©1999 by Sara Paretsky; © and (P)1999 by NewStar Media, Inc.
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"Excellence Marred By Poor Technology"
This is a rip-roaring "V.I." novel read with versatility and passion by Jean Smart, but the microphone bumps and shifts in sound quality knocked this down to four stars. If you are listening with headphones, turn down the volume about 2 hours and 25 minutes before the end. The volume jumps to DEAFENING and the sound is comparable to bad AM radio. Still, it's worth the listening experience.
One of fiction's best characters is back with a well crafted mystery. It's a double barrel offering with great character and fascinating puzzle. It's not going to disappoint you.
I had no problem with the sound on this book. Found this to be one of the most suspenseful of the V. I. books. While she was in the prison I could not stop listening until she was out. Enjoyed her dogs in the story. The pace moved right along and the "trip about Chicago" was fun. Jean Smart did a okay job narrating the story. The story has a bit of action, suspense and comic scenes.
"Excellent V.I story with the best narrator..."
This is one of those V.I. Warshawski stories that kept me right on the edge of my seat. I listened to this while commuting to and from work over a period of a few weeks. I found myself white knuckling the steering wheel during the really tense parts... and occasionally taking the long way home just to listen to more. V.I. goes through hell in this one, and takes her closest confidants with her. There is little Lotty in this one, but when she does show, the scenes are packed with emotion that seizes your heart. We are treated to quite a bit of Mr. Contreras and Peppy and Mitch, though. Jean Smart does the best narration of the V.I. novels, in my opinion, with Susan Ericksen falling a close second.
For those who are passingly familiar with the V.I. timeline, this is book 9, and the book in which she meets Morrell.
This is the first VI novel I've heard and it has now made me an addict!!! The quality of the file is sketchy at first. I'm not sure if it was just my download, but it just jumped into narration. Luckily I continued and was absolutely amazed with how great the story and characters were. Also, I am a great fan of Jean Smart and love her interpretation of VI. A must hear!!!
I have read many of Sara Paretsky's books and have enjoyed them all, but this book, I believe is by far her best. The story is so compelling, I couldn't "put it down". And Jean Smarts narrating, or should I say performance, was fantastic. She brought life to this book like no other has done for Paretsky's books on audible. I highly recommend this book.
"Great Story - Monotone Reader"
I love listening to audio books while traveling. At first I thought it was road noise that was causing this audio book to be unheard. After listening to this at home with no road noise, I discovered that it was the reader, both inaudible (no pun intended) and monotoned. I would love to purchase other VI stories, but I'm afraid that they all will be with the same reader.
"Reader was worst ever heard"
The reader significantly changed volume every other phrase or so making it very difficult to hear in a normal playback environment. I suppose earphones would have been helpful but an expensive automotive speaker system was not. Consequently, much of the story was lost and I finally had to turn it off.
"Narration is awful"
Narration was terrible she would often whisper I had to keep turning the sound up and down. Story line was so-so
"Excellent book - defective audio."
I really enjoyed this book very much. Very entertaining and captivating. However, the sound quality leaves something - much - to be desired, and the defect at the beginning of chapter 14 is a big problem. The sudden volume increase is jarring and could even be damaging to the ears if you were already listening at a relatively high volume. And... even after reducing the deafening volume, the sound quality form that point on is low quality. Great book - lousy audio!
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