The Switch

A Novel
Narrated by: Steven Kearney
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
4 out of 5 stars (728 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A simple mix up throws an innocent man into the cross-hairs of sinister government secrets and ruthless political ambitions in this timely, electrifying thriller from New York Times best-selling author Joseph Finder.

Michael Tanner is on his way home from a business trip when he accidentally picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line. He doesn't notice the mix-up until he arrives home in Boston, but by then it's too late. Tanner's curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files. 

When Senator Susan Robbins realizes she's come back with the wrong laptop, she calls her young chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic. Both know that the senator broke the law by uploading classified documents onto her personal computer. If those documents wind up in the wrong hands, it could be Snowden 2.0 - and her career in politics will be over. She needs to recover the MacBook before it's too late. 

When Will fails to gain Tanner's cooperation, he is forced to take measures to retrieve the laptop before a bigger security breach is revealed. He turns to an unscrupulous "fixer" for help. In the meantime the security agency whose files the senator has appropriated has its own methods, darker still - and suddenly Tanner finds himself a hunted man, on the run, terrified for the safety of his family, in desperate need of a plan, and able to trust no one. 

©2017 Joseph Finder (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about The Switch

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

Stupid, Frustrated, Disapointed

I have read most, if not all, of Joseph Finder's available Audible books. He was a great find a few years ago. I read many of his books in a row, one right after another. And enjoyed each. So I pre-ordered this one, expecting nothing less.

However, the characters in The Switch are SO annoying. They make stupid choices, that in today's technologically savvy world leave even the least computer literate person frustrated.

The narration is fine, and I like the writing style, so I tried to stay with the story, but each implausible character decision would lead you right out of the story, shaking your head, and screaming how could you be so stupid to do that… Like a horror movie, “don’t go into that dark cave alone…”.

Unbelievable characters like this lead me to stop listening to Lisa Scottline. If you like her books, then you will probably like this one. But now me.

I am disappointed with the author, not audible, so I will not return the book, and might try to pick it up again, in a moment of desperation for something new to read. And I might try another of his books. But for now I will ditch The Switch.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Could be better

Any additional comments?

I always look forward to Finder's books but this one has a lot of holes. Assumptions are made and events go unexplained. Some actions and characters are a little unbelievable (and a bit of a caricature). Could be a good story if it was more "padded". I'll give Finder some points for his After 911 description of our world - scary. The narrator performance was great, as always. Will keep on buying Finder's books but I expect a little more next time.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not the best Joseph Finder

What would have made The Switch better?

This story was not clever or suspenseful. This was a very basic story.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joseph Finder again?

I like Joseph Finder's Nick Heller Series. As long as those keep coming I will listen.

How could the performance have been better?

Performance by Steven Kearney is always top notch.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Switch?

I would do a total re-write. I am really struggling through the book. I keep feeling like I am waiting for someone in this book to do something. What? I am not sure.

Any additional comments?

I really like the author's Nick Heller series. This book does not compare. It seemed drawn out in parts for no reason. I guess this was just not my kind of book.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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No group of people can be this stupid

Any additional comments?

First, let me say i've read or listened to all of Joseph Finder's previous books and liked them very much, I got this the first day it came out.The protagonist, who owns a coffee company, doesn't follow up on a sales call that will keep him from going bankrupt. The Senator's chief of staff, instead of doing something easy to solve a problem, does something really stupid and complicated and by the way, makes little sense.There is no one really likable, and while the premise is very good, I simply can't stomach the idiocy that is taking place to find out how things turn out.I get it that characters have to have flaws or there is no story, but these actors are simply not believable in the roles they occupy.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Love Finder, Did Not Love This Novel

Any additional comments?

I have listened to all of Finder's novels and have loved them. Except this one. I hate to say bad things, but ... I rarely ever want to not finish a book I have started, but if I had any credits left I would have abandoned this one mid-stream and rode another donkey. Read the Moscow Club or Paranoia instead, or really read any other Finder novel, they are all good ... just not this one. Sorry!

3 people found this helpful

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TOO WORDY & STUPID!

I used to be a fan of Joseph Finder. I loved Paranoia & several other of his books and I really looked forward to The Switch. It's just plain lousy. There is so much unnecessary, silly observances / thoughts from the characters. It's like Finder wrote the book, decided there needed to be an extra 100 pages or so, and went through adding garbage. I'm sorry too.... I just don't like this narrator. He somehow makes people sound juvenile and dumb. I had to quit after a couple of hours - just couldn't take any more.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Meh!

Any additional comments?

I was very disappointed in the story. In fact, it doesn't even read like one on Finder's novels. The behavior of the main characters is unbelievable. The federal agents are totally incompetent. The story was simply implausible, i.e. not a good read!

3 people found this helpful

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

Very enjoyable. Some smart things happen.

Joseph Finder is one of my favorite authors. But I was reluctant to read this because another reviewer complained that the set up was not believable. He said when Tanner saw that he had someone else’s laptop he should have returned it right away. But as I read this I was not bothered by that. Tanner was very busy and overwhelmed with problems at work so he didn’t get around to figuring out what to do with the laptop for a few days. And then he gets a phone call from someone using a fake name wanting to collect the laptop. Tanner knew the owner was Senator Susan Robbins from the log in, but a man called saying his name was Sam Robbins. That made Tanner suspicious. So, I was fine with it.

And I really enjoyed it. This author is a good story teller. By the end you realize his characters did a couple of smart things.

And thank you Joseph Finder for writing this in 3rd person - my comfort read.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Steven Kearney was good, but his voice is more strained or stressed than I like. I prefer a voice like Will Patton - softer and seductive and pulls you in to the story better.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 480 pages. Swearing language: I don’t recall any but there might have been something once or twice. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day mostly Boston, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. Book copyright: 2017. Genre: suspense.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brrr... Political Horror Adventure? Yep!

Imagine Arthur Koestler's "Darkness At Noon" written as a sort of reverse spy novel. Um, no... not exactly a reverse spy. Well then imagine Ludlum writing about Bourne in this story... but here Bourne's not a spy, not even a pro. Okay, imagine Ludlum and Koestler collaborate with Aldous Huxley consulting... you know as a sort of prequel to Brave New World? But then... then make the whole thing totally commercial with chases, escapes, chutes, and gun smoke. As if Robert Chricton did the editing and a final re-write.

Or... or... just imagine that Joseph Finder is that good at thinking up what-if ideas then pumping them full with chase and hide. Well okay, there are some plot leaps that make Super Mario seem klutzy. But hey, this is entertainment, and really interesting political conjecture exactly where Washington meets Edward Snowdon meets dark nets and an even darker NSA.

'The Switch' is filled up with scary intrigue and Steven Kearney keeps it all going at a pace faster than a micro wave zaps coffee. You know, I could imagine Hitcthcock movie-making this book into a tingling, scary, "Man Who Knew Too Much" blockbuster. In fact... I willl imagine that as I go off to find another Joseph Finder book.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Terrible Story Line

The story makes no sense. A law abiding individual accidentally gets the wrong laptop and makes no effort to return it. This was a waste of my time and I am a huge Finder fan. This one needed more thought before writing.

2 people found this helpful