When journalist Liam "Mick" Murphy lies to the chief of police in order to get a story, he uncovers a conspiracy to smuggle a cheap, lethal, cocaine-based drug through Key West. Before long, local authorities, federal agents, and drug-cartel hit men are looking for Murphy because of what they think he knows. With help from an eclectic group of friends, including an old black-ops acquaintance from Central America, Murphy sets out to prove who's behind the smuggling plot and distance himself from the violence that has spawned havoc on the island. This fast-paced story twists and turns like a hurricane wind. Listeners will enjoy a roller-coaster ride through Key West's backstreets and bars as only a local can show them.
©2012 Michael Haskins (P)2016 Kimberly Poppke
A thrill ride
From the opening lines, this book grabbed my attention and didn't let up. Start with well described locations, clearly drawn characters, add in a dash of drug running and cover it with some political corruption and you've got a classic page turner.
Dave Cruse does a wonderful job of giving voice to the myriad of characters that populate this mystery-thriller set in Key West. Being from the south myself, it's refreshing when a narrator can deliver characters that showcase the subtleties of the southern voice.
The book cover says mystery, but this book is more of a thriller. With more than a few jaw dropping "Wow I didn't see that coming" moments.
I look forward to more from Mick Murphy and more from Mr Dave Cruse.
Not the Kwisatz Haderach after all.
Free Range Institution by Michael Haskins is ten and a half hours of good fun, with a twisty plot, sharp surprises, a quirky setting, and interesting characters whom one would like to encounter again. The audiobook is lighthearted fare for long drives on interstate highways, which is where I listened to it. Narrator Dave Cruse has had a long career in radio broadcasting, and he read the book's narrative and descriptive passages well, as I expected he would. Free Range Institution is his first audiobook, and he produced solid vocal characterizations across a wide range. He can pass for a self-doubting, middle-aged, white American man, an old Irish former priest, and an African-American federal law enforcement officer. He's also a surprisingly sexy wise Latina. I couldn't give his narration five stars, because I'm a Simon Vance snob. But given the same material, I think I'd enjoy a steady diet of Dave Cruse's narration to a steady diet of Scott Brick's, and that's worth four stars.
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