I purchased this one accidentally. I meant to get Hard Time which is narrated by Jean Smart. When I fired this one up the other day, I was in for a shock. Sandra Burr, who unfortunately seems to have narrated quite a few V.I. Warshawski audiobooks (which means I'm going to miss out on a lot of them), makes Vic sound like a wide-eyed little girl, or a Stepford Wife. The edge, the wit, and the tough as nails femininity is completely absent. She makes Vic sound like she's on mood stabilizers, and the mood of the story is ruined. When V.I. gets into a heated discussion with one of the other characters, she "shoots back" with a retort, but she could have been talking about how nice sunny days are when the sky is blue. Yes, it's that bad. Unless you're really hard up for a V.I. Warshawski novel, I suggest you skip this and pick up the ones by Jean Smart. Smart nails Vic perfectly.
This is one of those V.I. Warshawski stories that kept me right on the edge of my seat. I listened to this while commuting to and from work over a period of a few weeks. I found myself white knuckling the steering wheel during the really tense parts... and occasionally taking the long way home just to listen to more. V.I. goes through hell in this one, and takes her closest confidants with her. There is little Lotty in this one, but when she does show, the scenes are packed with emotion that seizes your heart. We are treated to quite a bit of Mr. Contreras and Peppy and Mitch, though. Jean Smart does the best narration of the V.I. novels, in my opinion, with Susan Ericksen falling a close second.
For those who are passingly familiar with the V.I. timeline, this is book 9, and the book in which she meets Morrell.
This is a very entertaining selection of V.I. Warshawski short stories. But, even the best books can be ruined by poor narration. You needn't worry with Jean Smart. She nails Victoria Iphigenia's attitude, wit, strength, and vulnerability. The characterization is perfect. Additionally, she does extremely well with the rest of the characters, particularly when it comes to Lottie's and Max's accents. Reading the books is a real treat, but listening to Jean Smart narrate them is a true pleasure. Well worth a purchase if you like the preternatural female private investigator.
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