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The Infinite Blacktop

A Novel
By: Sara Gran
Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
Series: Claire DeWitt Mysteries, Book 3
Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The “delicious and addictive” (Salon) Claire DeWitt series returns with a thrilling noir mystery that follows three separate narratives starring the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest detective.” As Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls raves, these novels are “cryptic, dreamy, funny and gritty as hell...Claire DeWitt is an unreliable detective unlike any other.” 

Claire DeWitt, the hard-living and tough-talking private investigator, has always been something of a detective. As a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, Claire and her two best friends, Tracy and Kelly, fell under the spell of the book Detection by legendary French detective Jacques Silette. The three solved many cases together and were inseparable - until the day Tracy vanished without a trace. That is still the only case Claire ever failed to solve. 

Later, in her 20s, Claire is in Los Angeles trying to get her PI license by taking on a cold case that has stumped the LAPD. She hunts for the real story behind the death of a washed-up painter 10 years earlier, whose successful and widely admired artist girlfriend had died a few months before him.

Today, Claire is on her way to Las Vegas from San Francisco when she’s almost killed by a homicidal driver. In a haze of drugs and injuries, she struggles off the scene, determined to find her would-be killer’s identity - but the list of people who would be happy to see her dead is not a short one. 

As these three narratives converge, some mysteries are solved and others continue to haunt. But Claire, battered and bruised, continues her search for the answer to the biggest mystery of all: what is the purpose of our lives, and how can anyone survive in a world so clearly designed to break our hearts again and again?

©2018 Sara Gran (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

Missing Carol Monda

I love me some Claire DeWitt, the hardboiled metaphysical detective of two previous books by Grann. This new book doesn't disappoint, and Madeleine Maby did a decent job narrating it, but for me Carol Monda will always be Claire and I could never quite get used to the switch. Monda just sounds tougher and worldlier, and you don't get much tougher or worldly than Claire DeWitt

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wrong narrator

I listened to the first 2 Claire deWitt stories 3x each. They are in my top 10. I am confident that I would not have bought the first one with this narrator. The original is the only voice of Claire deWitt!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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a good book let down by an okay narration

I'm perfectly willing to admit the narrator wasn't the voice I had in my head. However, the choice was made to do voices and her men's voices didn't sound like a deep voice so much as they all sounded dimwitted.

the story was good but if you prefer stories that wrap up neatly, be warned the Infinite Blacktop doesn't do this.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Poor choice of narrator.

This is the third book in a series. The first two were wonderfully narrated by Carol Monda, who perfectly captured Claire DeWitt's gravelly world-weary voice. Ms. Maby, on the other hand, makes Claire sound like she just came from a Junior League Tea Dance. The opening scene, which Sara Gran filled with tension, pain and violence, is utterly unconvincing in the hands of Ms. Maby. The producers (and Ms. Maby herself) didn't bother to familiarize themselves with the two previous novels, so we get the name Andre (ON-dray) now pronounced (ANN-dray), Come on! I gave up after 20 minutes and bought the print edition.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very satisfying

Lots of threads, all followed to their (almost) conclusions. I love Claire’s voice. I hope there are more to come in this series. Some have complained about the narrator, and I would say this: do not listen to this immediately after the two previous volumes. I tried that and was put off, but after taking a break and listening to some other books, Madeleine Maby sounded just fine.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

Carol Monda is a better fit for narration. I’ve come to identify her voice with the protagonist. Carol Monda is able to fully embody the personality needed for such a strong yet flawed character. Madeleine Maby just read. Huge difference. I couldn’t lose myself in the narrative.