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It is 2109 in Chicago and a double murder is discovered in Ping Tom Memorial Park. Investigating the crime is Frank Campanelli, a blind homicide detective who relies on bio-electronics to see and do his job. Together with his partner, Marcus Williams, a former Navy SEAL, the pair discovers that one of the two victims is the son of the local boss of the Tong, the most powerful Chinese gang in the city.
Tensions among the Tong, the other Chinese gangs, and factions of the mob rise as no one truly knows who is responsible. It is up to Detectives Campanelli and Williams to find the murderer before a gang war envelopes the city in this dystopian future.
Set in Chicago in 2109, Detective Frank Campanelli and his partner Detective Marcus Williams are investigating the death of two men. One is identified as a son, Wong, of a leading Chinese criminal family. The crime scene is lacking the expected amount of blood and this simple clue sets Campanelli and Williams on a hunt for a killer. Hopefully they will be able to catch the perpetrator before a war can break out between the lead criminal families of Chicago.
First, I really enjoyed Frank Campanelli. He’s blind and uses cybernetic implants to mimic eyesight, allowing him to live an independent and pretty normal life. This gives him a little different way of looking at some things, giving him the occasional edge in his work. He’s chosen to stay on Earth while much of the population has left for another habitable planet, Alethea. The whole story has a noir detective feel but it’s set in this kind of grungy future Chicago with cool SF tech. This mash up works really well for me.
Campanelli isn’t new to the area. He has contacts and relationships with people in the area, including Lei Wong, whose son has just turned up dead. He knows the best forensics people and his partner, Williams, is a gengineered navy SEAL. Despite Lei Wong being this crime boss, the author makes him very human. Campanelli has to deliver news of his son’s death. Despite Lei’s need to keep a strong face on, Campanelli can still see how this news pains him.
Now, there are few ladies present in this story and I wish there were a few more and they were doing something besides being romantic interests. Tam, Frank’s part-time girlfriend, has potential to be more in future books. I did like the main forensics lady and her geeky ways. The pacing of the story and the mystery were all good until right at the end. Now I didn’t mind the whodunit part but I did feel that the big reveal was rushed and it was very convenient for a character to provide all the answers. I would have liked the detectives to have sorted most of it out for themselves.
I received a free copy of this book.
The Narration: Tom Cooper did a pretty good job with this book. He’s great at playing a male noir detective. He also had a decent voice for Marcus Williams. I did have a little trouble hearing distinctions between the characters here and there, especially with minor characters. He was good at an elderly Lei Wong and his pacing was good as well. His female characters could use a bit more femininity.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair to your friends? Why or why not?
Yes. Couple of my friends like this sort of stories. I will definitely recommend this book to them.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Yes, the narrator did a good job that way.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Not really. This sort of stories are good for books or maybe a mini-series on tv. Not really a movie material.
Any additional comments?
The Chinese gang, the murder mystery and impending war - all gave the book a mix of daredevil and gotham vibes. At places, the "set in future" plot sounded like it is setup like that just for the heck of it. But otherwise, the story was passable as an ok, one time listen.<br/><br/>A review copy was gifted to me at no charge. In return, I am happy to provide an honest review. Also at no charge.
This book is based after the majority of the earths population has left earth to settle on a new planet. The shift in population has had a distinct impact on the people who remain on earth with many things previously taken for granted now expensive, rare or of lesser quality/technology. The world building is impressive and seems like it could be real.
It's in this world that we meet Campanelli a police detective who is trying to solve the murder of the son of a Chinese crime family. The setting makes the story more interesting and creates twists that I wasn't expecting.
The book is stand alone so you don't need to have read other related books. While it is essentially a mystery book it also contains sci-fi elements because it's based in earths future.
Tom's narration was nice and smooth and I liked how he did the character voices.
This book was supplied free by the author/narrator/publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.
If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below, thanks.
Well done, Frederick H. Crook. A taught dark futuristic story that will stay with you long after Tom Cooper,s fine narration is over. A good effort all around with the promise of more to come. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
What did you love best about Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair?
I like Noir. This was a futuristic setting with futuristic scientific equipment. Forget about that though. The mystery was well done. I liked the writing and wish for more!
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
It did actually. That's hard to do too. The setting was unique and as such left the story development wide open.
Have you listened to any of Tom Cooper’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I haven't. He did a very good job. Clear speaking voice, good dramatic timing, good distinctive voice for the individual characters. <br/>He didn't get in the way of the story. That's a complement. I listen to a lot of audio books where the narrator over shadows the story telling. Often it detracts from my enjoyment and the gist of a book. Tom Cooper did a good job!
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The book entertained me. I wish it were longer.
Any additional comments?
I appreciate the opportunity to listen to and review this work.<br/><br/>I would like to see the work lengthened and developed further! This is a very good short story. I liked the characters and the setting and the type of writing.<br/><br/><br/>FOR THOSE THAT THIS IS IMPORTANT: THERE ARE SOME PROFANITIES. They didn't distract from the story for me or was I bothered by it. Just a HEADS UP!<br/><br/>A review copy was gifted to me at no charge. In return, I am happy to provide an honest review. Also at no charge.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
I really enjoyed this novel! I loved the aspect that the majority of Earth’s population had settled on a different planet. The world building was spectacular and intricate.
Campanella himself was a brilliant character who was incredibly interesting and has his flaws.
This book feels like what the people left behind in the Movie Passengers must feel like in a few decades.The earths inhabitants have expanded and the majority have moved to another planet. Those left behind get the dregs of food.technology and all the little every day things.It has a distinct dystopian flavor to it.Campanelli is a detective,a detective trying to solve a murder in this world that seems so washed out. Tom Cooper is excellent. A good range of voices and the right tone for the story.It’s an eye-opener. I realized upon reading that I might have been indifferent or dismissive or downright judgmental regarding some world creation (this sounds weird, I know, but you’ll get it once you read). I never fully grasped some scenarios or some perspectives, but Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair It changed me, undoubtedly. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.As always this is my honest opinion .
The future is bright unless you get left behind on Earth and this is where this story is set. The whole world, the characters all feel as if they have weight, history and have lives outside of what we see in this story. The world feels rundown, tired like it needs some repair work and more than a fresh coat of paint of two but it is still people's homes and they still have a life there. Frederick H. Crook has done a great job writing the characters and crafting a believable world.
Tom Cooper has nailed the narration for this book, it fits both the tone of the story and the characters,
This audiobooks only flaw is how short it is I would love it listen to more stories in this world or maybe even see a TV show set here.
I was happy with the time I spent listening to this book and it is well worth a listen.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.