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June/July 2012

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Mystery & Suspense FIELD GRAY Philip Kerr Read by Paul Hecht Paul Hecht's portrayal of gravelly voiced, life-worn Bernie Gunther is a tour de force. Gunther—former police- man, PI, and POW—served in both World Wars—on the German side. When the novel opens, it's 1954, and Bernie is living a quiet life in Cuba, doing odd jobs for Meyer Lansky. He's arrested, and his true identity discovered. Temporarily imprisoned in Guantánamo, and then a New York City military prison, he's eventually transferred to Germany's notorious Landsberg Prison, where he undergoes a brutal interrogation as a possible war criminal. The frequent flashbacks to the '30s and '40s are easy to follow, thanks to Hecht's smooth transitions. Hecht makes Gunther's remem- brances agonizingly real, whether he's telling the story of a village of Jews who were massacred or focusing a sardonic glance at human foolishness. S.J.H. Recorded Books 15 hrs. Unabridged Library Ed.: CD (also CS , DD ISBN 9781449830687 $123.75 , MP3 , PRE ) THE BLACK MASK 1: DOORS IN THE DARK: And Other Crime Fiction From the Legendary Magazine Otto Penzler [Ed.] Read by Eric Conger, Oliver Wyman, Alan Sklar, Jeff Gurner, Pete Larkin This first in a series of audiobooks features five stories from the great pulp magazine Black Mask, as well as a lengthy introduction by Keith Alan Deutschs. The introduction, read by Eric Conger, is informative, but at 38 minutes it goes on too long. The stories, on the whole, are worth the wait. The collection leads off with Erle Stanley Gardner's "Come and Get It," read with gruff humor by Oliver Wyman. "Arson Plus," by Dashiell Hammett (under a pseudonym), is read by Alan Sklar. Jeff Gurner reads Lester Dent's "Luck," and Pete Larkin reads stories by two Black Maskmainstays, George Harmon Coxe and Frederick Nebel. S.E.S. 2012 Audies Finalist HighBridge Audio 7 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781611744583 $29.95 (also DD ISBN 9781611744606 $66.00 ) COME HOME Lisa Scottoline Read by Maggi-Meg Reed Scottoline challenges us to consider what mothers risk for their children and how that commitment trumps all else. Maggi -Meg Reed wraps the listener tightly into the suspense and emotional tangle with a powerful per formance. In fact , the high emotional drama literally sweeps you up like a whirl- wind. Jill Farrow, a successful pediatrician dedicated to her young patients and to her blended family, is naturally concerned for her stepdaugh- ters when her ex-husband dies unexpectedly but is unprepared for the danger of trying to understand what happened. Reed propels the story with drive and energy, and a near frenzy of emotional turmoil. She astutely projects the near- hysteria of sudden loss, the cold rage of rejection, and the angst of teenage uncertainty. Listeners believe each emo- tion, and root for Jill to survive and come out whole on the other side. R.F.W. Macmillan Audio 13.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD AN AMERICAN SPY Olen Steinhauer Read by David Pittu Pay attention. Watch the details. Listen closely. Important advice for listeners embarking on Steinhauer's newest spy story featuring Milo Weaver, (former) mem- ber of the CIA's uber-secret Department of Tourism. David Pittu's careful, taut narra- tion makes it possible for listeners to follow every move of the array of agents and spy- masters—Chinese, American, even some Germans. His accents are carefully modulated and punctuate passages with authentic precision. Pittu presents a good deal of backstory about Milo and the Tourists, and his steady unfolding keeps listeners informed and alert. Steinhauer's earlier work, The Nearest Exit, also narrated by Pittu, was the 2011 Hammett Prize winner. Listeners new to the series will be hooked and will want to explore more of this excellent espionage series in the vein of John le Carré and Len Deighton. R.F.W. Macmillan Audio 13 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781427214874 $39.99 (also DD ) David Pittu's careful, taut narration makes it possible for listeners to follow every move. 50 s AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com VICTIMS Jonathan Kellerman Read by John Rubinstein Narrator John Rubinstein is a man of many voices—so many that you might think Kellerman's latest is being delivered by a full cast. All the charac- ters—veteran sleuth Alex Delaware, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and a cast of antagonists and minor characters— are distinctive. Delaware is called upon to investigate the dismemberment of Vita Berlin, who seemingly was despised by all who knew her. As more victims pile up—all killed similarly—Delaware reasons that there's at least one madman and a serial killer on the loose. As Delaware's logic brings this whodunit to a surprising conclusion, the real star is Rubinstein. His fast-paced narration and instantaneous changes in vocal charac- ter are captivating. A.L.H. Books on Tape 12 hrs. Unabridged Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780307944054 $45.00 (also DD ) ISBN 9781427213303 $39.99 (also DD )

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