This is the 9th book in the Michael Bennett series. Some books were better than others a long the way but I always listen to a Michael Bennett ThrilleThis is the 9th book in the Michael Bennett series. Some books were better than others a long the way but I always listen to a Michael Bennett Thriller at least once. I love the family, Father Shamus, Mary Catherine, ten kids with ten different personalities and if that wasn't enough drama, there's always a high pressure, deadly situation that only Detective Bennett can handle.
Bullseye doesn't focus as much on family like in previous books. Some listeners will be disappointed, while others will be cheering this change of focus. I was a bit confused how the main plot was based on a couple's plan to assassinate the newly inaugurated President at some point during the snowy month of November. (The U.S. Presidential election is held in November, however the President is inaugurated in January.) Everything said, I liked it. It's a political/suspense/thriller with an enormous amount of gun knowledge. I learned a great deal about guns listening to Bullseye. (I made notes and looked 'em up.) Sniper tactics are described in such great detail the image of what was happening as the shooter laid down, exhaled deeply and took aim was as vivid as a painting on my wall. Several family members want to borrow this book for these reason alone. If you're a Bennett fan you eill want to read this one. If for no other reason than to keep up-to-date. If you enjoy political thrillers give it a listen.
Danny Mastrogiorgio has perfected the narration for Michael Bennett Thrillers. I've grown so accustomed to hearing his voice I can't imagine anyone else narrating for these characters. His pitch, tone, and character specific quirks add another element to the reading experience that is incredibly enjoyable....more
What begins with a scuffle in the men's room concludes with a man jumping or maybe being pushed off the hotel roof. Detective Michael Bennett is calleWhat begins with a scuffle in the men's room concludes with a man jumping or maybe being pushed off the hotel roof. Detective Michael Bennett is called to the scene. As he scans the hotel room, he notices small clues that point towards homicide not suicide. The medical examiner has two very unusual pieces of information to share with Det. Bennett. First, while performing the autopsy she discovered the deceased had swallowed a condom prior to his death. Inside was a small piece of paper with a group of seemingly random numbers printed on it. Second, the dead man's name was Stephen Eardley...USAF pilot that died in combat years ago.
Doors were quickly slammed in Bennett's face at the Pentagon. He is flabbergasted that no one is interested in finding out how USAF pilot Eardley just died in NY, even though he perished in firey crash serving his country in Iraq? Flustered and about to head home, Bennett receives a private message that sends him to Pennsylvania. The GPS and cell phone indicated he was way past the boonies, in the middle of nowhere when he arrived at his destination. He decided to wait when he got no response from ringing the buzzer. Sitting there, in the middle of nowhere it dawned on him that this wasn't a good idea. But that realization came to late. He had already gone from hunter to hunted. Professional killers? Mercenaries? They got the drop on Bennett and now it would take all his cunning and an incredible stroke of luck to get out of the handcuffs, out of their truck and out of this alive.
This is a good book. I enjoyed it. It's not a real-life, docu-drama kinda story. Yes you have to suspend reality a little. But isn't that what fiction does? Takes us away from what is real and entertains us. I liked Grandpa...the veteran that had one more good fight left. And his granddaughter was a smart lil girl that had nerves of steel.
Danny Mastrogiorgio's narration is wonderful. The pitch, tone and rhythm are specific for each character - making them feel and sound like real people. Chase is a fun, entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon....more
Here's the jist - In Trial the listener is reintroduced to Kingfisher. Yep, the murderer. The drug kingpin. The one that died a year ago. Except he isHere's the jist - In Trial the listener is reintroduced to Kingfisher. Yep, the murderer. The drug kingpin. The one that died a year ago. Except he is very much alive and according to eye witness statements he murdered two people in a poshy nightclub. I thought the search for Kingfisher was relatively easy considering what a BAD, bad, bad-guy he has proven to be in the past. But the very next short, crisp chapter validated that easy capture and the books' title. Once in custody Jorge Sierra threatened the lives of everyone connected to his case. He threatened to wreck havoc on San Francisco itself. But with the criminal behind bars, detectives breath a collective sigh of relief - that's barely exhaled when the body count starts rising. Kingfisher was making good on his threats and Detective Boxer had to find a way to stop him...for good this time?
Trial is #15.5 in the mega popular Women's Murder Club series from authors James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. I must admit I've only been able to finish 3 of the 15 books in the series..it's just not been my cup of tea. But, I liked this one! The whole premise of BookShots is the elimination of everything but the absolute essential elements necessary to tell the story. Gone is all the meandering around and around the barn twenty-nine times simply to get to the front door...Almost! Even in this short format there was too much precious space given to Detective Boxer missing, dreaming, whatever about her failing love life. I wish in addition to eliminating the meandering, they would've erased the "fluff stuff" too. There's plenty of action, but be forewarned this isn't a procedural tale - you have listen for entertainment only. (Shhhh. you have to suspend reality for 2.5 hours and just sit back and be entertained.) You'll probably see the man behind the curtain long before the authors big reveal. But here again, I just sat back and listened. (Of course I smiled a little.)
I waffled back and forth on a star rating for The Trial. I'm going to settle on 3.5-4 stars. The audio edition is narrated by the talented January LaVoy. The voice inflections, pitch differences and smooth tones add so much to the BookShots experience. I recommend the audio edition to all Murder Club fans, all Patterson fans, and any book lover that wants to be entertained for 2.5 hours....more
3.5 ☆'s The House of Secrets is a hot historical conspiracy mess that would've been so much better as two books. One that introduced the Nash family, f3.5 ☆'s The House of Secrets is a hot historical conspiracy mess that would've been so much better as two books. One that introduced the Nash family, from Jack's early years chasing conspiracies all over the world, his long running TV show "House of Secrets, his ties to the government, to just beyond the car crash that killed him. Book one ending as his daughter, Hazel, awakens from a week long coma, suffering from limited amnesia and with FBI agents hovering at her hospital door. Now that's a cliff-hanger. Then open book two with Hazel finding out her father and a man he had met with a few days before, had both been murdered. Somehow all of this is connected to a Bible the size of a deck of cards recovered during the victim's autopsy. Not just any tiny Bible...Benedict Arnolld's tiny Bible. Then the search for all kinds of answers - who murdered her father? Why? Who is she really? What about her brother Skip? Who is he? What secrets is he hiding? But that's my version.
I've had a really hard time trying to figure out how to write this review.There's so much going on. The House of Secrets is a puzzle box, wrapped in a mystery, tied up with conspiracies and stamped with a riddle. There were many times I had to rewind and listen again. Everything moves so quickly I feared I had missed something. Also Hazel has a laundry list of questions and is seeking answers to each. But with this novel, one answer doesn't definitively lead to the next. Most the answers Hazel seeks can only be found in the past. A past she can no longer remember clearly.
Scott Brick and January LaVoy deliver a stellar narration performance from beginning to end. I hope they are tapped to continue being the voices that bring the characters of this series to life.
The House of Secrets is a unique listening experience. If you like conspiracies don't miss getting started with Brad Meltzer's new series. It's challenging and messy but worth the extra effort....more
Nina the Neighborhood Ninja aims to reach little girls at an early age, right where they live, with missions they can understand. The storGirl Power!
Nina the Neighborhood Ninja aims to reach little girls at an early age, right where they live, with missions they can understand. The story begins with an adorable little African American girl, sporting a "Princess Leia" inspired hairstyle, wearing a homemade cape, a yellow t-shirt with a single, red heart in the center and a skirt. This is Nina (the Ninja). She helps where help is needed even when doing requires personal sacrifice. The actions of a true super-hero. Throughout this story, she makes her way through the neighborhood, with her sidekick, Fiona the Firefly assisting a baby bird that fell out of the nest, a scared stray cat with no shelter from the storm and a little turtle family stuck in the sandbox. Each rescue is beautifully detailed in the accompanying drawing. The book ends with Nina inviting the reader to be a super-hero too.
The story is interesting, fun and inspirational. This is girl power from cover to cover. Nina is Smart, Strong and Speedy. All necessary characteristics for any super-hero. But more importantly, the characteristics we want to instill in our little girls. The drawing at the end shows kids that look very different from each other (with animals intermingled), holding hands around the world. A subtle, yet powerful way to say - it doesn't matter what you look like, you can be a super-hero too. Nina and Fiona are like Batman and Robin. Best friends that count on each other, help each other and work together to help others. A good story that follows a logical path ...long enough for kids to unwind... short enough to read in one sitting. The dialogue is delivered in the third person narrative (no rhyming.) The wording is age appropriate. The font is attractive, appealing to the eye, with letters that are easily recognized by those just learning to read. While repetition is a popular learning device, for some it is irritating. Taking away from the reader's ability to enjoy the story. The latter was true for us. Nina the Ninja is repeated twenty times in forty-three pages. (Half of those pages are drawings.) By page ten my granddaughter huffed every time I read it. She asked me "Nana, why do you keep saying Nina the Ninja?" I told her because that's what the book says. When I re-read the story, changing the wording to either, Nina or simply she, my granddaughter enjoyed the story much more.
We liked book and think you will too.
**I received a courtesy copy of this book from The Cadence Group....more
Written and narrated by Abraham Zapruder's granddaughter, Alexandra, Twenty-Six Seconds is part biography, part memoir, part historical nonfiction. HeWritten and narrated by Abraham Zapruder's granddaughter, Alexandra, Twenty-Six Seconds is part biography, part memoir, part historical nonfiction. Her last name was made famous years before she was born and yet she writes with the clear eye of a spectator and the heart of a grandchild. She peels the layers of this story within a story delicately, but with unflinching honesty. With genuine emotion and eloquent dialogue, Alexandra delivers a wholly engrossing listening experience that captivates from the second you press play.
By chance and coincidence, Abraham Zapruder captured on film the most significant event of modern time with his 8mm Bell & Howell camera. His biggest concern was how the film would be handled. He tried to put the responsibilities of ownership with a respected company he believed would act with decency and integrity. After twelve years of dealing with the film and all that goes with it, Life sold it back to the Zapruder Family for one dollar. Where it remained until via arbitration the family sold the one-of-a-kind historical artifact to the government for sixteen million dollars. In 2000 the family donated the last of their photographs, copies of the film and copyrights to the 6th Floor Museum. This ended their legal connection to the assassination but not their personal tumultuous relationship with the film. Like a circle, it is unending. Her grandfather described it this way "a wound that leaves residual pain even after it heals."
The Zapruder film is barely twenty-six seconds and measures six feet in length. The 483 frames have been studied by the greatest minds, as well as, armchair conspiracy theorists. It has been dissected and analyzed for what is shows and what it does not. The Warren Commission relied heavily upon the film as evidence of a lone gunman. Subsequent government inquiries did not concur, citing the high probability Oswald acted as part of a conspiracy. Fifty years later, with all our technology, we are no closer to a definitive answer. Society continues to be shocked and fascinated by the film. It has found an audience in the art world, the entertainment industry and in written publications. The "Zapruder Film" has been woven into the cultural fabric of our nation. It's even found a place in Pop-culture. Slang terms like zaprudered are part of the vernacular. (zaprudered - watching something over and over intently analyzing it.) Now a new generation has instant access via Google and YouTube. The film can be viewed and shared around the world instantaneously with no thought whatsoever of ethics, morals, and exploitation. I dare say, Mr. Zapruder would be heartbroken.
Alexandra writes of her grandfather through a long, loving lens as only a granddaughter could. Her narration is filled with emotion conveyed through authentic voice inflections and expert pacing. Twenty-Six Seconds IS a personal history of the Zapruder Film. Alexandra has delivered a meticulously researched, well-organized novel that is informative, interesting, and entertaining. I enjoyed this book from the first CD to the last. It was often an emotional journey that had me smiling one chapter, near tears the next. I also felt my blood pressure climb more than once when the media attacked Mr. Zapruder for selling the film. I especially enjoyed Alexandra's retelling of the arbitration hearing which was almost comical. The government was unprepared and ill-equipped. They seemed unable (or unwilling) to quantify the film as one would a VanGoh...if there were only one VanGoh that is.
This is nonfiction at its finest! If you are interested in the Kennedy assassination, on any side of this complex historical event --whether you are a staunch supporter of the Warren Report or you find yourself on the outer limit of the most convoluted conspiracy theory ...you will enjoy this book....more
I missed a Pendergast novel. I have no idea how, but I missed Crimson Shore. Of all books to have missed I picked that one. Uggh. I fully intend to reI missed a Pendergast novel. I have no idea how, but I missed Crimson Shore. Of all books to have missed I picked that one. Uggh. I fully intend to read it in the next few weeks that's for sure. I strongly suggest - IF you haven't read Crimson Shore, get a copy and read it before reading The Obsidian Chamber.
The Obsidian Chamber doesn't have the customary science fiction dedicated readers have come to expect in a Pendergast novel. But do not be deceived - this is a good book. Constance is front and center throughout the bulk of the book, with Pendergast being the center of attention but the character is sadly missing. (Crimson Shore ended with a cliffhanger...the fate of Pendergast unknown.)There's so much going I felt as though my headphones were going to spin clean off. The title, is the name of a strange, supernatural-like room that somewhere in the story Constance is trapped in. After Pendergast rejected her, he's missing and presumed dead and she is majorly depressed. The Proctor and Constance's protector (in Pendergast's absence) grabs his "emergency kit," full of everything one would need to traipse off on a "one man" 007 like adventure. Then, if that wasn't enough action - while Proctor is away Diogenes is back from the dead to play! Professing his undying love and his life altering rehabilitation were not sufficient to convince the lovely Constance. So he whisks her off to a secluded spot to continue his convincing of course. Meanwhile, Pendergast arrives at his New York home only to find it empty. No Proctor, No Constance, but enough clues for this one of a kind detective to find what and who he is looking for. Thus begins the race to find those who at first were mourning, and/or searching for him.
Wow! What a ride. The pace never lets up. Multiple points of narration and some of the dialogue can stretch the ears in a few places, but that's to be expected. We have to suspend reality, a tiny bit, (sometimes a little more) to fully enjoy Aloysius Pendergast. This man is so many things wrapped into a character I cannot help but love. He's highly educated, a master of manipulation, speaks six languages fluently, wears tailored suits made from a special 1950's wool, moves as gracefully as a ballerina, yet as deadly as the world's best sniper. This FBI agent galavants all over the world, chasing bad guys, escaping impossible situations with Houdini-like-finesse and I hang on every word.
If you've never read a Pendergast novel, allow this one to entice you, but start at the beginning. If you are a Pendergast fan, you already know this is a must read. The audio edition is superb. Rene' Auberjonois' reprises his long running role of narrator. I cannot imagine anyone else voicing Aloysius. The inflections, pacing, and tones utilized throughout give each character their own distinct, recognizable sound. I love listening Auberjonois' and Highly recommend the audio edition of The Obsidian Chamber.
Once Upon an Elephant is a story about the important role elephants play in the lives of countless other species. How their day to day activities protOnce Upon an Elephant is a story about the important role elephants play in the lives of countless other species. How their day to day activities protect and encourage growth on the savanna, which also helps other animals. The information is delivered in age appropriate language with 2-4 sentences per page. The story itself reveals several specific elephant 'activities' that benefits others and how many would suffer without the elephants. For example, how the heaviness of the elephant causes their footprints to be deep enough to hold water. At times, during the dry season, these small pools are the only source of water for many animals...even younger children understand that without the elephants many animals would not survive.
I'm so excited about the children's books available from Adorable Publishing. These books encourage parents, teachers, older brothers/sisters, grandparents, etc. to get involved. Interactive quizzes, cross-curricular activities and more are available at Adorable Publishing's website. Elephants are called a keystone species, because they play a very important role in the lives of other animals, therefore affecting the entire ecosystem of the savanna. The number of elephants in the wild has dwindled to an embarrassingly low number in the last twenty years. If we and by we I mean all of us, do nothing, within a short period of time, these majestic animals will be a memory. Stories about them will have no choice but begin with.. "Once upon a time there was an elephant."
There's a lot of information contained in the last two pages. Maps, pictures, small info boxes.
One example of an "all about elephants" info box:
Female: cow Male: bull Baby: calf Group Name: herd
I read Once Upon an Elephant to my 4.5 year old, animal loving, granddaughter. She was excited as soon as she looked at the cover. She listened patiently, looking at every detail in each picture...until the third set of repetitions... "once upon an elephant," followed by, "but the elephants were there." Granted we've been reading to her, since way before she was able to even know that's what we were doing - which may mean she's more picky or opinionated than the typical 4.5 year old. But she liked it better when I skipped those words. Curious, I shared the book with my neighbor. She has two granddaughters age 7 and 9, and two grandsons age 3 and 6. The nine year old was immediately put off by the repetition, as was the 6 year old grandson. The 7 year old said it was ok, but she too liked it better when Grandma took those words out. The 3 year old was doing his own thing. The older kids enjoyed the website and all the extra information on those last two pages. I heard "elephants are pretty cool" .... and WOW, isn't that the response we are seeking?
If you have a child age 4-7, this is a fun, beautifully illustrated picture book - that inspires and encourages kids to learn more. Plus Adorable Publishing has activities suitable for classroom or at home available on their website. I look forward to many more wonderful titles from this author and this publisher! Enjoy!