Murder Inside the Beltway

Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Series: Capital Crimes, Book 24
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Washington call girl is found bludgeoned to death in her Adams-Morgan apartment. As police detectives scour the apartment, they find a digital video camera nestled high among books on a shelf. Had she used the camera to video some of her clients during their sexual romps?

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.

©2008 Margaret Truman (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Political Cynicism from One who Ought to Know

"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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Political Listen

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Awful Narrator

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Read don't listen

Thought I'd give Ms. Truman a try because I'm moving to DC and that's where she sets her stories. Sometimes, authors weave in local detail and I have found murder mysteries to be a fun way to learn cultural details - for example the Rei Shimura mysteries do that for Japan. In this case, however, all you learn is that Washington is a swamp, politicians are corrupt and some police officers are corrupt too - more cliche than revelation. The plot is completely predictable and the characters are stock figures, but that's become the norm for most of these mystery series...So the story is not great, but could have been sufficiently diverting, had it not been for the narrator. He made it impossible to get into the story for more than a minute before his next attempted voice change causes you to shake your head in disbelief once more. In his effort to distinguish among male and female, adult and child, he ends up making caricatures of all of them. Sometimes the performer has trouble with the opposite gender, but he even manages to make the men sound unrealistic. They all sound like they have laryngitis while for the women he resorts to high pitch stereotype, which leaves him at a loss for the child, who then has to sound like a lisping dolt. He obviously was working hard, but less would have been more here and I hope he ratchets it way down next time.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Cop Bad Cop, Good Politician Bad Politician!!

What did you love best about Murder Inside the Beltway?

The pacing of the story was great. Fast, then slow or a little dragged out for emphasis. It worked well.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, twist and turns throughout. Just when you think you got it here comes another turn. Now your on a path to soliving ... here comes a twist. Love it, love it, love it... You will too.,

Have you listened to any of Patrick Lawlor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Never heard him read before. He actually did OK. He was able to make each character distinctively different from each other. Nice pacing. Good Job.....

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

All's fair in politics and parenting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful who done it.

What did you love best about Murder Inside the Beltway?

Characters are quickly clear, concise, then developed to be more complex as they are effected by the story.

What did you like best about this story?

The realism of the characters. They are revealed as the story goes on, as in real life. The more the story unfolds, the more sides and depth we see of the main characters.

Have you listened to any of Patrick Lawlor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Can't wait to try more! picking out the next one today !