RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Books So Good You'll Miss Your Exit!

Warning! When the book on your CD or cassette player is riveting, don't blame the driver for missing an exit! The titles in this audio book collection have caused unintentional detours from Massachusetts to California!

RoadTrip America is undergoing a major overhaul. Audio book reviews are now posted in this new section. Thanks for your patience while we renovate!

All New Audiobook Reviews

Novels & Other Fiction (148)

Memoirs (18) & Other Nonfiction (29)

Novels & Other Fiction

Featured Review

Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone would probably have been more comfortable laundering money than shirts, but that's exactly how he spent his days at Alcatraz, according to the author of this delightful and informative audio book. When his father accepts a job as a prison guard during the Great Depression, Moose Flanagan and his family take up residence on the isolated island in San Francisco Bay that houses Al Capone and society's most notorious...[More] (12/22/09)

A Season Of Gifts
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A Season of Gifts, by Richard Peck

Bobby Barnhart knows that being the preacher's son and a new kid in town might invite problems, but he never expected to be hung upside down and naked in his neighbor's privy. That encounter was just the first of many with the town bullies, but it introduced him (embarrassingly) to his strongest ally, Mrs. Dowdel...[More] (12/15/09)


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No Time To Wave Goodbye, by Jacquelyn Mitchard

It's been 22 years since the Cappadoras suffered one of the most devastating events that can befall a family, the abduction of a child. Three-year-old Ben was snatched from a mall while his mother stood nearby. Miraculously, nine years later, he was found and returned to the family, but he never accepted the Cappadoras as his real family...[More] (12/8/09)

The Blue Notebook
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The Blue Notebook, by James A. Levine

No child should have to endure what Batuk, a 15-year-old girl in Mumbai, experiences every day. Not only does she survive years of torture, abuse and degradation, but she manages to find beauty in the world and the people around her. Sold into prostitution by her father at nine years old...[More] (12/7/09)

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South of Broad, by Pat Conroy

"This party is like a can of mixed nuts," observes Molly when she's first exposed to Leopold Bloom King's diverse group of friends, and that is a fitting description of the cast of characters that populate the pages of Conroy's epic South of Broad. The first indicator that some of the characters might harbor eccentricities is that the story begins with a celebration of Bloomsday, June 16, 1969, a day Leo's mother, a noted James Joyce scholar, forces him to commemorate in honor of his namesake...[More] (11/20/09)

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The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks

New York City girl Ronnie Miller is happy school is over. She is looking forward to the fun she and her friends will have each summer vacation day. Her world crashes down when she is told by her mother that she and her little brother will be spending the entire summer with their father. When Steve Miler left his family and moved back to the small beach town where he was raised, his seven-year-old son Jonah and 15-year-old daughter Ronnie were shocked and devastated. Ronnie, who like her father was an accomplished pianist...[More] (11/20/09)


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I Can See You, by Karen Rose

A sadistic killer has fooled the police with his first two murders by setting up the murder scenes to appear to be suicides. His third murder is about to be called the same until Noel Webster, a homicide detective, becomes curious as he observes the scene of a hanging woman. Noah sees the woman's body hanging...[More] (11/20/09)

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Ravens, by George Dawes Green

This is an unusual story that involves the pitfalls that may be encountered after winning a state lottery.
Two young men, disgusted with their jobs and lives in general, leave Ohio and are driving to Florida to start their lives anew. Shaw McBride stops at a gas station in a small town in Georgia, leaving his friend Romeo sleeping while he enters the station's convenience store. When he sees...[More]

Sacred Hearts
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Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant

It's hard to believe that a story that takes place entirely within the walls of a 16th century convent could command the listener's attention for 15 hours, and leave her yearning for more, but it does, and then some. Santa Caterina, a convent in Ferraro, is home to a diverse group of Renaissance women who have abandoned the difficulties of the secular world and now are citizens of an equally complex and confusing spiritual one...[More] (10/22/09)

Alex Cross's Trial
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Alex Cross's Trial, by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo

Realizing that his children understand little of their ancestors' struggle to survive the bigotry and hatred of the Jim Crow era, Alex Cross decides to write a novel based on his great uncle's life. The result is the story that becomes the core of this audio book...[More] (9/24/09)

The Geometry of Sisters
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The Geometry of Sisters, by Luanne Rice

Beck Shaw lost more than her father the night his boat capsized off Mackinac Island. Although she managed to survive the accident, her sister Carrie could not face the role she might have played in their father's death. She ran away from the emergency room, leaving Beck alone with her mother and older brother...[More] (9/9/09)

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Cemetery Dance, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Action-packed and fast moving, this is a book that keeps listeners engrossed throughout. At the scene of a murder, Lt. Vincent D'Agosta of the NYPD is surprised to see an old friend, FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast. The agent tells Vincent that he is not there for the FBI but to help his old friend with the murder case. Vincent scoffs at him and tells Pendergast he is not needed since the case is a slam-dunk. He knows who did it. They just have to find him...[More] (8/28/09)

Twenties Girl
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Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella

Laura Lington is persistent -- if not especially successful -- especially when it comes to business and romance. Perhaps that's the reason Great Aunt Sadie chooses her to undertake a very important mission...[More] (8/14/09)

Gone Tomorrow
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Gone Tomorrow, by Lee Child

Jack Reacher could have stepped into any car on the 2:00 a.m. uptown subway, but he stepped into the one occupied by four ordinary-looking New Yorkers and one very peculiar woman. On seeing the woman, Reacher's investigative instincts kick in. As he mentally checks off each of the 11 characteristic behaviors of a suicide bomber, he realizes that he has to confront the woman before she triggers a bomb that will kill him and untold numbers of people...[More] (8/7/09)

The Neighbor
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The Neighbor, by Lisa Gardiner

This is a strange and very compelling story that will hold your interest as you try to understand the behavior of a married couple, Jason and Sandra Jones. They live in a modest house in south Boston with a precocious four-year-old daughter, Clarissa, who they call Ree. Sandra was five months pregnant when she married thirty-year-old Jason, and during the four years since their marriage, Jason and Sandra have not had sex... [More] (7/31/09)

True Believer & At First Sight
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True Believer and At First Sight (Box Set), by Nicholas Sparks

When Scientific American columnist Jeremy Marsh decides to investigate the mysterious lights that appear in a cemetery in rural Boone Creek, North Carolina, he has no idea that his life will never again be the same. Raised in New York City and living a sophisticated, fast-paced life of urban pleasure and international travel, Jeremy plans to apply his scientific background to quickly debunk the Boone Creek myth and... [More] (7/24/09)

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Swimsuit, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Do not allow the title of this book to let you pass it by. This is a fantastic story of a psychotic killer who gets paid for his acts. No, he is not a hit man who puts down his victims with two shots to the back of the head. He is a killer without remorse who not only enjoys his work but is highly paid by a group of super wealthy people for providing them with videos of his work... [More] (7/24/09)


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Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See

They were "Beautiful Girls" in 1937 Shanghai, girls whose provocative poses on calendars and advertisements earned them celebrity status in the cosmopolitan city along with a small amount of money. The money was initially of little consequence because they are also the privileged and pampered daughters of a successful rickshaw business owner. Their world of couture clothing and nightly partying changes abruptly when their father's gambling losses causes him to sell them as wives for the sons of a Chinese American... [More] (7/10/09)

First Family
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First Family, by David Baldacci

The title of this book could have been "First Lady," since she is the character who seems to be in control of things and is at the heart of most of what happens in this thrilling story. When her favorite niece is kidnapped after a birthday party at Camp David, First Lady Pam Dutton asks former special agent Sean King to assist the FBI in the investigation. Early in her husband's career, Sean King had saved the then-Senator's reputation and career. Impressed with his skill and loyalty, the First Lady once again turns to Sean... [More] (7/10/09)


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The Secret Speech, by Tom Rob Smith

Remarkable! Explosive! Gripping! These are some the words that befit this fine book. The author's previous book, Child 44, was just as outstanding, and at its conclusion left the listener wanting more. This book continues the saga of Leo and Raisa three years after the end of Child 44. Leo is working with the special homicide division in Moscow 1956, and Raisa has returned to teaching. Stalin is gone and Khrushchev is now the ruler... [More] (6/12/09)

The Boxer and the Spy
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The Boxer and the Spy, by Robert Parker

Jason Green's apparent suicide seems like one more example of a teenager escaping the pressures of society by turning to drugs. When his body is discovered in the surf on a New England beach, it is assumed that Jason's abuse of steroids caused him to become depressed and to act irrationally. Not believing that the boy's death was a suicide or an accident, Terry Novak, an aspiring boxer, decides to investigate. His interest in the case soon attracts attention and inspires threats, but with all the bullying and intimidation, Terry grows more determined to uncover Jason's killer... [More] (6/5/09)

Fault Line
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Fault Line, by Barry Eisler

Alex can almost see the dollars flooding his bank account, not to mention the professional acclaim he'll receive when his client finalizes his patent application for Obsidian, sure to be the biggest "dotcom" of the decade. When the inventor fails to show up for a meeting with venture capitalists, patent attorney Alex Treven's world suddenly collapses. The murders of both the inventor and the only other person familiar with Obsidian send Alex into hiding and force him to... [More] (5/29/09)

Lethal Legacy
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Lethal Legacy, by Linda Farstein

When a young woman is assaulted in her apartment, sex crimes unit assistant district attorney Alex Cooper is called to investigate. Although the woman agrees to go to the hospital for an examination, she disappears, and Alex is left without a victim. Shortly after, another is found murdered in the woman's apartment, and Alex adds the role of homicide detective to her job of sex crimes investigator. She and her partner, Mike Chapman, follow clues that lead them to the rare book collections at the New York Public Library and into the private libraries of several wealthy and eccentric collectors... [More] (5/22/09)

Night and Day
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Night and Day, by Robert Parker

One would think that a small coastal town named Paradise would be a place of peace and quiet. It has a non-conventional police chief who likes people and prefers being on a first name basis with everyone. However, the tranquility is broken when Police Chief Jesse Stone is called to a junior high school where a crowd of parents is ready to lynch the principal. Jesse has Mary, the only woman on the force, accompany him to find out what is going on. From this point on the town of Paradise is in a quandary, as one bizarre event follows the other... [More] (5/15/09)

Marcelo in the Real World
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Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo Sandoval, a 17-year-old boy with a condition similar to Asperger syndrome, is looking forward to summer vacation when he can start his summer job caring for the horses at the special school he attends. His plans change when his father, a prominent attorney, insists that Marcelo needs to see what life is like in the "real world" and bribes him to accept a job at his Boston law firm for the summer. The payoff will be that Marcelo can return to his special school in the fall if he works at the law firm for the summer. If he refuses, he will be forced to go to public school in the fall... [More] (5/4/09)

Heart and Soul
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Heart and Soul, by Maeve Binchy

"Grey's Anatomy" and the rest of the television doctor shows remind us that the medical professionals upon whom we depend in our times of stress and distress have outside lives that provide them with drama, also. In this warmly engaging book by Maeve Binchy, we meet the staff of St. Brigid's Hospital in Dublin, and unlike their American TV counterparts who seem to live only in the hospital or in the neighborhood bar, they invite us to observe their private lives outside of hospital... [More] (4/3/09)

Run for Your Life
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Run for Your Life, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Mike Bennett, homicide detective and top hostage negotiator for the NYPD, is confronted with a psycho killer who calls himself "The Teacher" in this sequel to Step on a Crack. Killing people in broad daylight and making no attempt to do so without witnesses, the Teacher's mission is to rid the world of anyone who is obnoxious, arrogant or inconsiderate of others... [More] (3/27/09)

The Keepsake
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The Keepsake, by Jamie Ford

Museums are supposed to have vast stores of treasures waiting to be studied, cataloged and displayed, but they don't typically have mummies in the basement. When a mummy is discovered in the basement of the Crispin Museum in Boston, Dr. Maura Isles, a Boston medical examiner, is invited to examine it. In the course of the examination it becomes obvious that the mummy, Madame X, is not an ancient artifact, but rather a modern murder victim... [More] (3/6/09)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford

When the parasol with the brightly painted koi is brought up from the basement of the Panama Hotel, Henry Lee, a middle-aged Chinese-American Seattle native, flashes back to a lifetime of memories centered around the newly renovated hotel. Situated between Seattle's Chinatown and Nihonmachi, or what used to be Japantown before thousands of residents were removed to internment camps, the Panama Hotel is the only remaining testament to the once thriving pre-World War II Japanese-American community... [More] (3/6/09)


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The Lucky One, by Nicholas Sparks

Logan Thibault arrived at the town of Hampton, North Carolina, after a long, unusual journey. Unusual in that he'd walked all the way from Colorado, long in that it had started in Iraq. Finding a photo of a hauntingly beautiful girl buried in the sand, and unable to find the soldier who'd dropped it, he carried the photo home to Colorado where he examined every aspect of the photo and finally determined that it must have been taken in one of several possible locations. He began a slow hike with his dog across the U.S., trying to find the girl in the photo. At first he can't believe that his buddies were right, that the photo holds magic powers... [More] (2/13/09)

Divine Justice
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Divine Justice, by David Baldacci

The Camel Club is back and ready for action. Oliver Stone, aka John Carr, is struggling in the cold waters of the ocean after his fall from a 30-foot cliff. He manages to get ashore and knows he is now the most wanted man in the country after killing two high-profile government men. When he returns to Washington, D.C. to leave a note for his friends from the Camel Club, he tells them to forget the past happenings and to stay safe. He asks them not to try and find him. Luck is on his side when he saves a young man from a gang of thugs and the young man takes him home to the remote coal-mining town of Divine... [More] (1/30/09)

The Gold Coast
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The Gold Coast, by Nelson DeMille

Money can't buy class, but it can buy a showy estate in the ultra-elite area of Long Island, known as the Gold Coast. When Mafia don, Frank Bellarosa, buys the mansion next to WASP tax attorney John Sutton and his aristocratic wife Susan Stanhope Sutton, becoming their neighbor, they are stunned by the difference in values, beliefs and lifestyles between them and the reputed murderer. At first they avoid the vulgar man and rebuff his attempts at neighborly friendship... [More] (1/23/09)

Supreme Courtship
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Supreme Courtship, by Christopher Buckley

What is this country coming to? President Vanderdamp has publicly stated his opposition to presidents choosing to serve 2 terms, but when Congress passes legislation that would constitutionally impose a one-term limit, he feels he has to run for a second term as a protest against the restriction. As his first term is ending he finds that he must appoint a Supreme Court justice to replace the senile justice who has taken to showing up in court with his ears wrapped in tinfoil... [More] (1/16/09)

The Private Patient
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The Private Patient, by P.D.James

Although cosmetic surgery carries some degree of risk, that risk doesn't usually include strangulation and death. Rhonda Gradwyn couldn't know that the decision to change her appearance would be the most serious one she would ever make. Opting to have her surgery as a "private patient" in a manor house in the country, rather than in a London clinic, Rhoda, an investigative journalist with more than a few enemies, falls victim to one of them... [More] (1/16/09)

Palace Council
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Palace Council, by Stephen L. Carter

This book is one part thriller, one part social commentary and one part historical analysis. All the parts add up to a very satisfying and thought-provoking third novel for the author of Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White. Leaving the engagement party of his former girlfriend, Eddie finds the body of a prominent white man on the grounds of one of Harlem's landmarks. Even more puzzling than the incongruity of finding a white man in 1950s Harlem is Eddie's discovery of an unusual cross in the dead man's hand... [More] (12/22/08)

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Testimony, by Anita Shreve

Place this book on your "must read" list. It is a very absorbing story told in an unusual manner. Each character describes his or her role in the scandal that rocked Avery Academy, a private school in Vermont. This one incident ruins so many lives and ultimately takes the life of one individual. The headmaster of the school begins Chapter One -- titled "Mike" -- with his reaction to a video tape that is sent to him. Upon viewing the video, the headmaster is shocked to see three of his top students, 18-year-old seniors Silas and Rob, and J-Dot, a post graduate, drunkenly involved in sex acts with a young female... [More] (12/22/08)

Dead Even
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Dead Even, by Brad Meltzer

Theirs should have been the kind of life that other couples only dream of…two bright, young attorneys, in love with each other and with the profession they've chosen, envied by their peers for their skills and for their beauty and charisma. Instead of a fairy tale existence, though, their life becomes a horror story with the most frightening consequences. After a near-fatal career misstep, Sara Tate lands a job as an assistant D.A. Eager to stand out among the new hires, she grabs a case intended for a senior attorney. The nightmare begins when her husband, Jared, is hired as the defense attorney in the case, and it's clear that both their lives depend on the outcome of the trial. What she'd thought was a simple burglary case is soon found to be much more as the bodies pile up... [More] (12/12/08)

American Wife
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American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld

From the moment her grandmother mistakenly calls Alice Lindgren's 8 year old boyfriend a girl, to the days of her bumbling husband's presidency, Alice knows the pain and embarrassment of defending blundering loved ones. Born in 1946, Alice grows up in the social, political and economic cocoon of the fifties. It isn't until her senior year, when she runs a stop sign and causes a fatal accident, that Alice's world loses its innocence. Not only is she devastated by her complicity in causing the death of another, she finds herself in need of an illegal abortion... [More] (11/28/08)

The Gate House
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The Gate House, by Nelson DeMille

At last, the sequel for DeMille's most renowned book, The Gold Coast, is finally here. It opens ten years after the ending of the earlier book. The affluent Long Island location is the same, as are many of the characters. There is a new mafia don, Anthony Bellarosa, the son of Fran Bellarosa who was killed in the previous book. Tax attorney, John Sutter, tells the story in a manner that effectively presents the events of the earlier book. After divorcing his wife, John first spent three years sailing around the world, and for the next seven years he worked in London as an American tax lawyer. He has returned to the Stanhope Hall estate because a client is dying, and he now lives, not in his former home, but in the gate house... [More] (11/14/08)

The Brass Verdict
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The Brass Verdict, by Michael Conelly

Micky Haller, emerging from a self-imposed hiatus from his career as a defense attorney, suddenly finds that instead of zero cases, he has 31. When an associate, Vincent, is murdered, Haller is informed that as Vincent's heir, he now has 31 clients to defend. The most high-profile client with the most urgent need is Walter Elliott, a multimillionaire Hollywood producer who has been accused of killing his wife and her lover... [More] (10/31/08)

Made in the U.S.A.
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Made in the U.S.A., by Billie Letts

Lutie McFee, while helping herself to samples -- aka shoplifting -- in Wal-Mart, has no idea that her difficult life is about to become almost impossible. Fifteen-year-old Flutie and her little brother, Fate, were living with their father's ex-girlfriend, Floy, after he abandoned the motherless children. At 300 pounds, Floy wasn't in the best of health, and when she drops dead at the check stand in Wal-Mart, Flutie and Fate evade child protection services, steal Floy's car, and take off for Las Vegas to look for their father. The tragedies of the misadventures of the two children escalate... [More] (10/17/08)

Maximum Ride: Saving the World
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Maximum Ride: Saving the World, by James Patterson

The "bird kids" are back in the air, this time in an airplane, as they take their quest to save the planet to Europe. This is a book of revelations-Itex is discovered to have a sinister interest in the school and in all the mutant life forms that the school has produced. By using genetic engineering, Itex plans to populate the planet with only superior human beings, and that means reducing the current population by half. Max discovers the true identities of both her mother and her father, and realizes that she is not the unloved freak she's imagined herself to be... [More] (10/10/08)

The 19th Wife
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The 19th Wife, by David Ebershof

Cast out of Mesadale as a "lost boy" at 14, Jordan Scott has survived life on the street for six years and is finally establishing a stable life in California, complete with job, van, loving friends, and faithful dog, Electra. When he sees a news account of a 19th wife killing her polygamous husband, he recognizes his mother and father as the attacker and victim. Although she'd abandoned him on a lonely highway 6 years earlier, he cannot believe she'd ever murder anyone, so he returns to Utah to find the real killer... [More] (9/26/08)


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Breaking Dawn, by Stephanie Meyers

It's difficult to review this audio book without revealing plot spoilers. Suffice it to say that Bella gets her wish to become immortal and join her beloved vampire, Edward, for the rest of eternity. In the course of doing this, though, she and Edward create a new, hybrid life force that forms an alliance with Jacob. While this would seem to ensure that the vampires and werewolves can now live in harmony, it creates a host of situations that put mortals, vampires and wolves in danger of annihilation... [More] (9/12/08)

Rules of Deception
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Rules of Deception, by Christopher Reich

Dedicated to helping others as a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Jonathan Ransom has not vacationed in years. When he is transferred back to the home office in Switzerland, it seems like the perfect opportunity to take his wife, Emma, on a ski vacation in the Alps. Tragedy strikes when Emma falls and breaks her leg. Reluctantly, Jonathan leaves her to go for help, but when he returns, he finds that she has crawled away and fallen into a bottomless crevasse... [More] (9/5/08)

The Turnaround
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The Turnaround, by George Pelecanos

Gripping in its raw presentation, this is one of Pelecanos' best. The story starts in the early '70s in the Washington, D.C. area. One hot summer night, high on beer and pot, three white teenagers ride into a black neighborhood with intent to hurl racial slurs for kicks. The result of that visit changes their lives dramatically. Violence occurs and leaves one white teenager dead and one badly injured and permanently disfigured... [More] (8/29/08)

The Last Time They Met
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The Last Time They Met, by Anita Shreve

Career success and recognition at middle age can be a bittersweet blessing as Thomas James and Linda Fallon discover when the accomplished poets find themselves speaking at the same Toronto literary festival. High school sweethearts whose lives have taken different paths since they were 17, they have seen each other only one other time since -- in Kenya when they were 26 and married to others. Now Thomas and Linda are both 52 years old, single and ready to rekindle... [More] (8/22/08)

Light of the Moon
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Light of the Moon, by Luanne Rice

When Susannah Connolly finally honors her late mother's request to visit the Camargue region of France, she finds not only the famous white horses, but a life she never thought possible. Trained as an anthropologist, Susannah has traveled the world exploring ruins, caves and ancient cultures. Her mother's dying wish for her to see the white horses of Camargue coincides with an opportunity for scholarly research, so she makes the journey to France... [More] (8/15/08)

The Venetian Betrayal
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The Venetian Betrayal, by Steve Berry

Not unlike Clark Kent with his alter ego Superman, Cotton Malone would like to enjoy a quiet life as a man of letters. In his case, it's as the owner of a rare books store. But like Clark Kent, when the forces of evil need to be contained, Cotton is society's "go-to guy," and the mild mannered bibliopole becomes a relentless seeker of justice... [More] (8/15/08)

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Barefoot, by Elin Hilderbrand

Anyone watching the three attractive women and the two adorable children enjoying a sunny day at the beach on Nantucket would assume that their lives are blessed with a special kind of happiness reserved for the beautiful and privileged. What can't be seen by an outsider is the anguish and distress each of the women carried with her to the Nantucket shore, hoping the summer sun would ease her torment and provide answers to her dilemma... [More] (8/8/08)

The Crystal Skull
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The Crystal Skull, by Manda Scott

Like binary code used to program a computer, the end of the world is linked to a series of numbers -- 121212, or December 12, 2012. What starts out a literary quest to decipher the poetry of Cedric Owen, and to find the relic to which he refers, turns into a life and death mission to save the world from total annihilation. Stella Cody is a caver, and when her new husband asks what she'd like as a wedding present, she says she wants to explore a cave that no one has ever been in... [More] (7/23/08)

Swine Not?
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Swine Not? A Novel, by Jimmy Buffett

"My name is Rumpy, and I live at Flutbein's Hotel." Unlike Eloise, the little girl who lived at the Plaza, Rumpy is a pig. Jimmy Buffet's lighthearted, comical tale of a family who lives at a posh New York City hotel and hides their pet pig was inspired by the actual experience of illustrator, Helen Bransford. Wait a minute! A pig in a five-star hotel? An illustrator for an audio book? What's going on? When Jimmy Buffet saw his friend Helen's photo-illustrations and commentary about hiding her pet pig at the Carlyle Hotel, he said, "Swine Not?" He wrote the book and included her illustrations on CD #5 of the audio book... [More] (7/11/08)

Killer Heat
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Killer Heat, by Linda Fairstein

The novels that I enjoy the most weave fictional stories within the confines of real places. In this new book by Linda Fairstein, one of the settings is located only about eight hundred yards from lower Manhattan, but it's a place that very few people know much about. Although I doubt that the dungeon under the castle described in the book really exists, my sense of the place has been irrevocably fashioned... [More] (6/27/08)

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Sail, by James Patterson & Howard Roughan

This is the third book by Patterson and Roughan in recent years, and it looks to match their previous collaborative successes with Honeymoon and You've Been Warned. In this melodramatic adventure, a dysfunctional family consisting of a driven heart surgeon and her three children embark on a sailing trip in a bid to draw the family closer together... [More] (6/20/08)

Child 44
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Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith

This is an outstanding book, one of the best I have listened to this year! The author succeeds in recreating the living conditions in Stalinist Russia and weaving a terrifying novel of suspense, intrigue and horror. The resolution at the end of the book is beautifully set up by the various turns of fate that befall the protagonist... [More] (6/20/08)

The Red Necklace
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The Red Necklace, by Sally Gardner

Born with the ability to throw his voice and to read minds, Gypsy orphan Yann Margoza earns his living by teaming with a magician and a dwarf to perform magic acts in pre-revolutionary Paris. After a particularly impressive theater performance, Count Kalliovsky persuades them to appear at a private party to entertain guests of the the Marquis de Villeduval. Not even the ride in the elegant carriage to the opulent chateau can erase Yann's premonition that the evening would end in tragedy... [More] (6/13/08)

Sundays at Tiffany's
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Sundays at Tiffany's, by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Imaginary friends are quite common among eight-year-olds, but the same can't be said for adults. Jane had the perfect imaginary friend, Michael, until her ninth birthday, but then Michael told her that he had to go away forever. He was funny, he was handsome, he made Jane feel loved and accepted. As the chubby, clumsy child of the beautiful, successful dragon-lady Broadway producer, Vivian Margaux, Jane felt neither loved nor accepted by her mother. Fast forward 23 years... [More] (6/6/08)

Unaccustomed Earth
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Unaccustomed Earth: Stories, by Jhumpa Lahiri

Unaccustomed Earth is an apt title for this collection of eight short stories dealing with first generation Bengali immigrants to the United States. The author, Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer-prize winner for her earlier debut collection of stories, creates characters and plots that engage the listener from the first paragraph. When her newly widowed father plans a visit to Ruma's new home in Seattle, she's jolted into the realization that Bengali custom dictates that she and her husband invite him to live with them permanently... [More] (6/6/08)

The Whole Truth
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The Whole Truth, by David Baldacci

When is the truth really the truth? After this story is over, you'll be wondering if world situations are what they seem or if they're fabrications that money can be used to create. The Whole Truth is about a billionaire using great sums of money to set up situations that cause major conflicts to occur between nations. Taking Russia and China to the brink of war, of course, means that his arms company can sell his products -- weapons of mass destruction -- to all countries that fear attack. Billionaire Nicholas Creel hires perception manager Dick Pender to plant false information via the Internet and create the impression that war is about to break out... [More] (5/30/08)


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Death of a Gentle Lady, by M.C. Beaton

Mrs. Gentle… what a perfect name for such a fine, genteel newcomer to the bucolic town of Lochdubh, Scotland! Hamish Macbeth, the town's constable, may be the only person who suspects Mrs. Gentle is not the sweet, kind old woman she pretends to be. Because he's still a bachelor, and Lochdubh is relatively crime-free, his supervisors decide to save money by closing his station house and moving him to a police barracks in a larger town... [More] (5/9/08)

Hollywood Crows
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Hollywood Crows, by Joseph Wambaugh

Do not let the title fool you. This is a great story of the LA Police Department. The title refers to a special division, the community relations office, whose members are called the CROWS by the police in other divisions. They deal with calls like noisy neighbors, domestic disturbances, parking problems and other minor crimes... [More] (5/2/08)

The Arctic Event
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The Arctic Event, by James H. Cobb

This entry in Robert Ludlum's Covert One series gives new meaning to the term "cold war." After a research team on tiny Wednesday Island in the Canadian Arctic discovers the frozen wreckage of a vintage military airplane, embarrassed Russian authorities admit the plane was theirs and that it had been carrying 2 metric tons of anthrax when it disappeared 50 years earlier... [More] (4/25/08)

The Appeal
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The Appeal, by John Grisham

The Appeal starts with a shocking verdict against Krane Chemical Company in a small town in Mississippi. The plant had been dumping waste into a ravine behind the chemical building without any interference from public or environmental agencies. After a number of years the town water started to taste bad, but the town officials said it was safe. Then people started getting sick, and so many died with various forms of cancer that the town of Bowmore was nicknamed Cancer County... [More] (4/18/08)

The Final Warning
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The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, Book 4), by James Patterson

Maximum Ride, the heroine who is part girl and part bird, not only has to save herself and her flock of 'birdkids," but now she's been assigned the responsibility of saving the world. Just when it looks like she'll have some normal vacation time with her newly discovered mother, room service dinner turns out to be an exploding pizza, and the flock is on the move again. The only safe location appears to be a remote area of Antarctica, in the midst of a science expedition... [More] (4/4/08)

7th Heaven
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7th Heaven, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The Women's Murder Club is pulling double duty in this latest installment in the series. Not only are the ladies hoping to solve the mystery of the disappearance and apparent murder of Michael Campion, the Boy with the Broken Heart and son of a prominent politician, but the rate of arson-related homicides is escalating. While Assistant DA Yuki Castellano conducts her prosecution of Michael's killer, she discovers what she thought would be a slam-dunk is really the most challenging case of her career... [More] (3/21/08)

THe Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour
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The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour: Unabridged Selections From The Frontier Stories, Volume 5, by Louis L'Amour

This group of short stories by Louis L'Amour is the fifth volume of the Frontier Stories series, and each story is filled with wild west excitement. The stories are quite different from each other. Each one features a different hero, unlike... [More] (3/14/08)

The Opposite of Love
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The Opposite of Love, by Julie Buxbaum

What is the opposite of love? Just when she thinks she knows the answer, Emily Haxby discovers new possibilities. On the surface, it would seem that she has the perfect life-a boyfriend who is ready to propose, a promising career as a young attorney with a top law firm, friends and family who love her. Instead of enjoying her good fortune, she sabotages her chance of happiness by "breaking" her relationships with her boyfriend and her employer, and she distances herself from her family... [More] (2/29/08)

Womens Murder Club
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Women's Murder Club (Box Set, Volume 1), by James Patterson

Sometimes even good things come in threes. In this case it's the first three books in James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series featuring San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer and three of her crime-solving friends. The first book, 1st to Die, finds Lindsay reeling from the discovery that she has a serious blood disease, but her health concerns are quickly put on the back burner when... [More] (2/22/08)

The Commoner
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The Commoner, by John Burnham Schwartz

Once upon a time there was a young Japanese girl who was born a commoner but grew up to become the honored Empress of Japan… but that's when the fairy tale ended. Although this book is a fictional account, it is based so closely on the real life happenings of the current Empress of Japan that it seems more like a biography than a novel... [More] (2/15/08)

Now and Then
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Now and Then, by Robert Parker

The author's favorite hero, Spenser, a Boston private investigator, is back in this story. Spenser accepts a job he normally would reject when an FBI agent asks him to find out if his wife is cheating on him. What appears to be a simple case of a wife having an affair turns into a complicated case involving murders and an anti-government group that the FBI is seeking. Susan, Spenser's girl friend... [More] (2/8/08)

T is for Trespass
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T is for Trespass, by Sue Grafton

Am I my neighbor's keeper? You are if you're Kinsey Millhone, private investigator, and your neighbor is the cantankerous Gus Vronsky. Although the simple background check she's hired to run on Gus' caregiver, Solana Rojas, uncovers no obvious problems, Kinsey has an unsettling feeling that the caregiver is a dangerous woman. What she learns much later is that the sociopath next door... [More] (2/1/08)

Beginner's Greek
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Beginner's Greek, by James Collins

We all experience the fickle finger of fate at some point in our lives, but Peter Russell's universe seems to be ruled by a god with both hands comprised entirely of fickle fingers. The wistfully romantic Peter imagines that one day he'll encounter the love of his life on an airplane, and when bright and beautiful Holly sits next to him on a cross-country flight, that is exactly what happens. So far, so good. But wait, here comes the first obstacle... [More] (1/18/08)

The Princess Diaries: Volume II
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The Princess Diaries, Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight, by Meg Cabot

Every little girl probably dreams of being a princess at one time or another, but for Mia Thermopolis the dream is a reality, and it is more of a nightmare than a dream come true. In this second book of The Princess Diaries, Mia Thermopolis continues to adjust to her newly discovered status as the heir to the throne of a small European principality. Because she is to be a queen someday, her Grand'Mere, the current Queen of Genovia, is subjecting Mia to a crash course of "princess lessons". It's tough enough being a teenager without... [More] (1/11/08)

Gods Behaving Badly
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Gods Behaving Badly, by Marie Phillips

Oliver Twist and Tiny Tim weren't the only fictional characters to find themselves in unfortunate circumstances in the cool indifference of London. It's 21st Century England, and the Greek gods and goddesses of Olympus are living together in a house in London's East End. Since their powers are waning and they must save their reserves for truly important work, they can't conjure up money for normal living expenses. To earn money, each has taken a job related to his or her former area of interest or achievement on Olympus... [More] (1/4/08)

Blonde Faith
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Blonde Faith, by Walter Mosley

Life is anything but easy for Easy (Ezekiel) Rawlins, and he's getting tired of the struggle. For years he's been the "go to" man for friends, relatives and business associates. Two of his friends have mysteriously disappeared, forcing him to deal with the situations and families they left behind. Christmas Black, the former soldier who adopted the only surviving child after his killing rampage in a Vietnamese village, has left his cherished daughter with Easy without an explanation. Easy's other missing friend, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, is wanted for murder, and the only way Easy can clear him is to prove that the supposed murder victim is really just a runaway father of 12... [More] (12/21/07)

Double Cross
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Double Cross, by James Patterson

This is a unique story featuring Alex Cross, the famous homicide detective. In this book, Cross is out of police work and has his own therapy practice. He is content with his new life and the time he can spend with his family. He is also dating a woman, Bree Stone, a homicide detective who works with John Sampson, Alex Cross's old partner and good friend. They are now working on a case which is baffling them and they seek Alex's help... [More] (12/14/07)

The Collected Bowdrie Dramatizations
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The Collected Bowdrie Dramatizations, Volume III, by Louis L'Amour

This collection of six short stories is a must not only for Louis L'Amour fans but for anyone who likes exciting tales of the old west. The dramatizations are well played by actors and actresses, and the sound effects are excellent. The lifelike sounds of gun shots near and far, the hoof beats of the horses, the loading of a rifle and all the other sounds add to the enjoyment of the stories... [More] (12/7/07)

The Overlook
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The Overlook, by Michael Connelly
Detective Harry Bosch is awakened in the middle of the night
by a call to investigate a murder at a scenic overlook. He's not thrilled about working with a new partner, Ignatius Ferras and can't bring himself to call him "Iggy" as the younger man has requested. The murder victim, a scientist who has access to radioactive material, has apparently been killed for a container of missing cesium... [More] (11/23/07)

The Lovely Bones
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The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
If you like off-beat approaches to story telling
, this is one for the books. Suzy Salmon, a 14-year-old girl who has been raped, killed and her body dismembered, tells her story from heaven. It is not the heaven one ordinarily thinks of -- with golden-winged angels -- but just a regular place like earth. As she watches her family and friends react to her murder, she can see and hear everything that it is taking place on earth... [More] (11/23/07)

Playing for Pizza
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Playing for Pizza, by John Grisham

Where does a third-string NFL quarterback go
when he loses the big game, antagonizes the fans and humiliates himself by earning the title of biggest "goat" in the history of football? Would you believe Parma, Italy? A small group of Italians, passionate about American football, are thrilled that Rick Dockery agrees to play for the Parma Panthers. Although Rick would much rather play for an American team, his agent assures him that Parma is his only option... [More] (11/16/07)

The Choice
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The Choice, by Nicholas Sparks

Life is full of choices
, but some bear more serious consequences than others. When they first meet, Gabby Holland does not particularly like Travis Parker, and since she assumes she'll become engaged to her college sweetheart, Kevin, she certainly does not have any romantic feelings for Travis. When she accepts his invitation to join him and his friends for a barbecue, some boating, and a picnic she discovers that Travis is a warm, sensitive family man and not the womanizing cad she'd imagined... [More] (11/9/07)

Junie B, First Grader
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Junie B., First Grader, by Barbara Park

That girl is something else I tell you!
I started to listen to this audio book very serious and what do you know? It's a real fun collection of books about a very funny little girl, so I made a big smile and enjoyed getting to know Junie B. Jones. Here's the thing, people. There are eight complete books on these six CDs! [More] (10/21/07)

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Eclipse, by Stephanie Meyer

Being a teenager in love is hard enough without having to cope with decisions about choosing immortality and disturbing the natural order of the universe because of the choices you might make. Isabella Swan, know as Bella to her friends and family, is in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen, and is best friends with a werewolf, Jason Black. Werewolves and vampires are sworn enemies but have agreed to coexist peacefully in tiny Forks, Washington, as long as boundaries are maintained and treaties respected...[More] (10/7/07)

The Bourne Betrayal
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The Bourne Betrayal, by Eric Van Lustbader

This action-packed book does not slow down
until the final page. Jason Bourne is shocked to hear his most trusted friend Martin Lindros has been missing for a couple of months. When he went to Ethiopia to locate a terrorist named Fadi who supposedly had information about a group planning a nuclear attack on a major city like Los Angeles, New York or Washington and didn't return, word was that his group was killed and Martin taken prisoner. Jason is sent to find out if Lindros is still alive and if he is, to rescue him. Jason locates him and brings him back to the Central Intelligence where no one doubts that he is Lindros, even though he looks bad and his voice sounds different... [More] (10/7/07)

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Jinx, by Meg Cabot

What's in a name?
Apparently everything for Jean Honeychurch, AKA Jinx, because she truly is cursed by a history of accidents, clumsiness and messes. When a stalker refuses to leave her alone, her parents send her from their rural Iowa home to live with her wealthy, sophisticated New York City relatives. There she attends private school with her cousin Tory, Tory's friends, and handsome neighbor Zach. Jinx adapts well to everything in her new environment except the drugs, alcohol and witchcraft that are the focus of Tory and her friends' lives... [More] (10/7/07)

Peony in Love
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Peony In Love, by Lisa See

As her 16th birthday approaches
, Peony can hardly contain her excitement. Her father has arranged to have the famous opera, The Peony Pavilion, performed in their garden in her honor. Unlike most of the women of the time, she is well read and is obsessively familiar with the tragic love story of The Peony Pavilion. Although she has never been permitted to leave the grounds of her 17th century Chinese home, when she spots a handsome young man at her father's performance, she slips outside to meet him... [More] (10/1/07)

The Chicago Way
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The Chicago Way, by Michael Harvey

Michael Kelly, private investigator and former Chicago detective
, is asked by his ex-partner, now retired, to help him with a serious problem. Years before he partnered with Kelly, Gibbons was involved with a rape case where the victim was stabbed so many times Gibbons thought she would die before she got to the hospital. Now, over 10 years later, Gibbons has received a letter from a woman who claims to be that young girl who was raped and stabbed... [More] (9/23/07)

A Time to Kill & The King of Torts
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A Time to Kill and The King of Torts, by John Grisham

This is a two-book package
by John Grisham, and it would be difficult to say which book is the better of the two. In A Time to Kill, the main character, Jake, is a young, small-town lawyer in a predominantly white Mississippi town. He must defend a black man, the father of three young boys and a 10-year-old daughter. The girl was repeatedly raped and beaten and left for dead in a marsh field.... [More] (8/26/07)

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Sisters, by Danielle Steele

Everyone knows at least one-the seemingly golden American family
that has it all-successful, happily married parents, beautiful, healthy, well-adjusted, loving children and enough money to make anyone's dreams come true. Danielle Steel introduces us to one such family and lets us join them for a joyous, traditional holiday gathering, before she shatters their perfect world with a tragic accident and exposes us to the reality of pain and disappointment that all families suffer at one time or another... [More] (8/19/07)

The Quickie
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The Quickie, by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

How can NYPD homicide detective Lauren Stilwell keep from going out of her mind?
One day she is the loving, trusting wife of a wonderful man, and the next she is a revenge-seeking woman involved in a one-night stand. Her life becomes more complicated when she witnesses a brutal murder, recognizes her husband as the murderer and learns that she has been assigned to head the investigation of the crime... [More] (8/12/07)

Deep Storm
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Deep Storm, by Lincoln Child

What could be more terrifying than being shuttled to an undersea city in the middle of the North Atlantic?
Dr. Peter Crane is about to find out when his expertise as a disease specialist causes him to be invited to investigate an unusual medical situation on an oil rig. Once at the rig, he's told that the real location of his patients is many miles below the surface in a scientific research facility know as "Deep Storm..." [More] (8/12/07)


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter, like all good things, must come to an end
. No, that's not a hint about Harry's condition at the conclusion of the last of the Harry Potter books; it's just a lament that the fine series of books by J.K Rowling has finished. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows delivers everything that Harry and J.K. have promised since the first of the seven books in the series... [More] (8/5/07)

Simple Genius

Simple Genius, by David Baldacci

This action-packed book
starts with an explosive opening chapter and continues like a runaway train, with complex and surprising situations through to its conclusion. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are back, but this time the usually cool Michelle is confronted by inner demons which are affecting her behavior. After she nearly gets herself killed by starting a fight in a bar, she agrees to enter a facility and undergo psychotherapy with Sean's friend, Dr. Horatio Barnes. Not convinced that she has a problem, Michelle checks herself out of the institution and joins Sean where he is investigating an unusual death...[More] (5/27/07)

Wish You Well

Wish You Well, by David Baldacci

David Baldacci is known for his suspense novels
, but this book is not of that genre. Jack Cardinal, an award winning writer, is driving back to New York City with his wife Amanda, and their children, 12-year-old Louisa Mae, who answers to Lou, and seven-year-old Oscar, who is called Oz. A crash kills Jack and leaves his wife wheelchair ridden and in a catatonic state. The children are unharmed but now homeless. Their only relative, Jack's grandmother who raised him, lives on a farm atop a dome mountain in the Appalachians of Virginia...[More] (5/13/07)

The Collectors

The Collectors, by David Baldacci

The over-the hill gang from the Camel Club is back, and this time they're joined by beautiful con artist Annabelle Conroy, a woman with a tender heart and nerves of steel. When Caleb's boss, the head of the rare books department at the Library of Congress, is found dead, the rest of the Camel Club members, Ruben, Milton and Oliver, join Caleb in investigating his boss' secrets and finding his killers... [More] (10/29/06)

The Camel Club

The Camel Club, by David Baldacci

Who says conspiracy theorists are kooks? The Camel Club is a group of four eccentric government watchdogs, but their observations, research and actions prove that they are anything but demented. Their leader is a mysteriously resourceful, knowledgeable, physically fit 60-year-old who has assumed the name Oliver Stone. Together with Rueben, the three-time Vietnam veteran, Milton, the OCD computer whiz, and Caleb, the rare books librarian, he uncovers a plot that could lead to the annihilation of six million people and the end of any hopes of world peace...[More] (12/18/05)

The City of Falling Angels

The City of Falling Angels, by John Berendt

"Beware of falling angels" is the sign that greeted visitors to Venice before restoration was completed on the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, and it provides the title for John Berendt's captivating exposé of the social elite of this city of mazes and masquerades. La Fenice, Venice's historic opera, destroyed by fire three days prior to Berendt's arrival in January of 1996, becomes the focus of his investigation of the enchanting, haunting, enigmatic city and its aristocracy...[More] (11/20/05)


The Double Bind, by Chris Bohjalian

College student Laurel Estabrook's normally peaceful bike ride through the Vermont woods turns violent when she is attacked and left for dead. Although her interest in photography and her volunteer work at a homeless shelter are helping her recover from the brutal assault, she remains distant and withdrawn from her family, coworkers and friends... [More] (4/15/07)

The Good Guys

The Good Guys, by Bill Bonnano and Joe Pistone

What does a Columbia University professor of Russian literature have to do with Bobby Blue Eyes and the other regulars of the Freemont Avenue Social Club? FBI special agents Connor O'Brien and Laura Russo want to know, too, joining the mob's search for the missing professor after hearing his name mentioned during a wiretap of the crew's hangout. The riddle is solved in The Good Guys, told by Bill Bonanno, former head of a crime family and former FBI agent Joe Pistone, AKA Donnie Brasco. Hijacked trucks, sexy coeds, clandestine love nests, Italian rituals, violent acts, and the Russian mafia all populate this insider's guide to the mob, circa 1985...[Read more] (5/1/05)


Boomsday, by Christopher Buckley

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Oh wait, that's the wrong generation and the wrong story. This story is about the "Whatever Generation" and their very real concern that they will spend their lifetimes paying for the retirement benefits of the Baby Boomers who will be starting to retire and collect social security on Boomsday. Cassandra Devine works in public relations by day, helping clients put a positive spin on questionable actions...[More] (5/20/07)

Because She Can

Because She Can, by Bridie Clark

Claire Truman had an idyllic childhood as the beloved only child of kind, wise, and accomplished parents. It was her adult life that became dysfunctional. When a chance meeting with her college crush leads to new career opportunities and romance, she finds that what she'd always dreamed of is, in reality, a nightmare. Claire lands a plum job with publishing legend Vivian Grant, only to learn that Ms. Grant is a ruthless, abusive, heartless, selfish, vindictive, tyrannical employer. Luckily, Claire has found the perfect boyfriend in the handsome, successful, romantic Randall Cox -- or has she? [More] (3/4/07)

Echo Park

Echo Park, by Michael Connelly

The author's favorite homicide detective Harry Bosch is back for his twelfth investigation. After returning from retirement, he is working in the Open-Unsolved department with his partner, Kiz Ryder. Still haunted by one of his own unsolved cases from 13 years earlier, the disappearance of Marie Gesto, he continues to study the files, hoping to find out what happened to the missing girl. His prime suspect at the time was the son of a very wealthy family with friends in very high places. Harry is still convinced that the son is guilty, but he cannot prove it. After a routine traffic stop during which a van is found to contain assorted body parts, Harry is called to the D.A.'s office to hear a different man confess... [More] (1/7/07)

The Closers

The Closers, by Michael Connelly

After 3 years of retirement, Detective Harry Bosch is once again on active duty with the LAPD, this time assigned to the newly formed Open-Unsolved Unit. His former partner Kizman Rider and he are charged with using new technologies to find the answers to previously unsolved murder cases. A DNA hit has found a link between a weapon used to kill a beautiful mixed-race teenage girl seventeen years earlier and a man with White Supremacy ties. Although there were too few clues to solve the murder when it occurred....[Read more] (6/12/05)

Step on a Crack

Step on a Crack, by Nelson DeMille

Don't miss this book which is one Patterson's best. From start to finish, it is filled with drama, intrigue and emotion. When the beloved wife of a former president dies unexpectedly from an allergic reaction to peanuts, her funeral service is conducted at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. The security inside and outside is very high, because in addition to the former president and the mayor of New York, the mourners include dozens of celebrities, dignitaries and business leaders. After the doors are closed, a group of heavily armed men appears and announces that they are taking over the church... [More] (2/11/07)


The Lion's Game, by Nelson DeMille

This book is easily one of the most intriguing of DeMille's John Corey stories. John , a former NYPD detective now working with the anti-terrorist task force, is still a wise- cracking, loose cannon who almost never follows orders. When a suspected terrorist gives himself up and claims to want to seek asylum, the FBI and CIA put him on a flight to JFK. Although he is handcuffed and escorted by FBI and CIA agents, the mind-numbing terror begins when the plane lands with all 310 people aboard dead and the prisoner missing... [More] (2/5/07)

Wild Fire

Wild Fire, by Nelson DeMille

Where is John Corey when we need him? If the terrifying scenario described in Wild Fire is based partially on actual events, does that mean that there are anti-terrorism experts like John Corey? It would be hard to believe, but it's also hard to believe that responsible members of the government could plot to blow up an American city as an excuse to wipe out most of the Muslim world in apparent retaliation....[More] (12/3/06)

Up Country

Up Country, by Nelson DeMille

Although the title is a military phrase used during the Viet Nam Conflict, this is not a war story. It does tell the story of a murder involving an Army captain killing an Army lieutenant during the Tet Offensive in 1968. For some unexplained reason, the government wants a retired homicide investigator to go to Viet Nam and find the enemy soldier who witnessed the murder...[More] (3/12/06)

Night Fall

Night Fall, by Nelson DeMille

On July 17, 1996, TWA Fight 800 left JFK Airport on route to Paris. At approximately 8:30 pm, it exploded off the coast of Long Island, sending all 230 passengers and crew to their Atlantic Ocean graves. After investigation by the FBI, CIA, and various police agencies, the tragedy was declared an accident, but there were many cries of a cover-up and conspiracy. While attending a fifth year memorial anniversary of the event with his wife, Kate Mayfield, who was one of the original FBI investigators, John Corey becomes interested in the circumstances of the explosion...[Read more] (5/15/05)

A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

With so many movies, plays, adaptations, and spin-offs in circulation, it's a wonderful treat to return to Charles Dickens' yuletide yarn in its pristine glory. Random House's new unabridged audio CD version of A Christmas Carol is a marvelous way to enjoy Ebenezer Scrooge's excellent adventure in the manner Charles Dickens must have envisioned when he wrote it. If ever a story was meant to be read aloud, it's this one
...[read more] (12/21/03)

In the Company of the Courtesan

In the Company of the Courtesan, by Sarah Dunant

Fiametta Bianchini's luck has run out. Regarded as one of Rome's most desirable courtesans in 1527, her beauty, political contacts, wit and charm cannot protect her from the invading barbarians in Renaissance Italy. After being scarred, beaten and shorn of her signature golden curls, she and her faithful friend Bucino swallow their only assets, a handful of precious gems, and make their way to Venice where she once again becomes a sought-after courtesan...[More] (3/12/06)

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia, by James Ellroy

This is a thought provoking and very intriguing book that takes place during the 1940s when times were so different from today. Prices of things, expressions and clothing are obvious differences, but the most surprising difference is how police were allowed to operate 60 years ago. Back talk to a cop would cost a person his teeth, and brass knuckles were standard attire for an interrogation. At the start of the book one cop says to his buddy and partner, "Cherchez la femme," and these become the words around which this story revolves... [More] (3/11/07)

Thirteen Moons

Thirteen Moons, by Charles Frazier

How would you like to take a virtual road trip on the American frontier circa 1800? Charles Frazier has given us the opportunity to do just that, complete with descriptions of accommodations, food and traveling companions of the period. Will Cooper, a 12-year-old orphan and "bound" boy is sent to the edge of civilization to run a trading post in early 1800s. ...[More] (11/19/06)

Hide, by Lisa Gardner

Hide, by Lisa Gardner

Once again Lisa Gardner shows that she is one of the better authors of the "whodunit" genre. She weaves a story that will hold your interest from start to its shocking conclusion. The story starts with a 32-year-old woman who has recently returned to Boston. Annabelle lives in a small apartment with her Australian sheep dog, works in a Starbucks and is living a drab life. Looking at the morning paper she finds out that she is dead... [More] (4/22/07)


Alone, by Lisa Gardner

From the beginning, this book is action packed. South Boston policeman Bobby Dodge responds to a domestic hostage situation and is forced to kill a man who is aiming a gun at his wife and child. The shooting is proper and justified, but all hell breaks loose the next day, when it's discovered that the dead husband is Jimmy Gagnon, son of the most powerful judge in the state... [More] (4/1/07)

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden

To say that things are not always what they seem is a huge understatement when it comes to Memoirs of a Geisha. This beautifully and sensitively told tale of a young girl's journey from poor fisherman's daughter to famous geisha is not really a memoir, but a novel. And it's not written by a Japanese woman, but by an American man. Even knowing that before listening to the book, it's hard to believe that the author is anyone other than someone who has experienced the training and the rituals involved with being a geisha...[More] (4/9/06)

American Outrage

American Outrage, by Tim Green

When things start to go wrong, it often seems that they snowball and go from unfortunate to disastrous in a heartbeat. Jake Carlson, co-host of the TV show "American Outrage," whose focus is presenting exposés about famous people, has been missing deadlines. His boss warns him that his lucrative job is in jeopardy... [More] (7/22/07)

The Summons/The Brethren

The Summons/The Brethren, by John Grisham

This two-book volume by John Grisham combines exciting courtroom-based dramas that stand alone as separate stories. The first, The Summons, is about two brothers who are as different from each other as oil and water. Their father, a very prominent and well-loved judge in a small town, is dying when he summons his sons to his house on a certain date... [More] (7/29/07)

Tourist Season
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Tourist Season is laugh-out-loud funny, but it's also macabre. Carl Hiaasen's classic whodunit is a dark tale of man-eating alligators, crazy journalists, a wannabe terrorist, a millionaire Seminole Indian, and a beauty queen. The bad guys get it in the end, but you'll find yourself wondering what's worse — people who kill a few tourists or developers whose greedy voraciousness is destroying the natural splendor of southern Florida. (12/15/96)

The Widow of the South

The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks

Based on a true story, this extraordinary book about one of the last great battles of the Civil War is a must. Carrie McGavock's teenage decision to wear only black was a foreshadowing of the life she would lead. The privileged daughter of a plantation owner, she sank into depression after the deaths of three of her five children. It wasn't until a confederate general commandeered her home as a hospital and she tended the wounded soldiers of the Battle of Franklin that she discovered her true purpose in life...[More] (9/18/05)

Prior Bad Acts

Prior Bad Acts, by Tami Hoag

Judge Carey Moore knew her ruling of disallowing the admission into court records of Karl Dahl's "prior bad acts" would be an unpopular decision, but she could not have predicted the impact her decision would have. Although the evidence was circumstantial in Karl Dahl's arrest for the brutal murder of a mother and two children, the police felt that Dahl's criminal past would seal his fate and lead to his conviction. When Carey refuses to allow it, and she is attacked in a parking garage, cynical, unsympathetic police detective Sam Kovac is assigned to protect her...[More] (6/4/06)


Kill the Messenger, by Tami Hoag

The provocative title of this book is meaningful from beginning to end. The messenger in this case is one of those daredevil bikers seen speeding and weaving in and out of traffic in cities like New York and Los Angeles. One of the messengers, J.C. Damon, or Jace to his friends, is given a late, last minute delivery. He picks it up at a lawyer's office and when he gets to the drop-off address, he finds that it's an empty lot. Puzzled, he looks around and sees a car speeding right at him...[More] (4/23/06)

Between, Georgia

Between, Georgia, by Joshilyn Jackson

"Between" should have been Nonny Frett's middle name instead of the name of her hometown. Born to a rebellious Crabtree teenager but raised by a deaf and blind, gracious Frett, Nonny's life consists of contrasts and contradiction. The Fretts and Crabtrees have been carrying on a Hatfield-McCoy existence for generations, but the disclosure of Nonny's actual genealogy crystallizes the animosity between the two factions in the tiny town of Between...[More] (9/10/06)

First published in 1957, Jack Kerouac's semi-autobiographical On The Road is still the best-known novel of the American road trip. Matt Dillon's excellent narration brings Sal Paradise's gritty adventures with Dean Moriarty to renewed life, making this audio version a particularly vivid way to get in touch with your inner angry young man. (12/15/96)


Shopaholic & Baby, by Sophie Kinsella

Maybe it takes a shopaholic to love a shopaholic, or maybe Becky Brandon is just a universally endearing character. In Sophie Kinsella's latest Shopaholic saga, Becky is not only delighted that she's pregnant, she's thrilled that she now has new shopping pursuits-baby clothes, baby furniture, even a baby doctor. When she hears that celebrity obstetrician, Venetia Carter provides new mothers with lotus water births, Thai massages and designer goody bags, she moves heaven and earth to become one of her patients. Come to think of it, Becky does a lot of heaven and earth moving... [More] (3/18/07)

Dark Angels

Dark Angels, by Karleen Koen

In this prequel to Through a Glass Darkly we meet Alice Verney, a maid of honor in Charles II's court, who will become the Duchess of Tamworth in the later book. Alice returns from France, suspecting that Princess Henriette has been poisoned by the paid assassin Henry Ange. She immediately becomes immersed in the intrigue, politics, romance and glamour of... [More] (1/21/07)

Through a Glass Darkly

Through a Glass Darkly, by Karleen Koen

The nice thing about historical fiction is that it's, forgive the pun, timeless. Through a Glass Darkly has seduced and enchanted readers since its publication in 1988. Now, thanks to audio books, multi-tasking commuters and road trippers can also immerse themselves in the 18th-century world of Barbara Montgeoffrey...[More] (12/3/06)

Collected Bowdrie Dramatizations, Vol. 2

The Collected Bowdrie Dramatizations: Volume II, by Louis L'Amour

You do not have to be a Louis L'Amour fan to enjoy this collection of short stories. Each disc contains one of the six featured short stories: More Brains than Bullets, The Road to Casa Piedras, Bowdrie Passes Through, Where Buzzards Fly, South of Dreamland and Too Tough to Brand. The main character in each story is Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie, a two-gun ranger who is known to have lived with the Apache Indians as a youngster... [More] (4/8/07)

Ride the River

Ride the River, by Louis L'Amour

I reckon a body could live an entire lifetime and never put ears to a Louis L'amour audio book, but truth to tell it'd be powerful shame. Sixteen-year-old Echo Sackett is charged with the responsibility of traveling to Philadelphia from her Tennessee mountain home to claim an inheritance that will give her family much needed money. In 1840, such a journey is no simple trip, since Echo has to travel by stagecoach, by horseback, by river steamer and by foot. Echo might be a country girl, but she manages to outsmart the big city charlatans ...[More] (5/21/06)

The Strangler

The Strangler, by William Landay

This book is primarily about three brothers
and their involvement with the mob and police corruption in Boston during the early sixties. Joe Daley, the eldest of the brothers, is a homicide detective with a gambling addiction. He owes a bookie over $20,000, which really means he owes the mob that amount since they own the bookmakers. The mob's enforcer, known as "The Animal" because of his viciousness and tendency to resort to murder, gives Joe two choices if he doesn't pay off his debt in 24 hours. Joe can work for the mob or have his wife or one of his kids killed...[More] (6/10/07)

The Girls

The Girls, by Lori Lansens

Invariably when one hears about twins born conjoined in one way or another, the questions that come up are numerous. How can they do this or that? Do they think separately? Does one hurt and not the other? This book relates a most amazing story that will help answer many of those questions, but more importantly, it describes the lives and personalities of Rose and Ruby...[More] (6/4/06)

Shoot the Moon
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Shoot the Moon, by Billie Letts

When a Beverly Hills veterinarian arrives in the small town of DeClare, Oklahoma, he has little idea that his interest in finding his birth mother will lead him on a trip into the past that will change his life forever. Shoot the Moon is the engagingly well-told tale of a young man's quest to find out who he is and what really cut his mother's life so short. While Shoot the Moon is not a road trip book per se, I found it to be a wonderful accompaniment on a trip I took recently. It's a story of personal odyssey, and Billie Letts does a great job...[Read more] (10/17/04)

Peter Mayle is best known for his memoirs of life in Provence, but Hotel Pastis is just as good. It's the engaging story of a recently divorced London advertising executive who gives up his jet-set career to revamp an old police station in southern France into a "boutique hotel." A second plot revolves around an endearing gang of robbers who plan a bank heist and end up accidenatlly kidnapping of the son of an American billionaire. In addition to a delightfully woven story and an elegant cast of characters, Hotel Pastis serves up food descriptions so vivid you can probably gain weight just by reading them. (12/15/96)

The Book of Fate

The Book of Fate, by Brad Meltzer

This is a fast moving, action-filled book that keeps the listener wondering who, what and why from beginning to end. Wes Holloway, President Leland Manning's personal aide, feels responsible for the tragedy that occurs at a NASCAR race when shots are fired at the President and his entourage. The President and First Lady are unharmed, but the deputy chief of staff, Manning's best friend, is killed and Wes is badly injured...[More] (9/24/06)

Fortunate Son

Fortunate Son, by Walter Mosley

This is an appealing story that depicts love in an unusual manner. It tells the tale of two boys, one black and the other white, who for the first six years of their lives are raised as brothers in the home of a prominent white doctor. Born with a hole in his heart, Thomas survives infancy thanks to the skill of Dr. Nolan. Recently widowed, Dr. Nolan falls in love with Thomas' beautiful, dark skinned mother...[More] (6/4/06)

Little Scarlet

Little Scarlet, by Walter Mosley

In 1965, the race riots in the Watts area of LA were in their fifth day, and things were beginning to simmer down when a white man was pulled from his car by an angry mob and beaten. He escaped into the neighborhood and became the chief suspect when a young black woman was found brutally murdered. The police, concerned that this murder of a young black woman might incite more rioting, convinced a black man who was well known to the Watts people to help them find the killer...[More] (9/4/05)

Judge and Jury

Judge and Jury, by James Patterson & Andrew Gross

Dominic Cavello, the boss of the New York mafia, has been the elusive obsession of FBI Senior Agent Nick Pellisante until he locates him at a wedding in Montauk, Long Island and arrests him after a shootout. All through the four months prior to his trial, Cavello laughs and swears he will never be convicted. After three of his former aides turn against him and testify, it seems as if the Don is doomed...[More] (8/27/06)

Beach Road

Beach Road, by James Patterson

Not everyone on Beach Road in the Hamptons is rich and famous. Tom Dunleavy, a mediocre lawyer and former hometown high school basketball hero, suddenly finds himself in the media spotlight after one of his young friends is accused of murdering three other local boys. The accused, Dante Halleyville, is destined to be the next Michael Jordan until a fight at a pickup basketball game is followed by the brutal execution of three white boys, and he's the prime suspect...[More] (8/20/06)

Maximum Ride #2

Maximum Ride - School's Out Forever, by James Patterson

If the subtitle of this book weren't enough to ensure an enthusiastic young adult audience, the thrill-a-minute exploits of Max and her adopted brothers and sisters would. In the first Maximum Ride book, The Angel Experiment, Max and the Flock escaped the Erasers who were sent to kill them. Now the delightful band of 2-percent avian, 98-percent human children faces another treacherous predicament - going to school...[More] (6/16/06)

Maximum Ride

Maximum Ride - The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to stretch your arms and be airborne, flying over buildings, trees, lakes and mountains? The 6 mutant children (98% human and 2% bird) introduced in Patterson's Where the Wind Blows have that luxury. Unfortunately they also have an assortment of problems related to that ability. Born of normal parents, they were taken to a laboratory where their DNA was altered, giving them wings and other extraordinary features. 14 year old Max and her flock of "angels" have escaped their cages...[More] (6/16/06)

Mary, Mary

Mary, Mary (Alex Cross Novel), by James Patterson

This is a most interesting story since it starts with a storyteller who states he is writing a story that will be a blockbuster. However, he states he must live the moments, and so he must commit murders in order to feel the emotions of a killer. His first crime is a triple murder in New York City, and, feeling successful, he returns to his hometown of Los Angeles. Soon after, the entertainment columnist the Los Angeles Times receives an email that is addressed to a Hollywood producer. The message tells the female producer that she is being killed because she is an unfit mother. The murder is described, and the email is signed Mary Smith. To the columnist's horror...[More] (1/15/06)


Honeymoon, by James Patterson & Howard Roughan

Nora Sinclair, a beautiful woman who is a highly regarded interior decorator, is also a black widow serial killer. She is presently involved with a former client-a multimillionaire who adores her. She also has a wealthy husband living in Boston who also adores her. Neither is safe from her lethal omelets. Unbeknownst to her, FBI agent, John O'Hara, posing as an insurance claims adjuster, is investigating her possible involvement in her first husband's death...[More] (12/4/05)


Lifeguard, by James Patterson

Ned Kelly, lifeguard, pool boy, and chauffeur to the rich and influential of West Palm Beach, is waiting for the perfect score. A passionate afternoon with the beautiful Tess MacAuliffe and anticipation of the million dollars he'll collect for the evening's endeavor, a simple breaking and entry, has him dreaming of the life he'd always hoped to have. Instead, Ned finds himself on the run from both the Miami police and the FBI, a suspect in the deaths of his best friends and Tess, and accused of stealing over $60 million worth of valuable paintings. Strangely, his biggest supporter is Ellie Shurtleff, the FBI agent...[More] (9/4/05)

4th of July

4th of July, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The story starts off with a bang -- actually with many bangs, and none by fireworks. When the bangs stop, San Francisco Police Department Lt. Lindsay Boxer and her partner Warren Jacoby have both been shot twice. The shooters are kids, one dead and the other seriously wounded. Days later the kids' father, a prominent doctor in San Francisco, sues Lt. Boxer for $50 million, claiming wrongful death, police brutality, and not following police procedures. Relieved of duty and awaiting her trial, Lindsay Boxer decides to escape the media frenzy and take refuge...[Read more] (5/29/05)

Sam's Letters to Jennifer
Sam's Letters to Jennifer, by James Patterson

Since I still associate James Patterson with thrillers like Along Came a Spider, it's hard for me to get used to the idea that he's also good at writing love stories. "Sam's Letters to Jennifer" is exactly that, the story of two women, the men they love, and their love for each other. This audio version is the ideal way to enjoy the intertwined tales, and it's a great road trip accompaniment.
Sam is Jennifer's grandmother. When an accident leaves Sam in a coma, Jennifer, a young newspaper columnist, travels to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to be at her side. She stays at her grandmother's house, where she discovers a sheaf of letters
...[read more]

The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener, by George Pelecanos

The year is 1985, and several community gardens in Washington, D.C., yield a very strange crop, planted by a killer the police call the Night Gardener. Three teenagers are found in the gardens, murdered under similar circumstances. Sgt. T.C. Cook, the detective examining the last one, notes the many similarities of each. They all are shot in the head and show signs of sexual abuse, each missing a lock of hair. However, one similarity is bizarre. The names of the victims, Ava, Otto and Eve, are all palindromes, causing the media to refer to the killings as the palindrome murders...[More] (10/15/06)

Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is in his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and along with his friends, Ron, Hermione and Ginny, learning to use new magical skills and potions and spells to achieve his goals. In his quest to defend the wizard world against the evil forces of Lord Valdemort and to learn more about the boy who became the murderous villain, Harry is aided by private instruction from Professor Dumbledore. Although it seems that he is also being helped by the mysterious Half-Blood Prince, disaster strikes, and Harry learns once more that things are not always what they appear....[More] (7/31/05)


Detour, by James Siegel

This action-packed, fast-paced novel takes many detours before its ending. An American couple goes to Bogotá, Colombia, to adopt a baby. After Colombian insurgents kidnap the couple and their baby, the husband, Paul, is sent back to the United States on a mission for the rebels. He has eighteen days to complete the mission, or his wife and baby will be killed. He encounters many obstacles on his quest, such as drug smuggling, the Russian Mafia, arson, murder, suicide, and a rogue DEA agent...[More] (8/14/05)


Body Surfing, by Anita Shreve

No! This is not a book about body surfing
. It is a beautiful story of a woman named Sydney who is seeking what she believes to be a perfect life -- to love and to be loved, to share moments of pleasure with the right companion. She had all that on two occasions, being married twice. Each started happily, but both ended sadly, leaving her heartbroken for years. Now approaching thirty years old, she is fearful of getting involved again since she is both a divorcee and a widow. When she takes a summer job...[More] (5/6/07)

A Wedding in December

A Wedding in December, by Anita Shreve

Add an intimate wedding celebration at a bed and breakfast in the Berkshires between reunited high school sweethearts to a reunion of their best friends from prep school, and you have a feel-good book about happy endings, right? Wrong. Just as in everyday life, things are not as they seem, and as the weekend progresses the former best friends discover truths about themselves and each other that they've hidden or dodged since the tragic death of...[More] (10/16/05)

Light on Snow

Light on Snow, by Anita Shreve

Nicky Dillon feels that although she is only twelve, she already has led two separate lives. After the tragic accident that killed her mother and her baby sister, Clara, Nicky's grief-stricken father moved her from their beautiful suburban New York home to a rustic farmhouse six miles outside a small town in northern New Hampshire. While snowshoeing near their home, they discover an abandoned newborn baby in a sleeping bag in the frozen forest. The baby lives, and after the mother of the baby visits them, Nikki befriends her, helping her to evade the detective who is trying to find the people responsible for leaving a baby to die. ...[Read more] (5/22/05)


Triptych, by Karin Slaughter

Triptych -- it's a strange title but a fast-moving and exciting book. The author explains the meaning of the title, and it fits the situations in the story. Although the characters in this book are very dissimilar, they all interconnect to bring the story to a plausible, if shocking, conclusion. Angie, also known as Robin when she is working the streets, is a vice detective...[More] (6/17/07)

The Notebook & The Wedding

The Notebook & The Wedding, by Nicholas Sparks

This audio book consists of two novels. The first tells the love story of Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson. From opposite ends of the social scale, the teens fall in love and spend a romantic summer together until their romance is sabotaged by Allie's mother. Love triumphs and they find each other after several years, rekindle their love, marry and enjoy more than 40 years of happiness. As an old man, Noah reads Allie a notebook...[More] (12/3/06)

Red River

Red River, by Lalita Tademy

Easter Sunday, 1873, Colfax, Louisiana. Before listening to Red River, this day and place held no significance to me, but they are now seared into my consciousness as an example of a shameful date in U.S. history. For 10 years after the Civil War, black men and women in the South lived with the hope and promise of a bright future for themselves and their children. Reconstruction saw black men owning property and electing candidates to local and county offices in Colfax, Louisiana, but that changed when white supremacists decided to ignore election results and forcefully install their own choices. They called the Easter Sunday carnage of more than 100 black men a "riot by troublemaking coloreds," but Red River gives the more accurate account of a horrific massacre of black citizens defending their freedom... [More] (1/7/07)

Hollywood Station

Hollywood Station, by Joseph Wambaugh

This story about the daily lives of the men and women stationed in the Hollywood division of Los Angeles Police Department is an adventure that is sure to keep listeners absorbed from beginning to end. Wambaugh, a best selling author of police stories for many years but recently on hiatus, has come back with a bang... [More] (1/14/07)

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