• Penance

  • A Mysterious Press-HighBridge Audio Classic
  • By: David Housewright
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Penance  By  cover art

Penance

By: David Housewright
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
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Publisher's Summary

Holland Taylor is comfortable in interrogation rooms. For years the cold, dark cells of the St. Paul Police Department homicide squad were his turf, and with the help of his partner he wrung confessions out of countless killers. But that was long ago. Tonight Taylor is on the other side of the desk. Tonight he is the suspect.

Taylor's career in the department ended after his wife and daughter were killed in a drunk driving accident. The culprit, John Brown, was sentenced to a measly six years for vehicular manslaughter, and Taylor vowed bloody vengeance in front of open court. After a few months of freedom, Brown is shot dead, and Taylor, now a private investigator, is called in as the obvious suspect.

The death turns out to be linked to Taylor's current case, involving state representative and gubernatorial candidate Carol Catherine Monroe, who is being blackmailed by an old boyfriend. He didn't kill John Brown, but he will find out who did even if it means tearing the Twin Cities apart from the inside out.

©1995 David Housewright (P)2012 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"A surprisingly accomplished first novel with a likable everyman protagonist and a clever plot." ( Booklist)
"An intriguing, darkly pessimistic take on American politics and media." ( Publishers Weekly)
"As long as authors like David Housewright build first novels as good as Edgar-winner Penance, readers will come." ( The Armchair Detective)

What listeners say about Penance

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent modern detective novel!

I decided this morning (April 22) that I wanted to listen to a novel of the modern detective genre narrated by R.C. Bray. The oldest one I found with Bray narrating that was not already in my Audible library was PENANCE by David Housewright which was released in audio early in 2013 which was about a year after Bray started narrating. It turns out that the original novel was released in 1995 and it is the first novel written by Housewright. Then I remembered that Audible listener Shelley had reviewed two novels in Housewright's Mac McKenzie series during the last month one of which I have already purchased.

In any case the real treat of Penance is Bray's narration but the novel is also excellent. Like all of Housewright's novels this one is set in Minnesota's twin cities. I'll likely listen to other novels in the PI Holland Taylor series. Unfortunately Bray does not narrate them.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A great start to a new series from David Housewrig

A great start to a new series featuring PI Holland Taylor. This is my first book from David Housewright, it started at an easy pace, gradually drawing me in as characters and the story developed and I got used to narrator RC Bray. When the drunk driver who killed Holland Taylor's family is released and found dead Taylor is initially questioned and decides to look into the circumstances surrounding the death. There are links to a political campaign and as he pieces together the roles, relationships and potential motives of the various people involved more bodies are discovered and it is less clear just what is going on and who is responsible. A well written book with plot twists and surprised right up to the end. This one went into the top tier of my library and I look forward to the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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PRETTY GOOD

Pretty good, pretty good. Sometimes very funny, a little draggy at other times. A lot of characters, a little difficult to keep them all straight! Terrific narration: excellent job with all the different dialects and accents, so that is a big entertainment plus for the overall story. More like performance than narration, often sounding like more than just one person narrating. Snappy dialogue, a worthwhile listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Pronunciation of towns in Minnesota

The narrator was excellent but in the future I wish he would check with the author re how to pronounce names of towns, such as Mankato, Edina, Nicollet Mall.

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Very Good First Novel

There were maybe a few too many characters, but this is overall an entertaining story.

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Fun with little twists in plot

Enjoyed the book, I love reading MN authors. Love hearing places I now. However, I get upset when the narratorakes mistakes on city names! So easy to Google pronunciation city state, and in 1 second you are sure. Maybe it should be the director who does it... I don't know, sure puts the author in a bad light as well.
The narrator also opted for a tired weary voice. Don't think that was called for. But as I said in the beginning, it had some fun twists.