Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Audio Book

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.

Rating: 

Content: 

Title: The Woods

Author: Harlan Coben

Narrator: Scott Brick

Format: Audio

Length: 11 CDs

AISN: B0023RT0FY

Publisher: Dutton Adult

Release Date: April 2007

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Zorn

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.

Rating: 

Content: 

Title: The Last Surgeon

Author: Michael Palmer

Read by:  John Bedford Lloyd

Format: Unabridged audio book on 10 cd’s

ISBN: 978-1427208743

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Release Date: Feb. 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon, Macmillian

Reviewer: Zorn

Novel Reaction is excited to welcome our newest reviewer, Zorn. Zorn is a truck driver who loves to spend time outdoors and making his kids laugh. He is the father of three and they all worship him so! Zorn loves to read and listen to audio books. He doesn’t have a favorite book, but he has a few authors he loves to read, including Michael Palmer and Clive Cussler.

Zorn is going to providing us with audio book reviews in addition to traditional print copy reviews. So everyone help me in welcoming him to the Novel Reaction Team. :)

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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