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Brad

Littleton, MA, United States
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  • A Decent Interval

  • Charles Paris, Book 18
  • By: Simon Brett
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

After a long period of "resting", life is looking up for Charles Paris, who has been cast in a new production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are fraught. Ophelia is played by Katrina Selsey, who won the role through a television talent show. Hamlet himself is also played by a reality TV contestant, Jared Root. But when the company reaches the first staging post of their tour, matters get more serious, with one member of the company seriously injured in what appears to be an accident, and another dead. Once again, Charles Paris is forced to don the mantle of amateur detective to get to the bottom of the mystery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The return of

  • By Steven L. Wilson on 01-06-15

Charles Paris Thespian Detective and Inbiber

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

Reviewed: 05-11-16

This is a current installment in the long-running Charles Paris mysteries featuring the very likable and somewhat hapless aging stage actor. It is written in the first person, the mystery unfolding through the lips and mind of Charles Paris. The characters are roguish and interesting. The plot takes a number of twists. Charles Paris uses no technology, only conversing with various actors in this ill-fated production of Hamlet. I love the sly humor, the self-deprecating nature of Paris, and the odd-ball cast. The conclusion has a moral ambivalence where a somewhat victimized perpetrator gets a break. Great entertainment and a very compact length, nice for commuters like me!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Drifter

  • A Peter Ash Novel
  • By: Nick Petrie
  • Narrated by: Stephen Mendel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 941
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 858

Peter Ash came home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with only one souvenir: what he calls his "white static", the buzzing claustrophobia due to post-traumatic stress that has driven him to spend a year roaming in nature, sleeping under the stars. But when a friend from the marines commits suicide, Ash returns to civilization to help the man's widow with some home repairs. Under her dilapidated porch, he finds more than he bargained for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great lead in for a series until...

  • By Kim Hamblin, PhD on 01-27-16

A Hero with Post Traumatic Stress

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

Reviewed: 01-21-16

Very interesting, fresh with a former marine, a dog, two cute boys and a gangster sidekick. Throw in a mad bomb team and you have a fresh story. Loved it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Dain Curse

  • By: Dashiell Hammett
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 120

The Continental Op is a short, squat, and utterly unsentimental tank of a private detective. Miss Gabrielle Dain Leggett is young, wealthy, and a devotee of morphine and religious cults. She has an unfortunate effect on the people around her: they have a habit of dying violently. Is Gabrielle the victim of a family curse? Or is the truth about her weirder and infinitely more dangerous? The Dain Curse is one of the Continental Op's most bizarre cases, and a tautly crafted masterpiece of suspense.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Literary IMPOSSIBLE bottle.

  • By Darwin8u on 05-12-12

A Noir Classic

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

Reviewed: 09-03-15

An atmospheric prohibition era detective novel with an incredibly complex plot. The essence is the authentic period dialog and the world weary detective following a maze of crimes. This novel is a precursor to so many 1950's detective novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Bat

  • The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel
  • By: Jo Nesbø
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,722
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,561
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,568

Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • First Harry Hole finally translated into English!!

  • By Byron on 09-07-13

Wow, A Complex, Nordic/Australian Thriller

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

Reviewed: 11-12-14

This is the story of a Norwegian detective sent to Sydney Australia to investigate the murder of a Norwegian television star. I love Jo Nesbo's writing style. The dialog is perfect, tone-on. You get a large exposure to the native culture and a gritty serial killer at work. There are the blind alleys. Harry the protagonist is the flawed detective (alcoholic) but he keeps a sharp eye on detail and inconsistencies. The plot unravels slowly at first, feeling very real and then accelerates. I loved it.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Rogue Island

  • By: Bruce DeSilva
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman, Bruce DeSilva - introduction
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 857
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 850

Liam Mulligan is as old school as a newspaper man gets. His beat is Providence, Rhode Island, and he knows every street and alley. He knows the priests and prostitutes, the cops and street thugs. He knows the mobsters and politicians--who are pretty much one and the same. Someone is systematically burning down the neighborhood Mulligan grew up in, people he knows and loves are perishing in the flames, and the public is on the verge of panic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Whodunnit

  • By Michael Jacobi on 06-03-11

Quirky Rhode Island Noir

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

Reviewed: 09-19-14

This is a fun book at times with dark shadows, full of self-deprecating humor set in Providence, Rhode Island. The crimes are a long string of arsons that start killing people.
A world-weary reporter starts his quest to see what is really going on. His easy relationships with some organized crime types rounds out what could have been a fumbled police procedural.

As the title implies, there is a shortage of moral fiber in the Ocean State. For me, the story wobbled a little in the middle and then accelerated in the last 90 minutes into one of the best conclusions I have ever experienced.

Let's just say that some form of justice is liberally handed-out with no conscience.

I recommend this book for numerous reasons. You get a flavor of a quite different state with some pretty outrageous characters. Rogue Island has a lot going on and while the underlying crime may seem obvious, the red herrings keep you guessing. Finally, there is more than a fair amount of Noir tragedy going on in this book. Bad things happen to good people. Relationships are tested hard.

Best of all is the dialogue that rings true, apt, snappy and almost philosophical. The characters become amazingly real. Bruce Silva pulls you in. I bet you will like it too.

  • Ghost

  • Paladin of Shadows, Book 1
  • By: John Ringo
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Arthur
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 971
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 895
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 900

Former SEAL Michael Harmon, Team Name ''Ghost'', retired for service injuries, is not enjoying college life. But things are about to change, if not for the better. When he sees a kidnapping, a series of, at the time logical, decisions leave him shot to ribbons and battling a battalion of Syrian commandos with only the help of three naked co-eds who answer to the names ''Bambi,'' ''Thumper'' and ''Cotton Tail.'

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • HARD CORP Descriptive Sex Warning!

  • By Trip Williams on 01-15-14

Not So Hot

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

Reviewed: 03-10-14

This novel is really a collection of three (3) short stories that are loosely related, starring a semi-retired Navy Seal character that prefers to call himself Ghost. I regret completing this review for several reasons (mainly, obviously some readers love it): (1) This book has foolish stories that all end with atomic bombs (two go off and one is disarmed in the last 5 seconds before detonation). So you have that kind of novelist that believes now everyone will like the US for nuking Middleeastern countries. (2) Our lead character is a self-confessed sadomasochist that practices his killing skills and abusive behavior in escalating intensity throughout the three stories. (3) The US President loves Ghost so much that he pays him something like $65 million through the three stories; so you have Rollo the Rich Kid pursuing bad guys in a leased Gulfstream; I guess the US does not have an AMEX Platinum Card like Mr. Ghost. (4) Oh, and of course, the entire US Military, CIA and Special Operatives are all 1000's of miles away, so Ghost has to race around the world saving us solo. (5) He kills some of the renown bad guys of past and present as a bonus, why just rescue hostages?...why not reset the geopolitical balance too? What's a head of state or two? (6) Inbetween the relentless killing we get relentless plugs for Fox News and the Republican party. Author Ringo does not miss a beat.

John Ringo writes a lot of science fiction, a genre that permits the author to go outside the bounds of reality, science and logic. This military, spy, counter-terrorism, hero series is sophomoric entertainment, base and senseless and lacks any grounding. The Navy Seal strategy for Ghost is to go in the front door and shoot 10 people standing dumbly around before they can raise an automatic firearm...now that is realistic. Of course, he takes 5 - 6 grievous wounds per story and spouts half-baked philosophy all the way to the trauma center. What a guy!

I am so very ashamed I completed this novel. It's very low-brow, loaded with action and some very disturbing behavior that other reviewers have commented on much better than I could or will. There are much better thriller series to explore.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Man with a Load of Mischief

  • A Richard Jury Novel, Book 1
  • By: Martha Grimes
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 790
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 709
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 706

At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer - except for one Melrose Plant....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this series, but FYI

  • By DCinMI on 03-29-14

First Richard Jury Novel

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

Reviewed: 02-27-14

I wanted to like this book very much, and enjoyed it somewhat....thud. The English characters are eccentric and there is an underlying mischief and humor. The first two murders are colorful and unique. There is a lot of fun in this book.

My issue is that the solution to the mystery is something like an Agatha Christie plot. It is very, very far-fetched and has some of that smugness about a highly doubtful complex sequence with dead bodies that defies most logic. You may suspect the killer, but you will never understand the key detail that keeps the villain shielded...until the Sherlock Holmes-like final reveal. A reader gets the feeling that the characters' daily interactions are the thing and that the underlying motive of the mass killer is somewhat secondary. For that I give 4 stars...maybe 3 1/2. The narration is marvelous.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Swing

  • A Novel
  • By: Rupert Holmes
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

Two-time Edgar Award-winner Rupert Holmes, author of the critically acclaimed Where the Truth Lies and creator of the Tony Award-winning musical whodunit The Mystery of Edwin Drood, now fuses gripping suspense and evocative music in an innovative novel of intrigue set in 1940, during the very heart of the Big Band era.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grab this one at the highest resolution

  • By Becky on 08-01-05

Noir Mystery at the Golden Gate Exposition

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

Reviewed: 01-27-14

"Swing" by Rupert Holmes kept me engaged from the beginning to the end. Frankly it was hard to tell how the mystery would resolve itself to the very end. Like any good Noir, it slowly descends to a final violent and unforeseen conclusion.

Rupert Holmes has previously won a pair of Edgars, a Grammy and three Tony Awards. He writes very thoughtfully with an abundance of period information. Set in 1940 during the Golden Gate International Exposition on the manmade Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, the noirish fictional historic thriller is narrated by sax player and arranger Ray Sherwood. He is part of the Jack Donovan Orchestra of Note...playing an extended gig at the upscale Claremont Hotel in Oakland. Holmes uses real locales throughout this novel. His descriptions of various key elements of the architecture, Pacifica statue and carillon at the fair make this an atmospheric production.

A college student entices Ray into helping her arrange an orchestral score for her prize winning piano piece. Part of the prize is a performance by Japan's Pan Pacific Orchestra. The music, the student and the orchestra are not what they seem.

This book is rich with details of swing music. scoring music, and the details of touring bands. Set in that strange world's fair that World War II was soon make immemorable, it highlights the final gasp of large world's fairs that time had already past. You get much more than a murder plot in this book, you become immersed in 1940, the music and the fair.

This audible book is appended with original big band music composed by Mr. Holmes.
No matter...the story is about something more ominous and disturbing than a murder, but to tell more would diminish the pleasure of the denouement.

"Swing" is right on key and not to be missed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Black Towers to Danger

  • By: L. Ron Hubbard
  • Narrated by: R. F. Daley
  • Length: 2 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

Drilling for oil is a dirty business, and for Bill Murphy, it’s about to turn positively filthy. But Murphy’s as big and tough as his home state of Texas - a man in the mold of a young John Wayne - and he’s more than a match for everything the oil-rich land of Venezuela can throw at him. Everything, that is, except for one woman.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pulp Thriller from L Ron Hubbard

  • By Brad on 12-10-13

Pulp Thriller from L Ron Hubbard

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

Reviewed: 12-10-13

This is a very short story set in Venezuela during the roaring, lawless 1930s. The theme is a race/contest of rival wildcatters desperate to generate producing oil wells before their leases expire. I liked that the true villain was hidden for much of the story, so the logical culprit was a good person, well almost. The dialog and horses make this feel like something out of a Western. Hubbard gives you a lot of plot and action and very, very little character development. To call the principles cartoonish would be an overstatement. This is a fun story that takes only a couple of hours, great when you can't devote 15 hours.

  • Night Vision

  • By: Randy Wayne White
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 153

A lot is going on in the trailer park known as Little Guadalajara, inhabited principally by illegal laborers. The park manager is the hired gun of a financial syndicate that wants to develop the property, and he's prepared to do whatever it takes - but he can't figure out what to do about the teenage girl, the one the laborers believe has some sort of gift.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Doc Ford Shines in NIGHT VISION

  • By Jonathan Maberry -NY Times Bestseller on 11-10-12

Nothing Much Good Happens in a Trailer Park

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

Reviewed: 12-10-13

This is a Doc Ford thriller set in his base in the Florida Everglades. The premise is to help a psychic 13-year-old girl, Tula, who is stopping in a nearby Florida trailer park on her way from Guatemala. She is looking for her mother, who disappeared. Tula has a special skill; she speaks with God through Joan of Arc. Blocking the way is the steroid-crazed manager of the trailer park, Harris Squires. Next mix-in a team of lethal gang bangers and meth cookers and you have quite an amalgam.

This entertaining book gives you some nice snippets about wildlife and ocean biology as Doc Ford is a marine biologist when he is not reverting to his Special Forces skills. There is even a nice love story. Of course she is very rich which makes things neat.

Randy Wayne White creates a pretty complex set of circumstances to navigate. The best part is there is a high speed (read high action) conclusion that is very entertaining. I found the Joan of Arc bit a little oppressive as the plot unwound. My preference is to not overload on religious mysticism in a thriller. However, Doc Ford comes through like the cavalry to save the day and the maiden. This is not the best in this long-running series but it does touch on the plight of illegals in America in an enlightened fashion.