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Randi Robinson
The Final Girl “Jill Turner is on a camping trip with her "newly acquired friends", a group who loves old horror movies and plays games based on them. Jill's father is dead, and she is being raised by her fundamentalist religious mother who worries about her daughter being "sullied" (a word which is used a lot). The plot is interesting. Why was Jill the final girl, the lone survivor when everyone was brutally murdered? Who was the man with the smashed-in face (great name for a villain in a horror story). The characters were all flawed and not totally believable. But are the characters in old horror movies ever believable? The detective Darlene had recently lost a daughter the same age as the teens and in real life I doubt she would have been on this case. The story is told with chapters alternating between Jill and Darlene which was works well in telling this story. The twist was not totally unexpected but parts of it were and it was effective. I listened to the audiobook gotten through Audiobooks Unleashed. The narrator Megan Hudgins did an excellent portraying the young Jill Turner.”
The Girl You Killed “At first I did not like the narrator and wasn't sure I could finish it but then I got caught up in Andi's story. The book is told by the different characters with excerpts from a trial in between that aided in character development. I wasn't sure whose trial it was and for what crime until later in the book. Andi is a good character but not very strong and too trusting.. She has little self-confidence. Craig is a jerk and the narrator's rendition of his voice just makes him more unlikable. I could never see what Andi saw in him to begin with except his good looks. Since some of the characters knew what was going on, I felt sorry for Andi that her situation went on as long as it did. I had some suspicions about what was happening but I didn't see the whole picture until the author put it all together. All in all it was an enjoyable psychological thriller combined with a crime story that I enjoyed.”
The Genesis Files “I love Blair Howard's Harry Starke books. This Genesis Files series goes back and tells us how Harry became a private investigator. Book 1, Genesis, tells us about Harry's first case. Only a month out of the police department, Harry picks up a young girl in a rain storm and she is soon abducted. This is when someone suggests that Harry should become a PI. He hires his friend Ronnie to handle the business end, finds a beautiful Jamaican girl at his doctor's office to be his personal assistant, and meets a young hacker at a poker game and hires him to be his computer person. Book 2, The Raven finds Harry entangled with the Russian mob and in extreme danger. It introduces us to Bob Ryan who becomes Harry's investigator and assistant who saves him uncountable times over the years. Book 3, The Assassin, is set 4 years later and introduces us to 2 mercenaries whom we will see again in later books. Mr Howard's characters are well developed and human. Independently wealthy Harry Starke reminds me of Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington. Tom Lennon does an excellent job bringing harry to life. He narrates with Harry's attitude and with emotion. I highly recommend Blair Howard.”
Viral Dreams “I received this audiobook from Audiobooks Unleashed. Medical mysteries and thrillers are my favorite and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The characters feel like friends you really care about. Widower and former SWAT officer Max Tyler and his daughter Megan are camping near Mammoth Lakes CA when a man tries to kidnap Megan. Max rescues her but then she is shot with a tranquilizer dart. At the hospital they meet Dr Beth Collins whose life will become involved with theirs in a horrific and unexpected way. The bad guys include evil Dr Thornton, his nasty nurse and his thugs. You don't want friends like them. The book starts out with a nanologue which is a detailed explanation of the adenovirus. Don't let that scare you away. There are some very detailed science parts but they do not take away from the story. If they really turn you off you can skip over them without ruining the story. There is nonstop action which makes the book hard to put down. What is going on? Who will survive? Narrator does an excellent job. He didn't try to change his voice but you knew which character was speaking with no problem. His voice was well modulated and easy to understand.”
Ashes Beneath Her “Serial Killer thriller with a paranormal twist Six girls have gone missing without a trace in the area near the Northern Michigan Insane Asylum in the last five years but police have not made the connection and most were written off as runaways. A young reporter thinks they are connected and works with the mother of one of the victims to investigate in hopes of getting the police to reopen the cases. The book mostly concentrates on the latest victim Orla, a young girl with a "gift". She can touch an item and tell things about it and the person whom it belongs to. This gift could help her solve the case, if she can get away from the mad doctor holding her captive. The book moves at a fast pace and kept me listening all day. The narrator has a soft spoken voice that at first I thought would detract from a twisty thriller, but this was not the case. She did a very good job. This is the second book in the Northern Michigan Insane Asylum series that I have read and enjoyed. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.”
Butterfly Lake “This was an okay Christian story about a family vacation gone wrong. The young girl getting kidnapped practically in front of her family reminded me of the beginning of The Shack but the similarity ends there. The family had faith they would find her, and the dad and his friend are determined not to quit looking till they find her. These two characters and the two mountain men were pretty good but the others were forgettable. The story was okay but not very suspenseful. It is more about enduring friendship, family and faith. The narrator was a little bland but he did a pretty good job with all the characters. It wasn't a complete waste of time but a little too bland for me.”
Fatal Lies “Del and Sabrina are living together in his father's house and writing a book about their adventures in solving the 85 year old mystery in Book 1 All Lies. They are once again drawn into an old mystery when an inmate Sabrina knew in prison left her a key to a safe deposit box. This has them flying back and forth from Massachusetts to Wisconsin to Texas and back east. All the while they are being followed and shot at. This books has lots of action and another complicated mystery with lots of twist. I love Mr Cunningham's characters. They seem so alive. Sabrina is a strong woman and Del worships her. You can feel his love for her. The bad guys are great too. They sure had me confused. Again there is some of the author's signature humor. I look forward to listening to the rest of this series.”
All Lies “Del Honeycutt leads a boring life stuck in a boring job he really doesn't like and resorting to online dating websites to find a woman. His most recent date, all 45 minutes of it, was puzzling. It got even stranger when the woman was found dead the next morning. Then his recently deceased father's house was broken into and he finds evidence of a mystery in the family's past. Sabrina, sister of the murdered woman, approaches Del to help her find out why her sister was killed and how it is connected to his family's mystery. From there the book takes off to travels back and forth with people following them and trying to kill them. The characters in this book were well developed. I really liked them. The mystery was intriguing and twisty. The author's sense of humor added to the book. The narrator did a good job at bringing Del to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and immediately listened to book 2 in the series. I have discovered a great new author.”
Checkmate “I love Blair Howard. I had read the first 3 Harry Starke books but had not listened to an audiobook. I always compared Harry to Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington-they both are insanely rich, love good food, good wine , and women. This audiobook showed me the difference-The Accent! I keep forgetting Harry is from Chattanooga and has a southern accent. Now I have a voice in my head for Harry. Thanks Tom Lennon. In this book, Harry finds a body in the river at the country club. In the process of solving this mystery, Harry and Amanda get shot at while watching the river Harry loves from his condo, destroying the glass wall and Harry's future enjoyment of watching the river. After a lot of dead ends, Harry finally figure this one out. Great book!”
Hound Dog Blues “This book had great characters. Harley riding Harley Jean Davidson, a tour guide in the land of Elvis is the daughter of aging hippies Yogi, an Elvis impersonator, and Diva who talks to spirits guides. Their dog King, named of course for Elvis, is kidnapped and they ask Harley to find him. Enter the cranky neighbor lady who hates King and Yogi, the creepy but hunky guy who just moved in next door and you have a funny but interesting story of jewel theft. Promising beginning to a series. I received a copy of the audiobook from the author and look forward to reading more of this series.”
Blister “I received a free copy of this audio book from the author. I picked it based on the cover and the brief description. I expected some creepy story, maybe horror, but it was so much more. It is the story of a horribly disfigured girl feared and made fun of by her small backwoods town. Her gun toting daddy keeps her in a shed out back. Cartoonist Jason, banished to the lake in her town, befriends her. There is a part that is gruesome and horrific but mostly it is about the power of friendship that turns to love., with some added comedy. Engrossing story with great characters. Ignatz the dog is great. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”