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Rena

Silver Spring, MD
  • 58
  • reviews
  • 142
  • helpful votes
  • 349
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  • 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 6,819
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,261

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

Tedious not sure why I finished it

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

Every irritating aspect of an English cozy dragged out for hours too long. Male narrator decent female narrator careless and terrible with accents.

  • Kingdom of the Blind

  • A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 14
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,054
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 985
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 983

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder. None of them had ever met the elderly woman. The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Kingdom of the Blind

  • By Kristina on 12-01-18

Wonderful Penny Mixed narration

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

I love Gamache and always marvel at Penny’s ability to develop this wonderful character through the complex politics of a large police department and the cozy affairs of Three Pines. But the narrator has devolved to just plain laziness. Take the character of Steven— sometimes with an English accent sometimes with a mangled east European one often within true same sentence. Step up sir and stop phoning it in.

  • Transcription

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 775
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 728
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 723

In 1940, 18-year-old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very satisfying two days!

  • By Wendy on 09-30-18

Lovely writing wonderful narrator and surprising ending

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

Reviewed: 11-20-18

Kate Atkinson has grown on me. Her writing is brilliant and her stories do not neglect characters for sake of plot. This narration is also up to her standards. A great imaginative book.

  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,880
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,699
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,692

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

Too long

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

Reviewed: 10-17-18

Stephen King is right that Tana French is a talented writer with a great talent for plot. The characters here were interesting for the first ten hours. But the book is self indulgent to the point of ennui as it does conversation after conversation with those irritating cousins. I barely made it to the end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Death of Mrs. Westaway

  • By: Ruth Ware
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,850
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,830

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person - but also that the cold-reading skills she's honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased...where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware's signature suspenseful style, an addictive thriller.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It's good, but the end?...could have been better

  • By Adrienne on 06-06-18

Mad at myself for finishing

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

Reviewed: 08-03-18

I read one bad review of this book in a newspaper but forged ahead anyway. What a treacly and predictable mess. And the narrator. She’s going to need a rest home. Every sentence sounded like an emergency.

  • Something in the Water

  • A Novel
  • By: Catherine Steadman
  • Narrated by: Catherine Steadman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,560
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,472

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Give this a HARD PASS

  • By 3dewdrops on 06-27-18

So yuppy

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

The preoccupations of the narrator drove me straight off the ledge— so spoiled so self absorbed so greedy so dumb. Boyfriend just as bad. Thrillers need to give you a person or two to care about as this genre—tell the end and then make the reader plow through 300 pages to get there—seems to forget.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Metzger's Dog

  • A Novel
  • By: Thomas Perry
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 254
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 256

When Leroy "Chinese" Gordon breaks into a professor's lab at the University of Los Angeles, he's after some pharmaceutical cocaine, worth plenty of money. Instead, he finds the papers the professor has compiled for the CIA, which include a blueprint for throwing a large city into chaos. But how is the CIA to be persuaded to pay a suitable ransom, unless of course someone actually uses the plan to throw a large city into chaos - Los Angeles, for instance?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unusually Cool - CLASSIC. A Must Listen!

  • By Ted on 05-17-14

A hoot just as Carl Hiassen promises

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

Reviewed: 04-18-18

I love Thomas Perry but this book is especially engaging with eccentric and extraordinary characters and a devious plot line. Treat yourself to a well written and innovative mystery/thriller.

  • Greeks Bearing Gifts

  • A Bernie Gunther Novel, Book 13
  • By: Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 288

It is 1956, and Bernie Gunther has a new name (Christoph Ganz), a clean passport, a chip on his shoulder, and a menial low-paying job in Munich. And then an old friend arrives to repay a debt. He encourages Bernie to take a job as a claims adjuster in a major German insurance company. Which is why Bernie, as Christoph, finds himself in Athens investigating a claim by Siegfried Witzel, a brutish former Wehrmacht soldier who served in Greece during the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Series gets better and better

  • By Rena on 04-10-18

Series gets better and better

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels are a treasure of historical fiction. Bernie may be aging (tell me about it) but he is no less wry, charming, and as ethical as his times permit. Narrator John Lee rises to the challenge of bringing him to life beautifully. More, more, more please.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Exit West

  • A Novel
  • By: Mohsin Hamid
  • Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
  • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,056
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,887
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,876

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet - sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors - doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Where to Live?

  • By David on 04-04-17

Luminous and heart wrenching

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

Reviewed: 12-23-17

Nothing I have seen or heard or experienced brought home the misery of the Middle East and the profound changes of immigration as well as this terrific book. A present for any reader
Of enduring value

  • Sing, Unburied, Sing

  • A Novel
  • By: Jesmyn Ward
  • Narrated by: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chris Chalk, Rutina Wesley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,974
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,749
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,737

In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural 21st-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power - and limitations - of family bonds.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3.8 Stars

  • By kurdis teed on 01-09-18

Lives up to all the rave reviews

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

Reviewed: 12-17-17

This book, winner of the National Book Award, is in every best books of 2017 list I have seen. It deserves these honors. Subtle language, fully realized characters, sad stories not bathed in pathos. It’s just excellent.