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Dr. J. Crawford

Ely, UK
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 12
  • ratings
  • Long Road to Mercy

  • Atlee Pine, Book 1
  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Kyf Brewer, Brittany Pressley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 306
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 283

Her name is Atlee Pine, the latest creation from best-selling author David Baldacci. She has unstoppable tenacity, always a fighter who is unwilling to cede any ground. She has endured real nightmares, and she has the emotional and physical scars to show for it. And she got those long before she became an adult. She is an FBI Special Agent assigned to the wilds of the western US. She has to cover, often solo, vast tracts of area: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine!

  • By Simon on 18-11-18

Rather silly

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

The plot is absurd and very complicated though it is set against a contemporary background of US tensions with Russia and North Korea and a great deal of intrigue. Our new FBI heroine is an almost superhuman specimen. More like a Marvel Comics superhero than a believable cop. Of course she has the dark side to her as well as her patriotic dedication and this revolves around her having a twin who was abducted and killed when both were young. Atlee does not want to talk about this despite it pervading her thoughts. Despite this she has had herself tattooed with references to this traumatic event then tries to act coy and not talk about them when asked. Thus despite her claims she is an attention seeker. What other reason can there be for disfiguring herself with silly tattoos. If you don’t want to talk about something why write it indelibly on your skin? One strongly suspects that a person with these sort of psychological issues wouldn’t make into the likes of theFBI.
The potential romantic interest is another superhero type who is an ex soldier now a National Park ranger. The narrator reads his part making him sound like the honey monster or some other dumb cartoon character. “Duh!”
Many of the other characters are just cliches (eg Atlee’s FBI boss who is more at home with paperwork than solving crime)
It’s a halfway decent yarn but it does get out of hand: nukes in the Grand Canyon and all. It’s hard to be original and you get the idea that Mr Baldacci is running out of ideas.

  • Dark Sacred Night

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver, Christine Lakin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 638
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 572
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 570

At the end of a long, dark night Detectives Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch cross paths for the very first time. Detective Renée Ballard is working the graveyard shift again and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find that an older man has snuck in and is rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is none other than legendary LAPD detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but eventually Bosch persuades her to help, and she relents.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Gaaaargh the narrator ruins it

  • By Max on 28-11-18

The best of crime writers.

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

Reviewed: 12-11-18

It’s a great story with two great characters coming together with the prospect of more in the future.
The story is of Renee and Harry working a cold case of a serial killer which is a common enough scenario in crime fiction but the author has a couple of brilliant characters at his disposal and the writing is excellent.
The two readers do a great job too.

  • The Fallen

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 827
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 750
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 747

Small towns which have seen better times are not unusual. But the mysterious events in Baronville, Pennsylvania, are raising the highly tuned antennae of Agent Amos Decker and his FBI partner, Alex Jamison. What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation turns into a murder investigation when two bodies are found in a nearby deserted house. With the body count rising, Decker and Jamison dig deep to uncover a sinister truth in Baronville, which could be the canary in the coalmine for the rest of the country.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic storyline

  • By "janetbm" on 05-06-18

A good yarn but implausible

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

The latest Amos Decker story sees him and his sidekick Alex Jamison, on vacation together staying with her sister ‘s family. Immediately they get involved in an investigation of murder and conspiracy. The plot is ambitious to say the least and it is entertaining and well paced throughout though prone to cliche.
My immediate question was why would they vacation together? The next one was Why does Decker need Jamison at all apart from her being a vehicle for Decker to explain himself to readers? She does almost zero detective work. As the story progresses the murders mount up as the baddies try to contain things. Obviously such a strategy can’t work as the more bodies the greater the law enforcement response.
Anyway Decker solves everything more or less single handed as all the other cops are dumb or corrupt.
Fortunately in the end all the baddies are bang to rights or dead and the goodies are rich (apart from our heroes).
The problem with Decker and his altered personality state is that he is very one dimensional and apart from his talent as a detective nobody would want to go on vacation with him.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Tommyknockers

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 27 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506

Everything is familiar. But everything has changed. Coming back to the little community is like walking into a nightmare for Jim Gardener, poet, drunk, potential suicide. It all looks the same: the house; the furniture; Jim's friend, Bobbi; her beagle (though ageing); even the woods out at the back. But it was in the woods that Bobbi stumbled over the odd, part-buried object and felt a peculiar tingle as she brushed the soft earth away. Everything is familiar. But everything is about to change.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Top 3

  • By Chris on 08-02-17

Very Overblown

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

Reviewed: 21-02-18

This audiobook is 25 hours long. Many of Stephen King’s books are long but this is enormous and enormously disappointing. I got bored well before the end and didn’t actually care how it ended by the time I got there. I lost concentration during the epilogue and dozed off so I don’t know how it actually finishes and couldn’t raise the enthusiasm to replay it. The basic idea is ok. Much of the writing is very good but it’s patchy. The story dies, crushed under its own weight. Realistically it could have been at least halved in length and been improved greatly by doing so.
Various characters were introduced but died ineffectively and irrelevantly. None of the characters who lasted long into the story were worthy of much admiration.
Definitely the worst Stephen King novel I’ve read (or heard). I’m a fan of his but I don’t recommend this at all.

  • Insidious Intent

  • Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10
  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 518
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 519

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: someone is luring the women away, only to leave the victims' bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate, but this may be the toughest case they've ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner, Elinor, must deal with a cruel cyber blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed by this

  • By Andromeda's Twin on 26-08-17

Very Silly

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

Reviewed: 22-12-17

Fairly run of the mill Val McDermid plot featuring the much vaunted detective Carol Jordan and the increasingly pathetic Tony Hill. Jordan is supposedly an ace detective but seems to spend most of the time wallowing in self pity while her crew do the brain work. Tony profiles the baddy but although most of what he comes up with turns out to be correct he actually contributes very little to solving the crime. The plot is standard serial killer stuff. The ending is ludicrous and may signal the end of the series. Maybe not.
As ever the book is read by the unbelievably bad Saul Reichlin who has serially murdered the earlier books and has excelled himself here. As ever me makes Tony sound like a frail ninety year old. He doesn’t do accents and all the characters sound like parodies of Alan Benett or escapees from a Hovis ad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hour Game

  • King and Maxwell, Book 2
  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319

Following their collaboration in Split Second, ex-Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell have gone into partnership and are investigating the robbery of some secret documents at the residence of the incredibly wealthy Battle family. It seems like a straightforward case of domestic burglary, but soon they begin to suspect links to larger, more terrifying events now shaking the prosperous town of Wrightsburg....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • l

  • By RAVI on 29-09-18

Completely absurd

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

Reviewed: 13-10-17

The worst Baldacci book I’ve come across. Maxwell and King are hotshot Private investigators. In fact King does all the clever deducing helped by the author repeatedly resorting to referencing things which hadn’t been mentioned previously. All the athleticism is Maxwell’s otherwise gender stereotypes prevail throughout. Add in the cliched array of incompetent keystone cops and you have it.
The plot is totally implausible and completely overwrought. Basically it concerns a serial killer running amok in a small community. The cops are useless and deputise our heroes to do their job. King figures it all out. Maxwell is continually asking “What’s going on Sean?” being completely unable to keep up with the pace of his deductions despite her much vaunted IQ. She’s got his back though and rescues him a couple of times and the favour is returned. The book has a couple false endings before finally collapsing in a totally laughable denouement.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beneath the Bleeding

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 552

When Robbie Bishop, star midfielder for the Bradfield Vics, is poisoned by a rare and deadly toxin, profiler Dr Tony Hill and trusted colleague DCI Carol Jordan have their work cut out for them. Then a bomb explodes in the football stadium, causing massive casualties - and another man dies from poisoning. Is there a link between the cases? What are the motives for these crimes? The clock is ticking, and the death toll keeps rising....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • good story

  • By colin clews on 24-11-15

Good but spoilt by narrator

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

Reviewed: 24-01-17

An unlikely plot but quite entertaining. Like many of this series it is spoilt by the reader. He sounds prim and elderly and poor old Saul just doesn't do accents (with possible exception of a rather comic, constipated scouse).

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Watch Your Back

  • By: Karen Rose
  • Narrated by: Anne Wittman
  • Length: 23 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

Best-selling author Karen Rose is back with her fifteenth pulse-pounding thriller. Unforgettable. Stevie Mazzetti knew she would never get over the murder of her husband and son. But with their killer behind bars, she was able to move on with her life, if only for her daughter's sake. Unimaginable. Now, eight years later, the Baltimore detective always fights for the victims she meets and when she learns that her ex-partner may have miscarried justice, Stevie's determined to right the wrong...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, too drawn out.

  • By Alistair James on 01-12-15

Bit of a yawn

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

Reviewed: 19-09-15

Basically a series of overwrought descriptions of sexual encounters between the dozy, gadget obsessed Clay and silly police detective Stevie who someone is trying to kill (who could blame them?). This tedium is partially relieved by some detective work though the story is vastly over long. The sex scenes however are at times hilariously and unintentionally funny. The book will appeal to dimwits with a lot of time on their hands

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Cuckoo's Calling

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 1
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 15 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,078
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,223
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,198

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and likeable

  • By Dragon on 06-05-13

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 20-01-15

A very good story. A believable and human protagonist. Generally well constructed characters.
Robert Glenister's reading is excellent. Much enjoyed.

  • Two Women

  • By: Martina Cole
  • Narrated by: Jacqueline King
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 434
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 365
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 359

Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston's East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she smashed her husband's skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane knows that she's done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When she is celled up with murderess Matilda Enderby, their fates become inextricably linked. And no one - least of all Sue - could have predicted the consequences...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best story

  • By Susan Clark on 27-04-16

Not bad

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

Reviewed: 04-01-15

Promising storyline. Some of the characterisation is very wooden and implausible .The reading sounds like a voiceover for a TV ad.