Audiobooks by Byrd, Haig, Manning, & O’Connell | Xpress Reviews

Week ending May 2, 2014

Byrd, Rhyannon. Take Me Under. (Dangerous Tides, Bk. 1). 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Tantor Media. 2013. ISBN 9781452617596. $42.99; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; digital download. F
takemeunder050214When his eyes meet those of a woman across the room, the attraction for Miami cop Ben Hudson is instantaneous. Unfortunately, the object of his desire, Reese Monroe, is a married woman. Three years later, Reese is divorced and just happens to move into the small beach house next door to Ben’s. When trouble follows Reese down from Boston, Ben may be the only person who can help her. Filled with raw desire and an authentic and likable cast of characters, this story moves along at just the right pace. Veteran narrator Aletha George brings this steamy romantic suspense novel to life.
Verdict Romance listeners will not want to miss the start of Byrd’s (Dark Wolf Rising) new series.—Stephanie Charlefour, Wixom P.L., MI

Haig, Matt. The Humans. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 8¼ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470394721. $92.75; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. F
In Haig’s (The Radleys) latest, Andrew Martin, a British mathematician with a messy home life has made a discovery that an alien race with an advanced culture wants to keep secret. One of the aliens is sent to Earth to assume Martin’s identity and destroy his research. The alien is intent on his mission, especially after his encounters with humans and their violent, backward ways. But with the help of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and some unexpected emotions, Faux-Andrew is transformed by his experience. Mark Meadows’s bemused delivery makes for an enjoyable listen.
Verdict Recommended.—Kelly Sinclair, Temple P.L., TX

Manning, Kate. My Notorious Life. 17 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 20 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781490601564. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; 17 CDs. retail ed. S. & S. Audio; digital download. F
Axie Muldoon and her siblings are children of poor Irish immigrants living in squalor in 1860s New York City. When forcibly separated from her family, Axie is apprenticed to a midwife. While she learns her trade, Axie also learns she must circumvent the laws that prevent her from helping women in reproductive crisis. Her business propels Axie from rags to riches, until the press is incited to label her a murderess. Manning (Whitegirl) brings to life the realities of poverty and the fight for women’s reproductive rights in the 19th century. Terry Donnelly narrates brilliantly. Listeners of historical fiction and those interested in women’s rights will enjoy this book.
Verdict Highly recommended.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence

O’Connell, Carol. It Happens in the Dark. (Kathleen Mallory, Bk. 11). 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13½ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470368036. $123.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Set in New York City’s theater district, this solid entry in O’Connell’s long-running series (after The Chalk Girl) follows NYPD detective Kathy Mallory and company as they track clues left by a “ghostwriter” directing changes in a new play: the edits are mysteriously written on the backstage chalkboard, and audience members are turning up dead after each performance. The play becomes a huge success as audiences flock to the theater in hopes of witnessing more murders. Though this dark-humored Mallory novel may be enjoyed as a stand-alone, series devotees will enjoy following the quirky, sad, and complex characters as they interact with the beautiful, brilliant, and merciless detective. Excellent narration by Barbara Rosenblat enhances the characterization and atmosphere of the story.
Verdict Fans of Mallory will savor as well the fiercely independent female detectives in series by Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, and Nevada Barr.—Sandra C. Clariday, Tennessee Wesleyan Coll., Athens