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Mark

Essex
  • 122
  • reviews
  • 127
  • helpful votes
  • 139
  • ratings
  • A Time to Scatter Stones

  • A Matthew Scudder Novella
  • By: Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by: Lawrence Block
  • Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Well past retirement age and feeling his years - but still staying sober one day at a time - Matthew Scudder learns that alcoholics aren't the only ones who count the days since their last slip. Matt's longtime partner, Elaine, tells him of a group of former sex workers who do something similar, helping each other stay out of the life. But when one young woman describes an abusive client who's refusing to let her quit, Elaine encourages her to get help of a different sort. The sort only Scudder can deliver.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Late Blooming Flower

  • By Mark on 14-04-19

Late Blooming Flower

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

Reviewed: 14-04-19

This is a great and unexpected treat. I always rated the Matt Scudder series as being up there with Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch and having thought the Scudder novels had ended I was delighted to listen to this and have it live up to expectations. The bonus is that it is read by the great Lawrence Block himself (sounding a lot like John Malkovich) so what could be better! The plot is secondary to the characters and to eavesdrop on Matt and Elaine in later life is like the sweetest PS to the best love letter ever received - a joy from start to finish.

  • The New Iberia Blues

  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

Detective Dave Robicheaux is fighting his demons to overcome his toughest case yet. There's something off about the relationship between mob boss Tony Nemo, local author Levon Broussard and New Orleans poster boy Jimmy Nightengale, and after a vicious assault, it's up to Robicheaux to uncover the truth. Complicating matters is the sudden death of T. J. Dartez, the New Iberian local responsible for Robicheaux's wife's death, and all are looking to the detective as the murderer. Can Robicheaux clear his name?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • James Lee Burke at his very best

  • By Boris Backache on 21-01-19

Another Robicheax Triumph

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

Reviewed: 11-04-19

James Lee Burke is in elegaic mood with this haunting and doom - laden thriller starring our much loved Louisiana cop Dave Robicheax who knows he can't change the world, but thankfully for us, his loyal and loving readers, the world can't change him either. There are plenty of plot twists, colourful characters and red herrings with some really evil people playing bad with the tarot deck. The imagery is lush, rich and hauntingly beautiful amidst the ghosts and the living in this incredible novel. Best of all, Smiley's back. This is a rich treat to be savoured like a cold beer and a jack back in a dark bar on a sunny day... or maybe a nice ice cream if you're more like smiley!

  • The Man Who Came Uptown

  • By: George Pelecanos
  • Narrated by: James Shippy
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Anna Byrne is a jailhouse librarian. In a place where hope is hard to find, the power of books can be a light in the dark. For some of the prisoners, her work is life-changing. Like Michael Hudson, her best student, who's been locked up awaiting trial before his sudden release. He's relieved to be free - to 'come uptown', as they say - but can't shake the question: why is the witness who put him behind bars suddenly refusing to testify? There's a man who might have the answer, but he wants something first. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Morality Play

  • By Mark on 01-04-19

Morality Play

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

I love the work of George Pelecanos and this has many of the ingredients that make him so great - a solid plot, great dialogue and excellent references to popular culture especially music and cars. It is very strong on the redemptive power of literature (without actually saying why) so we assume that reading is good (which it is) and makes people better (which it might - but it is not proven).
On the downside, I found the reading a little wooden and the female English accent appalling so perhaps a better read than listen.

  • The Angry Sea

  • A John Carr Thriller, Book 2
  • By: James Deegan
  • Narrated by: Joshua Manning
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 220

Former SAS Sergeant Major John Carr is relaxing on a Spanish beach, when a man with dark eyes attracts his attention. Fixated on a group of young Britons, the man doesn’t notice Carr and soon moves on. Within the hour, the Costa del Sol will be plunged into one of the most audacious and horrifying terrorist attacks Europe has ever seen. In a co-ordinated strike, armed men storm both the beach and a cruise ship anchored further up the coast. But the terrorists - hiding personal greed under the veil of religious extremism - have an even bolder plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolute Star Quality!

  • By Simon on 27-01-19

Gripping Thriller

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

Reviewed: 24-03-19

The first thing a thriller has to do is be thrilling and whereas many start off okay they often fall away in the middle or they have a disappointing ending where you feel let down after investing over thirteen hours with the book. None of this applies with James Deegan's second John Carr book as it is absolutely riveting from start to finish. He sustains plot, character, pace and tension with great skill and John Carr is a hero who gets the job done no matter what. He is earthy, hard, credible and even majestic in the execution of his tasks - and he also has a crisp sense of humour, great banter with his team and superb disdain for most of the 'Ruperts' and 'Spooks'. The action is frequent, lethal and utterly convincing. I can't wait for the next one.

  • Once a Pilgrim

  • By: James Deegan
  • Narrated by: Joshua Manning
  • Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 638
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 585
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 582

John Carr has recently left the SAS, after a long and distinguished career, and is now working for a Russian oligarch in the murky world of private security. But an incident from his past - in which three terrorists were brutally killed - suddenly comes back to haunt him. Tracked by a hit man out for revenge, John Carr is forced to step over the line to defend himself and his family. It's a cruel and violent world - and one he thought he'd left behind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts!

  • By Simon on 19-09-18

Brilliant Action Thriller

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

Reviewed: 18-03-19

Treat yourself to a cracking thriller with this hard - as - nails gritty first outing for ex - SAS badass John Carr. Time to move over Jack Reacher, there's a new kind of hero in town. In a crowded market this book shines because it has the ring of truth with extraordinarily compelling action sequences and totally credible characters, plot, action and dialogue. It is also superbly read by Joshua Manning. I've started the second book already.

  • First Man In

  • Leading from the Front
  • By: Ant Middleton
  • Narrated by: Ant Middleton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,267
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,397
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,376

No one is born a leader. But through sheer determination and by confronting life’s challenges, Ant Middleton has come to know the meaning of true leadership. In First Man In, he shares the core lessons he’s learned over the course of his fascinating, exhilarating life. Special forces training is no walk in the park. The rules are strict, and they make sure you learn the hard way, pushing you beyond the limits of what is physically possible. There is no mercy. Even when you are bleeding and broken, to admit defeat is failure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible book. Strong, powerful and inspiring

  • By Amazon Customer on 13-07-18

Brutal and Honest

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

Reviewed: 08-03-19

I listen to biographies to get an insight into lives that are different to mine and in this sense 'First Man In' is a real winner. I am nothing like Ant Middleton, nor would I want to be, but I enjoyed seven hours in his company and found it a fascinating, if disjointed read. Ant is clearly a man who likes a challenge and has overcome many demons to be where he is today. I looked at YouTube clips of him on TV, up Everest, on 'Who Dares Wins' and on that boat and they all augmented the book and helped me get a sense of the man. I have several unanswered questions such as what really happened to his dad and why was he written out of the script once he died? Also, how did his mum get all that money? There's more but all that's for a longer and more comprehensive book. This is a series of episodes and lessons in the life of an interesting guy living a life I don't want but appreciated being given a first hand insight into.

  • War Doctor

  • Surgery on the Front Line
  • By: David Nott
  • Narrated by: David Nott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 294
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 268
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 269

For more than 25 years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993 to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out lifesaving operations and field surgery in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major London teaching hospital. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspiring,sad and mind blowing

  • By Mr.Anas.Nashawi on 28-02-19

Man on a Mission

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

Reviewed: 02-03-19

I first heard David on Eddie Mair's radio show on BBC 4 and I was utterly mesmerised by his despatches from the front line. He made Syria real for me so I was delighted to get my hands on this exceptional book about an extraordinary man who takes his surgical skills to the world's war zones where he treats the wounded - many of them innocent children and trains the local surgical teams. It is harrowing and almost impossibly sad in places where he deals with the cruelty and inhumanity visited on innocent victims all over the world - including a desperately sad section about the psychological price he paid for his work. However, he tells it with such a calm compassionate voice that I just wanted to give him a hug at the end, though happily for him I'll leave that to his wife and kids. This book should be read by everyone especially any politicians who ever thinks war is an acceptable extension of politics. When you've finished the book treat yourself to his incredible Desert Island Discs podcast and then give your kids a hug. Finally, where's his knighthood? Come on guys, forget the celebrities and time servers and honour a true hero.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

  • By: Joël Dicker
  • Narrated by: Robert Slade
  • Length: 20 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,051
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 982
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 979

August 30, 1975: the day of the disappearance. The day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence. That summer, struggling author Harry Quebert fell in love with 15-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard, along with a manuscript copy of the novel that secured his lasting fame. Quebert is the only suspect. Marcus Goldman - Quebert’s most gifted protégé - throws off his writer’s block to clear his mentor’s name. Solving the case and penning a new best seller soon merge into one.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • well i quite liked it

  • By knittyboot on 15-05-14

The High Price of Dreams

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

Reviewed: 26-02-19

For over 20 hours I was enthralled by this story and its colourful cast of characters. It is a hugely entertaining novel with more red herrings than Billingsgate Fish Market and more twists and turns than a snake that's swallowed a red hot chilli pepper. Nothing and nobody is as it seems as we explore themes of murder, love, lies, envy, loss, passion, regret, mental health, fame, integrity and writing in New York and Maine. As Harry Quebert says: "A good book is a book you are sorry to have finished."
As a listener I was full of admiration for the writer and the reader and my only criticism is that we could all have benefitted from a precision editor who could have tightened the whole thing up but that's like telling a heavyweight boxer he should shed a few pounds - easy to say but ultimately pointless if the champ is still a winner. This book will live long in my memory.

  • Chapter 7 (The Last Days of August)

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 39 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92

"A certain level of concern." Mysteries are solved.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful

  • By P. Stewart on 21-01-19

Fascinating and Moving Insight

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

Reviewed: 11-02-19

After listening to all seven episodes I was left feeling very sad at the death of August Ames, a woman I had never met and previously knew nothing about. Jon Ronson and his producer skillfully bring to life the desperate circumstances that led up to the death of August Ames. I was left feeling that there is really nothing glamorous about this industry especially in terms of human cost as so many of the people that fuel it are ultimately damaged by it. Social media would also appear to have a lot to answer for.

  • The Little Big Things

  • A young man's belief that every day can be a good day
  • By: Henry Fraser
  • Narrated by: Henry Fraser
  • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 146

A short, inspirational audiobook from Henry Fraser, a young quadriplegic motivational speaker and artist. Henry Fraser was a 17-year-old sports enthusiast and senior prefect when he broke his spinal cord and was left paralysed from the shoulders down. Life as he knew it was over, and yet, through extraordinary determination and a positive attitude, he has forged a successful career as an inspirational speaker and an artist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely fantastic

  • By Georgina Wood on 02-10-18

Exceptional

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

Reviewed: 07-02-19

It is hard to imagine a more positive response to a personal tragedy. Many sections of the book are harrowing and very difficult to listen to but Henry Fraser is astounding in the narration of his own story and I would urge everyone to read this book and share it. You will be inspired to make every day count and never take your own health for granted again.