Archive for the ‘audible’ Category

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My Review

I do love a good cozy and I’m always looking for a new one. The clever title and whimsical cover caught my attention immediately. I thought this could be a fun one.

Claire works with her grandfather at their shop, The Rescued Word. I love that name. It’s a typewriter repair shop and they also restore old books and sell paper supplies. Sounds like a place I could spend time in. And the location for their shop is fun too, Bygone Alley. We have some side streets like these in the town I live in and they have such unique little shops hidden in them.

When a man comes in demanding a typewriter be given to him that was earlier dropped off for repair by someone else, he gets irate and the police are called. They take a closer look at the typewriter and something is strange about it. Later the man is found dead and the mystery begins.

  I enjoyed visiting Star City. Who doesn’t want to spend time in a ski resort. The isolation made the mystery more intriguing too. Lots of strangers to add to the suspect list.

Many of the characters were a joy to meet and I loved the friendship between Claire and Jodie. Jodie’s her friend but also a cop and she could be one or the other as needed.

A fun, frisky cozy with genuine characters and a good spin on a mystery, I’m glad I read To Helvetica And Back. I’ll be back for more.

  4  Stars

 Read by Marguerite Gavin

Marguerite did a wonderful job telling this fun tale. I sat back and enjoyed her pleasing voice. And sat up when she got to the dicey parts. I hope she continues to tell this series.

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Thanks so much to Tantor Audio and the author for the complimentary copy.

My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?

Amazon / Tantor

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For a list of my reviews go HERE.

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My Review

Rune is a bit of an oddball, sporting purple hair and packing lots of snark. Working at the video store isn’t usually exciting, but when she stumbles into the scene of a murder, she can’t let it go. The old man was a friend of hers and she’s sure that the video he kept renting over and over again ties into a crime committed many years ago. She dives head first into danger to avenge her friend.

Being a fan of Deaver’s darker, brooding thrillers like The Bone Collector, this lighter mystery caught me by surprise. Not that Deaver doesn’t throw in his usual curve balls to keep you off balance so the mystery eludes you til the end.

And I couldn’t have asked for a more delightful character than Rune. For a twenty-year-old, she’s fiercely independent and definitely not a wall flower. Throw in some more quirky people that join her in her endeavors and you get the fun character driven part of the story.

While this felt a bit different than his other writing, being an earlier work, I was glad I listened to it. And now I want to get to the rest of the series. I’m curious what our purple haired gal is going to get into next.

  4 Stars

Narrator Tanya Eby

I enjoyed the crisp, clean reading done by Tanya. She hits those high and low points and has a very pleasant voice.

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Thanks so much to Tantor Audio and the author for the complimentary copy.

My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

Five feet two inches of slick repartee, near-purple hair, and poetic imagination, twenty-year-old Rune hasn’t been in Manhattan for very long. But she’s crafty enough to have found a squatter’s paradise in an empty TriBeca loft, and a video store job that feeds her passion for old movies. It’s a passion she shares with her favorite customer, Mr. Kelly, a lonely old man who rents the same video over and over. The flick is a noir classic based on a real-life unsolved bank heist and a million missing dollars. It’s called Manhattan Is My Beat.

That’s the tape Rune is picking up from Mr. Kelly’s shabby apartment when she finds him shot to death. The police suspect a robbery gone wrong, but Rune is certain the key to solving the murder is hidden somewhere in the hazy, black-and-white frames of Mr. Kelly’s beloved movie. But as Rune hits the mean streets of New York to find answers, she gets caught up in a dangerous adventure more chilling than anything Hollywood could dream up. As her story draws to its terrifying conclusion, Rune’s final close-up may include the killer of a costar.

Amazon / Tantor

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For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

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What can I say about Bone White? WHOA!!!

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My Review

A ritualistic serial killer. A cold case still open. A town steeped in superstition. All this happening in a small place called Dread’s Hand Alaska. I knew I had to try this book.

There’s something about stories set in wintry climates that appeals to me. Especially in horror and thriller stories. It’s not enough the characters have to contend with a killer, the elements also play a big part as they have to contend with bitter cold and blinding snow storms. Plus, Dread’s Hand is located in a remote area of Alaska. It’s not like you can pick up the phone and help is on the way. Nope. People have to deal with their problems on their own. Some get lucky. Some don’t.

Being a fan of horror, I can handle a lot. I guess I just didn’t pay close enough attention to the synopsis. Went into this thinking it would be a simple serial killer case. Not that any of them are simple. But this story will grab you by your innards, twisting them painfully as the killer goes about his merry business. And the suspense, whoa. It has you chewing your finger nails to the quick. Ronald Malfi is adept at keeping the pace moving quickly, shocking you over and over, and wrapping it all up in a tidy blood drenched bow.

About a third of the way into this book, I found myself thinking how great it would be as a movie. And especially as one in black and white. Grainy footage would make it even more horrifying.

In depth characterization and bloody good story telling made this one one of those creepy reads that leaves you hoping the lights stay on. When my friends ask me what their next horror read should be, Bone White will be the first words out of my mouth.

  5 Stars

Narrator Charles Constant

Charles did an awesome job narrating this twisted tale. His cadence is spot on, voice pitch intensifying in the right places to build the tension and softening for the places in between. He really had a handle on how to tell this story.

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Thanks so much to Tantor Audio and the author for the complimentary copy.

My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

Paul Gallo saw the report on the news: a mass murderer leading police to his victims’ graves, in remote Dread’s Hand, Alaska.

It’s not even a town; more like the bad memory of a town. The same bit of wilderness where his twin brother went missing a year ago. As the bodies are exhumed, Paul travels to Alaska to get closure and put his grief to rest.

But the mystery is only beginning. What Paul finds are superstitious locals who talk of the devil stealing souls, and a line of wooden crosses to keep what’s in the woods from coming out. He finds no closure because no one can explain exactly what happened to Danny.

And the more he searches for answers, the more he finds himself becoming part of the mystery . . .

Amazon / Tantor

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Ronald Malfi is the award-winning author of several horror novels, mysteries and thrillers. A Bram Stoker Award nominee, he is the recipient of two Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Beverley Hills Book Award, the Vincent Price Horror Award, and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Popular Fiction.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to my Saturday Screams.

I’ve got two more to share from the John Cleaver Series by Dan Wells.

These are the fifth and the sixth and final books in a “killer” series.

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My Review

Having so much action in the previous books, some might think this one falls flat. Maybe it takes some time for things to get hairy, but while you’re waiting, you get even deeper into John’s psyche. Still a budding sociopath, John is more focused on killing the Withered than his own needs. Until a clever killer steals John’s thoughts of people he wants to kill and how he wants to kill them, and copies it in real life. It’s like he’s stealing a part of John. And its a clever way to caste suspicion on him too.

John and Brook thumb rides from town to town, aimlessly seeking Withered to kill. This is where I said it might seem flat. Don’t bet on it. Dan Wells once again adds a wicked twist when Brook appears to be possessed by the only person John has ever loved. How heart wrenching. I’ve always wanted John to become more human. To feel anything. And for him to be confronted with this situation really punched me in the heart.

There’s some new monsters and plenty more violence and blood shed. A must for me. And with only one more story left in the series, I’m wondering if I’ll get what I’ve been wanting out of it.  And if I do, will it be believable. One way or the other, I’m anticipating finding out.

  5 Stars

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

Having Kirby continue this series is a wise choice. He’s kept me enthralled in the stories and I’ll be watching for further books he’s read.

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Thanks so much to Tantor Audio and the author for the complimentary copy.

My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

John and Brooke are on their own, hitchhiking from town to town as they hunt the last of the Withered through the Midwest—but the Withered are hunting them back, and the FBI is close behind. With each new town, each new truck stop, each new highway, they get closer to a vicious killer who defies every principle of profiling and prediction John knows how to use, and meanwhile Brooke’s fractured psyche teeters on the edge of oblivion, overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of dead personalities sharing her mind. She flips in and out of lucidity, manifesting new names and thoughts and memories every day, until at last the one personality pops up that John never expected and has no idea how to deal with: the last of Nobody’s victims, trapped forever in the body of his last remaining friend.

Amazon / Tantor

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My Review

Another thrilling installment in the series. I go into each story hoping for more intrigue, complexity and angst and Dan Wells doesn’t disappoint.

John still battles his urges as he continues to hunt down the Withered. In each book I learn more about these monsters and what drives them. Terrifying they may be, but you’re given insight into their side of the story, which left me feeling conflicted about them, kind of.

The authors choice to tell this in first person POV from John’s perspective was a wise one.  He keeps evolving, growing mentally stronger but still needing some releases for his dark urges. As a budding serial killer who has rules to keep him from killing the innocent, I find him one of the most compelling characters I’ve come across.

There’s an interesting twist that makes for an edgy read. And it’s a gut wrenching finale in the last third of the book as good and bad become entwined in a fight to survive. I wish I could tell you the last scene of the book. All I could think was, it’s about time.

  5 Stars

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

Kirby hits it out of the park. His narration keeps the suspense at a boiling point and his inflection is perfectly timed. Well done.

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Thanks so much to Tantor Audio and the author for the complimentary copy.

My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

Hi. My name is John Cleaver, and I hunt monsters. I used to do it alone, and then for a while I did it with a team of government specialists, and then the monsters found us and killed almost everyone, and now I hunt them alone again.

This is my story.

In this thrilling installment in the John Wayne Cleaver series, Dan Wells brings his beloved antihero into a final confrontation with the Withered. Nothing Left to Lose is a conclusion that is both completely compelling and completely unexpected

Amazon / Tantor

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I’ve listened to and reviewed  all of the previous five books in this series.

 

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Click on the covers for my reviews.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

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Welcome to Freaking Fridays, where I share my reviews of books that scare you, thrill you, and get those endorphins pumping.

I’ve got another one to share from the John Cleaver Series by Dan Wells. 

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My Review

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read the early stories, this review may contain spoilers.

John’s only seventeen and lost everyone important in his life. With no where to turn he joins a covert team that hunts the monsters that go bump in the night.

It’s a whole new ball game, maybe. Hunting monsters isn’t new. John’s still battling his dark side.  But the team he’s joined isn’t much better than the monsters. The twisted lengths he goes through to not kill are so very macabre.

I’m so glad the author kept John on course. Kept him scary. It’s his constant struggle not to give in and go on a killing spree that keeps the story taut and edgy.

Egads. Just when I thought this series couldn’t get any better, that Dan Wells couldn’t take it further into the out of, I’m proven wrong. This is a chilling read and makes you squirm. I loved every bit of it and smiled in ghoulish glee.

Way to go, Dan. Keep em coming. And please, keep making me squirm.

  5 Stars

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

I’m so glad Kirby is still narrating this series. I’ve gotten used to his voice and his ability to give the character’s distinctive and easy to recognize voices makes him a favorite of mine.

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Thanks so much to Tantor Audio and the author for this complimentary copy.

My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they’ve killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he’s always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can…

…but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.

John doesn’t want the life he’s stuck with. He doesn’t want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn’t want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn’t want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn’t want to kill people. But as the song says, you can’t always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.

When John again faces evil, he’ll know what he has to do.
The Devil’s Only Friend is the first book in a brand-new John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells.

Amazon / Tantor

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I’ve listened to and reviewed I Am Not A Serial Killer, the first in the John Cleaver series and the second story, Mr. Monster, plus I Don’t Want To KIll You, the third book.

   

 

Click on the covers for my reviews.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to Freakin Fridays.

I’ve got another one to share from the John Cleaver Series by Dan Wells. 

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My Review

Hold on to your hats people. While I don’t expect every book in a series to be better than the previous ones, I do expect to see characters grow and plots thicken. Never fear, as this one is every bit as good, if not better, than the others.

It’s been a month since John’s last otherworldly encounter and he’s feeling more in control of his urges. Enough to challenge a demon to come and get him. The demon, Nobody, accepts his challenge and the consequences are dark indeed.  The author through me a curve ball here. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you give this one a listen. Lots more than meets the eye.

So much of this story reads as genuine. Almost creepy at times how that happens. It’s told in 1st person from John’s own mind. And with him being a budding sociopath, it gets twisted.

He’s not only juggling normal teenage hormones and angst, he’s also dealing with a controlling mother and doubts about his own set of rules. It’s compounded by a girlfriend, Marci. He didn’t expect to have a romantic relationship, and she’s something he can’t categorize and ignore. I, for one, think she’s a perfect fit for him.

Dan keeps the story tight, no fluff, all business. And the business is sordid and dark. Especially the ending. I hoped for one thing, got something else, and while it was devastating, it was the right way to go. All I could think was, I want some more, please.

5  Stars

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

Kirby continues to do well narrating this series. I’ve noticed that when I’m reading a book, my mind jumps forward, anticipating what might be about to happen and sometimes spoiling the surprise. Funny how that happens. While narrating, Kirby stays on course and the inflections come at the right times, so anticipation builds as the action increases. A great choice and fit for this thrilling series.

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Thanks so much to Tantor Audio and the author for this complimentary copy.

My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

John Cleaver has called a demon—literally called it on the phone—and challenged it to a fight. He has faced two of the monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. But as he wades through his town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of cat and mouse with a supernatural killer, the human is always the mouse.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, we watched a budding sociopath break every rule he had to save his town from evil. In Mr. Monster, we held our breath as he fought madly with himself, struggling to stay in control. Now John Cleaver has mastered his twisted talents and embraced his role as a killer of killers. I Don’t Want to Kill You brings his story to a thundering climax of suspicion, mayhem, and death.

It’s time to punish the guilty.

And in a town full of secrets, everyone is guilty of something.

Amazon / Tantor

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I’ve listened to and reviewed I Am Not A Serial Killer, the first in the John Cleaver series and the second story, Mr. Monster.

 

 

Click on the covers for my reviews.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to Freakin Fridays, where I share my reviews of books that scare you, thrill you, and get those endorphins pumping.

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My Review

The story picks up about a month after John killed the demon that stalked their town. He’s having a tough go of it.

You see, John has unnatural urges. Urges to torture and kill.  He has a set of rules that he follows to stop himself from acting on them. After killing the deem, those urges are building. He’s tasted death and fights to stick to his rules.

So he burns. He burns things to feed Mr. Monster, the thing inside him. It works, kind of. At least after he burns something he can go home. Go to bed. But then the nightmares start. “When he wasn’t using his mind, Mr. Monster was.” And the monster had him killing.

Now, something is killing again. And it’s not John. Perhaps John can let Mr. Monster out to play. Hunt and kill again.

Oh boy. I was only five chapters in and the suspense was really revving up. A school bully pushes John’s buttons and he pushes back. His mother hovers, reminding him to keep his rules. Questioning him constantly about how he feels. The FBI agent from before calls him in repeatedly to repeat his story about the killings from the winter before. An unassuming man with lots of questions.  And Brook. The beautiful neighborhood girl his mom insists he drive to school. She strains his ability to keep his rules.

When John’s sister, Lauren, who never comes to visit, shows up for dinner on Mother’s Day with a boyfriend in tow, things get very interesting. He’s a bully, loud and abrasive in his comments. Downgrading Lauren all the time. It was chilling to listen to John’s thoughts on what he’d to to the guy. After listening to the idiot go on and on, I agreed with some of those ideas myself.

It caught my attention when it became apparent that John’s mother was fighting some thoughts of her own. She clearly was upset by the guys treatment of her daughter. There’s one scene where she used one of John’s rules for herself, and made me laugh…and wonder about her.

And there’s the cat. It wouldn’t leave a warehouse John had targeted to burn down. Rule One kept him from it. Don’t harm animals. Every time he went to burn the building, the cat was there. It didn’t leave, no matter how long he waited. What’s up with that cat?

There is so much suspense. I wondered if John would give in to Mr. Monster. And if one of the people that was causing him so much grief would be a victim. They say many kids that show sociopathic tendencies never act on them. Will John be able to resist. He’s already killed once. And listening to his thoughts, I  can’t see him fighting the urges for much longer.

Chilling, in parts very disturbing, yet also fascinating, I loved being inside Johns’ head again. I couldn’t wait to find out what he’d do and to who. The fact that the author took this story into such a dark place without using profanity or sex earned my high regard.

  5  Stars

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

This second story about John Cleaver has a new narrator. I was impressed by Kirby. He did an excellent job portraying all of these characters, sounding convincing as a woman or a man, and adjusting for their ages. He drew me in, and it felt like I was watching a movie without looking at the screen. I watched the movie for I Am Not A Serial Killer: John Cleaver Book One, and that gave me lots to draw upon. Well done, Kirby.

Thanks so much to Tantor Audio for a complimentary copy. My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

I killed a demon. I don’t know if it was really, technically a demon, but I do know that he was some kind of monster, with fangs and claws and the whole bit, and he killed a lot of people. So I killed him. I think it was the right thing to do. At least the killing stopped.

Well, it stopped for a while.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies.

But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon—the terrifying persona he calls “Mr. Monster”—might now be using him.

No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.

Amazon / Tantor

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I’ve listened to and reviewed I Am Not A Serial Killer, the first in the John Cleaver series.

Click HERE to read my review.

Amazon / Tantor

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Author Dan Wells

Dan Wells is an American horror fiction writer and the author of the John Cleaver series. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, earning his bachelor’s degree in English with a writing and editing emphasis. He currently resides in Orem, Utah, with his wife and four children.

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

Kirby Heyborne is an accomplished actor, musician, and comedian who has received a number of Audiofile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations. He has had starring roles in over a dozen features and many short films. Kirby is also a cofounder and director of the Los Angeles-based improv comedy group The Society.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE