This is a review of the Audio Book version of Mecca by William Deverell|. The book was originally published in 1983 and is sadly out of print ... except for the audio book version, which has just been released.
The story is somewhat dated, in that it may take listeners a few minutes, and perhaps an internet connection, to figure out who the FLQ were, for example, but the story holds up to the test of time. It's easy to relate to terrorism, corrupt government officials, crooked politicians ... hummm, maybe we really haven't come that far in 30 years. Slack Sawchuck is a former member of a terrorist group who agrees to infiltrate the Rotkommando in exchange for a full pardon, with pension. The story blends action with humor, and pulls it off in a spectacular fashion. More than anything, it is the characters in the novel, their motivations and their evolution that make the story so enjoyable. Highly recommended.
What makes it exceptional is the performance that Steve Scherf and Beverley Elliott provide. I love listening to books narrated by this duo. Even with a large cast of characters, Scherf provides unique accents, inflections and mannerisms to each, and does this in a way that never detracts from the novel itself. For a novel that is really focused on characters this becomes a fine line to navigate, and they really nail this. It's always a pleasure to hear these two bring novels to life, and in this case, it's another 5 star performance.
I'd highly recommend this audio book.