Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Salon: Reviews To Share

The days are beginning to get shorter, temperatures are a bit cooler and1242485_procelain_cup_and_coffe_2 it’s once again time for Sunday Salon where we share our thoughts on books we’ve read.

This week I’d like to tell you about 3 audio books I listened to. I love print books, but audios are wonderful too. They allow you to ‘read’ a book while making your way through rush hour traffic or preparing a meal. Here’s some good reads to consider.

by Sophie Hannah

THE CRADLE IN THE GRAVE may be listed as a psychological Cradle coverthriller, but it could also be listed as a thought-provoking novel.

The heart of the story deals with the conviction and later release of 3 women wrongly accused of murdering their young children. The women are Helen Yardley, Sarah Jaggard, and Rachel Hines. They are dubbed the ‘crib-death mothers.’

TV producer Fliss Benson finds herself suddenly making a documentary about the 3 women after her boss, Laurie Nattrass, quits and hands everything over to her. Nattrass, however, intends to still run the project from the shadows. He is, after all, the one who championed to have the women released.

To add to Fliss’ confusion, she receives a card in the mail with 16 numbers on it - 4 rows, each with 4 numbers - and nothing else. Before she gets started on the documentary, Helen Yardley is found shot to death. A card like Fliss received is found in Helen’s pocket.
This story is filled with questions of are the women really innocent or really guilty. With a secret of her own, Fliss become determined to make the documentary her way no matter what.

Author Sophie Hannah has created a cast of characters that are intriguing, a bit zany at times, and complex. Narrator Elizabeth Sastre does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life and giving them depth with her lovely British accent.

This is the fifth mystery by Hannah to feature Det. Sgt. Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Zailer and Det. Constable Simon Waterhouse. While there are some references to prior events that aren’t explained, they don’t cause holes in the current storyline.

There are twists and turns at the end that may surprise you. THE CRADLE IN THE GRAVE is well worth the listen (or read). 

Author Sophie Hannah’s website is

The Cradle in the Grave by Sophie Hannah, Read by Elizabeth Sastre, Penguin Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1-10-152356-8, Unabridged Digital Download, Listening Time: 12 Hours, 4 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this audio book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

WHAT ALICE FORGOT by Liane Moriarty

How often have you wished you could go back in time and change a Alice coverpart of your life?

WHAT ALICE FORGOT by Liane Moriarty shows that going back to re-live one’s history can be a mixed blessing. It can be even trickier when you don’t remember part of your past.

Waking from a fall at the gym, Alice Love is a happy, carefree 29-year-old woman. She’s in love with her fabulous husband, Nick, and they are expecting their first child - or so she thinks. In reality, Alice will soon celebrate her 40th birthday, has 3 children, and is in the midst of a divorce. In addition, she and her sister, Elisabeth, once very close are now no longer on good terms.

Alice has lost a decade of her life and can’t remember what has taken her to the path she’s on now. She has to re-connect with her sister, try to save her marriage, and get to know her children all over again. In addition, she has to find the women she once was.

Author Liane Moriarty has mingled fun and witty moments throughout the story while dealing with loss and regret. The narration by Tamara Lovatt-Smith adds charm to this story. WHAT ALICE FORGOT will make you stop and think, ‘What if?’

Author Liane Moriarty’s website is

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Read by Tamara Lovatt-Smith, Penguin Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1-10-155501-9, Unabridged Digital Download, Listening Time: 13 Hours, 32 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this audio book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

ABUSE OF POWER by Michael Savage

120804319ABUSE OF POWER, the debut novel by conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, is an intriguing thriller that might just surprise you.

Jack Hatfield, a hardened war correspondent, has been fired from his job for controversial statements. He’s even banned from entering the UK. Jack takes a job in San Francisco as a freelance news producer.

A carjacking turns deadly one afternoon when military-grade explosives are found after the car wrecks. Jack, riding with the SFPD bomb squad, arrives at the scene. Within minutes the bomb explodes as his friend attempts to disarm it. Jack begins to question about the car’s owner and is told to stay out of it. When a quick arrest is made, Jack knows there’s much more to the story and begins to dig.

The story follows a mysterious trail through London, Tel Aviv, and Paris. Jack discovers there’s a terrorist group known as the Hand of Allah with a very real threat to the safety of the country.

This is an action-packed adventure that starts slow then explodes into suspense. Like most books of this type, ABUSE OF POWER is filled with political views.

The wonderful narration by Peter Larkin brings Jack’s emotions and concerns to the surface. This will keep you guessing and surprising you right up until the end.

Author Michael Savage’s website is

Abuse of Power by Michael Savage, Read by Peter Larkin, Macmilllan Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1-4272-1374-7, Unabridged, 9 Discs, Listening Time: 11 Hours

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

What have you read or listened to this past week? What are you reading now? Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful Sunday.


  1. Oh, I'm so excited to learn about Sophie Hannah's new book! I love her books, and the characters that recur, like Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse. Thanks for the heads-up!

    And thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. Hi Mason .. I don't listen to many audio books .. one day I'll get there - but I've listened to episodes at times .. and books are definitely brought to life by well-spoken readers .. The Cradle in the Grave does sound very interesting ..

    Liane's "What Alice Forgot" - seems to be a very interesting premise .. What If .. ooooh .. indeed -

    While the Abuse of Power has obviously been written with a lot of inside knowledge ..

    Cheers - and thanks - Hilary

  3. Mason - Thanks for these reviews. Varied and really interesting books! I'm going to have to look into them. You make an interesting point, too, about audio books. That format can be so convenient, can't it? And sometimes an otherwise less-than-great book can be all the more interesting if it's narrated well.

  4. Thanks for the reviews. These all look like great reads or would it be listens?

  5. I've heard some good things about What Alice Forgot and will have to put it on my to-read. I like the premise.

  6. Each of these sound fabulous to me! The last book I read was Another Life by Michael Korda. It was so enjoyable, a memoir about his past 50 years in the publishing industry. Now I have a couple books waiting for me on the Kindle :)

  7. Great review. I love listening to audiobooks. That's why I'm excited to have WAVE set up. I think it would be wonderful to hear fellow author's books on audio.

  8. What Alice Forgot is a really unique storyline!

  9. I never listened to audiobooks. I need the calm and quiet that reading gives me. Maybe I could try somme day.
    Now reading a thriller written by Colleen McCullough:Too Many Murders
    It is easy to read but not as catching as her historical novels.
    For me her best book remains: Morgan's Run.

  10. Thanks for the reminder about audio books. When I used to travel by car from Virginia to Florida several times a year, I used to listen to books all the time. You just reminded me of how I loved that.

    Have a great day.


  11. What Alice Forgot would be at the top of my list if I had to pick one. Thanks for the reviews!

  12. I just finished listening to The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It's been a while now since a book (or movie) so moved me. I finished it a few days ago, but I keep thinking about it. I'm usually a historical fiction fan, but this one intrigued me, so I got it from the library. It's a wonderful story of hope and reconciliation. Very moving.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.