Desrochers, Suzanne. Bride of New France. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780449807033. $50; digital download. F
Desrochers’s best-selling novel presents the powerful tale of orphan Laure Beausejour. Laure experiences an atrocious year with the coming of 1669 in the female dormitory in Paris where she was sent by royal decree in an effort to clear the streets of the very poor, the insane, and the minor criminal class. Forced to make lace and to work as a seamstress, she dreams of opening her own shop and marrying a nobleman. Instead, she is cruelly deported to French Canada as a fille du roi (eligible young women who were sent to the colonies to marry, settle, and have children in “New France”). VERDICT In this haunting story, the tragic Laure makes the listener feel great empathy for her and her plight. Narrator Emma Bering magnificently portrays the characters’ accents and emotions. [“This is a dark tale, and readers shouldn’t expect a happy ending, but, nonetheless, historical fiction fans will appreciate the rich historical details and commiserate with believable characters modeled after the founding mothers of French Canada,” read the review of the Norton hc, LJ 6/1/12.—Ed.]—Scott DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania
Henshaw, Mark. The Red Cell. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¾ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464034831. $102.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; digital download. THRILLER
After an operation in Venezuela goes bad, Kyra Striker is exiled to the special CIA think-tank dubbed Red Cell. Kyra could very well become the new Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy’s mainstay protagonist. Former CIA analyst Henshaw knows a good story and is able to share it, combining here his crisp writing with well-developed characters. By exploiting the internal CIA cultural conflict between field agents and analysts, the story draws listeners into a mission that not only saves an American spying on the Chinese intelligence machine but that has the potential to bring China and Taiwan into World War III, with a U.S. Navy carrier group caught in the middle. Rob Patterson’s narration is passable, but his accents and inflection need work. VERDICT Recommended for thriller and espionage fans. [“The authenticity of the narrative makes it irresistible. Readers will eagerly seek Henshaw’s next dip into the CIA pool,” read the review of the Touchstone: S. & S. hc, LJ 6/15/12.—Ed.]—Scott DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania
Macintyre, Ben. Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12½ hrs. Random Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780307990433. $40; 10 CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. HIST
Macintyre recounts the fascinating story of the Allied spy team that saved thousands of lives by successfully deceiving the Germans into thinking the D-Day invasion would happen in Calais and Norway instead of Normandy. Macintyre smartly focuses his attention on the key personalities who risked their lives, including a variety of British MI5 spies, double agents inside Nazi intelligence, and the primary agents—a Serbian playboy, a Polish fighter pilot, a bisexual Peruvian party girl, an eccentric Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming, and a volatile Frenchwoman. Hollywood probably could not make up more odd, memorable characters. Unfortunately, playwright and actor John Lee’s otherwise solid reading is sadly marred by the unnecessary effort to emulate the different accents of the multiethnic operatives as he conveys their comments in stilted, broken English, which only makes the characters sound like caricatures. VERDICT The strength of the story still will make this offering alluring to history lovers, especially the numerous devotees of all things World War II.
[“Macintyre’s book will appeal to general readers and espionage buffs who love…true spy stories,” read the review of the New York Times best-selling Crown hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 7/20/12.—Ed.]—Dale Farris, Groves, TX
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The following titles are reviewed in the November 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Balogh, Mary. The Proposal. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¼ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464019456. $123.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 10 CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. ROMANCE
Chandler, Raymond. The High Window. 2 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 1½ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792789178. $29.95; digital download. MYS
DeSanti, Carole. The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. 13 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 16½ hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455160679. $118; 2 MP3-CDs. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Everclean, Bratniss. The Hunger but Mainly Death Games: A Parody. 4 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 5 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452638102. $59.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. F
Fairstein, Linda. Night Watch. 11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. Penguin Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611760415. $39.95; 11 CDs. library ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS
Hardy, Thomas. Wessex Tales. 8 CDs retail ed. 10½ hrs. Naxos Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781843795834. $54.98; digital download. CLASSICS
Keillor, Garrison. Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny. 4 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 4 hrs. HighBridge Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611746785. $29.95; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; digital download. MYS
Quirk, Matthew. The 500. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9½ hrs. Hachette Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611132250. $29.98; 8 CDs.
library ed.; digital download. F
Wodehouse, P.G. Doctor Sally. 3 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 3 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792788812. $49.95; digital download. F
Bell, James Stuart. Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real-life Stories of Supernatural Encounters. 5 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 5¾ hrs. Oasis Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781613752385. $22.99; digital download. PARAPSYCH