The Woods by Harlan Coben begins 20 years ago. Four teenagers at a summer camp walk into the woods that they aren’t supposed to be in late at night. Two of the teens are found murdered and the other two are never to be seen again. What happened to them? What happened that night? We may never find out! Four families have their lives tragically torn apart by this incident. One family is the Copeland family. Paul Copeland, better known as Cope, was a teenager himself that night. Now he is the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, and a single dad after his wife died of cancer. Cope is trying to balance his life between his work and his daughter when his life is ripped wide open again. While at a recital his daughter is performing in two detectives approach Cope and ask to speak with him about a recent homicide victim that is mysteriously linked to him. Is this homicide victim one of the campers who disappeared with his sister a supposed “victim“ of The Woods? Could Cope’s own sister still be alive? Again the memories of that night come flooding back to Cope. What really happened in The Woods? A new body has been discovered in The Woods soon after Cope has launched his investigation. Could this be his sister or is this another victim of the killer? Will Cope be able to return to The Woods? There are so many questions left to be answered and the only way to answer them is to listen to The Woods!
Actor and writer Scott Brick has performed on film, television and radio. He has won over thirty Earphone Awards, as well as the 2003 Audie Award in the Best Science Fiction category. He has recorded over 300 books to date. AudioFile Magazine named Scott “one of the fastest-rising stars in the audio book galaxy” and proclaimed him one of their Golden Voices. I personally would totally have to agree with all they have said about Scott. He always does a fantastic job and is one of my favorite readers of audio books. I have reviewed him before and still have yet to find a book read by him that I don’t like. His voice is melodious, and simply catches you attention. I don’t know what it is about him, but he finds a way to make every book he reads exciting in one way or another. Granted he reads books by some popular authors, but I have never found a book that I didn’t like that he has read including this The Woods by Harlan Coben. I would issue this challenge to anyone who listens to audio books: find any audio book read by Scott Brick and see if he doesn’t just become your new favorite performer of audio books!
In my opinion Harlan Coben has written another fantastic novel. I have listened to some of his other novels and have enjoyed them immensely. If you enjoy detective/mystery novels with a sports twist you should listen or read the Myron Bolitar series that is also written by Harlan Coben. In The Woods there are several twists and turns that keep everything exciting. You can just see how the two separate story lines of a couple of character involved that night 20 years ago are going to come crashing together. When is the only question. There are so many mysteries of what happened that I didn’t finally figure out who did what until about disc 10 or 11. The Woods kept me on the edge of my seat a lot of the time while I was cruising down the road. I would recommend this book to any young teens and adults who like a mystery/suspense book. It is a clean book as far as romance. I don’t remember any explicit loves scenes at all. If you don’t like profanity then this is a book for you. All of the books I have listened to by Harlan Coben have been that way. Two thumbs way up or five stars or however you call it this duo of Harlan Coben and Scott Brick is an absolute joy to listen to.
You can read and/or listen to a sample here.
Title: The Woods
Author: Harlan Coben
Narrator: Scott Brick
Length: 11 CDs
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Release Date: April 2007
Available for purchase: Amazon
Officer Cindy Decker is your typical officer trying to make detective for the LAPD. In Street Dreams by Faye Kellerman, while on patrol one night she is flagged down because of a noise coming form a dumpster. The noise just happens to be an abandoned baby that she is able to dig out and get to a pediatric hospital in order to save its life. This is where she Meets Kobe a critical care pediatric nurse. The two strike up and immediate friendship and start seeing each other. Meanwhile Cindy is actively looking or the baby’s mother on her own time, and stumbles across a case of rape and child abuse. With the help of her overworked detective father Cindy is able to locate the mother of the baby, but what she finds surprised even her and leads her down the dark path. Sarah, the baby’s mother, is a down syndrome young woman who attends a special school for those with her disability. Sarah tells the story of her relationship with her boyfriend and subsequent rape by some mean men. While Cindy is investigating this rape she realizes that someone doesn’t want her to get to the truth when they try to take her out one night when she is on a date. The string of bad luck seems to continue when she is on another date with the same man and they witness a hit and run. The hit and run leads Cindy back the same school for those with disabilities that Sarah attends. Who is doing this to these poor women? Can Cindy stop it before it adds to her own street dreams? Can she find the culprit of these terrible crimes before he strikes again, or will she fail? Street Dreams is an exciting adventure of mystery and intrigue. A look into the life of a police officer and the terrible things they have to deal with . The bonds it gives them with one another and the victims they deal with.
Laura Hicks has many credits to her name. She has appeared on Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles. Her off Broadway appearances include but are not limited to: On the Verge, Talking With, and The Cradle Will Rock. She has also appeared on several television series. Laura did a solid job of reading Street Dreams. She did a fantastic job with the characters and really making them come to life through accents and making you feel the quirks that Faye Kellerman gives to her characters. I would give Laura Hicks a 4 out of 5 stars for a job well done.
Street Dreams by Faye Kellerman was a good drama. Not my favorite book that I have ever listened to, but a good book none the less. It seemed to me that it was a little slow to start off, and that may have been by design of the author to give you the hum drum feeling of life. Once I got a few discs in Faye seemed to hit her stride and the book simply took off. The characters were fantastic and humorous in their actions at times. It is definitely a book for adults with all of the foul language and the deplorable subjects that officers have to deal with on a daily basis. I was surprised at the romance that came into Street Dreams. It took on the persona of a romance novel without some of description. However there were some rather descriptive scenes from a semi-conservative point of view. I would recommend this book if you enjoy a good drama with some action and thrills in it. I give Street Dreams a 4 out of 5 stars. Get past what is a slow start in my opinion and it is a great book.
Title: Street Dreams
Author: Faye Kellerman
Read by: Laura Hicks
Format: Unabridged audio book on 12 cds
Page Nos.: 400
Publisher: Book Club Associates
Release Date: August 2003
Available for purchase: Amazon
June is audio book month and here at Novel Reaction we have recently added audio books to a regular reviewing schedule. Zorn, our new audio book reviewer, shared some thoughts about audio books:
I was recently asked why and what I like about audio books. I have to say there are many reasons why I like audio books. First and foremost is I drive a truck for a living and there isn’t much to do behind the wheel. I do talk to family and friends, but I get tired of the phone. Audio books provide a form of entertainment that simply make the hours fly by. I know I’m paying attention to what is going on in front of me, but audio books capture my attention so fully that I can’t believe how much time has gone by. Also since I don’t have the time that I would like to have to sit down and read, audio books provide that for me. Audio books can also entertain your children on long trips if you get books for kids. It keeps the car quiet and allows me to be relaxed and enjoy the trip. There are also so many authors published on audio books that it is easy to find your favorite author, and narrator, and simply enjoy what’s going on around you and still absorb a book. Now with the technology of some of the electronic devices, that read the book to you, along with audio books it has never been easier to take one or several of your books along without all the weight of lugging actual books around. You can clean, workout, or do any of your favorite activities while listening. Simply put in your earphones!
The Last Surgeon tests the wits of a former army surgeon who suffers from PTSD against a ruthless killer for hirer. Dr. Nick Garrity started as a trauma surgeon who has his own practice until September 11th 2001. After this he feels it is his patriotic duty to serve and so joins the army. Serving in Afghanistan he is exposed to a suicide bomber who kills several of his friends. After getting out of the army he suffers from the nightmares produced by his PTSD. Now he serves as the doctor on the Helping Hands Medical Clinic, a mobile clinic for the homeless and otherwise destitute in Washington D.C. and Baltimore. All during this service to the homeless he is on the lookout and searching for his best friend from the military, Umberto Vasquez, who hasn’t been seen since he was picked for a top secret mission for the military. Along his travels Dr. Garrity Meets Jillian Coates who is trying to find the people responsible for her sisters murder. Jillian is the only one that believes her sister did not commit suicide, and asks for Dr. Garrity’s help after he is unwittingly tied to her sister. Now the two of them team up to find out who is committing these murders and search for Umberto. In their quest for answers they cross paths with Franz Koller, The highly paid assassin and master of the “non-kill” as he refers to it. He is methodically killing those who are attached to a botched operation years ago. He is a master of murder and all his kills are ruled as suicides by the authorities, but Jillian and Nick don’t believe they were accidents or suicides. As Nick’s and Jillian’s search for the truth continues their like and respect for each other grows and a budding romance begins. Can they find the answers they are looking for and stop the killer before he strikes again, or will they become the next victims themselves? Will Dr. Nick Garrity become The Last Surgeon?
John Bedford Lloyd is an actor who career started at Williams College as a pre-med student. He switched his major after a friend convinced him to take part in a school play. He went on the attend Yale and graduated from the school’s prestigious school of drama. He has several movies such as “The Abyss” and “The Bourne Supremacy.” He has also had many supporting roles and TV series such as “Law and Order” and “All My Children.” He has since supplemented his actor as a successful reader of audio books. I must say that he has done a wonderful job in The Last Surgeon. He did a fantastic job with each of the characters and his amazing voice just does that much more to pull you into the book. He keeps the excitement of the book going throughout. His performance of The Last Surgeon was absolutely stellar. I hope to get more books read by Mr. Lloyd. He definitely gets 5 stars and a thumbs up for his reading of Michael Palmer’s The Last Surgeon.
I absolutely loved this book. I have listened to several of Michael Palmer’s books and physically read one myself. He is an amazing story teller and the more books he writes the better everything gets. The Last Surgeon is an absolute joy to listen to. It is full of excitement and suspense that is pretty much a constant in Michael Palmer’s writing. You will want to do nothing but put cd after cd in and keep listening until you finish the book. The Last Surgeon is a very quick eleven hours or so of listening, but it will make that boring trip much more exciting. I would very highly recommend this book. It does have adult language and a relatively non-descriptive romantic scene. This is definitely a book for older more mature adolescents and adults, but an amazing adventurous listen for those who listen to it. Michael Palmer has done it again with another five star book! Go get this The Last Surgeon from your favorite book store or possibly your local library and prepare yourself for an exciting ride. Just be forewarned that if you get it from the library be prepared for the discs to skip as that was the only problem with mine.
You can listen to an excerpt here.
Title: The Last Surgeon
Author: Michael Palmer
Read by: John Bedford Lloyd
Format: Unabridged audio book on 10 cd’s
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: Feb. 2010
Available for purchase: Amazon, Macmillian