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Alive in the Rose City

Dean Drake Mystery Series, Book 2
Narrated by: Thomas Block
Series: A Dean Drake Mystery, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning literary criminologist and bestselling crime novelist R. Barri Flowers, author of the acclaimed Dean Drake hard-boiled audio mystery Dead in the Rose City, comes the much-anticipated sequel, Alive in the Rose City (Dean Drake Mysteries, Book 2).  

Dean Jeremy Drake, a six-five, biracial private eye, nicknamed D.J., is once again up to his neck in danger, deception, and murder as he works three cases in Portland, Oregon, in the mid-1990s.  

The former Police Bureau homicide detective reluctantly agrees to be the bodyguard for a gorgeous lady named Bailey Carlyle, who claims to be on the run from her abusive boyfriend. When the boyfriend turns up dead and is identified as running a high-end call girl operation, the authorities point the finger at Bailey as a leading suspect in his murder, labeling her a jealous and vindictive prostitute. As he is seemingly her alibi, Drake works to prove Bailey’s innocence or guilt, possibly to his own detriment.  

He also looks into the alleged suicide of former gang member, Liam Henriquez, on behalf of his grief-stricken grandmother, who insists he would never have taken his own life. The police think otherwise, attributing the death to either depression or issues related to his old life.  

Lastly, Drake searches for a missing college student, Olivia McNamara, who is presumed dead by the police after disappearing without a trace months ago. Only her mother and stepfather believe she is still alive and hire Drake to try and prove it.  

Packing a .40 caliber Glock, along with sharp detective skills, raw nerve, and gut instincts, Drake follows the clues wherever they may lead with a never-quit attitude, in spite of the obstacles and peril that he faces the closer he gets to solving the cases.  

For fans of Dead in the Rose City, PI Dean Drake will be equally entertaining in Alive in the Rose City.  

Bonus material include a complete mystery short, "The Wrong End of a Gun," and excerpts of other crime novels by the author.

©2019 R. Barri Flowers (P)2019 R. Barri Flowers

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Odd Narration

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are mine.

This is the second book in the Dean Drake Mystery series. It is a standalone book [no cliffhanger ending]. I have not read the first book in the series but did not feel lost without having done so.

Here, Drake is a former police officer turned PI. He hangs out at jazz clubs and has a very cool vibe. He gets hired in three different cases - a murder, a possible homicide, and a missing person. Each of these cases could be a book on their own - explored and developed at a more leisurely pace. Instead, Drake moves from quickly solving one case to the next. While I really enjoyed Drake's character, I felt the cases were rushed to conclusion without sufficient exploration of the characters involved.

The narrator affected my enjoyment of this book. I think a narrator should compliment or elevate a book not distract. When a narrator and a book don't mesh, it's like a bad handshake [all you think about after initially meeting that person]. While this may not bother some, I was distracted by the narrator's pronunciations of certain words, such as homicide as "homo-side." He used different voices to distinguish characters - some better than others but Drake's character voice struck me as flat. I would have enjoyed it better had the narrator used his own voice for Drake [which was used in the narrative since it was 1st person]. Finally, the narrator would oddly emphasize words in a sentence. Questions sometimes turned in statements with his emphasis.