Audiobooks from Cook, Fluke, Lee, & Waldman | Xpress Reviews

Week ending June 27, 2014

Cook, Robin. Cell. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. ISBN 9781470397821. $123.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 9 CDs. retail ed. Penguin Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Cook (Coma) is back with another medical thriller. When Dr. George Wilson, a radiology resident at a big L.A. hospital, takes a short break to attend an investors’ meeting of an old classmate’s company and learns about the biggest medical breakthrough of the past thousand years, IDoc, he is in awe. This simple cell phone app will essentially provide a customizable personal physician for diagnoses and treatment 24-7. George then does a little digging and walks into a cover-up of murder. While the concept is intriguing, Cook takes the story a bit slow in spots and wraps it up a bit too easily.
Verdict George Guidall’s narration is superb. Recommended.—Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib.

Fluke, Joanne. Blackberry Pie Murder. (Hannah Swensen, Bk. 17). 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9¾ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. ISBN 9781470328467. $102.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Fluke adds another cliff-hanger installment to Hannah Swensen’s adventures (after Red Velvet Cupcake Murder). Here, Hannah is responsible for the vehicular manslaughter of a John Doe. The man was lying half dead in the road during a storm when Hannah ran over him. Horrified, she wants to know everything about him, particularly why he was in Lake Eden. Meanwhile, a friend of Michelle’s is in another sticky situation. The friend’s long-lost sister has just returned, but she doesn’t pass the smell test. Is there a connection between John Doe and the “sister”? While Hannah wraps up the mysteries neatly, her own case is not so easily dismissed. She killed a man, and she’s going to have to face the consequences. Suzanne Toren infuses the requisite drama and humor into the quirky characters, but at this point the recipes would be better served by a pdf rather than a reading.
Verdict Series collections shouldn’t miss.—Jodi L. Israel, Birmingham, AL

Lee, Patrick. Runner. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2014. ISBN 9781427236074. $29.99; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Struggling to cope with the death of his wife and daughter, Sam Dryden, who’s retired from Special Forces, is taking a midnight run along a California beach boardwalk when a barefoot and terrified young girl collides with him. Seeing the glow from her pursuers’ flashlights, Sam is suddenly overwhelmed with the need to protect her at all costs. Realizing that the girl can only remember her name—Rachel—Sam hopes his elite training will keep them both safe long enough to figure out why people want her dead. As Rachel’s memory returns, Sam fears what the future may hold and realizes that he must give up what he loves most to protect what he holds dearest. Raul Esparza sets the tension from the start, propelling the listener into a breathless ride of psychological suspense. Using different intonations for each character, he delivers a smooth and consistent performance throughout Lee’s (The Breach) series launch.
Verdict A highly enjoyable listen and must-have for all libraries.–JoAnn Funderburk, South Garland Branch Lib., TX

Waldman, Ayelet. Love and Treasure. 12 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. 9781470394516. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
loveandtreasure062714At the end of World War II, in Salzburg, Austria, a train is halted and commandeered by the U.S. Army stationed there. The train is loaded with everything from household china and bed linens to gold watches and jewels. Lt. Jack Wiseman is charged with warehousing and guarding the items from the train. He does his best, especially after he discovers that they belonged to Hungarian Jews who were forced to turn over everything of value to their government. Meanwhile, Jack falls in love with Ilona, a Holocaust survivor. In the end she immigrates to Palestine, leaving him heartbroken. To remember her, he takes an enamel locket from the warehouse, because it came from her hometown. Fast-forward 50 years. Jack is dying and asks his granddaughter Natalie to return the locket to its rightful owner. She travels to Budapest, and the secret of the locket unravels. This novel is based on the real Hungarian Gold Train from World War II. Waldman’s characters are richly and thoughtfully drawn. Ilona is an especially compelling character. The arrangement of the three parts to the story adds interest. Jonathan Davis and Paul Hecht do an excellent job narrating.
Verdict Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence