The Ariana Franklin _Mistress of the Art of Death_ series is just outstanding. This one switched narrators on me, but once I got used to the new voice, I liked her just as well.
I always thought I was in favor of the death penalty, but now not so sure....
Sara Paretsky is an excellent writer. I have read most of the V.I. Warshawski series, and I was really looking forward to this installment in audiobook form. Unfortunately, they hired Jean Smart to read the book, and thus completely ruined the experience.
First of all, Jean Smart has a Southern accent. I have no problem with that, per se, since I have one, too, but who hires a Southerner to give voice to a native Midwesterner?
I could have gotten past the miscasting problem, but Ms. Smart just does a horrendous job of reading. She speaks hurriedly in many spots, while slowing down to turtle speed in others. She also gets the expression all wrong, pauses in odd places, puts emphasis in the wrong places, and has NO sense of character differentiation. The only two characters in the whole book that one could tell apart are V.I. and Mr. Contreras... In the dialogues between Morrell and V.I., I couldn't tell which character was saying what!
Ms. Smart is a good actress that I have admired since the "Designing Women" days, but she needs to stick to stage and screen work. For my part, I won't be buying any more audiobooks for which she does the reading.
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