- Audio CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: AudioGo; Unabridged edition (October 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1619691647
- ISBN-13: 978-1619691643
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,996,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Valley of Ashes Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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The Amazon Book Review
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"The sharpest humor comes with a pinch of suffering, and Madeline Dare suffers big time in Cornelia Read's new mystery about this fugitive socialite from Oyster Bay, Long Island. . . Madeline is funny when she's depressed ('I'm fat, my marriage is tanking, and I want to run away with the circus'), but the only person who appreciates her bleak humor is a friend with domestic issues of her own ('I just want to be a widow. Is that so wrong?')." (The New York Times Marilyn Stasio)
"What makes Read's crime novels unique and difficult to pigeonhole, despite the genre's plethora of subcategories, is the fact that the action doesn't stop-and she doesn't stop writing-when the murder is solved and the criminals are apprehended. Nor is everything tied up in tidy packages after the climax, with one labeled "arson inquiry" and another called "marriage." That's not how real life works. Nor is it how satisfying fiction is supposed to work. It's definitely not how life has ever worked Dare, whose whole world takes such a kick in the head in Valley that it's hard to fathom how she'll get up again. But, as readers of the series know from experience, she most certainly will. Eloquently telling off anyone who gets in her way." (CriminalElement.com Jordan Foster)
"[T]he main character, Madeline Dare, is so fantastic it made the novel great. . . Madeline is one tough chick. Her attitude and demeanor. . . pulled me in and kept me turning the pages. . . this is a must-have for your shelves so fans of those books can get another dose of this awesome female character . . . anyone who appreciates a strong female lead should find this a satisfying read and be hunting your shelves for the previous novels." (BrodartVibe blog)
On Invisible Boy:
"Read's darkest, most passionate and most poignant book yet." (Tana French, New York Times-bestselling author of Broken Harbor)
"Read expertly evokes the New York City of the period, from the nearly palpable grime of Chelsea to disturbing undertones of racism and classism in the justice system. Equal parts toughness and vulnerability, Madeline is always a bracing heroine." (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
"With remarkable originality, she scores again in a novel that transcends genre and leaves the reader spellbound." (-Richmond Times-Dispatch )
"I have been on the Cornelia Read bandwagon since her remarkable debut, but even my already ardent admiration didn't prepare me for the heights she could achieve as a writer. Valley of Ashes, like all the Madeline Dare books, is smart and surprising, acknowledging the cumulative power of Madeline's troubled past while daring to suggest an even more challenging future. Riveting and devastating." (Laura Lippman)
"If you haven't read Cornelia's work, you really should, and you should start with Field of Darkness. Her writing is powerful, funny, literate, intelligent, and liberally sprinkled with foul language, much in the way Cornelia herself speaks. While her books are always filled with action and mystery, the stories revolve around family, and I would think they'd resonate with anyone who's had any sort of off-beat family member, a challenging relationship, or had moments of profound happiness. Which is to say, all of us. Seriously, read these books!" (Fran Fuller, Seattle Mystery Bookshop)
On The Crazy School:
"How nice it is to hear that rebel voice again." (New York Times Book Review)
"Madeline's deadpan voice, acid wit and psychological depth are the perfect counterpoint to the novel's positively Gothic plot...She's a great character, and her creator is a great storyteller. Caustic, gripping and distinctive--intelligent entertainment." (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
About the Author
Cornelia Read grew up in New York, California, and Hawaii. She is a reformed debutante who currently lives in New Hampshire. To learn more about the author, you can visit her website at www.corneliaread.com, and www.nakedauthors.com, her group blog with authors Jim Born, Paul Levine, Patty Smiley, and Jacqueline Winspear.
Top customer reviews
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"Ashes," like Read's prior 3 novels, features Madeline Dare and her husband Dean. Madeline and Dean are struggling through a young adulthood where jobs are very scarce. In "Ashes," they have moved from upstate New York to Colorado, where Dean has found a good job and Madeline is living the life of a stay-at-home mom with 1 year old twins.
If I were thinking of having children, this book would cure me of the idea within 20 pages. Read conveys a sense of imprisonment so immediate and intense that I WAS Madeline, and I wanted to run screaming fromher house and hop the first plane to anywhere else. Along with the claustrophobia of young motherhood, Madeline experiences a radical change in Dean, who, now that he has a job he can be proud of, has become arrogant and overbearing, telling Madeline she should clean up the house and be content to be a "homemaker." Madeline's life is the modern woman's nightmare (at least it's mine, and hers).
Looking at Ms. Read's web page, I see that a lot of what she writes is semi-autobiographical. That may explain why her books tend to be underwhelming in terms of plot. Though purportedly a mystery, "Ashes" has a mystery so irrelevant that the solution is an afterthought. The mystery is a mere McGuffin-- Madeline is the reason to read this book.
Accordingly, read it if you read, and liked, Read's other novels; if you are looking for a conventional mystery, you will be disappointed.
One comment about the book is that it seems to be set in the 90s because there are no mobile phones or ipads mentioned, which I found slightly frustrating. Also, there's a bit of a Mad Men factor with the spouses and the business dinners and drinking that made me question why the character would put up with her schmuck of a husband. The mystery is rather obvious but still the journey is the best part. I hope she continues to write more of the Madeline Dare series and explore her family issues.
Most recent customer reviews
And again the potty mouthed Dare swept me away to Boulder Co. this time and Madeline's crazy, sleep deprived life with her twin girls and globe...Read more