Nineteen years ago, Indiana police found the body of a young girl, burned beyond recognition and buried in the woods. They arrested George Calhoun for murdering his daughter, and his wife testified against him at the trial. George maintains he didn’t do it. That the body isn’t his little Angelina. But that’s all he’s ever said—no other defense, no other explanation. The jury convicted him. Now his appeals have been exhausted, and his execution is just six weeks away.
Dani Trumball, an attorney for the Help Innocent Prisoners Project, wants to believe him. After all, there was no forensic evidence to prove that the body in the woods was George’s daughter. But if the girl isn’t Angelina, then who is it? And what happened to the Calhouns’ missing daughter? Despite the odds, the questions push Dani to take the case.
For nineteen years, George Calhoun has stayed silent. But he’s ready to talk, and if the story he tells Dani is true, it changes everything.
©2012 Marti Green (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"Innocent man faces death penalty in 6 wks unless.."
STORY (legal suspense) - George says he didn't kill his daughter, but no one has listened to him for almost two decades...until he meets Dani. She must race against the clock -- and the legal system -- to prove his innocence and safe his life. And if the girl's body isn't George's daughter, who is she?
The story is set in New York and Indiana, and the crime being investigated happened many years ago before DNA evidence was widely used. (In other words, this case would be simple to unravel today). Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's just mysterious and suspenseful enough to entertain, but not so much that I was stressed out trying to keep thing straight. The listener will be part of the criminal investigation process as Dani tries to figure out who the dead girl is and who killed her, as well as Dani's efforts as an attorney to plead George's case.
PERFORMANCE - Good job.
OVERALL - This is a good book for everyone, as there is no sex or bad language. It is Book 1 of a series, but it stands alone. I will be continuing with the series.
"In the words of Bartok, "I tell you what, Wow!""
I can sum it up in one word, "Intense."
"The Chamber" or "The Innocent Man" both by John Grisham, because of the intense anxiety that you feel for the legal team, and the defendant (The Chamber). In addition to these feelings you can't help but feel anger and frustration toward the legal system willing to execute a man without a sense of justice behind it (The Innocent Man).
You hear the voice of each character. As a listener Eby allows you to hear the thoughts, emotions, priorities, and sensations of each and every character. Eby transitions so well you don't always realize that you only have one professional narrator. She is absolutely amazing.
When George is telling the story of what really happened to his daughter, I was driving down the interstate. It was necessary for me to take a moment and remind myself that this story is a fictional story. It was nothing happening to anyone I know or love. This was the only way to keep from crying while driving down the road.
The book wasn't even over when I was searching Marti Green to see if there was a sequel to this book. I was nearly bereft at the thought of losing any contact with these characters. Sounds a bit dramatic doesn't it? Well, so it is. But I have read the Harry Potter novels over and over because I just can't say good bye to people I have learned to like and respect without a fight.
For the record, this is a debut novel. There are no additional writings by this author at this time. I seriously hope I will hear more from Marti Green.
"Great Story/Wonderful Narrator!"
Love the story line from the beginning. If you are a supporter of the Death Penalty, this book might make you reconsider your position. The main character, Dani Trumball, is an attorney that works with the Help Innocent Prisoners Project, she is confronted with the decision of taking on a new case to defend George Calhoun, a man that is on death row and only a few weeks away from his execution. He and his wife were convicted of murdering their your daughter 17 years earlier, but claims that they did not commit this crime. What follows is an intense chase for the truth and evidence, filled with lots of interesting twits and turns. I stayed hours awake last night because I needed to hear the conclusion to the story.
The book it's at moments very intense, with many of the characters involved on a crazy chase for evidence in order to save a man's life, at the same time it has moments moments of introspection that make you think and consider (or perhaps even reconsider) your position on the death penalty.
I have enjoyed Tanya Eby's performances before, specifically narrating the Rizzoli & Isles series, but I absolutely love her voices on this audiobook, both males and females. She is the rare narrator that can incorporate many different characters of both sexes, without annoying you (at least not me!)
There's a moment where Dani is in the prison cell with George, just a few hours from execution, awaiting a decision on their request for a stay and it surprised me how emotional I became, it's a very powerful moment in the book...
If you like Legal Thrillers, you will probably enjoy this one, very much worth the credit!!. I look forward to more books by this author.
"Authors ideology wrapped in an OK story"
The story concept could be developed into an excellent story. On the downside, the author's ideology and some technical impossibilities make this story something between a 2 and a 3 star.
If you are reading or listening to this story, you have to first be willing to endure a fair amount of Harlequin romance sprinkled throughout the drama. It isn't unbearable, but it is there, so be warned if that isn't your thing. Next, be ready for some ridiculous plot devices, such as a eureka moment that declares fingerprints of a living adult prove the adult leaving the print is a close relative of a child that died 17 years before. Just to be clear, while fingerprints are in part the result of DNA and inherited, lineage CANNOT be established through fingerprints. There are several of those minor technical distractions but still not horrible. Next, for me at least, the persistent 5 minutes late to talk to a witness, 1 minute after a Judge leaves for the day, 1 hour too late for a clerk to look something up, locating a crucial witness hours after they were killed... etc, etc, just became annoying. A little of it adds suspense, too much is just annoying and used to eat up time which the wrongfully accused is running out of.
I guess my biggest difficulty was in trying to shake the feeling that the author was lecturing me on several ideological topics. Death penalty, police incompetence/corruption, mean and bureaucratic low level employees of government and hospitals, lack of medical care for uninsured, etc. It just all began to overwhelm what could have been a good mystery/court fight. Certainly, the occasional belligerent Court Clerk adds to a story, but not everyone the heroic attorney meets is a callous idiot put on earth to obstruct the few good ones. Likewise, not everyone who opposes the death penalty is good and those who favor it are bad. This author seems to hint that everyone that favors a death penalty is, at best indifferent to the possibility of an innocent person being executed. At worst, they are happy to execute the innocent, as long as someone dies. In a similar ideological mischaracterization, not everyone who disagrees with the death penalty wants prisoners to go unpunished or believe that all prisoners are innocent. In fact, opponents don't even necessarily disagree with a death penalty on the belief that the government convicts the innocent at some alarming rate. So at the end, a good base plot was turned into a readable but less than good read.
"Mediocre writing, derivative plot"
Maybe a socially conscious teenager.
First and probably last one.
The narrator did a great job with sad material. However, her male voices tended to sound pretty much all e same.
Irritation! Could have been good story but it was so dumbed down it was sad. Character development poor. The repetitive mind mulling by Dani about all her parental issues and feelings about capital punishment got me grumbling, "Okay, okay, enough is enough, get on with the story.
The story in this read was very interesting. The characters were plausible and the outline of the story was fresh and not trodden down a beaten path. I gave this book 4 stars because of the profanity sprinkled throughout the read. At first it was only mildly present, it was the normal language preference for one of the characters. Toward the end the use of profanity grew for this character so that it became annoying to me. Apart from that it could have been a 5 star read for me.
"Intense with Great Twists and Turns"
This story is about George Calhoun and his wife who left their 4 year-old daughter so she could get the medical help she needed and have a chance to live only to be tried for her murder and receive a life sentence and the death penalty for murder.
Seventeen years later, new evidence is found which convinced Dani Trumball, an attorney working with the Help Innocent Prisoners Project (HIPP), to take on the case. An intense, time-sensitive chase pursued for the truth and supporting evidence. There are great twists and turns in the story that set the storyline apart from the usual cookie-cutter type police procedural.
Narrator,Tanya Eby's performance was good. Her voice had a calm quality which I appreciated. I think that she is the first female narrator whose male voices were good, although not the best, the renditions were not irritating. Thanks Tanya!
They say authors should write what they know, and I assume Marti Green did some of that, but not the parts that interested me. I thought the premise sounded promising, with murdered children in the woods and someone facing execution for it; but the parts dealing with the legal proceedings and private investigations were disappointingly weak, while most of the book focused on the humdrum dealings of working and stay-at-home moms dealing with disabled and diseased offspring. There are good books out there dealing with those subjects, but I wasn't expecting it in a murder mystery. All that aside, it was just appalling how inept virtually all the professionals seemed. Total amateurs. I like to learn something from legal, medical, and police procedural novels that I read, though I know they are fiction; but this one taught me nothing. And I knew whodunit almost from the start. No challenge.
As for the narrator: though I usually really like that kind of light fast-paced voice, NOT when it's having to strain that much to differentiate a bunch of male voices. It kinda hurts to listen to that. They do make computer equipment that can simulate voices, if she really thinks she needs to sound like a man. Seems like it would be a good investment, if for no other reason than to protect her own perfectly lovely voice. Really, you can get nodules on your vocal cords fooling around like that.
"Very moving tale"
Definitely a 5 star story, enjoyed every minute of it. Felt as if I was a part of the story, hated to put it down. The characters are well portrayed and felt empathy for them. Can't wait to start another book by Marti Green.
Enjoyed the narrator, easy to understand and will listen to other books she narrates.
"3.5 Mixed Feelings"
I had a difficult time writing a review for this novel. I liked the ending and how the main characters had to race against time. In terms of the mystery side of it, however, I found there were no surprises for me, and I knew pretty much straight away who the bad guy was, and how the story was going to develop. Even so, I listened the book in its entirety.
I read all of the 1-star and 2-star reviews of this book and saw a lot of readers picked on the author for the fingerprint DNA issue and the fact that the story was not believable--LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE! THIS IS FICTION! After all, don't we get the most unbelievable stories from Hollywood? But everyone still watches movies. Plus the mistakes they make on how procedures really work in the movies is often incorrect. So if you want exact information on anything in a fiction story, I suggest you turn to non-fiction instead.
Having said this, the problem I had with this story was the lack of character development. I wanted to know more about what drove Dani, Tommy and Melanie. The characters did not have much depth, nor did they share the joys, sorrows, interplay and what have you that you'd expect in a team working on something so serious. And I do agree with other reviewers that Dani's child with the Williams syndrome had no purpose in the story. In fact, it was very distracting, and it seemed used as "filler". The fact that Dani also had an almost perfect husband who is larger than life is okay. I guess if we want to know more about Dani's life, we need to find out about her family. I didn't mind this as much as I minded reading constantly about Williams syndrome and all its symptoms; the repetition of this started to sound more like a medical book. Mention it once, and be done with it, but don't keep going on about it.
In the end I gave the book 3.5 stars as it did only cost $7.34 and it was entertaining. I will continue to the next book and see how that one goes.
Tanya Eby was very good with the delivery of the story.
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