Madeline Dare trades New York's gritty streets for the tree-lined avenues of Boulder, Colorado, when her husband, Dean, lands a promising job. Madeline, now a full-time homemaker and mother to beautiful toddler twin girls, has achieved everything she thought she always wanted, but with her husband constantly on the road, she's fighting a losing battle against the Betty Friedan riptide of suburban/maternal exhaustion, angst, and sheer loneliness.
A new freelance newspaper gig helps her get her mojo back, but Boulder isn't nearly as tranquil as it seems: There's a serial arsonist at large in the city. As Madeline closes in on the culprit, the fires turn deadly - and the stakes tragically personal. She'll need every ounce of strength and courage she has to keep the flames from reaching her own doorstep, threatening all she holds most dear.
©2012 Cornelia Read (P)2012 Hachette Audio
Followers of Madeline Dare will want to tune in-- Read's snappy prose and Huber's pitch-perfect narration are again an unbeatable combination. But it's not what you might expect based on previous books in the series. The mystery takes a back seat to Madeline's personal life, which is taking a turn for the bleak.
At the same time, there are places where the crackling, dry humor of the writing and delivery will have you in stitches. I laughed so hard I sometimes had to pause the audiobook as Madeline dealt with the intense glamor of new motherhood, especially in the first 2/3 of the story. And the irony of a crime-fighting babe with babes in tow is perfect fodder for Read's wicked humor and flare for yanking the wig off ordinary absurdities.
Nutshell: If you're looking for a thriller along the lines of the first three in the series, this isn't. If it's Madeline Dare you're after, click already. After all, can we really desert a heroine so willing to give correctness, and bad guys, a hearty kick in the ass as Madeline just because life sometimes sucks? I found I couldn't.
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