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Editorial Reviews

Paul Levine’s thriller follows lawyer Jimmy "Royal" Payne as he flees painful memories as well as angry men looking to inflict real physical pain. Bad luck and poor decisions have led him to this dark place when he meets Tino Perez, a 12-year-old Mexican illegal immigrant whose mother has gone missing while crossing the border. To help young Tino, Payne must enter a world of human trafficking, rape, and murder in this hard-boiled edge-of-your-seat audiobook. Chris Ciulla lends the story a hard and fast performance with a touch of cynicism that Royal wears like badge. This is a modern thriller whose sordid backdrop is described in great detail and which you won't want to pause.

Publisher's Summary

Trial lawyer Jimmy “Royal” Payne was his own worst enemy - until now. Haunted by personal tragedy and wanted by the cops, Payne needs to skip town. What he doesn’t need is Tino Perez, a gutsy twelve-year-old Mexican boy in search of his missing - and undocumented - mother. But Payne’s ex-wife, an L.A.P.D. detective he still loves, makes him a deal: help the boy or go to jail. Soon Payne is following Tino into the darker side of the American dream. From bloody Mexicali to the bullet-ridden San Joaquin Valley, Payne is be swept into the dark current of illegal immigration, human trafficking, and sexual slavery - all the while, navigating the twisted border between justice and revenge.

©2013 Paul Levine (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-31-16

Great opening chapters; very vivid characters!

There is a lot to like about Illegal. The book starts off with a great scene and the characters are vivid. Although the protagonist is a lawyer, the novel is really an action thriller rather than a legal thriller. One the negative side the novel gets repetitive and boring in the middle chapters of the book; nevertheless, based on the strength of the opening and closing chapters Illegal earns a solid 4 star rating.

RECOMMENDED!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • LA Bos
  • STUDIO CITY, CA, United States
  • 03-26-14

Nice Legal Thriller

Would you consider the audio edition of Illegal to be better than the print version?

Yeah, I think so. The narrator did a great job with the tension, the situations, and the different people. It added a lot to the story, where your imagination may not take you there otherwise.

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

Yes. I didn't know what the outcome was going to be for Tino, for Jimmy, Marisol, etc. It had a really good mix of suspense and violence. Paul Levine is a good author.

Which character – as performed by Chris Andrew Ciulla – was your favorite?

Loved Jimmy Payne as the lead. Also liked Chitwood, and Simeon Rutledge.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Sad story about human trafficking and a scumbag rancher. But it's fiction. I'm cool with it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great listen and what an intense ride

Where does Illegal rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Second

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jimmy Payne. The intensity and cadence in the narrator's voice really portrayed Jimmy's internal straggle.

What about Chris Andrew Ciulla’s performance did you like?

He was completely dialed in to the performance. You could get on board with the listen because the narrator was so passionate.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No it was too long, but sad to end each session.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to more work from the narrator.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

A Great first book to listen to on Audible

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tino. I grew to love his responses to situations.

What about Chris Andrew Ciulla’s performance did you like?

I couldn't believe it was just him. I felt like there were many different people performing this story for me.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The ending made me cry because I got so invested in the relationship between Tino and his mother.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Review

It took me a long time to listen to it. I didn’t like all the profanity and Spanish in it.

  • Overall

Where's mama?

Fast moving with lots of crooked characters. Enjoyable rowdy romp to save a missing woman.

  • Overall
  • Story

Fairly realistic view of illegal immigration

Rutledge was a well-developed characteqr. I enjoyed the story. Narration was solid. Some of Payne's behavior was over the top and unrealistic, but hey - it's a story. Wish authors didn't feel need the need for so much graphic violence (but just a few in this book, which was great overall.)ĺ Appteciate how much detail was presented on various views of current border issues. Read and listen to this book!

  • Overall
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  • Story

Not one of the best stories, but not terrible

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It was okay. It didn't have the same wit and humor as Jake Lassiter and Solomon & Lord books, and the pace was a lot slower.

Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Levine? Why or why not?

of course, I've enjoyed several of his books.

What three words best describe Chris Andrew Ciulla’s voice?

He would be a great narrator for one of those crime shows on Investigation Discovery.

Could you see Illegal being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

probably Timonthy Olyphant as Payne...Mirielle Enos as his estranged wife....Ian McShane as Rutledge...not sure on the others.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacky
  • 02-08-16

A Good listen

I thought the moment I heard the Southern American accent used by Chris Ciulla, I was not going to enjoy this book - I do not like the Southern American accent at all it is normally very difficult to understand (as I suspect many UK accents are). However, the reading of this well crafted story was brilliant. It was not over dramatic but managed to purvey the highs and lows very well. The story of a rouge lawyer, who really gets away with more than is believable, but finds himself caught up in the conflicting desire to kill the man who was the cause of his son's death and caring for a Mexican child who is separated from his mother on crossing the border to the US. It did bring home to me the horror of these poor migrants and the misuse of them. A good book