The sad, world-weary voice of the narrator enhances the written work. I'd heard about James Lee Burke's books, but the few times I tried to read one I soon lost interest. Now, with Mark Hammer's narration, the book comes to life, the spirit behind the words has substance. I've since listened to Sunset Limited and am now trying to decide which Burke book to download next from Audible.com.
This wonderful woman knew and helped and was helped by three of the now dead heroes of my youth--James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. And she was in Watts interviewing housewives for a marketing company when the citizens started burning and looting the stores. In short, she was intimately involved in many major events of our recent past; she knew both the leaders and the followers and has the skill as a writer to tell us how she and they reacted to those events. In addition, she has a great voice (she also sang professionally), which she uses to fine effect as the reader of her own book. Paraphrasing Holden Caulfield, I just wish I could call her up and ask her what's been happening lately. Buy this audio book; listen to her; you'll feel like you've been blessed for having done so.
Will Patton's strong narration helps carry the book. Perhaps the unabridged version is better. Still, it's a Burke book, and his less than best is still pretty good. A lot of action, a quick pace, mean characters with just enough humanity so that a reader can feel some remorse for their passing, wonderful dialog, which Burke know how to end on deft note, all the good things Burke regularly delivers are here. So buy it; you'll not be sorry you did.
Perhaps the saddest tale of this series. Dave's wife has died; he's tempted to start drinking again, a priest trying to save the soul of a hit man moves in with Dave, Dave keeps taking wrong turns in his search for the bad guy, the "good" people have serious faults, some of the "bad" guys have redeeming virtues, and I kept listening even when I should have gone to bed. The narrator's world weary voice is dead, solid perfect as the tired-of-life but dedicated detective.
Up close and personal, as honest as any successful politician can be. Less spin than I had expected, far less than in the screeds of those who hate her and her husband.
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