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Publisher's Summary

Critical choices made in the drama and chaos of the last days of the Vietnam War reach across the Pacific to modern-day Portland, Oregon, threatening to destroy the lives of those who managed to cheat death in 1975. When a violent explosion takes a woman's life just steps away from Logan McKenna's downtown hotel, the police suspect all the wrong people, including a homeless vet and two of Logan's new friends; but are any of them completely innocent?

While unraveling the tangle of half-truths and secrets to help her friends, Logan's personal life suffers an explosion of its own. Each character must decide not only whom to trust, but at what cost.

©2015 Valerie Davisson (P)2016 Valerie Davisson

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • darswords
  • Christmas Valley, Oregon, United States
  • 01-02-18

Cozy Read

I finished the Audible version of this a few days ago. I just never got around to reviewing. That and I wasn't sure what to say.

There are many aspects of this book I dearly love. The author explores education from an angle I was able to be a part of in my past and hope others get the idea to put some of these ideas into action.

I loved the care for homeless and drug abusers. The book makes a person stop and examine their own theories. Also discussed: Racism and gangs and how people's ideologies are formed and can be changed.

With all of the theories played out in a fictional form, I felt it easier to wrap my mind around them. There is also a murder mystery and a bit of romance. But neither are overpowering. Mostly we get to know the main character as she reacquaints herself with life after death in her life.

This and book one move slowly and seem to lack the tension most people like in their books. But I found it nice to just explore with the main character/ author through fiction.

Oh and since this was the Audible version, I should mention that the reader kept the book interesting. She wasn't my favorite narrator but did the job.

This series is well worth the read. Curl up with cocoa, tea, or coffee and take the ride.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • bec
  • Australia
  • 06-25-16

from Vietnam to America: A Murder Mystery


This is the second book in the Logan series. Logan McKenna is well on the way to getting her life
back together after a traumatic series of events had left her beaten down. Her husband had died and
Logan had also lost her job. Now, she has a new home that she is renovating and is tentatively committing to a new relationship.

Review
There are at least two parallel main storylines along with some flashbacks to when a family managed to escape their war torn home in Vietnam to live in America. Now, in present times, they have a successful food business but their mentor has died, his business has been taken over by his more ruthless family.

Logan has been travelling, researching school curriculums and cutting edge teaching methods; at a forward thinking school she meets educators and staff, one of whom is linked to the family who run a food van that Logan had come across.
Before returning home, Logan is booked into an hotel for the weekend, she is expecting her new man to join her, this is to be the first time they spend the night together. For Logan, this is a huge deal and when he postpones his arrival she is very upset.

Her attention is soon diverted by a nearby explosion, the food van. The body of a woman is found ....
Because she had bought food from the van and, had also met a relative of the dead woman, Logan feels some sort of connection to the family and so she determines to help them untangle the many threads of this mystery. She becomes more deeply involved than she could ever have imagined.

Despite (in my opinion) a slow and slightly confusing start I thought this was an interesting listen, the cultural and social comment served to make it a little bit different. I must admit to finding Logan a tad dull, she isn't much of a one for witty repartee. I would have liked her to have had a more memorable character.

Narrated by Leonor A. Woodworth who is new to me. I thought she carried the story along well, she kept me interested and engaged.
I'm not too familiar with the specifics of the accents that Leonor had to cope with but they sounded pretty good to me. She also does a pretty convincing "chilling" and "threatening" voice too - male and female. I hope Leonor continues to narrate this series.

Audiobook provided by the producer, author or narrator in return for an unbiased review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

An Excellent Thriller and Promising Series

Forest Park was a great listen. I thought the prose was poetic and very nicely done. The author, Valerie Davisson did a nice job on this book. I'd like to see where this series goes and hear book 1 in audio. The characters were good. I especially liked Logan and the timeline with alternating chapters. The setting was so good, I could almost smell the food and see the sights.

Another aspect of this story that made it good was the narration by Leonor A. Woodworth. I love the way she approached the story with some trepidation which kept the listener engaged, wondering what would happen next. She's an excellent voice actor and I hope she reads the rest of the series. She was perfect for it.

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Nice Slice of West Coast Pie

Valerie Davisson gives a third-person view of several multicultural lives of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds/experiences, Although some stories originate elsewhere, Forest Park primarily takes place on the West Coast (California and Oregon). The primary protagonists take us on their respective journeys as they connect with people in their families and communities, and make the most of the odds set against them. The mix of friendships, familial ties, colleagues, romance, music, life-passions, food, pets, and conscientious community-mindedness work with and/or against apathy, betrayal, crime, neglected (e.g. homeless) members of society and a slew of other ills in the mosaic of everyday living. It’s a great slice of West Coast Americanism, a nice ode to social responsibility, and an overall nice piece of entertainment.

Leonor A Woolworth's narration was really good. It would have been nice to have stronger/more authentic accents of some of the many varied national, regional, cultural and/or subcultural personalities characterized in the story.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Intelligent mystery

Wow, great characters that I really care about. Joe, the homeless Viet Nam Vet, reminds me that each person we see or meet has a unique and interesting story.

I appreciated the way Ms. Davisson gave us the historical background we need to understand Mrs. Nguyen's plight and her relationship with the Vietnamese community in Portland. Her story is sad but shows the courage many of our immigrants have and the hardships they have when coming to the US.


Murder, intrigue and suspense.

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

Took too long

Any additional comments?

Took too long for the story to come together. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.

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

Good story, lacking narrative

this would had been a really intense book to listen to, if it wasn't for the drawn out narrative. very mono toned. ruined it for me.


this Audi book given to me for a honest review.

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

Slow moving

Would you try another book from Valerie Davisson and/or Leonor A Woodworth?

I will always give an author a second try.

What was most disappointing about Valerie Davisson’s story?

It is just slow to develop and the action is limited.

Did Leonor A Woodworth do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, the inflection to his tone helps differentiate the characters.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Forest Park?

I wouldn't edit scenes I would add some more action and excitement to the story.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom

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

Forest Park: The Logan Series, Book 2

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."


This book started off slowly, but when it got going there was plenty of action and mystery to hold my attention! This is book 2 in the series and I am now intrigued to go back to the beginning book 1, before the next installment is available.





The narration was well done, the characters were well portrayed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Book 2

Any additional comments?

I have the print copy of the 1st book and I found out that I enjoy the book better in audio. The story was great and so with the narrator. Good audiobook.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful