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Norma Miles

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  • Scam

  • By: Jack Stroke
  • Narrated by: Caleb Dust
  • Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

When wannabe criminal Jonathan hears about a life-changing amount of unprotected cash just begging to be stolen, the opportunity is too good to pass up. Problem is he can’t do it alone, so he ropes in a couple of low rent potheads, kicking off a whole bunch of trouble. It’s left to Nuke, a gangster with an explosive temper and marital difficulties, to sort out the mess, all the time dealing with his psychotic bosses, some dodgy cops, his bored wife, and of course Jonathan, the man with the plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Look for angles, take a chance.

  • By Norma Miles on 18-08-19

Look for angles, take a chance.

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

Reviewed: 18-08-19

With the vibrancy of a Quentin Tarantino film, this story concentrates on characters, small groups or couples in conversation , moving through them in a seemingly unconnected manner, each of the story parts with their own time lines, until all finally come together. It is, at times, hilariously funny, especially the sections dealing with two serious stoners, Steve-o and his slightly more reasonable pal, Dax. It is also sometimes violent with sudden (and not so sudden) deaths but actual torture of the occasional victim is more in the mind of the reader than spelled out in the text.

Sent in Melbourne, Australia, these are low life wannabes for the most part, rather than true gangsters, so pretty well ensured to mess things up. And, of course, they do. Great natural dialogue (remember - Australian!) and well defined characterisations so that even the quick to rage psychotic killed Nuke had gained this reader's empathy by the end. Narration by Caleb Dust was excellent, the protagonists each given distinctive, separate voicing and the text between the conversations clear and expressive. A fine lerformance. Just in case anyone might be uncertain about any Aussie words used, there is a glossary at the beginning of the story, though, at least for this Brit, most were already known or self evident anyway.

My thanks to the rights holder of Scam, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. Much appreciated. Jack Stroke is an author previously unknown to me, but I fully intend to find out more. Definitely recommended to all who enjoy quirky crime capers and Tarantino films. Good fun.

  • The Spider in the Laurel

  • By: Michael Pogach
  • Narrated by: Terry F. Self
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Historian Rafael Ward is a good citizen, teaching students the government approved narrative of the nation's history. Until the black-baggers come calling. They have a job for him, one he's not allowed to refuse: Ward must go undercover as a Believer and smuggler to hunt down and destroy the artifacts he cherishes. Before he knows it, he's following fugitive Hannah MacKenzie on a fool's quest to recover the legendary Vase of Soissons, a Dark Age relic prophesized to restore faith to the world.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Answers await you in the depths.

  • By Norma Miles on 17-08-19

Answers await you in the depths.

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

Reviewed: 17-08-19

Rafael Ward is a professor of history and literature and, secretly, an agent for Relic Enforcement Command (REC), this latter being a position for life and one into which he had been co-opted, not voluntarily. Sent in an alternative present, in the Citizen's Republic of America - an amalgam of the U.S.A., Canada, Greenland and parts of Mexico, formed after destructive riots blamed on religion - the belief in God had been outlawed, the teachings and stories relegated to myth and legend, and any relics pertaining to it, from paintings to books to bits of saint's bodies, sought out and destroyed, a fate also awaiting any Believers caught.
Reluctantly entrusted with the retrieval of a religious artifact, Rafael gets caught up in the dangerous business of keeping one of the group leaders, a woman he comes to know as Mackenzie, under observation and travels with her first to France then Italy, where he finds beauty and excitement and the truth that his own government media constantly lies to the citizens. And, all the while, the couple search for ...?

This is a book of many moods. When first it began, although very different, it was reminiscent of Brave New World but later morphed more into Indiana Jones meets the daVinci code. Action is so fast and furious there is little time to draw breath as coincidence after coincidence hurdles out protagonists forward in their quest, through bookshops and churches, tunnels and sewers.to a final dramatic and rather unexpected conclusion. There will be more to come. The narration is very good, fast paced like the story, Terry F. Self reading with expression and enthousiasm, energy infusing every sentence; and each protagonist is given their own appropriate voicing. A remarkable performance with only occasional and slight technical hiccups.

I was fortunate in receiving The Spider in the Laurel as a freely gifted complimentary y following my request to the rights holder via Audiobook Boom. Thank you so much. As a debut novel, it was good, well written and informative as well as exciting, though perhaps just a little bit too contrived. But for anyone who has enjoyed the thrillers of Dan Brown coupled with the archaeological survival prowess of Indiana Jones, with extra sinister figures thrown into the visual writiing, this is the book to read.

  • The Opening Chase: A Chase Fulton Novel

  • Chase Fulton Series
  • By: Cap Daniels
  • Narrated by: Kyle Tait
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

When collegiate baseball phenom Chase Fulton suffers a freak injury on the field that shatters his dreams of becoming a Major League catcher, his future looks bleak until he’s recruited into quasi-governmental covert operations, where his training as an assassin and covert intelligence operative launches him into a world fraught with danger, intrigue, and unexpected passion. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • That Yankee Doodle Dandy s**t we take for granted.

  • By Norma Miles on 16-08-19

That Yankee Doodle Dandy s**t we take for granted.

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

Reviewed: 16-08-19

After winning the College World Series for his team, but, in the process, losing the future baseball career for himself, Chase Fulton concentrates hard on his psychology studies, growing close to his professor, Dr.Richtor. Instead of attending his graduation, however, the professor surprises Chase by flying him to an island to meet several of Richter's old pals and offer him the chance to join the ranks of secret assassins, risking everything to serve his country - and make a !of of money. Of course, he says yes.

Written in the first person from Chase's perspective, the introductory chapter on how he acquires his future-destroying injury during the final minutes of a baseball game is riveting and superb, even for a Brit like myself who has no knowledge of, nor interest in, the game. It drew me in completely. This book moves swiftly from one action packed scenario to another, only quickly drawing breath for 'the grand romance', a love at first sight, from a distance, type of affair. And, thereafter, multitudinous coincidences make this story completely unlikely: a real case of suspending disbelief required, especially since this all American, intellectually clever college graduate seems to be such a self destructive simpleton geek. And yet the book was strangely compelling. Narration by Kyle Tait was excellent, read with understanding and expression, and giving individual voice to all of the characters as well as becoming a very believable Chase Fulton. A good performance.

The start of the career of a new James Bond? Perhaps, if he survives for long enough. But at this point in his career, Chase Fulton is far too easily fooled, nowhere near suave enough and his whole private life is riddled with coincidences and unlikely decisions. He has the money, though - eight million dollars for his first job: not a bad return. My thanks to the rights holder of The Opening Chase, who, at my request via Audiobook Boom, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy. Despite my constant inner protests, I very much enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next: The Broken Chase. Recommended to all who enjoy fast moving thrillers of the lone assassin kind.

  • E-M-P Honeymoon: Kelly & Tom

  • By: Dorothy May Mercer
  • Narrated by: Scott Ellis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Kelly McBride and Sgt. Tom Turbulo of the Carson City PD are enjoying an ideal honeymoon on a Caribbean resort island when something awful happens to Kelly...While on an innocent shopping trip to buy a teddy bear for her nephew, she runs into a bear of a man who is up to no good...Curiosity overcoming caution, before long she and Tom are caught up in international intrigue and a dangerous plot to blow up North America. What will it be? What will happen?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I saw what they are planning to do

  • By Norma Miles on 15-08-19

I saw what they are planning to do

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

Reviewed: 15-08-19

Whilst in their honeymoon in Honduras, police sergeant Tom Thurbalow goes off on a day sailing trip whilst Kelly, his wife, takes a tourist bus round the island. During a stop in the journey, Kelly starts to explore the back streets and finds a shop with the unlikely name of the Pigsty, window filled with gifts just right to take home for the fami!y. So involved does she become, Kelly misses the bus departure, but then cannot find anyone to pay for her armsful of piggy pressies. Which is when she goes through a door with a no entry sign and is chased by a group of six armed men obviously intent on doing her harm. She managed to find her way home to the holiday villa without further incident but later, when Tom is informed, he returns to the store to take photos which seem to indicate some Korean involvement. The CIA enter the equation and the reader is also treated to conversations between the Rear Leader and his subordinates as well as .machinations within the American security system.
It should have been a good book but, somehow, it was just dull. Or silly. Or both. This reader felt no empathy for any of the protagonists involved and, for all of the various bursts of information, tension or excitement, felt none of it: more like a boring text paper. This was not helped by the introduction of every chapter by the tile, author's and narrator's name as well as chapter number. The narration itself was good, just, it too recalled the reading of a report paper. Put simply, this one was not for me: I found it hard work trying to focus and finally gave up on it approximately an hour from the end.

My thanks to the rights holder of E-M-P Honeymoon, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom..

  • Undone

  • Burt Bigsley Mystery Series, Book 1
  • By: Jason Deas
  • Narrated by: Kyle Tait
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Since Burt retired at 52, he’s been bored. After a chance encounter with a mugger he decides he might just be meant to save the world one crime at a time. And voilà, Burt’s Private Investigations is born. Before he knows it, he’s in deep and possibly over his head. He stumbles onto a dead body, which turns out to be the daughter of the town’s country club owner who has rumblings of mob ties in his past. The clues lead him all over the North Georgia mountains, but the most intriguing ones lead to an end of the world compound and its charismatic leader. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Retirement is going to be a blast

  • By Norma Miles on 13-08-19

Retirement is going to be a blast

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

Reviewed: 13-08-19

Burt Bigsley is a retired teacher. And, with his wife, Alice, working away from home most of the time, he's bored. One night, after an unexpectedly alcohol fuelled evening alone, he send s several (identical!) photos of the moon to her and also to his friend, who works at the local news paper. And also an advert announcing himself as a private detective. Horrified, he's too late to stop it going out in the press and quickly finds himself with a couple of clients, a woman who thought her husband was cheating and a man who claimed his sister was missing. So Hurt became a n elderly, unliscenced private eye...

This book is a hoot: great characters with natural humour and a convoluted murder mystery to solve. The protagonists are well developed, there's a dog which seems to understand everything said to him and even the two main police officers are somewhat strange. The book is well narrated by Kyle Tait, who individually voices all of the protagonists, further breathing life into engaging, well developed people. Great fun. My thanks to the rights holder of Undione, who, at my request via Audiobook Boom freely gifted me with a complimentary copy. Perfect for anyone who enjoys quirky mysteries with a slice of humour. I'm personally looking forward to another Bert Bigsley, p.i. If one is written.

  • Avengers and Rogues

  • J.R. Finn Sailing Mystery Series, Book 2
  • By: Charles Dougherty
  • Narrated by: David Bosco
  • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Two professional killers looking for revenge take on the mob in Florida and the Caribbean. Finn is on a mission to take out a dangerous terrorist when a rogue FBI agent gets in his way...What happens when two professional killers become targets of the mob? Listen to Avengers and Rogues and see for yourself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Only one of us will survive a betrayal.

  • By Norma Miles on 13-08-19

Only one of us will survive a betrayal.

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

Reviewed: 13-08-19

This is one of those very rare occasions that I wish for an extra super star rating, offering recognition for a book which has it all -good writing, excellent plot, balance of action and story, great characters well developed, visual locations and, in an audiobook, a superb narrator.

Avengers and Rogues is the second in the series about Finn, sort of (in other words, not) retired assassin who started to be out of his depth when first he met with, and, he thought, rescued, the enigmatic Mary Beth, by accepting her as crew on his boat Island Girl. Can he trust her? He never trusts anyone. Except, he is in love with her.

And strange things have happened since the two of them went their seperate ways. Now she wants to meet with him again...

As previously mentioned, narrator David Bosco gives another excellent performance. Second in the series, Avengers and Rogues can be read as a stand alone but for full background information (and the pleasure of that book, too) better to have previously read Assassins and Liars, book one in the J .R.Finn Sailing Mystery. Excitement and sheer enjoyment, even if, like me, you are note a sailing officionado. Highly recommended to all who enjoy a really good thriller, three dimensional, if mysterious, characters and excellent scenery! Or anyone, really

  • Blame the Car Ride

  • By: Marie F. Martin
  • Narrated by: Becky White
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Three years of lonesome widowhood leads Corinne Cooper to a simple need. She wants a man. She cons her friend Edgy Brewster into helping her find just the right guy. They visit a honky-tonk, the biggest church in town, and a bingo parlor looking for an eligible bachelor. Nothing goes as planned. Now Corinne is the prime suspect in a murder and must prove her innocence. Any of the four men she has met could have committed the heinous act. But which one? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Don't blame anything just sit back and enjoy

  • By Julie on 09-08-19

How did you let all this happen to you?

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

Reviewed: 13-08-19

Corinne Cooper, married to her husband for 46 years and widowed for 3, suddenly decides she's lonely and wants to find a new man. Confessing this to her father weird friend, with the even strangers of Edgy, the two to trawling churches, bars and bingo balls for prospective partners until, suddenly, Edgy is dead and Corinne soon becomes a murder suspect. Characterisation is only skin deep and the whole is rather far fetched, but amusing (and I did like the lawyer who makes only two brief appearances - I could relate to him!). A fun, engaging murder mystery thriller, not to be taken too seriously, with rather vacuous and silly protagonists, but which still has tension and holds the reader's imagination.
Narration is by Becky White who has a great, velvety voice, with good expression, and well modulated. Her rendering of words spoken for coroner's good friend Edgy, however,is appalling. Originally English, the character's accent is supposed to be a little bizarre, being mostly overriden, but not so much that it is converted to a strange amalgam of Canadian and Scottish and totally cringeworthy, surely? Fortunately, this problem stops partway through the story.

Overall, it was an enjoyable light listen and my thanks go to the rights holder of Blame the Car Ride, who, at my request via Audiobook Boom, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy.

  • Follow the Money

  • A Tale of Tales
  • By: David Fuentes
  • Narrated by: Matthew Kerslake
  • Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Follow the Money is a collection of novellas that follows the lives of different bank notes on their respective journeys, as they pass from one person to the next through London and New York. In a twist of fate, both of these bank notes transform in the second installment of each story. It sends them on a completely new journey into the unknown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just the absolute best story

  • By Anonymous User on 30-10-18

Their personal slice of heaven.

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

Reviewed: 12-08-19

Where have the bank notes in your wallet been before arriving in your pocket? Follow the Money is several short novellas which trace the travels of a twenty pound note, or dollar bill, as it moves around a small part of London or New York City, giving a snapshot from the lives of kind people and villains, locals and tourists, thieves, prostitutes, gangsters, bar workers and the police. But it is made more interesting by sometimes returning to the same people in a later story and, by reworking the time line slightly, changing the story. Confusing? Well, yes, initially, but nicely satisfying.

This was a challenging book from the narration point of view as, being very largely told through conversation, it requires not only many different vocal timbers and distinctions but also the fast changing of accents, from East London, American, Irish, Carribean, Asian, Polish and German, amongst others, and Matthew Kerslake does pretty well to fulfill the task. Not always, but mostly. It is a pity that the variation in British accents is mostly unexplored - the Oxford University students in New York, for example - but understandable given the already great pressure upon him. His reading is fast and with understanding of the text: a good performance overall.

The way that the stories are presented, a sort of circular reworking, is fascinating. It does seem a pity that the only people, with very occasional exception, who use paper money here seem to be on the illegal side of the line: I guess this is what makes it an action filled story base but still...
And that bad language is universal and sex very much on display. The former was a necessary part of the conversation, of course, but the fairly graphic sexual descriptions, not so much needed, just an added titillation which wasn't really necessary (though no doubt it brought someone somewhere some pleasure!). Definitely a book for more adult consumption.

I'm not sure what I expected when I requested this book, via Audiobook Boom, from the rights holder, but it wasn't this. But my thanks for the free gifting to me of the complimentary copy which I received. I did enjoy the book, the more so as it moved beyond the first of the stories, and the merry-go-round of the action began to shift. But I would have to be careful to whom I recommended it, given the fairly adult nature of the writing. Personally, however, I'll be looking out for further work by David Fuentes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • July: The Year of Discovery

  • By: M.L. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 4 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Twelve women connected by the death of another, realizing what they most want from life and reaching for it - this is the year of discovery, the year of new beginnings. Margot Yates has known loss. First her husband died of a heart attack, then her daughter of breast cancer. Margot has tried to accept all that life has put before her, but her faith is badly shaken with Meredith’s passing. Facing the uncertainty of a future alone, she has no plans to find love again, until Jack Davis attempts to change her mind. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • No one says 'gross' anymore.

  • By Norma Miles on 09-08-19

No one says 'gross' anymore.

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

Reviewed: 09-08-19

This episode of looking at the lives of various women connected by the death of one woman, Meredith, turns it's sights on her 60 something mother, Margot. Widowed 26 years before, the pain of the loss of her husband returns full force with her daughter's death from breast cancer. It also features Margot's youngest daughter, Michah.
Once again read by the woman of a thousand voices, Kelley Hazen, with warmth and emotion.

Each story stands alone. A good series, full of sensitivity and thoughtful hope, and this book is no exception

  • The Brutal Bordello of Bardolino

  • The Lake Garda Mysteries, Book 4
  • By: K T Ashbourne
  • Narrated by: Claire Nicholls
  • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Kim meets a difficult stranger and must discover who this person is. Once she has settled that unusual conundrum she witnesses a minor accident. This results in a chain of reactions which cause her to suspect very sinister foul play. She overcomes every obstacle in her path to discover the horrific truth. Ultimately, she comes face to face with the extremely unexpected consequences of her success. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I'm the most interesting person you know.

  • By Norma Miles on 09-08-19

I'm the most interesting person you know.

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

Reviewed: 09-08-19

Kim is 19 years old, living in Italy by Lake Garda, with no Italian and dis.missive of foreigners who haven't learned English. With all the confidence of youth, she investigates the apparent disappearance of a German tourist who's Mercedes is parked for several days outside the bordello in Bordalino.
This book is simply written, the plot straightforward with underlying humour. Good fun.
Narration by Claire Nicholls is also straightforward and clear, her juvenile sounding voice a perfect fit to the character.
Nothing groundbreaking here, but quick, lighthearted fun.
My thanks to the rights holder who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy of The Brutal Bordello, 4th in the Lake Garda Mystery series, via Audiobook Boom