Review of audiobook Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh narrated by Adam Sims

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Narrated by Adam Sims

Highly recommended! Five big stars out of five from me.

A bit about the story:

Thirteen has a clever premise as clearly outlined in the tag line. The killer is on the jury. This isn’t a spoiler in any way it is the hook that prevents you from putting down the book or switching off your bluetooth headphones. The blurb says it all.

‘Hollywood actor Robert Soloman stands accused of the brutal stabbings of his wife and her lover, but he is desperately pleading that he had nothing to do with it. This is the trial of the century, and the defence want Eddie Flynn on their team.

The biggest case Eddie has ever tried before, he decides to take it on despite the overwhelming evidence that Robert is guilty. As the trial starts, Eddie becomes sure of Robert’s innocence, but there’s something else he is even more sure of – that there is something sinister going on in the jury box.

Because of this, he is forced to ask: what if the killer isn’t on the stand? What if he’s on the jury?’

What’s it like to listen to?:

Being as English as  afternoon  tea, I usually stick to British narration. Usually, but not always by any means. This book had been calling to me for some time but as I now write crime thrillers to supplement my pension, – I was going to say that I write ‘for a living’ but that would be lying – I often listen to an audio book while doing the gardening and other household tasks. The garden furniture needed attention and so, as I put brush into jar of teak oil, I plugged in to Thirteen and, my goodness, what a treat.

The story makes use of first person to give the perspective of Eddie Flynn, defence lawyer with a great backstory. I think this draws the reader/listener in to the suspense more than if third person had been used throughout. Cleverly, Steve Cavanagh serves up the rest of the deliciously descriptive dastardly tale in the third person. His research into the workings of the law and of the jury selection process allows those of us unfamiliar with US judicial systems, a chance to understand the ins and outs of the plot. Intelligent stuff.

The characters drive the plot. Eddie Flynn is a delight. Flawed, human, bright and sharp witted. I liked him a lot. Happy to invest. The twisted antagonist, Kane, is a work of  art with depth of psychological damage as well as intelligence and motives that make sense.

What leads me to conclude that this thriller works so well as an audiobook is the narration. Adam Sims understood the story, the characters and he brings them to life. His accents don’t grate and I for one prefer a male narrator when it comes to female voices rather as opposed to a female attempting male voices.  This audio book is a credit to all involved. If you like courtroom dramas, crime thrillers with a psychopath at the heart of the story, suspense and twists a plenty, then you’ll love this. I did.

Alison Morgan  

 

Book Review

A.B. Morgan’s Reviews > White Chrysanthemum

White Chrysanthemum
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A.B. Morgan‘s review

Sep 10, 2018  ·  edit


White Chrysanthemum

Goodness me! It is a long time since a book has haunted me emotionally in the way this one has done. I cannot stop thinking about it.

White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht is a beautifully written book which is set to the backdrop of a little known part of recent history. Until I read this book and was fortunate enough to listen to the author speak at a summer literary festival, I knew nothing of the “comfort women” – young girls wrenched from their homes and families in Korea to be used as commodities by the Japanese army to service their soldiers during the second world war. Indeed I had only vague knowledge of Korea’s troubled past.

The author uses the power of fiction to tell the story of two sisters whose lives are forever changed by war and cultural devastation. The language used is simple yet somehow poetic and completely draws the reader into the determined struggle of the two main characters. It is told in the third person present and alternates between time periods with such ease that the reader is driven to turn the pages and follow the path the two sisters take.

There were times when my heart ached, tears welled up and when I sought a quiet place not to be disturbed in order to disappear into the book. If Mary Lynn Bracht never writes another novel she can rest easy,this one is an immense credit to her writing ability and her commitment to tell the story of the women so badly wronged. Highly recommended.