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Chiefs Audiobook

Chiefs

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Publisher's Summary

In 1919, Delano, Georgia, appoints its first chief of police. Honest and hardworking, the new chief is puzzled when young men start to disappear. But his investigation is ended by the fatal blast from a shotgun. Delano's second chief-of-police is no hero, yet he is also disturbed by what he sees in the missing-persons bulletins. In 1969, when Delano's third chief takes over, the unsolved disappearances still haunt the police files.

Author Stuart Woods' riveting novel spans three generations while also probing deep into Southern small-town attitudes and behavior. The residents of Delano, with their reluctance to disturb a familiar social order, provide the perfect backdrop for this tale of dark secrets and murder.

Over 40 years ago, Woods found a battered chief-of-police badge in his grandmother's house. It had belonged to his grandfather, who had been shot in the line of duty. The story of the lawman's death inspired Woods to write Chiefs, which won an Edgar Award and was made into a popular TV miniseries.

©1981 Stuart Woods; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"A riveting story of the Deep South that mixes murder mystery with political intrigue." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fascinating, compelling tale." (The New York Times)
"The homey wisdom of [Hammer's] voice, coupled with Woods's engaging story, makes this audiobook memorable." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (2799 )
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4.4 (2084 )
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  •  
    Amanda 07-27-15
    Amanda 07-27-15

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Mixed feelings."

    Ok so right off this book is slow, like really slow. However, the pace of the book gives authenticity to the setting of the story. It takes place over 50 years in a small Georgia town. This book was heavy on politics and civil rights with an undertone of murder mystery instead of a full blown murder mystery, which was more what I had expected and my typical style. The characters were well developed though and part of my frustration had to do with the historical aspects on how many whites treated blacks. That is a very very heavy theme in the book and a little too much reality for me. I like my fiction to be more fiction than fact.

    The narrator did do a good job with the accent, however he sounded older than the characters he was portraying. He did a great job with the 60+ voices but the main characters were typically in their 30s. He also was horrid at british/irish accents, luckily that specific character didn't have a ton of lines. You could also hear him licking his lips a bit and the editing was hit or miss. Some chapters had super long pauses in between and others were right on top of each other.

    All in all, it wasn't a bad story, just not what I had expected by reading reviews and the summary. I did find myself unable to put it down for long and getting very involved in the characters. I typically don't get through a 17 hour book in a week, but that's basically what I did, so although its slow, it will suck you in.

    Maybe not a repeat listen but definitely worth a listen once.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 12-16-11
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 12-16-11 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

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    "Genius! 5 Stars!"

    This is only the second five star book I've listened to (All The King's Men by the great Robert Penn Warren was the first). It is a masterpiece. First off.. the plot is watertight. A thriller murder mystery, political drama, and police procedural that holds your attention rigid throughout. But... while good enough, this novel is so much more than well crafted... it borders upon being one of the Great American Novels.

    These characters are so spot on perfect. Deep yet simple... Good smack up against evil. Each side scores devastating punches. Frequently I gasped.

    And the historic sweep is essential to every nuance of the developing ensemble. In fact the sense of place and evolving moment are.. well part of the ensemble each sewn together into a tapestry of emotion.

    When the pitch-perfect reader Mark Hammer muttered... "The End"... I moaned, close to tears. "NO!" I exhaled, "You've got to take me farther along the development of the town of Delano. I need the next generation. Don't leave me." And yet... yet.... Stuart Woods ended at the perfect moment for my imagination and emotions to continue to ride the story arc on my own. I'll wonder now for the rest of my life about the Chiefs, their friends, and their enemies.

    Art without wonder is merely craft.

    Stuart Woods is our Robert Penn Warren. Hmmm... did I write "Borders upon being one of the great American novels?" Thats a very very very thin border. Yeah.... 5 stars!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Huntsville, ON, Canada 05-18-07
    John Huntsville, ON, Canada 05-18-07
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    "fun4gracie"

    I've read all of Stuart Woods books over the years and this by far is his best work. This book contained some of Stuart's own family history and it was definately written from the heart. Read all of his other books if you want a great read you can't put down. His style flows without huge descriptive sections that can put you to sleep. By far my favorite author.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Galax, VA, United States 04-28-13
    Jan Galax, VA, United States 04-28-13 Member Since 2002
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    "Stuart Woods before he Turned Bad"

    Woods wrote two or three amazing books before he devolved into the James Patterson-like, formulaic book a year for the money-type author (Stone Barrington-drechhhh). This book is a total classic, great characters, intricate and compelling plot line, awesome story telling and a very satisfying long length. An interesting picture of the old south in a small town in rural Georgia.

    I read the book back when it first came out, and bought the audiobook recently on a whim during a down month for new titles with an about to expire credit. I was not disappointed.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Pleasant Hill, CA, USA 01-26-08
    Cheryl Pleasant Hill, CA, USA 01-26-08 Member Since 2005
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    "A 2 lane highway in the hills"

    This book is like a 2 lane country highway through the hills, you can't go fast, but whenever you get tired of the pace, a hill appears and you have to know what's on the other side.
    The narrator does a very nice job - reminds me of George G.

    I'm sure if I'd read this in hard copy I would have "cheated" and skipped ahead to see if the fox gets his ears pinned.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HCM 04-29-07
    HCM 04-29-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Slow but good"

    I wanted to comment on the slow reading other reviewers have mentioned. I groaned when this book started. I thought the reader was reading too slow and his voice sounded too old for the story, but it became one of those audio books I never wanted to end. I got absorbed into the lives of the people in the book. I adjusted the audio book speed of my ipod, but I quickly changed it back. The readers slow reading seemed to make the story better for me.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-17-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-17-13 Member Since 2017

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great story"

    This book was written in 1981 and won the Edgar Award. After listening to it I sure can see why it received the award and how it launched Woods career. I also under stand that in the 1980's CBS made it into a mini-series starring Charles Heston. The book is the first one in a series about Will Lee. The book opens up in 1919 Delano Georgia (near warm Springs --FDR died there) with the appointment of the first police chief of Delano, a farmer Will Henry Lee it covers his years as Chief and his accumulating evidence on two boys who were murdered and his suspicions of Foxy Furderburke as the murder. Lee was shot down in line of duty and the next Chief was Sonny Butts a returning WWI solder he added to the file on Foxy but he had problems, you need to read the story, I do not want to give away the story. Tucker Watts became the third Chief and the first black, he also is a Army veteran. His term was in the 1950-60 and time of Civil Rights in the South. Lots of action, suspense, politics, family interaction, history and life in a small town in the racial divided South. Woods took the time to build the characters and the background in the story as it is the beginning of a series. The Narrator Mark Hammer did a great job. His voice is familiar to me but I can not place it. I shall download the second book in the series, I hope it will be as good as this one.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Think about this 06-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Are they ever going to catch that guy?"

    Read the book, or listen to get my headline question answered. This is a very good book, to start a series of novels about generations of the Lee family. It's actually about 3 separate and very different police chiefs, starting with the first police chief of Delano, Ga. They end up with one case in common.
    The book spans approximately 50 years, and can be a very disturbing look at life in the old south. I found myself emotionally involved and fearful for the characters at times. That fear is well founded, as anything can happen.
    It's a long narration, read rather slow, so I did skip back and forth with reading and listening, but didn't mind. It was well worth my time.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-20-13
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2010

    MTF

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    "Riveting crime fiction!"

    This amazing novel of murder and racism in a small southern town grabbed me and did not let me go. It takes place at three different times, in the 20's, 40's and 60's, with different chiefs of police in Delano Georgia playing a big part in each segment. Each shift in times brings about both a continuity of characters as well as new ones. This novel starts at a slow pace, introducing the reader to the characters and way of life without rushing into the crimes that would run throughout the novel. I found myself caring about the characters, making gut-wrenching tragedy so much more powerful. I don't want to give away any plot details, so I will not say more. I have read a lot of crime fiction in my life, and find myself a little bored with so many popular novels of that genre now. Not this. "Chiefs" is one of the best crime novels that I have either read or listened to. I so wanted the experience to last, but I was driven to listen so much that I finished this novel much too soon. At first, I did not like the reader. He spoke too slowly, but gradually I got used to his slow drawl and found it added to the authentic atmosphere. I give this story a 5+!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Katz 02-12-12
    Janet Katz 02-12-12 Member Since 2006

    Avid listener of mysteries, thrillers, a little sci fi. Also enjoy self improvement titles. Mom, wife, Social Media Coordinator for biz.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long and a little slow in narration, but worth it!"

    This book is a bit epic as it spans 40+ years. However, now that I have finished it, I realize that I truly enjoyed it. Yes, Mark Hammer speaks very slowly and makes everyone sound 65 years old, but since so many characters age so much in the course of the story, it is appropriate.
    The story is well crafted with plenty of dramatic and even comedic points. If you are looking for a who-dunnit, this is not it.
    Characters are fascinating and different and well thought out. I recommend this audiobook.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • Bryan
    MineheadUnited Kingdom
    4/10/07
    Overall
    "Absolutely excellent"

    This is a very fine novel, not just a thriller or crime novel, but a terrific book. Fans of Cormac McCarthy will love both the story and the writing style, as slow as the South but always gripping. The reader is superb and if I could give this book 6 stars I would - listen to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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