Story- 3.5 stars Narrated by Nicholas Bolton- 5 Star narration
I enjoyed this book very much until the last fourth. Then it was just ok. I felt the paci Story- 3.5 stars Narrated by Nicholas Bolton- 5 Star narration
I enjoyed this book very much until the last fourth. Then it was just ok. I felt the pacing got uneven and there was so much suddenly going on that it felt chaotic. Also, the campaign the British waged against the Irish seems to suddenly not be important in the couples future, even though it played suych a big part in the last section of the book. But overall it was fun and the narration was wonderful!!...more
In Midnight Baby, we jump back into Maggie’s life just about six months after the close of Telling Lies, the first in the Maggie MacGowen Mystery series. The book opens with Maggie, a well-known documentary filmmaker, and her cameraman attempting to interview a young prostitute going by the name of Pisces. Pisces is shadowed by an even younger boy called Sly, and after noticing that the two are being watched by someone in a red Corvette, Maggie gets the pair to reluctantly accept a meal and a bed at a local shelter run by nuns. Less than 48 hours later, Pisces is dead and Sly is the only witness to the murder.
Maggie feels a connection to the “lost girl” and she possibly has valuable evidence in the film she shot of Pisces. This reconnects Maggie with Detective Mike Flint. She started a relationship with Mike while investigating Maggie’s sister’s shooting (Telling Lies). We learn that they haven’t seen each other in six months, and, as they piece together the convoluted puzzle of this murder, Mike and Maggie also try to piece together the puzzle that is their relationship. The relationship story arc is still second to the mystery, but takes a larger role in this novel than the first. Hornsby weaves the romance and the mystery through the book with a deft hand, never obscuring one with the other. Instead, she uses the emotional forces originating from the tragic murder to interact with and subtly influence the emotions emanating from the revived relationship—and vice versa. The author seems to know emotions can’t be neatly separated into boxes or categories.
Donna Postel returns to narrate this second book of the series. Her narration is very like the first time—not overly dramatic or emotional in her delivery, but very professional and easy to listen to. It’s taken me a few minutes to become accustomed to her voice both times I’ve listened to her narrations. On first exposure, I feel like it’s a little flat – lacking animation. But that feeling passes quickly as I get pulled into the story. Postel’s differentiation of characters is often subtle, and when there are stretches of conversations with no dialog markers, the listener may get confused about who is talking. Since that only happens a few times in the book, it isn’t much of a problem.
As with Telling Lies, there are no cell phones in this story, and computers don’t play a role in solving the crime. This isn’t a problem for me. In fact, I enjoy police procedurals set before the current technological revolution because the brainwork of the investigators takes center stage. Think of this as a “period piece” set in the not-so-distant past, and you’ll be fine.
The mystery here is well worth the time. As Mike and Maggie unravel the mystery, each discovery leads to another question and the answers are often unexpected. The book is populated with intensely real people, shown with strengths, weaknesses, and fears we can all understand. I’m sold on the Maggie MacGowen Mysteries and can’t wait to listen to number three....more
Peter Berkrot is a new-to-me narrator and I wasn’t sure of him at first. He has a slightly gra3.5* Reviewed at audiogals.net.
Narrated by Peter Berkrot
Peter Berkrot is a new-to-me narrator and I wasn’t sure of him at first. He has a slightly gravelly voice that can’t be called soothing, but it did fit the suspense setting. As I listened, Peter’s voice became part of the story, and each time I came back to audiobook, the quality of his voice pulled me right back into the plot. Some narrators add to a story, some take away from the enjoyment, and there are still others that do neither. I would add Berkrot, at least for this book, to the last category. A listener may come to enjoy the gravelly voice as I did, but Berkrot’s inconsistent character voices and the occasional inability to distinguish between characters during conversations can be an issue.
Eli Landon comes back the Whiskey Beach to take care of Bluff House while his grandmother is in Boston recuperating from a fall. For the past year Eli, a former defense attorney, has been under suspicion of murdering his estranged wife. With his personal and professional lives in tatters, Eli wants to move on with his life. When it becomes clear the police don’t have enough evidence to bring charges against him, he is ready to escape the constant strain of Boston for the peace of Bluff House.
Abra Walsh has been his grandmother’s housekeeper and yoga instructor for several years, although Eli has never met her. Abra moved to Whiskey Beach for her own fresh start after a personal trauma. Their lives become intertwined while Eli lives at Bluff House’ and even more so after Abra is attacked by an intruder in the house one night. As the mysteries deepen, both around the recurring incidences at Bluff House and the murder of Eli’s wife, Eli and Abra become attracted to each other and tentatively start a relationship. Abra brings new life to Eli, and Eli brings trust back to Abra.
I like the way Nora Roberts writes suspense, and anyone who does is going to enjoy this latest effort. It has good characters, vivid descriptions, and enough twists and turns to keep a mystery lover happy. Whiskey Beach isn’t as good as The Witness; it feels a bit long and at times one doesn’t know whether the main plot is Eli’s recovery or solving the various mysteries, but perhaps that’s just as it should be. There is a cardboard character in the book named Detective Wolf that could have been left out, and a few other small plot issues, but the relationship between Abra and Eli is sweet and satisfying. I especially appreciate that when Eli and Abra are on the verge of a “big disagreement,” the author has these adult characters act like adults and actually talk. That scene is real, and the characters act believably. I wanted to high-five Nora Roberts right then!
The combination of Nora Roberts and Peter Berkrot worked well for this book. I would definitely listen to him again, just as I will definitely listen to future suspense novels by Nora Roberts....more