Playing Dead

A Novel
Narrated by: Madeleine Lambert
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (258 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Dear Tommie:
Have you ever wondered about who you are?”

The perfume-scented letter that turns Tommie McCloud’s world upside down arrives from a stranger only days after her father’s death. The woman who wrote it claims that Tommie is her daughter—and that she was kidnapped as a baby thirty-one years ago. Tommie wants to believe it’s all a hoax, but suddenly a girl who grew up on a Texas ranch finds herself inextricably linked to a horrific past: the slaughter of a family in Chicago, the murder of an Oklahoma beauty queen, and the kidnapping of a little girl named Adriana. Tommie races along a twisting, nightmarish path while an unseen stalker is determined to keep old secrets locked inside the dementia-battered brain of the woman who Tommie always thought was her real mother. With everything she has ever believed in question, and no one she can trust, Tommie must discover the truth about the girl who vanished—and the very real threats that still remain.

©2012 Julia Heaberlin. All rights reserved. (P)2012 AudioGO

What listeners say about Playing Dead

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I tried but I just couldn't

I wanted to like this book. The premise sounded interesting and different so I purchased it. Yes, I had listened to the sample and knew the narrator had a southern drawl.. what it didn't say to me was.. 'Her voice hardly ever changes. No matter what the situation, be it funny or panicked or serious.. it almost always stays the same'.. This in turn makes it seems like the chapters I have listened to have all run together in one big sentence. The characters are flat, don't know if this is because of the narration itself or because they are just that..flat. I do know however that I was having a hard time deciphering the ppl because the narrator made them all the same.. blending them all together in one big whirlpool. I did try to get past this.. hoping she would get better as the book evolved and I hate to say it, I am on 5 hours of listening and I don't think, no, actually - I know - that I can no longer put myself through it. Those are 5 hours my ears will never get back. Even thinking about turning it on again sends a cringe down my spine. Would rather have a pinched nerve. ( ok just trying to express my distaste and telling you it is not worth it) IF the book is good, it might be better on paper. Having Madeline Lambert read it is the biggest mistake that was made. Definate Thumbs Down...

13 people found this helpful

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narrator ruined this for me

What disappointed you about Playing Dead?

I am not a native Texan but have lived in Fort Worth for over 20 years. No one in Fort Worth has the accent that this reader used. I was really looking forward to this novel because I have read the author's work in the Fort Worth Star Telegram for a long time. I was extremely disappointed in the reader and the story itself fell flat. I never came to care about the characters and nothing rang true for me. Will I read any by this author again? Probably but I will avoid this reader for my audio books.

Has Playing Dead turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I love a good mystery but this wasn't one.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Madeleine Lambert?

Someone who respects Texas and doesn't give us that west Texas twange...doesn't ring true for a character raised in north Texas.

Any additional comments?

Who chooses the reader? I cannot believe that the author was supportive of this choice.

11 people found this helpful

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Performance not for everyone

I had issues with the approach to masculine characters, dialects, and overall reading (too much screaming, excitement, hollering...made males phony through the book, women annoying, and often I literally felt assaulted. That b ring said, I recognize that voice performance is a personal thing. But do listen to the sample a few times before making the purchase.

6 people found this helpful

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Texas twister !

Read Herberlins books! This was my second of hers and enjoyed both immensely. This book has you guessing from beginning to end, twist and turns like a spring tornado. If you live in Dfw area you will enjoy the suspense even more. Greatness !!

2 people found this helpful

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great book

loved it. I was listening every chance I could get. the story had me captivated

1 person found this helpful

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Wasn't what I hoped for

Would you try another book from Julia Heaberlin and/or Madeleine Lambert?

I don't know if I would try another from Julia Heaberlin. I kept listening to the book and there were good qualities to the story but the amazement in the finale just wasn't there. I kept waiting for the big secret and was very disappointed in the ending. As for Madeleine Lambert I think she did a great job...

What do you think your next listen will be?

I'm trying to decide as this was my first audible book and I want to make sure my next selection is worth the cost.

Have you listened to any of Madeleine Lambert’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not bad

The plot was not terribly believable, but the writing was several grades above the trite, poorly written drivel too often found in this genre, so I am ok with that aspect. The narrator’s Texas accent was indeed very heavy. Having grown up in small-town West Texas, I will not say it is exaggerated—I could call up any number of women who sound just like her:)—but it is about as thick as it gets. A more subtle accent, or only using the accent when reading dialogue, would have served just as well as characterization and been far more pleasant to listen to. Even as a native expat Texan it got annoying. I can deal with conversations when I go home but I don’t let my mother’s friends read to me for 10 hrs...:)

Like the main character, I grew up on a ranch and can shoot a gun, etc, and it makes me a little homesick. Viva Tejas:)

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Great story once you get passed the bogus accent

Really captivating story, but the worst “Texan” accent ever; so distracting from what is a great book.

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Great story

The story is very good I really enjoyed it however you have to get past the narrators very bad accident. She’s not so bad as a female but when she does a male Texas accent it’s atrocious! I’m sure she’s a very good narrator when she doesn’t have to do an accent.It’s definitely worth listening to

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Didn't Finish

I might try reading this story in text form to see if I can get into it more. Unfortunately, the narrator was not great in my opinion, and I think it's what caused me to get bored with it. Perhaps this story was just not suited for her talents, I don't know, but the lack of inflection and off cadence was distracting and off-putting. Also, I live in North Texas and I am born and raised Texan and that accent was not at all how anyone I know talks. I have enjoyed other books by this author, so I know she is from the area and is a great story-teller. So again, perhaps it will be more palatable in text form.