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CathyR

Wales, UK
  • 23
  • reviews
  • 35
  • helpful votes
  • 67
  • ratings
  • Vanished

  • By: Kendra Elliot
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl, Amy McFadden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87

When an 11-year-old is abducted on her way to school, the FBI doesn't waste a moment, sending agents to scour the area and embedding Special Agent Ava McLane with the distraught family. In the eye of the storm is local detective Mason Callahan, whose life is crumbling to pieces - he's related to the victim, and his longtime confidential informant has just been murdered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story

  • By Read4Fun on 07-07-16

A solid, well researched story

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

Mason Callahan, a Detective with the Oregon State Police, is working with the FBI’s Special Agent Ava McLane in a chilling case of child abduction. The child in question is the step daughter of Mason’s ex wife. It was very interesting to learn how the FBI react to and treat child abduction. It’s given top priority and their CARD (Child Abduction Rapid Deployment) Team are immediately sent out to assist the local police force with their expertise in this most emotional and terrifying crime.

Running alongside and interwoven is the brutal murder of Josie, Mason’s confidential informant. Those two combined factors make this mystery/thriller lean more towards the psychological and as Mason’s life quickly spirals out of control he realises someone has it in for him…but he doesn’t know who or why.

Mason and Ava are both dedicated and committed to their respective jobs and I like that their personal story doesn’t overshadow and take over the main focus of the story. There’s quite a large cast of characters who are all given enough consideration to make them real and substantial. Mason and Ava have depth and the character development is so good, it’s impossible not to like, and be drawn to, them. Mason intrigued me with his cowboy hat and boots and the emotions he kept in well in check.

'Under that ‘by the book’ cowboy was a gentleman with a big heart'

The suspense and tensions are played out skillfully, an intricate, involved and very conceivable storyline kept me absorbed and entertained throughout. The writing expresses perfectly the drama, sadness and feelings of utter helplessness and the emotional content is powerful. The past and present are interwoven culminating in a tense and moving finale. I couldn’t help but be a little sorry for the culprit and his sad life.

A solid, well researched story. I look forward to Mason Callahan #2

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Quantum Coin

  • By: E.C. Myers
  • Narrated by: Macleod Andrews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Ephraim thought his universe-hopping days were over. He's done wishing for magic solutions to his problems; his quantum coin has been powerless for almost a year, and he's settled into a normal life with his girlfriend, Jena. But then an old friend crashes their senior prom: Zoe, Jena's identical twin from a parallel world. Zoe's timing couldn't be worse. It turns out that Ephraim's problems have just begun, and they're much more complicated than his love life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent sequel

  • By CathyR on 05-12-13

Excellent sequel

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

Reviewed: 05-12-13

So, Quantum Coin picks up the story a year later. Ephraim, Jena, Nathan, Mary and Shelley are attending their prom when something peculiar happens. As Jena returns from the powder room Ephraim has a huge shock when he realises it's not Jena but Zoe. Jena appears behind her with Mary and Shelley. As the friends wonder what is happening Nathan is being Nathan and recording the events on his camera...and he captures something truly bizarre.

Ephraim thought he had finished with shifting through parallel universes when he and Zoe agreed to destroy the controller. It seems a normal life wasn't to be, the controller hadn't been destroyed and Ephraim's problems were beginning all over again. Nathaniel needs Ephraim's help and Zoe has come to take him back. So Ephraim and Zoe, along with Jena this time, are thrust into another multi universal adventure.

Ephraim, Jena, Nathan and Zoe have grown and developed into more likeable, rounded characters. Ephraim's romantic dilemma between Jena and Zoe is quite understated but never the less intriguing because the girls are different aspects of the same personality.

The friends find themselves in a pretty desperate situation with the universes merging and disappearing along with the people who inhabit them. Ephraim, Jena, Zoe and Nathaniel and their analogues are doing their utmost to sort out the unimaginable problems and it seems like it's on their shoulders to decide which universe(s) survive. How can they condemn multiple universes and all the people who inhabit them to oblivion.

Performance

One of MacLeod Andrews' strengths is narrating young adult fiction, which he does with sensitivity and credibility, always invested in the story and portraying the characters precisely and with feeling making the listener care about them.

Thoughts

This book is much faster paced with lots more going on than than Fair Coin and the scientific aspect much deeper and a lot more complex.

The Quantum physics and the ins and outs of multiverses left me far behind, racing to catch up and knowing I can never run fast enough. Not that this detracts from the story at all, the characters are engrossing and the story compelling and what an ending!

  • Crimes of Memory

  • A Detective Jackson Mystery, Book 11
  • By: L. J. Sellers
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Fresh off the leave-of-absence he took following his ex-wife’s death, Detective Jackson’s life is in upheaval. He struggles to keep his grief-stricken daughter, Katie, in line, while trying to reinvigorate a passion for his work. When a body is found in a storage unit, he hopes for an open-and-shut homicide, but nothing in this case is as it appears. The same night the ex-con is murdered, a firebomb goes off in a bottled water factory across town. The prime suspects are from the organization Love the Earth - eco-terrorists who will go to extremes to spread their message

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoying this series a lot

  • By CathyR on 23-11-13

Enjoying this series a lot

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

Reviewed: 23-11-13

In the latest book in the Detective Jackson series, we catch up with Wade Jackson as he returns to work after a leave of absence after accidentally shooting his ex wife. His daughter, Katie, blames her father for her mother's death and is rebellious and angry, dabbling in alcohol and drugs. Jackson is finding it very hard to cope with the turn his life has taken.

I've followed this series from the start and have enjoyed it very much. The characters are believable with real problems and issues. The story lines are never as simple as they first appear and usually have two plots woven together as well as following personal lives. In this instance Jackson investigates a suspicious death at a storage facility which leads on to a bombing at a local factory by a potential terrorist.


Patrick Lawlor has narrated most of the series (apart from the first two) and I like the regularity of listening to the same narrator. He does a great job, especially with Jackson, and differentiates well between the characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Since You Left Me

  • By: Allen Zadoff
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

For Sanskrit Aaron Zuckerman, it isn’t easy to believe. Especially when all the people you care about leave. His dad left after the divorce. The love of his life left in second grade. His best friend in Jewish school found God and practically left the planet. Now his yoga-teacher mom is falling in love with her spiritual guru, and she’s threatening to leave, too. In a desperate attempt to keep his family together, Sanskrit tells just one small lie. And for a while it seems to be working.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable

  • By CathyR on 19-11-13

Very enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 19-11-13

This is a great story, very different and humorous but underneath dealing with more serious matters such as religion and family dynamics. I liked Sanskrit a lot and couldn’t help but feel empathetic. He’s dealing with a lot of issues and feels rejected and as though his life is out of control. His parents are divorced, his best friend found religion and changed drastically (we don’t find out why until quite late into the story) and he never got over his first crush. Not to mention his mother who is, to say the least, a little wacky and comes across as quite self centred.
A whole chain of events begin and take off like a runaway train when Sanskrit’s mother fails to turn up for his parent/teacher evening and he invents a lie to cover up. The story is narrated by Sanskrit with typical teenage angst, wit and sarcasm but for all that it’s warm and sensitive and MacLeod Andrews' narration reflects this brilliantly.(less) [edit]
Nov 19, 2013

  • Fair Coin

  • By: E.C. Myers
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Ephraim is horrified when he comes home from school one day to find his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. Even more disturbing than her suicide attempt is the reason for it: the dead boy she identified at the hospital that afternoon - a boy who looks exactly like him. While examining his dead double's belongings, Ephraim discovers a strange coin that makes his wishes come true each time he flips it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent YA Sci-Fi

  • By CathyR on 15-11-13

Excellent YA Sci-Fi

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

Reviewed: 15-11-13

A strange coin that can grant wishes...except it doesn't grant them in quite the way Ephraim expects. Things go horribly wrong each time he makes a wish, creating strange and frightening experiences and shifts.
Quite an intriguing sci-fi plot with parallel universes and dopplegangers. An interesting take showing how the same person can develop into different personalities given altered circumstances and it’s a good point that Ephraim takes responsibility for the actions he takes and does his best to rectify things. A really good story with realistic teenage characterisation. I like the plot twists and the ending.
MacLeod Andrews narrates with sincerity and credibility.

  • The Basement

  • By: Stephen Leather
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 4 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34

New York City. With a population of almost 19 million people, it’s easy to remain anonymous - even if you’re a serial killer, torturing and murdering beautiful young women. The killer has another victim right now, locked in a basement somewhere in the city. For NYPD detectives Turner and Marcinko, it’s their job to sift through those 19 million and narrow their list to the one before it’s too late. And they’re sure they have the right man in their sights.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Bit Saucy, but Very Tastefully Done

  • By Carôle on 10-02-12

Compelling and scary!

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

Reviewed: 28-10-13

A disturbing story told from two perspectives. One from the point of view of the main protagonist Marvin Waller, the other from the serial killer, which is graphic and chilling. Even though it's a dark story the great opening line pulled me in. It's fast moving, suspenseful and seems to be going in the expected direction until the huge and totally unexpected twist at the end which, for me, would have benefitted from a little more development or explanation to round out the 'why' factor.
An expertly delivered narration by Luke Daniels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • All That's Missing

  • By: Sarah Sullivan
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Poppo's mind wandered. And Poppo wandered, too. Sometimes. Not often. Not yet, anyway. Arlo's grandfather travels in time. Not literally - he just mixes up the past with the present. Eleven-year-old Arlo holds on as best he can - because his grandfather is all the family he knows. Arlo fixes himself cereal for dinner and gives money to the owner of the corner store for the sausages Poppo takes without remembering to pay. But how long before someone finds out that Arlo is taking care of his grandfather instead of the other way around?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A poignant story

  • By CathyR on 26-10-13

A poignant story

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

Reviewed: 26-10-13

The emotional and touching story of Arlo and his grandfather, Poppo. Arlo's parents died when he was two so there's just been the two of them for as long as Arlo can remember. When Poppo has a stroke and is taken to hospital the beginnings of dementia are discovered so Arlo has to take matters into his own hands when he's sent to a children's home and runs away to his grandmother Ida’s house.
While Arlo is trying to come to terms with his mixed emotions about his grandfather going into sheltered accommodation and Arlo himself staying in Edgewater with Ida, he and his new friend Maywood help to solve a decades old mystery. In the end everything turns out for the best.
A lovely story with a sensitive and warm narration by MacLeod Andrews.

  • The Body Departed

  • By: J. R. Rain
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

James Blakely is a good man who has done some bad things in his time. So when he’s viciously gunned down in his sleep, he’s faced with a choice: Proceed immediately to an afterlife of eternal damnation or haunt the world of the living in search of redemption - and one last shot at heaven. Now, little more than a flickering shade of the man he was, James spends his days seeking solace from the loved ones he left behind - even as he works furiously to unravel the mystery of his murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story

  • By CathyR on 26-10-13

Great story

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

Reviewed: 26-10-13

I got caught up in this immediately. I hadn't read J R Rain before but the storyline and concept intrigued me. The story is told from the perspective of a murdered man, now a ghost, who needs to work through some things before he feels able to 'move on'. There's quite a bit of religious theory/belief woven into the story but it is mainly focused on the protagonist's wish for atonement and, as he sees it, to save his soul. Loved the ending and the last few chapters brought a lump to the throat. Loved the audio and will be looking for more from this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Steelheart

  • Reckoners, Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,925
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,801
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,802

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A little childish, but great fun.

  • By Joe on 29-01-15

Really enjoyed this

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

Reviewed: 06-10-13

Imaginative storytelling, lots of action, suspense and fast paced with a good cast of characters. A really descriptive and sad prologue sets up the storyline, the trauma suffered by David and how that affects the choices he makes. In a post Calamity world ruled by dark and chilling Epics, humans who gained fearful super powers, a small group of resistance fighters, The Reckoners, are killing Epics to try and undermine their hold on the world.
David wants revenge against the most powerful ruling Epic, Steelheart, for the murder if his father 10 years ago. He joins The Reckoners (great characters) and they devise a plan. David knows Steelheart has a weakness, he saw him bleed, but he doesn't know for sure what the weakness is.
There are morality issues to confront and lessons to learn and several unexpected twists and revelations turn things upside down.
The characters are strong and the relationships and banter between them is appealing and also comical at times.
The story leaves enough unsaid to make you want to follow on with the next book.
Loved the audio.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Whiskey Beach

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 14 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 122
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 118

For more than 300 years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore - and its secrets. But to Eli Landon, it’s home.… A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigations after being accused of - but never arrested for - the murder of his soon-to-be-ex wife. He finds sanctuary at Bluff House, even though his beloved grandmother is in Boston recuperating from a nasty fall. Abra Walsh is always there, though.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Unsuitable narrator unfortunately

  • By FrancescaD on 10-06-14

Second recording so much better

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

Reviewed: 30-09-13

Revisited this since it's been recorded again with a new narrator....and it's a completely different listening experience. Luke Daniels gives the characters' life and personality, which was lacking in the first narration, and makes it incredibly easy to care about and empathize with them. You know immediately who's talking, each character has a distinct voice, brilliantly done. The story took on a different perspective with much more depth and was like a first listen. Loved it this time round.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful