Then they discover a small, book-sized DVD case, full with the exception of two slots. Could they possibly get lucky? Is the murder on one of those disks?
As the investigation picks up steam, the business of Washington, D.C., rolls on. It's an election year and the sitting president, Burton Pyle, is running for a second term. His opponent, Robert Colgate, is odds-on to defeat Pyle, whose administration has been rife with corruption and scandal. And there's no love lost between Pyle and Colgate: The campaign has morphed into one of the most distasteful, nasty elections in memory.
Then, on a lovely Sunday afternoon on Washington's famed Mall, the daughter of Bob Colgate's closest confidant and advisor is kidnapped. The event rocks the city and bumps the investigation from the front page...until the detectives decide the two cases might be connected.
(P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Murder inside the Beltway" was Margaret Truman's final entry in her long-running Capital Crimes series. (She died in 2008 -- the year of this novel's publication -- although the popular series is now being continued by other authors.) All of the Capital Crimes novels are murder mysteries set in Washington, D.C., with its attendant political backdrop. I have listened to many of the Capitol Crimes audiobooks, and someday hope to listen to them all, in chronological order. (Most of them have not yet been recorded, and Audible does not carry many of those that have, as of this writing.) I have noticed that, as the series progressed, so did Ms Truman's cynicism with Washington politics. "Murder inside the Beltway" takes political cynicism to its inevitable conclusion. See if this quote from the novel reminds you of any recent events:
“The Pyle administration had set the standard for lying away its misdeeds: a callous economic policy, leaving millions behind; disastrous foreign incursions sold to the American public through out-and-out falsehoods; abject corruption in myriad agencies and departments; and a litany of disasters that would seem to ensure a one-term presidency.”
Regarding Washington politics, Margaret Truman frequently quotes her famous father's statement: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." As with the other Capital Crimes entries, in "Murder inside the Beltway" Truman weaves police procedurals in with the political shenanigans. Here, we have some police shenanigans woven in, as well, including a bad cop on the take. I deducted a star from my overall rating of this audiobook, only because the character development of this bad cop -- Walt Hatcher, a bigoted, foul-mouthed, corrupt veteran of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department -- has a sweet, but inconsistent and unbelievable relationship with his wife. Otherwise, "Murder inside the Beltway" has a well-developed, intriguing plot.
The narrator, Patrick Lawlor, does have an odd voice, as some other reviewers have pointed out; but he does have some acting chops, including the perfect, raspy voice for the unlikable Walt Hatcher. What he lacks in vocal repertoire he can frequently compensate for with inflection. I didn't mind his voice; but I suggest that, if you are contemplating purchasing this audiobook, you listen to the 4-minute sample that Audible provides, to see if Lawlor's voice bothers you. Otherwise, I recommend this audiobook to all mystery/thriller fans.
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Murder Inside the Beltway develops a story of murder and intrigue within a political backdrop. There are a few good twists and turns. The narrator takes some getting used to with his raspy voice. However, I would oonsider this a solid listen.
I liked that a family member did the narrating, but he talked so painfully slow, it was really annoying. That takes away from the enjoyment of the story, for me.
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