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Zoo by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge (audio)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1478906170/?tag=rjsviews-20

Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781478906179
  • ISBN-10: 1478906170
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: May 2015

the main character still trying to distance himself from his fathers’ legacy as a crackpot, is giving safari tours

Zoo is a half-baked, science-fiction suspense-thriller, that with some comedy relief and backwards humor could’ve been a very good “spoof,” I really wanted to like this book, but the one dimensional characters were impossible to care about. The artificial pacing and choppy dialogue made it difficult to stay immersed in the story. I have been a James Patterson fan since the  irst Alex Cross novel. Over the years there have been some books that weren’t as good as others, but in recent years there seems to be more bad than good. Only the name on the cover is familiar, – Gone is the masterful storytellers’ voice I had enjoyed so very much.This is especially true with Zoo. I understand this is a collaboration, that there will be a lot of Michael Ledwidge’s influence, however, in previous works I could at least recognize Patterson’s input. Zoo is not absolutely terrible, it’s ok. But with so many number one best sellers to his name, I expect more than okay.

Happy Reading,

RJ

http://www.facebook.com/rjsviews

Also available in Hardcover


    What’s on  RJ’s Wish List?

New Release from Best Selling Author Joseph Finder –
The Fixer


//

 

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The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari (audio)

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari (audio)

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari   Audio Book Review

Richard Montanari’s Website

doll maker

Wow, I’m sorry to say this is the first book I’ve read by Richard Montanari, but it certainly won’t be the last, I have already reserved Rosary Girls at my local library. Honestly, I really missed the boat with this author – but now that I have secured a quiet listening corner, I’m in for the long ride.

Although this is the eighth book in the series, it works as a standalone. There’s enough information about the characters to carry the reader through. And these are well drawn, three dimensional, and easily relateable. Philadelphia Homicide Detectives Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne are interesting, work well as a team, and have a palpable respect for one another. Byrne is more experienced, kind hearted and determined. While Balzano is opinionated and shrewd, with an equally warm heart.  I particularly liked the absence of romantic entanglement.

Richard Montanari weaves multiple angles together into a disturbing tapestry of missing children, murdered children extravagantly posed on painted surfaces, and a convicted child killer weeks away from her final walk. Are they connected? Time is running out for Balzano and Byrne to find out. Throughout the reader discovers information only moments before the detectives. Montanari gives the reader credit and doesn’t spell everything out letter for letter. The Doll Maker is more about motives and concepts, than actual brutality and violence. The latter being the tools used to create his ‘art.’ The creepy tea dance invitations he leaves at each scene add yet another layer to an already colorful piece.

This is disturbing on so many levels – there were entire chapters that gave me goose-bumps (and I don’t frighten easy). Montanari has a gift – the ability to write realistically, believable stories that are the stuff nightmares are made of, but sadly could be the lead story on the news tonight. The Doll Maker is an outstanding book. Period. No matter what opinion you read, good or bad..if you enjoy suspense/thrillers – read this one for yourself.

*DO NOT form your opinion based on the prologue. Yes it is graphic, gruesome and extremely disturbing, but this does not fairly represent the rest of the story.

Happy Reading!

RJ

Goodreads

Hachette Audio

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Memory Man by David Baldacci

Memory Man by David Baldacci


Memory Man
by David Baldacci
read by Ron McLarty with Orlagh Cassidy
11CD’s, Approx. 13.5 hours (unabridged)
ISBN: 9781478929987
ISBN: 1478929987

*Also available in hardcover

David Baldacci (Website)

Hachette Audio (Website)

Best selling author David Baldacci has an innate ability to create interesting characters, there’s even something different about his bad guys… it isn’t that they are more evil or that his books contain more graphic violence – quite the opposite. Baldacci’s writing is classy. It is easy to identify with his characters, to feel for them, to be invested in what happens and Amos Decker is no exception. That said, this book is unlike any of Baldacci’s earlier works, it’s a breath of fresh air in an often stagnant genre.

Amos Decker suffered a crushing helmet to helmet blow ending his pro football career the first time he suited up. How his brain receives and interprets information was forever changed. He was diagnosed with rare cognitive phenomenons known as syynethesia and hyperthymesia. He can’t forget anything. Which for the first two decades of his career in law enforcement was a gift.

Then came that horrific night, when Detective Decker, returning home from a stakeout walked into a nightmare from which he has yet to awaken. His family had been murdered – his beautiful wife Cassie shot in the head, 9 year old daughter, Molly strangled and his brother-in-law’s throat had been slashed. Why? Who had done this? Despite their best efforts the case remained unsolved. His life spun out of control…he lost his home, his job, and nearly his mind.

That was 15 months ago. Now working here and there as a private investigator, Decker is trying to find his way out the darkness when his former partner, Mary Lancaster tells him a man named Sebastian Leopold  has confessed to killing his family. While trying to talk to this confessed killer, there’s a school shooting as his alma mater, Mansfield High. From this point forward everything speeds toward the resolution.

I have always loved David Baldacci’s writing style – he takes risks…thinks outside the box. And Memory Man is definitely outside the box, I had never heard of these cognitive conditions and after much reading on the subject, I still don’t understand it. But that’s ok. This was an interesting read that sparked my imagination and while it did seem to go flat in few chapters, for the most part everything was tied together and resolved by the last page. I can’t say exactly what made this novel fall short for me, except that it just didn’t have the “fire” I have come to expect when reading a Baldacci book.

Happy Reading,

RJ

Goodreads
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Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver

Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver

Best Books of the Year So Far

Click to Visit Amazon’s 2015 Best Book List

Solitude Creek is the fourth book in the Kathryn Dance series and not my favorite. The idea of a killer that sets the stage for people to cause their own death is thought provoking…. Would it be every man for himself, a literal dog eat dog type mentality? Sadly, time and again it plays out just that way. When local roadhouse patrons try to escape what they think is a fire, only to find the exits blocked, several are killed and numerous others injured, as fear and panic replaced rationale and human decency. All to the delight and amusement of “event murderer,” Antioch March.

California Criminal Investigations Detective Kathryn Dance has been placed on Civil Division Duty, unable to carry a weapon or work criminal cases. Forced to the sideline as the gang related drug smuggling case she was heading moves forward without her. However, she is able to stay in the loop on that case and consult with local authorities on the Solitude Creek stampede. And her usually mild mannered, well behaved kids (a son and daughter), pick now to start acting different…causing Mom a few more worries. Oh, she also has two men vying for her time and affection.

It felt to me like Deaver just tossed things on the wall and hoped something would stick. Compared to the Lincoln Rhyme series, Kathryn Dance doesn’t measure up. True they are very different characters, and that is great, but where Rhyme is a well rounded character, Dance feels like a bunch of strings that never form anything. With the first book, Bone Collector, I cared about the participants and what transpired in both their professional, as well as, their personal lives. Again, there’s a disconnect between me and Dance. Solitude Creek could have been a really good book, but not with Kathryn Dance in the lead. Having the audio version made it a lot better, because the narrator did an exceptional job keeping me in the moment, whereas left on my own with the hard copy I would have had a difficult time finishing it.

**Antioch March is an “event murderer”, meaning he causes the event, but the choices people make cause their deaths.

Visit Jeffery Deaver’s Website

Visit Hachette Audio’s Website

Happy Reading,

RJ
Goodreads

The Bone Collector

The FIRST Lincoln Rhyme novel


Overview
Jeffery Deaver, “the master of manipulation” (Associated Press) and “the most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world.” (Daily Telegraph, UK) returns with the new, long-awaited, Kathryn Dance thriller.
A tragedy occurs at a small concert venue on the Monterey Peninsula. Cries of “fire” are raised and, panicked, people run for the doors, only to find them blocked. A half dozen people die and others are seriously injured. But it’s the panic and the stampede that killed; there was no fire.
Kathryn Dance–a brilliant California Bureau of Investigation agent and body language expert–discovers that the stampede was caused intentionally and that the perpetrator, a man obsessed with turning people’s own fears and greed into weapons, has more attacks planned. She and her team must race against the clock to find where he will strike next before more innocents die.
Details  Unabridged Audio
  • ISBN-13: 9781478903598
  • ISBN-10: 1478903597

Radiant Angel (John Corey Series #7)

 

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Hope to Die by James Patterson

Hope to Die by James Patterson
  • ISBN-13: 9781611130362
  • ISBN-10: 1611130360
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: November 2014
  • Page Count: 8
       visit the author: James Patterson
    audiohachette.jpgDon’t miss the new audio book from Hachette!

Can you believe we had to wait a year for answers? Thankfully it was well worth the wait. Hope to Die is James Patterson at his finest. Cross My Heart left me checking the box for another CD, wondering who wrote it. Now Hope to Die has me hoping for the next book, next week!

Hope to Die is one of the most emotionally charged suspense/thrillers I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in a long time. James Patterson definitely switched his writing back to what made fans fall in love with Alex Cross in the first place. Everything fans hated about Cross My Heart has been replaced by solid writing that grabs you from the opening scene and continues to hook you, chapter after chapter. Hope to Die is written in classic Patterson style, with crisp, short chapters. Michael Boatman and Scott Sower do an incredible job narrating. The way they use their vocal talents to make each character stand apart from the other, making it easy for listeners to form an attachment to the good guys and hate the bad guys.

Alex Cross’ world has descended into the seventh circle of hell. He’s lost the two things he holds dear…his family and his badge. Thiery Mulch, one of the most demented psychopaths ever to match wits with Cross abducts his family and vows to kill them if Cross doesn’t meet his every demand. So when mutilated bodies are discovered, everyone is convinced it’s Cross’ missing family. The lines between right and wrong have always been pretty well defined for Alex. But with the lives of his loved ones at stake, that which was so black and white, begins to gray.

Patterson has delivered a damn good book with Hope to Die. The action is unrelenting and there’s so much tension in every chapter, I felt emotionally exhausted at the conclusion.

If you’re a Alex Cross fan Hope to Die is the book you’ve been “hoping” James Patterson would write. Don’t miss it!

hope to die

 

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Blue Labyrinth by Preston & Child

Blue Labyrinth by Preston & Child
  • ISBN-13: 9781478904250
  • ISBN-10: 1478904259
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

audiohachette.jpg
Narrated by Rene Auberjonois

visit:  Preston & Child online

Best Books of the Month
Named an Amazon Book of the Month

I’ll not waste time repeating the dust jacket or give away spoilers, this is simply my thoughts about Blue Labyrinth.

The suspense/thriller genre is crowded with interesting, exciting protagonists, but Agent Aloysius Pendergast, is in a class of his own. A Chongg Ran practitioner, with an extensive knowledge of food and wine, and unparalleled verbal skills. His appreciation of finer things always on display – designer suits, handmade shoes, a grand mansion on Riverside Drive, a lovely apartment in the Dakota, and his chauffeur driven 59 Rolls Royce.

Blue Labyrinth is the 14th novel in this series and while all of them have been “good”, some definitely shine brighter than others, as I’m sure is true of any long running series. The story weaves together the murder of Pendergast’s son, (Alban), and that of a Museum of Natural History technician. It was great to see P&C return to the roots of the series. But I still expected Agent Pendergast to be the star of Blue Labyrinth. He is not. Fighting for his life on the sideline, the spot light shifts to long time friend, Detective Vincent D’Agosta (NYPD), Dr. Margo Green (Curator, MSH) and Constance Greene (Pendergast’s ward). These three beloved characters take center stage as they try to assemble a puzzle with seeming unrelated pieces in time to save Pendergast. It was an entertaining read that revealed more about the characters than it did about the villains.

Blue Labyrinth is a solid read, with vivid depictions, three dimensional characters and plenty of the eccentricities I’ve come to expect from Preston and Child. Rene Aberjonois has one the most distinctive voices in narration. His ability to breathe life into fictional characters takes the listener inside the book from cover to cover. He uses tone, tempo, accents and pitch to make each character an individual and every setting a beautifully drawn scene. Blue Labyrinth is a good book and even better audio experience. There are flaws, but none so flagrant as to turn me away from the series. At times it felt like the authors were preparing for the demise of Aloysius Pendergast and maybe that was their intention. I’m just glad it didn’t happen in Blue Labyrinth, so there’ll be a #15.

Happy Reading,

RJ



Also available in hardcover

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1455525898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455525898
 

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A.D.30 by Ted Dekker

audiohachette.jpg

Often referred to as the Christian Thriller author, Dekker seems to have embraced the title and run with it – right onto the best seller shelf with A.D. 30. Both thriller and biblical fiction, this incredible piece of work will have you on the edge of your seat from Maviah’s exile, through her perilous journey across the Nafud dessert, right to the court of King Herod. Dekker’s depiction of the dessert is so vivid you can almost feel the heat rising from the sand as the camels lumber across the dangerous terrain. During Maviah’s conversations with Yeshua Dekker’s talents truly shine, as he weaves the gospel of Jesus seamlessly into the fictional world of A.D. 30.

Dekker’s characters are strong, believable, and easy to care about. A.D. 30 is Biblical Fiction at its finest. Ellen Archer’s narration brings the words to life. She utilizes pitch and inflections to differentiate the various characters and their ways. The audio book is an incredible listening experience, not to be missed.

Happy Reading!

RJ 🙂

also available in Hardcover

  • ISBN-13: 9781599954189
  • ISBN-10: 1599954184
  • Publisher: Center Street
  • Publish Date: October 2014
  • Page Count: 432

 

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The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
The Burning Room audio excerpt

audio excerpt

 The Burning Room
author: Michael Connelly
narrator: Titus Welliver

Hachette Audio Books

 

 

www.michaelconnelly.com

 

It’s hard to believe one of crime fictions most popular detectives is nearing retirement. Most 20 year veterans of the LAPD are ready to take it easy, maybe ride a desk – Not Harry Bosch. The department just assigned him a new partner, 28 year old Lucia Soto. She seems eager to learn and while Bosch accepts the role of mentor his sixth sense keeps nudging him…that something isn’t quite right. But Bosch has to put his uneasiness aside when they are handed the politically charged murder case of Orlando Merced. Shot, in a outdoor plaza nearly a decade earlier, Merced finally succumbed to his injuries. Although the shooter had never been identified, it was thought to be a gang bullet gone “astray.” But when the coroner removes the crucial piece of evidence the gang shooting or random violence theory is crushed.

While all eyes were supposed to be focused on the Merced case, Bosh discovers Soto investigating an unsolved arson/murder case. As a child, she survived the fire that claimed the lives of nine children and one woman, in an unlicensed, dingy, basement daycare. Being a bit of a softie, but more importantly being a seeker of justice, Bosh makes room on his crowded plate for this case. But as the two begin to dig into both cases, they become convinced that amidst an ever widening web of guns, fire, murder and politics is a common thread. We follow the rookie and the veteran as they pull the individual pieces together, providing a measure of justice for the victims and a replacement for Harry.

The Burning Room isn’t a bad book, but it certainly isn’t the action packed novel Connelly fans are accustomed too. I kept hoping the next chapter would change the tone and feel of the story, but sadly it seems Harry Bosch is tired, ready to take his gold watch and close the detective chapter of his life story.

Happy Reading,

RJ

Narration by Titus Welliver 🙂

Titus Welliver’s vocal talents are shining bright in The Burning Room. He brings each character to life by individualizing them with an array  of accents, pitch inflections, tempo and tone. With Bosch’s retirement looming, there’s almost a somber tone throughout and Welliver does an excellent job of making the reader “feel” it.

The Burning Room

 

  • Series: Harry Bosch (Book 19)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455524190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455524198


Harry Bosch Series:

The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
The Gods of Guilt (2013) (one page brief appearance)
The Burning Room (2014)
The Crossing (November 2015)

 

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Along Came A Spider & Kiss the Girls


Author:  James Patterson (Alex Cross #1)
Narrator:  Charles Turner
ISBN-13: 9781619694125
ISBN-10: 1619694123
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
approx. 12 hrs (listening time)
Hachette Audio
audiohachette.jpg


For all the loyal Alex Cross fans out there, Hachette’s release of Along Came A Spider will be a Must Have! Charles Turner’s narration adds a new dimension to the novel that will put chill bumps ontop of your chill bumps. This book introduced the world to Detective Alex Cross and there’s been no looking back. Built like a boxer, a smooth ladies man who enjoys playing the piano, Cross is a loyal friend, loving son, dedicated father and relentless pursuer of justice.

Gary Soneji is the polar opposite of Cross, he’s evil to the core and has one desire..”to commit the crime of the century.” Soneji is a master manipulator, skilled liar and one of the most beloved teachers at the D.C. private school for children of the rich and famous. So when the mild mannered, popular math teacher abducts two students, the secret service is caught with its proverbial pants down…and for this embarrassment someone’s head is going to roll.

Along Came A Spider is the disturbing story of a brilliant, psychopath matching wits with a hard nosed detective. James Patterson knew the one thing that made this killer truly terrifying was his normalcy. This guy was accepted in elite circles, admired by children and worked everyday in the presence of the United States Secret Service…what could be more frightening?

I’ve read this book a couple of times, but the audio book was a new experience for me I really enjoyed being able to sit back, relax and just listen. Charles Turner is an incredible narrator, that gives Alex Cross a strong, well defined voice, while allowing Soneji’s thoughts of himself to sound stronger than his actual voice. It’s a very entertaining audio experience!

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The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EWAN McGREGOR & PIERCE BROSNAN

Ghost Writer by Robert HarrisThe Ghost Writer

by Robert Harris

read by Roger Rees
Audio 5CD’s

ISBN: 0743583043
ISBN: 978-0743583043

Simon & Schuster Audio

Visit author, Robert Harris



Click here to listen to an audio clip of The Ghost WriterCLICK HERE to Listen to
an audio clip of The Ghost Writer

Simon & Schuster Audio



Robert Harris’ latest novel, The Ghost Writer sounds like an insider’s account, with all the sordid, juicy stuff we all want to know but will not admit we want to know. Mixing some recent history with fictional characters, in a real world, easily recognizable setting and the result is an entertaining listening experience!

The retired, disgraced British Prime Minister tapped his trusted aide, Mike McAra to help him write his memoir. After the mysterious, untimely death of McAra, a new ghostwriter is hired to iron out the wrinkles, add a little more detail and put the finishing touches on. The ghost joins Lang and his entourage, which consisted of a small security detail, several secretaries, his assistant and many speculated mistress, and his wife, Ruth, on Martha’s Vineyard, where they have rented a mansion. Adam Lang has created this cocoon, surrounding himself with those who are necessary or wanted, eliminating everyone else, including the citizens who turned on him.

Adam Lang’s smooth, charismatic demeanor catapulted him to the top of the political ticket, where he enjoyed high approval ratings. Then the world changed, as the war on terrorism branched off in an unpopular direction, taking with it Lang’s political popularity and casting a long, dark cloud over his legacy. Already being tried in the court of public opinion, the people unabashedly blame Lang for their suffering, as the UK has been the repeated target of terror attacks. And then it goes from bad to worse…Lang may be asked to stand before the International Criminal Court and answer to the charge of war crimes.

Robert Harris is as light with his pen as Fred Astaire was on his feet! Giving us a view of the inner sanctum is like pulling the curtain aside, revealing to the world there is no wizard…when all is said and done we are all human. And that’s what is at the heart of this story…people…living, breathing and flawed.

Narrator Roger Rees brings the characters to life, painting each with stunning audio detail, making them memorable and believable. The audio will keep you riveted,  twisting your thoughts and emotions in a new direction with every chapter. You will laugh out loud,  nod your head in agreement and shake your head in dismay, often all three within moments of each other. Even if you have read the book, the audio offers you a whole new experience!

Happy Reading,

RJ

Love2Listen Accustomed to aging rock-stars, the ghost is out of his element in the political arena, however, he will soon discover the two have more in common than he ever imagined! Ugliness and secrets abide here too…the difference…politicians “bury their stories.”



Flippin' Pages

Author, Robert Harris allows us a bit of insight into his thoughts on the difference between good and bad books –

And what they have in common, these bad books, be they novels or memoirs, is this: they don’t ring true. I’m not saying that a good book is true necessarily, just that it feels true for the time you’re reading it.

– and he couldn’t be more right! The Ghost Writer definitely rings true, the characters are believable, displaying the kind of behavior we have come to expect from politicians. Of course, the actions aren’t always good and more often than not it is the mistakes, mess ups and out right corruption that catapult their memoirs to the top of the charts.

Additional covers:

The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris
Also by author Robert Harris, Conspirata –

Conspirata by Robert Harris (SS)National Bestseller

Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Description

On the eve of Marcus Cicero’s inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome’s leader: elected by the people but despised by the heads of the two rival camps, the patricians and populists.

Caught in a political shell game that leaves him forever putting out fires only to have them ignite elsewhere, Cicero plays both for the future of the republic and his very life. There is a plot to assassinate Cicero, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar — and it will take all the embattled consul’s wit, strength, and force of will to stop it and keep Rome from becoming a dictatorship.

Robert Harris once again weaves a compelling and historically accurate tale of intrigue told in the wise and compassionate voice of Cicero’s slave and private secretary, Tiro. In the manner of I, Claudius, Harris vividly evokes ancient Rome and its politics for today’s listeners, documenting a world not unlike our own — where the impulse toward dominance competes with the risk of overreach, where high-minded ideals can be a liability, and where someone is always waiting in the wings for a chance to set the world on fire.



Also from Simon & Schuster

Available June 1, 2010

The Starlet by Mary McNamara

The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver *A Lincoln Rhyme Novel*

Simon &  Schuster Audio

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Danny the Dragon by Tina Turbin (children’s)

MEET DANNY THE DRAGON …..
What a wonderful new children’s series, from author Tina Turbin!

Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy (Hardcover)

Danny the Dragon
Meets Jimmy
by Tina Turbin

ISBN: 0980072115
ISBN: 978-0980072112
Age 4-8 / Pg 32

Imagination Publishing Group

www.dannythedragon.com

**Best Book Award Finalist**


What a wonderful story! You will love Danny the Dragon!

This hardcover children’s book is the first in a new series from author Tina Turbin. The first thing you will notice when you pick up Danny The Dragon is that this is an oversized book, allowing for large, detailed images. I was pleasantly surprised by the thicker pages, because popular books in our house tend to be well worn, rather quickly – the publisher seems to have recognized and taken this fact into account when putting this book together. The artwork is amazing, for example, Jimmy has large expressive eyes and freckles, most kids can easily and quickly relate to this character. In the story Jimmy finds a very, very special shell at the beach – the shell TALKS! But like Alvin and Chimpmunks, when the shell is put on display infront of Jimmy’s family, it remains silent. Jimmy takes the shell home and it doesn’t take long for the star of the series to make himself known – Danny the Dragon lives inside the shell. Oh, along with his traveling sidekick – Skipper.

This is a children’s adventure tale that sparks imagination, and entertains through a combination of visual imagery and excellent story telling.  Focusing on politeness, manners and friendship, Danny the Dragon reminds me of the “good old fashioned story books” my Mom read to me years ago. These are important building blocks for children and unfortunately these kinds of stories are becoming a rare find. We are certainly looking forward to the next installments of Danny the Dragon and will be reading and sharing each one with you. This book will be on our bedside table for a while – If you are searching for a new book to share with your little one – I highly recommend Danny the Dragon.

Danny the Dragon "Dreams" Audio CDDanny the Dragon
“Dreams

audio CD – 50 mins

ISBN: 0980072131
ISBN: 978-0980072136
Age 4-8
Imagination Publishing Group

www.dannythedragon.com

**Best Books Award Finalist**
Story time – then it is off to Dreams – If you have a fussy sleeper, this CD may be the answer you are looking for!

Danny the Dragon “Dreams” – is a delightful Audio CD – The first chapter opens with the story, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy read by Janice Welch. The narrator does a wonderful job of utilizing her voice to express the emotion of the story…the excitement, fun and curious nature of both Jimmy and Danny the Dragon are translated brilliantly. This story harkens back to a “safer” time – when politeness, manners and friendship were key ingredients in building character. Beautifully done and a must have for every parent that can’t be there to read a story every night. This audio CD packs a one two punch – a good story that is followed by 10 chapters of soothing piano led pieces that are an ideal bedtime treat. (With the last chapter being Danny the Dragon’s Theme Song.) There’s nothing stirring or jolting within the musical arrangements, making it the perfect CD to lull your little one of to Dream land.

DVD available April 13, 2010

Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy - DVDDanny the Dragon
Meets Jimmy

DVD  – 21mins

ISBN: B0033G9OBO
Age 4-8
Imagination Publishing Group

www.dannythedragon.com

Available everywhere on April 13, 2010 – Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy takes the 32page hardcover book and puts it on the screen with narration and sign language for the hearing impaired. This is a wonderful DVD for those with hearing impairments – unfortunately there’s a limited amount of children’s stories that offer sign language and I congratulate the author, Tina Turbin, for taking the initiative and adapting this delightful children’s story, so that it can truly be enjoyed by all kids.

In the story we are introduced to Jimmy and his family. They spend a day at the beach, where Jimmy finds a beautiful sea shell…and this isn’t just any ol’ shell… it Talks! Of course, when he shows it to his family the shell is absolutely quiet. After taking the shell home, Jimmy discovers that it really is special…a dragon lives inside. Danny the Dragon and his worldly-wise travel companion Skipper share some amazing tales of their travels with Jimmy. And with this being the first installment in a new series, there’s lots to look forward too.

Visit Danny the Dragon's Website

Pick up your copy of:
Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy – hardcover
Danny the Dragon “Dreams” – Audio CD
Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy – DVD


Reviewer Note:

Big thank yous to author, Tina Turbin and her assistant, Rosie for the opportunity to share Danny the Dragon with my family, and now with you our visitors! What a delightful series – we have read the book several times – it has already earned a spot in the backpack and on the bedside table. Keeping the attention of a curious, rambunctious four year old is no easy feat, however, the images (both on screen with the DVD and the large, beautiful pictures in the book) kept him still…and asking questions and pointing out various objects. For those who worry about hidden agendas in children’s stories – there’s no need for concern with Danny the Dragon – this is a straight forward imaginary tale of friendship, with a healthy dose of manners that’s presented so subtly your child doesn’t realize they are actually “learning.”

Be sure to visit Danny’s website and friend

Danny the Dragon at Facebook & MySpace

Visit Danny the Dragon's Website
Danny the Dragon BLOG

Danny the Dragon @ MySpace
Danny the Dragon @Facebook

http://TinaTurbin.com

cover art courtesy of Imagination Publishing Group and author, Tina Turbin

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Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Cemetery dance by Preston & Child 1600242650

Cemetery Dance
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

ISBN 10: 1600242650
ISBN 13: 9781600242656
Grand Central Publishing

Unabridged Audio, 12CDs, 13.5hr
Read by Rene Auberjonois’

www.prestonchild.com

Hachette Audio 

Cemetery Dance 

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have long been known for their ability to stand out amid a very crowded genre – and they certainly carved a niche’ with Cemetery Dance. Agent Pendergast has worked his share of interesting cases and had more than his fair share of close calls, but this time he has to risk much more than his physical safety…in Cemetery Dance, Pendergast dances with the devil, stepping in between the shadows on a journey that will take him places even he never imagined. 
 
The narrative opens on the remnants of a wedding anniversary celebration interrupted by a knife wielding assailant, that leaves New York Times reporter William Smithback Jr dead and his wife, Nora Kelly (Museum of Natural History anthropologist) clinging to life. There seems to be no question as to the identity of the assailant – several neighbors within the Upper West side apartment complex readily identified the attacker as one of their own, a neighbor, Collin Fearing. But that is impossible…Collin Fearing had been dead and buried for nearly two weeks.  Thus setting the stage for an intriguing tale that will take our team of detectives into the lair of a modern day cult in the heart of Manhattan.

Vodou rituals, mysticism, sorcery, within this realm the Obeah is the most dreaded and the most feared of all practitioners. The Obeah or Obeahman is believed to have virtually limitless powers, including the ability to resurrect the dead, which seems to be what someone wants the residents of New York to believe. Digging into this case, Pendergast will find some unusual characters hiding sinister motivations beneath the cloaks of the cult.

With several well known and beloved characters reprising their roles in Cemetery Dance fans are in for a real treat – however, as with their other novels, this one stands alone. So, there’s no reason to hold back – if you have never read a Preston/Child novel before, you can pick this one up and dive right in. Their writing is so spot on, detailed and character driven there’s nothing missing accept you! And with Rene Auberjonois’ providing the narration even those who have read the print version will be intrigued by his incredible presentation. His portrayal of Agent Pendergast breathes life into the fictional character, pulling him off the pages of the book and presenting him in living color. I was amazed by the depth and range Auberjonois employed throughout, going so far as to incorporate gutteral, zombie noises into the narrative. Which I must admit gave me a shudder and added a bit of “oh my” to the vibe. The audio version of Cemetery Dance (from Hachette Book Group) is exceptional and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys an exciting novel that doesn’t fit into any of the pre-determined, cookie-cutter classifications. Preston and Child do an extraordinary job delivering highly unusual material in an intelligent manner that enlightens the reader and engages your senses on a variety of levels. The information revealed in the novel was so provocative, it peeked my curiosity, prompting me to dig deeper into the topics. This is entertainment at its finest, from two of today’s most popular authors. Knowing this and accepting the story for what it was intended allows you to sit back, relax and thoroughly enjoy this unique work.

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

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Alex Cross’s TRIAL by James Patterson & Richard Dilallo

This title is on RJ's "Top Pick List"   

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson & Richard DillaloAlex Cross’s Trial
James Patterson & Richard Dillalo
ISBN: 1600248535
ISBN: 978-1600248535

8CD’s, Unabridged
Read by Dylan Baker featuring Shawn Andrew
Hachette Audio

Available in Hardcover (Little, Brown & Co)

www.jamespatterson.com

The Cross family had more than one hero…”

Alex Cross’s TRIAL, bridges the gap between generations of Cross men – taking us back in time to a turbulent and frightening era in American History, when folks were separated by color and justice was in deed blind…

This novel is a departure from the strong crime drama Cross series – written by the fictional character “Alex Cross” (as was “Big Bad Wolfe”). Thanks to Nana-Mama’s memory and Ben Corbett’s personal journals, Alex was able to put this haunting story on paper and share it with the world. He writes in the introduction – “…it is a story that helps illuminate why so many black people are angry, hurt, and lost in this country, even today. I also think it is important to keep this story alive for my family, and hopefully for yours.” And he couldn’t be more right – it is important…no matter how painful our past, we must learn from it – because those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

Attorney Ben Corbett had made quite a name for himself, as a white man, the son of a prominent Mississippi judge, he represented defendants of color during a time in the nation’s history when to do so put your career, family and even your very life in jeopardy. The story opens with Corbett defending a black servant accused of murdering her wealthy white boss. Of course, it comes as no surprise when the all male, all white jury returned a guilty verdict. This sets the stage for an amazing narrative – that follows Corbett
back home, to Eudora, Mississippi on a special, top secret assignment, requested by the President of the United States. Corbett had served under Roosevelt in the military and the President trusted him to conduct an “off the record” investigation and report directly back to him. Rumors of lynchings, terrorist like activities, civil rights violations, etc., if the stories were true, the Klu Klux Klan was alive and well in the south. President Roosevelt gave Corbett the name of the man he wanted him to talk too…Corbett’s contact…Abraham Cross.

Ben Corbett is impressed by Abraham Cross from the moment they meet, he knows Cross is a very special and wise man. At first Ben has a hard time believing the horror he witnessed as a young man is still occurring, however, after one afternoon with Abraham ‘touring’  lynching sites he realizes the Klan is thriving and everyone knows it. As the story continues tragedy strikes the Cross family and the Klan comes calling to collect their “just dues” from Ben Corbett. Will he become a chapter in this secret story he was sent here to uncover? If the Klan has their way…the answer is a resounding and absolute YES!

An incredible, moving story, that hurtles towards the ending with such ferocity you feel as though you are standing on the edge of a mountain and could teeter off at any second.

James Patterson and Richard Dillalo have delivered a story that is as disturbing as it is exciting – the no-holds-barred narrative is so “in your face” it stings and the lynching scenes are drawn with such meticulous detail you can almost smell the lingering odor of death as you read these haunting depictions. The pain, heartbreak and fear is palpable throughout as the eyes of a nation fall upon Eudora, Mississippi. The text is so point on you cannot help but feel flushed with emotion. Alex Cross’s TRIAL is emotionally charged, action packed and tells the story of how a family’s struggle against injustice gave one man the strength to stand against his own for what he knew to be right…not for posterity, fame or fortune –  simply because it was right!

There’s nothing conventional about Alex Cross…narrators Dylan Baker and Shawn Andrew tell this story with heart, courage and absolute dedication to the characters, breathing life into it and with each succeeding chapter they draw the scenes and put you in the center of each…You will be angered by this story, you will probably tear up (or cry, I sure did!), you will feel the pain of those who are hurting and the joy and pride of those who find the courage to stand tall. In a nutshell, you won’t regret the hours you spend with this book.

Happy Reading,  
Mrs RJ
RJ McGill
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Beat The Reaper by Josh Bazell

 Beat the Reaper
Josh Bazell

ISBN: 9781600244322
ISBN: 1600244327
Little, Brown & Company

Hachette Book Group
Unabridged, 6CD, 7hrs
Read by Robert Petkoff

www.joshbazell.com

Hachette Audio

Set in Manhattan’s worst hospital, Josh Bazell paints a dismal, picture for the main character, intern, Dr. Peter Brown. Working long hours, surrounded by an uncaring, overworked staff, that are unaffected and uninvolved, he finds himself waging a one man war to help his patients beat the reaper. But for Peter Brown, the war is much more personal, he too is trying to outrun or outwit death…and Brown knows all too well, that the reaper has many faces.

Through flashbacks and memory spurts, we learn Peter Brown a.k.a. Pietro Brnwa is hiding more than a few skeletons in his hospital locker. Rescued from his neglectful parents by doting, devoted grandparents only to see them brutally murdered at the tender age of fifteen. He became determined to a state of near obsession to find those responsible for his grandparents death. He joins the Locano Family, who quickly put his hatred and anger to work as an assassin, known as Bearclaw. Experiencing a change of heart, Pietro flips sides, entering the Witness Protection Program, from which he is now on the lam. Adding fuel to this multi-level fire, Brown is recognized by one of his new patients- the chart lists him as Mr. LoBrutto, but this long time mafia associate was at one time known as, Eddy Squillante and he harbors a deep grudge against the good Doctor Brown and knows numerous other mobsters who would kill him on sight.

This edgy story is littered with street humor, that borders on crude at times and yet it is perfectly suited for the depressing, death trap hospital scenario Bazell has designed as Brown’s stomping-group through-out “Beat the Reaper.” The mature language and detailed violence are not suited for younger audiences or those who are offended easily by brash, over-the-top cursing and blood, guts and gore. It says something about the author’s ability to write the material and the narrator’s ability to convey it that this one needs a “Mature Content” warning label. However, as most adults will agree some things are for children and others are not –and that’s okay – ….”Beat the Reaper” is a grown up tale that will having you snickering one second and out right laughing the next. So, if you are looking for a good story to take you away from the ordinary for a few hours, Beat the Reaper is an excellent choice.

Happy Reading,
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RJ McGill

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I am looking forward to Josh Bazell’s future works!

 

  Paperback available September 14, 2009Beat the Reaper - Paperback

 

Listen to: "Beat the Reaper" by Josh Bazell (Sample courtesy of Hachette Audio) LISTEN TO A SAMPLE CLIP
from Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

 

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The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (audio)

The Brass Verdict
Michael Connelly
ISBN: 1600244017
ISBN: 9781600244018
www.michaelconnelly.com

Unabridged, 10CDs, 11.5hrs
Hachette Audio
Read by Peter Giles

Hardcover, 432 Pages
Little, Brown & Company
 

New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly takes a leap of literary faith uniting two well known characters in one novel and lands softly amid adoring fans and rave reviews. Actor Peter Giles narrates, bringing the characters to life with special wording, accents and voice inflections, individualizing each, making the characters recognizable and believable.  

In 2005’s The Lincoln Lawyer, we were left with Haller’s promise that he would return – and return he has…albeit divorced, estranged from his daughter and recovering from both the gun shot wound and an addiction to pain killers. With his ex-wife (Lorna) as secretary/manager and her fiancée (Cisco), as his lead investigator, Mickey plans to slowly recoup his clientele and rebuild his rolling practice. Operating a lucrative law office from the backseat of a Lincoln town car was but one of his signature tricks and he was determined to reassert himself as the quintessential Lincoln Lawyer.

But his plans for a slow comeback are fast tracked when fellow attorney Jerry Vincent is found murdered in the parking garage adjacent to his office. Summoned to a closed door meeting with Chief Judge Holder, Haller is unceremoniously informed he has inherited Vincent’s practice and is responsible for his case load. A laundry list of cases was the last thing Haller wanted, so he quickly disposed of most of them. However, there was one case he hoped to maintain – that of millionaire, studio executive Walter Elliot, accused of murdering his wife and her lover. 

It would appear Vincent’s untimely demise handed Haller the goose that laid the golden egg, wrapped in box with a beautiful bow…but, then again, nothing is ever as it appears, is it?

Attorney Mickey Haller, from The Lincoln Lawyer’s and Detective Harry Bosch (33 year veteran of the police dept), from the celebrated Bosch series, share the spotlight in this murder-mystery-legal drama, sparring and teasing each other throughout with bits of carefully worded information meant to illicit more than it reveals. Forever questioning the intentions of the other, on the surface they seem to represent polar opposite points of view, but they have a great deal more in common than either is willing to acknowledge.
This novel barely scratches the proverbial literary surface of this brotherly relationship and I am anxious to see Connelly explore this further in the future.

Exciting, interesting and filled with twists that satisfy fully – “The Brass Verdict” is a solid good read!

Happy Reading!
BIGsmily
RJ McGill
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CLICK @HERE@ to read an excerpt from The Brass Verdict (via Open Book)

Brass Verdict = cop slang for an execution

 

 
 
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The Gate House by Nelson DeMille (audio)

Gate House by Nelson DeMille (audio) from Hachette

The Gate House
Nelson DeMille

ISBN 10: 1600244106
ISBN 13: 978-1600244100

Also available in Hardcover

Hachette Audio

Nelson DeMille Online

The long awaited sequel to DeMille’s 1990 hit, “The Gold Coast” reunites readers with the Sutter’s, Stanhope’s, Bellarosa’s and all the foo-foo, high class pretentious folks that call the North Shore of Long Island home. Although almost twenty calendar years have elapsed, within the novel, it is half-as long, and begins months after the tragedies of 9-11.

John Sutter, returns to the Gold Coast to handle the final arrangements for an ailing, elderly woman, who had been a dedicated family servant. After sailing around the world and residing in England, it feels almost like a bad case of dejavu, because it seems he is right back where he started. His beautiful ex-wife has also returned and they are now neighbors. It doesn’t take long for the two to find their way to each other and like everything else in this novel, the outcome is predictable. What ensues is a long winded, over blown and excruciatingly slow journey to an all too perfect ending, for characters that are nearly impossible to form any kind of emotional attachment with. The Gate House was disappointing on several levels, mostly because there was simply no element of suspense…even the occasional reader could discern the outcome long before the revelation. Although the narration did add a bit of humor and made the journey a bit easier we’ve come to expect a tighter, more concise story from a best selling author of such caliber.

Here’s to hoping this is the last of the Sutter’s and that DeMille sharpens his pen and returns to the strong, character driven, suspenseful ways of old.

Happy Reading,
RJ McGill
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