Douglas Wheeler worked for the NSA as a Systems Analysis and wanted to leave. The NSA would not allow him to quit, so he stole some very damning documents on some very important people from the NSA and blackmailed the Agency into allowing him to depart. Douglas had traveled to England many times previous and when he won his freedom he immigrated there to write books. The NSA began a program of clandestine investigation into Douglas and where he had stored his files so they could retrieve them and prosecute Douglas for his crime. They could not kill Douglas, because they feared he had a trigger on the information. If they killed him the trigger would release the info to news and other organizations around the world, much like Edward Snowden (Douglas, in fact, trained Edward Snowden when Snowden came to work at the NSA). As long as Douglas was alive they could take their time in their investigation. But Douglas dies accidentally. And this sets in motion an intensive hunt for Douglas's stolen files.
A few very powerful men from Political Action Committees used their connections at the FBI to send a rogue team of FBI agents to intercept Douglas' stolen documents from the formal Security Council's investigators and destroy certain specific files incriminating their possible presidential candidate before the official investigative team can retrieve them. However, since the FBI only has National authority, not International authority, and could not legally investigate for themselves, the Rogue team manipulated our hero, the celebrated investigative reporter, Elliott Lawder, into going to England, under the guise of investigating a bogus drug ring, to see what he could uncover.
Elliott Lawder is an investigative reporter of some popularity, and good at his job, which is why he gets chosen by the FBI to go undercover and operate for them out of the country, apparently to uncover a drug ring, but actually to see if he'll accidentally turn up some evidence relating to an old case that the Bureau is reluctant to let him - or anyone else - in on.
Kate Lambert (our heroine) is an intriguing, if a bit ditsy, protagonist. An orphan living on the streets, she keeps having strange men show up in her life, following and occasionally befriending her, but she doesn't know what is going on. When Elliott starts hanging around and asking questions things begin to get interesting. After an apparent attempt on her life she and Elliott go into hiding until they can figure out why.
Track Three has a good premise, good characters, and fairly strong writing. It suffers, in my opinion, from not one, but two, semi lengthy prologues that seems irrelevant for much of the book (They does eventually get tied in satisfactorily), slow pacing during the first half, and a couple subplots involving Elliott's family and a sort-of-kind-of girlfriend that have little bearing on the story and don't get resolved in the end. The story as a whole is quite good, but a little disconnected and tricky to follow in spots.
There is some language, as well as a couple mild sexual scenes.
The production quality of this audiobook is good, nothing out of the ordinary for Audible. Consistent volume, clear speech, no effects or music.
T. Anthony Quinn is a solid reader. I've listened to him on this project, as well as Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson. His voice is a little breathy, and "matter of fact" in tone. He executes military style books rather well, and his voices are distinct if not memorable. He doesn't particularly add or detract from the overall experience in my opinion.
To finish, I liked the book. It was a fun listen, and I'd been willing to read another by Gibson.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
11 of 15 people found this review helpful
Note: In exchange for an unbiased review, the author, publisher, and/or narrator were kind enough to provide an audio version of this book at no charge via AudiobookBoom.
The premise of this story was interesting, and it never really left me with a feeling of boredom or anything like that. Some audiobooks can be so torturous that you either can't wait for it to be over, or you just have to quit listening. This wasn't one of those times, but there were some issues that knocked the rating down a bit for me.
One was the narrator. He wasn't terrible (with regard to acting), but there were numerous times throughout the book that he would slur his lines or say a word incorrectly or sound like he was reading the content for the first time upon recording (almost as if his eyes were jumping ahead to stay abreast of what was going on but his voice hadn't caught up). If it had happened only once or twice I don't think I would have noticed too much. But it occurred frequently to the point of being a distraction.
There were also some points story-wise that bothered me. Like how certain things were conveniently figured out in a way that stretched reality a bit too much (such as with the tattoo). And the unfinished feel to other parts (like the brother/mother - what was up with that?).
Overall, though, the story was pretty good. Like I said, I wasn't bored to tears or anything, but some things felt like they needed to be fleshed out more or polished up better. Another listener may have a completely different experience - that's the way it goes sometimes.
What did you love best about Track Three?
This was a very enjoyable listen which drew me into itself in the early opening sequences. The humour behind the idea of the bizarre death of a prominent novelist during his musings on how to murder his latest protagonist, and the way this was accomplished, was delightful. As the story unfolds, the background stories of other of the players are also intriguing. Unfortunately, most of these threads go no further - the editor's tumultuous home life as well as that of our hero-to-be, Elliott Lawder, for example - or simply provide a distraction from the main story line. Perhaps in a future book ... ?
What about T. Anthony Quinn’s performance did you like?
Mr.Quinn's narration was steady and pleasant to hear. He excelled in the conversational exchanges and, although his gentle attempt at a London accent for his Street working heroine was completely wide of the mark, this did not become problematic even to me (a Brit) as it was so lightly touched upon and quickly faded into being just another, easily identifiable voice. His reading gave a depth of emotion, at times, which helped bring the main protagonists to life in a way the mere writing alone would not have achieved.
Any additional comments?
Although hedged around by numerous sub plots, the main story is simple. An American investigative reporter reluctantly agrees to travel to London to follow up on a drugs story imposed on his editor by the FBI. His task: to keep watch on a young woman, who appears to be a street hustler, and note her contacts to break the drug ring. As days go by without an signs of the validity of the drug story, he finally gets to know this quirky girl and together they go on the run as they try to discover why she is being targeted by the FBI.A mystery to be solved, a bullet dodging thrill of the chase, interesting protagonists and a touch of the inevitable romance. Good fun. Believable? Not really, but when has that ever stopped a good book?
My thanks to the right's holder of Track Three for the complimentary review copy I received, via Audiobook Boom.