Delman on 04-11-18

Good but not his best.

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

Reviewed: 08-31-18

Since we cannot look up reviewers any more, for my full review, see my post on goodreads.com.

  • Don't Let Me Go

  • By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Narrated by: Chris Chappell, Cassandra Morris
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,979
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,544
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,532

Former Broadway dancer and current agoraphobic Billy Shine has not set foot outside his apartment in almost a decade. He has glimpsed his neighbors--beautiful manicurist Rayleen, lonely old Ms. Hinman, bigoted and angry Mr. Lafferty, kind-hearted Felipe, and nine-year-old Grace and her former addict mother, Eileen. But most of them have never seen Billy. Not until Grace begins to sit outside on the building's front stoop for hours every day, inches from Billy's patio.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspirational and humbling and awesome.

  • By Michele on 11-08-15

Good for young adults.

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

Probably closer to 2.5 stars. Although I have mixed feelings about this book, I liked the book in spite of myself. I listened to the audiobook and, on balance, the two readers do a good job, although with one major letdown to which I return below. It isn’t great writing—more on the order of a TV-script for the Hallmark channel. it seems to be directed toward young adults.

This is a contemporary, character-bssed story, without a great deal of action, so it is important that the reader find the people believable, and that is where it lost me. As indicated in the publisher’s description, it centers primarily on 9-year-old Grace and 30-something Billy. While they are both sympathetic people, I found their personalities inconsistent. A nine-year old would be in the 4th or 5th grade, yet sometimes she talks as if she were a first-grader while other times as if she were 16 and wiser beyond her years. She is made less credible in part because the female reader, Cassandra Morris, gives Grace a little girl voice, like a cartoon character. Although she is obviously a smart girl, she never seems to spend any time on homework. In short, Grace was not really a believable character.

Although Billy is also highly intelligent, a former dancer now in his late 30’s, I believe. He is agoraphobic and apparently hadn’t gone outside for the past 12 years. Besides panic attacks, which fit his personality, he also seems to manifest symptoms of OCD as well as autism, which are in conflict with his actual behavior and level of awareness. So I found that he too was an inconsistent and not believable character.

I found some of the secondary characters far more realistic than these two main characters.

It's hard to say to whom I would recommend it; perhaps to someone in still in high school.

  • Righteous

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,673
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,557
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,552

For 10 years something has gnawed at Isaiah Quintabe's gut and kept him up nights, boiling with anger and thoughts of revenge. Ten years ago, when Isaiah was just a boy, his brother was killed by an unknown assailant. The search for the killer sent Isaiah plunging into despair and nearly destroyed his life. Even with a flourishing career, a new dog, and near-iconic status as a PI in his hometown, East Long Beach, he has to begin the hunt again - or lose his mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe Ide can write!

  • By 6catz on 10-20-17

Good but not great successor to I.Q.

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

I liked this book, which is on a par with the first one, IQ, in the series. That's good for a second, but I was hoping it would be better. It takes place about 8 years later, and Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) has apparently acquired a reputation for solving mysteries and finding people who are either lost or hiding. There is a bit less about his brilliance and more about his angst. This one involves two stories that turn out to be related in the end. First, he is still obsessed with finding the hit-and-run driver who killed his beloved older brother Marcus. He has come to suspect that it wasn't an accident but was deliberate. The second case involves his brother's former lover, Sarita, who asks him to find and help her sister Janine in Las Vegas, who is, with her boyfriend Benny, a gambling addict. They apparently are heavily in debt to a loan shark and are in hiding. IQ secretly harbors a crush on Sarita and is all too eager to renew her acquaintance. Like him, Sarita is very smart, but unlike him, went to college and law school and has a flourishing career in corporate law.

Much of what I said in my previous review applies here as well. Among my remarks concerning believability, "Isaiah may have come to realize that a brilliant black kid actually has alternatives that he may not have had in earlier times." Indeed, in the present novel, he actually reveals that he had full scholarships offered him to top notch universities, so he wouldn't be dependent upon Marcus's financial support. The conceit required of readers is that this introverted, brilliant, black guy from the hood prefers playing the role of Sherlock Holmes and living in poverty to doing something more productive with his brains. I was disappointed that he had accomplished so little over the previous 8 years, but I decided that I would buy into this in order to continue reading. His partner and sometime friend, Dodson, is less of a cartoon character and more real in this episode, sewing the seeds of future adventures. And IQ himself matures somewhat by the end of the book and may even have acquired a love interest besides Sarita.

I gather that the author has been commissioned to write two more in the series, and the next one, Wrecked, is scheduled for release next October 9. There are reports, confirmed by the author, that a TV-series is under development but not yet actually in production. Anyway, he is not writing the screenplay--too busy writing these books.

  • The Last Trial

  • McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers
  • By: Robert Bailey
  • Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 437

McMurtrie’s old nemesis, Jack Willistone, is found dead on the banks of the Black Warrior River. Willistone had his share of enemies, but all evidence points to a forgotten, broken woman as the killer. At the urging of the suspect’s desperate fourteen-year-old daughter, McMurtrie agrees to take the case. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely one of the best legal thrillers!!

  • By shelley on 05-09-18

Good conclusion to the trilogy.

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

I believe this concludes the McMurtrie and Drake series. I devoured the audiobook over a weekend. It is very good, but somehow the story did not strike me as stellar as the previous two. Although a very good mystery, I found that the telling stalled sometimes and was repititous at other times. There was a final twist near the very end that, despite my hunches, came as a surprise to me.

It is less of a legal mystery than the previous two, although the law plays a major role behind the events that occur. Although it is possible to read these out of order, I strongly recommend reading the series in sequence as each previous one solves a mystery but leaves other parts unresolved.

I suspect this is the last we'll hear from the professor, but, as things have evolved, I suspect we might hear more about his friend and former law student, Bocephus Haynes. Like McMurtrie, he played for and revered coach Bear Bryant while an undergrad at Alabama. (Bocephus was a primary character in the previous two books as well.) In fact, the series ought to be renamed McMurtrie and Haynes Mysteries.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Poison

  • A Dismas Hardy Novel
  • By: John Lescroart
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 232

Dismas Hardy is looking forward to cutting back his work hours and easing into retirement after recovering from two gunshot wounds. He is determined to spend more time with his family and even reconnect with his distant son, Vincent. But Dismas just can't stay away from the courtroom for long, and soon he is pulled into an intense family drama with fatal consequences. Grant Carver, the vigorous patriarch of the Carver family and its four-generations-owned family business, has been murdered.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Worst Lescroart legal 'thriller' ever!

  • By Wayne on 02-14-18

For fans of Dismas Hardy. Not a legal thriller.

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

You must already be invested in the Dismas Hardy series to really enjoy this book. If not, you very likely will rate this one- or two-stars only. (I believe this is my 11th of the series.) Unlike many others in the series, this is also not a legal mystery/thriller in the conventional sense. It is closer in form to a police procedural, but there is a great deal of time spent on Hardy's inner struggles as he becomes involved in defending another person accused of murder, even though he had sworn off such cases. As a result, a substantial portion of the dialogue (both inner and outer) involves reconciling his legal practice with his relationship with his second wife Franny. Some of the other familiar characters are back, including BFF Detective Abe Glitzky (now retired) and P.I. Wyatt Hunt. Unusually, his son Vincent has a significant role to play, but his daughter Rebecca (and current legal partner) is essentially invisible except by reference.

Lescroart is a master at building suspense, and this book is no exception. Related mostly but not entirely by following Dismas, I'm afraid the denouement was rather abrupt and in several ways, related second-hand. The villains were essentially revealed to the reader even before Dismas finally figured out who the persons were. After that, the story was wrapped up in just a few pages. I'm not sure why Lescroart had things play out like that, but I found the final chapters a bit of a letdown.

I found the narration by Jacques Roy was good, but all the previous ones to which I have listened were narrated by David Colacci, who is exceptional. So I couldn't help being slightly disappointed, most likely through no fault of Roy.

  • Out of Bounds

  • A Karen Pirie Novel
  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McCarron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 202

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from 22 years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it's as twisted as the DNA helix itself. Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating - a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen Pirie Is Terrific Detective and Scottish!!

  • By Linda on 01-01-17

Excellent police procedural. Terrific narrator.

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

I am aware that Val McDermid has had a long and distinguished career as an author of mysteries and thrillers, but I must admit that this is the first of hers that I have read. This is an extremely good police procedural that builds suspense gradually and kept me wondering who the antagonist(s) might be. I grew to admire the MC, Chief Inspector Karen Pirie, a strong-willed, dedicated, cold-case detective who has experienced her share of personal tragedies. I found her situation and circumstances, as well as the behavior of the other characters, believable, so much so that I wouldn't have been surprised to learn that this novel was based on a true story.

To see spoilers and links, please see my review on goodreads.

The telling is related in first-person by C.I. Pirie, including her thoughts and dreams, except at one point where the PoV changed for one sentence, which jarred me. (spoiler) As a result, I was more or less informed of the back story that I needed without having to read earlier volumes in this series. There is one cold-case murder and several present day murders that are linked, so the reader needs to pay attention to keep track of the names. I won't expand here on the details of the plot.

I should add that the narrator, Cathleen McCarron, was exceptionally good at giving voice to the various characters. For my American ear, it took me a while to adapt to her Scottish accents and dialects, occasionally even having to replay the last minute, but I could tell that she knew what she was about. After completing the book, I was not surprised to find that she is a professional voice, text, and accent coach, currently based with the Royal Shakespeare Company. (See linked in.) BTW, her first name is misspelled on audible.com and amazon.com, although not on their UK counterparts. In fact, she has narrated over 50 other books.

  • Another One Goes Tonight

  • Peter Diamond, Book 16
  • By: Peter Lovesey
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200

Two police officers are about to head home after a long night shift when they receive one last call. En route to investigate, the patrol car spins off the road, killing one of the exhausted cops and leaving the other in critical condition. Detective Peter Diamond is assigned to look into the case. His supervisor is desperately hoping Diamond will not discover the officers were at fault. Instead Diamond discovers something even worse - a civilian on a motorized tricycle was involved in the crash and has been lying on the side of the road for hours.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A bit confusing but clever

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-14-16

Plodding police procedural. Excellent narrator.

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

Reviewed: 02-25-18

I've previous listened only to Book #3 in this series, but since this Book #16 carried a rating of 4.4, I thought I would give it a try. I can't say I disliked it, but I didn't enjoy it enough to want to read others. The mystery is initally interesting but it unfolds very slowly. Even though it is not inordinately long (11 hrs and 16 mins), I really got tired of all the dead ends and misdirections. The denouement was less demonstrated by action but explained by Diamond to his colleagues through his remarkable inductive leaps. In case the reader didn't appreciate Peter's brilliance, the author has his subordinates remind us through thoughts unspoken.

Altogether it got to be a bit much, and once again, I probably wouldn't have finished it except for the extraordinary narration by Simon Prebble. Peculiarly, I generally have great patience with police procedurals but this particular series is not for me. Ironically, the series might make a good TV series, since, to be dramatically successful and conform to a reasonable length of time, the screenplay for each episode would likely have to move along more rapidly and contain more action than the book.

  • Rubbernecker

  • By: Belinda Bauer
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101

The dead can't speak to us, Professor Madoc had said. But that was a lie. The body Patrick Fort is examining in anatomy class is trying to tell him all kinds of things. But no one hears what he does, and no one understands when he tries to tell them. Life is already strange enough for Patrick - being a medical student with Asperger's Syndrome doesn't come without its challenges. And that's before he is faced with solving a possible murder, especially when no one believes a crime has even taken place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Different

  • By Leigh on 08-17-16

Very good mystery for perhaps 3/4 of book.

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

My rating is closer to 2.5. I enjoyed listening to this book, the first I've read by this author. I felt the narrator Andrew Wincott did an exceptionally good job giving voice to Patrick's peculiar way of expressing himself and reacting to others. It reminded me a little of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," a relatively early book about the autistic spectrum, including Asperger's Syndrome. This trope has become rather commonplace, but Ms. Bauer does a very good job bringing Patrick to life. In general, all of her characters seem well-formed, except for one. (view spoiler) I am beginning to tire of writers' alternating chapters between past and present, as the author does here. Whatever happened to chronological story-telling, perhaps allowing for a flashback now and again? In addition much of the book is told in first person, but the author sometimes shifts point of view, as if the reader gets inside the heads of several different characters. If we are omniscent, why only some and not others?

The main weakness in the story is the way in which the mystery plot and subplot are finally unveiled and resolved. I positively disliked the last part of the book, which really could have benefitted from the intervention of a strong editor. The primary villain was definitively identified for the reader long before the MC (Patrick) figured out who it might be.

I have some other observations coupled with potential spoilers. Please see my review on Goodreads for them. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2281117901.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Killing Silence

  • The Loser Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Peg Herring
  • Narrated by: Karisa Bruin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Killing Silence, the first of The Loser Mysteries, presents a unique protagonist: Loser, who sleeps on the streets of Richmond, Virginia, washes up in gas station bathrooms, eats when an opportunity comes along, and spends her waking hours in front of the local drug store, watching the world pass by and speaking less than thirty words per day. When a child is murdered and Loser finds herself in the company of the prime suspect, can she pull herself out of her own pain to help catch a killer?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Killing Silence Bk 1

  • By Deedra on 10-05-15

A unique protagonist and mystery. Try it.

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

As indicated by other reviewers, this is a good mystery, with a unique protagonist, a former detective who suffers from acute PTSD in an extreme form that resembles schizophrenia. Suspected of the murder of her husband and daughter, she lives on the street and no longer voluntarily speaks, limiting herself to no more than 30 words/day. When stressed, she hears their voices and becomes nearly catatonic. Because of the trauma associated with the house in which she lived, she cannot bring herself to enter let alone live there. (I don't think these are spoilers since these things are revealed near the beginning of the book.) She calls herself "Loser," which describes in part her state of mind as well as her experience.

Nevertheless, the story is rendered in first-person by her, who is revealed to be a well-educated, ethical woman whose training as a cop helps her survive among the homeless. In her internal description of events both past and present, she is sophisticated and eloquent, often citing relevant literature, while at the same time being severely crippled mentally. (However it may stretch belief, I guess that is possible. Consider mathematician John Nash, who is depicted in A Beautiful Mind.) It is a difficult point of view for an author to sustain and requires compromises that an omniscent narrator would not. As a result, I found the story dragged at times, with

Having listened to the audiobook, I found Karisa Bruin's rendering excellent. The author writes inviting if not lyrical prose, not so dramatic as Michael Connelly and not so eloquent as, say, Harlan Coben, and lacking in the latter's dark sense of humor, at least in this book. Like other reviewers, I think the author deserves wider recognition. I doubt that "Loser" will have the longevity of Harry Bosch, but I am eager to read the next in this series.