Hillary Huber and Erik Davies skillfully portray homicide investigators Joanna Brady and J.P. Beaumont as they chase down murder suspects, Brady in Arizona and Beaumont in Seattle. Huber's careful pacing and understatement capably match Brady's charm and down-to-earth investigative style. Likewise, Davies's vocal personality captures the edgy panache of the handsome Beaumont as he pursues a gruesome serial killer. The narrators excel at portraying the subtle attraction between Brady and Beaumont, which adds romantic tension when their cases cross state lines and jurisdictions. The production includes excellent characterizations of secondary characters, including those of a crime boss and an undocumented Mexican, and chillingly depicted autopsies.
©2009 J.A. Jance; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
I listened to the audio version. Hillary Huber and Erik Davies tag teamed their way through the book, but they don't have as much skill at presenting different voices as most of the audible performers, nor do they have the acting ability. Erik comes closest, leaving JP Beaumont only slightly wooden, and offering the typical Beau take on life. Hillary doesn't give Joanna Brady nearly as much spark as some other readers have in the past, and at times seems to be a little monotonal.
The story itself is adequate, but is not my favorite among the Brady and Beaumont books. Perhaps the next in the series is meant to carry on where this one left off, giving a more satisfactory result to the plot?
I like getting another update on the ongoing lives of both of these characters, but the connection between the two departments seemed a little forced. This story does build upon prior occurrences, but you don't need to have read those book(s) in order to fully understand things (however, it helps!).
Regarding the tag team readers, I've wondered how well this would work. In this case, it was nothing to write home about. Even though it's difficult for men to voice women characters, and vice versa, it's easier for most actor-readers to create a believable woman's voice. I prefer the books where a single performer does all the voices as opposed to the switch-back and forth system.
The wonderful part about audio, though, is that by the time I drove to and from work, squeezed in a few listens at breaks and lunch, and a little in the evening, I could finish the book in two days using the fast setting in the iPod.
The J.A. Jance books are my second-favorite for audio listening (first is the Rita Mae Brown library), but if my introduction had been this book, I might not have developed the deep fondness for the characters peopling her books. I have trouble remembering sometimes that all of them are imaginary...
I've enjoyed Jance's stories for many years, but this one left me wondering what happened to the rest of the book. When I got to the end, I had to go back and listen to the final few chapters again to see if I had missed something.
It seemed like she probably wrote a longer, more complete version and then the publisher said it had to be pared down to the current length, both in pages and the number of CDs the audio version would fit on.
So I am currently listening to the book and I am upset to find out that Gene Engene the Voice of all the J.P. Beaumont has been replaced. I would re-listen if he recorded it. Erik is ok but doesn't have the take no Sh*t sound that Gene has. I started with my audio book experience with this Series and now am sad that it ended this way.
As much as I like J A Jance especially Joanna and JP I did not like Hillary. We all have an image of what they may look like but she did not fit Joanna. Eric was great. I heard that JaJance is planning on getting rid of one of these and I hope it will not be Joanna as I live in Tucson and enjoy the books. Maybe the next one with them together will be Joanna going to Seattle.
The story was interesting and kept me going.
The way the stories wove together.
I thought Erik Davies did ok, but Hillary Huber didn't have spark or personality to me. This was the part of the book I didn't care for. Bring back Gene Engene....
I do not think I have ever been so bored listening to a J. A. Jance novel as I was listening to this one. Hillary Huber was boring, too bland and NO emotion. Erik Davies was a little better.
I love Gene Engene as J.P. Beaumont, there is no better in my opinion. I also prefer Yancy Butler as Joanna Brady.
This is a believable story , and Joanna does not put herself in harms way for a change. Fun to see her and Beaumont interact .
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I am a HUGE fan of J.P. Beaumont. But this book should be excluded from the series.
1. The narrators in this book were the worst I have ever heard. Hilary Huber sounds just like Siri, the voice in your cell phone. Almost no inflection, feeling or variance in tone or mood or volume. Erik Davies is better but not by much.
2. J.P. Beaumont is a great character; he has flaws but also humor and inner strength. He tells it like it is. Joanna Brady is TOO good, boring, and completing lacking in appeal. Whenever Ms. Jance pairs the two in a book (this is the second, I believe), the story suffers.
3. This story was dull. Period. I only finished the book because I like to be able to say I read the whole series.
Ms. Jance, drop Joanna Brady, get a better narrator and write a good story. You have done this many times before; I am counting on you to do it again.
This is classic J.A. Jance but it is hamstrung by mediocre performances at best. the voices are not up to standard and the local names are mispronounced. This is particularly frustrating given that the author is local.
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