Audiobooks from Barr, Black, Blount, Fair, and Steel | Xpress Reviews

Week ending August 26, 2016

Barr, Nevada. Boar Island. (Anna Pigeon, Bk. 19). 10 CDs. 12:19 hrs. Macmillan. May 2016. ISBN 9781427272539. $39.99; digital download. F
Anna’s temporary assignment as acting chief ranger at Maine’s Acadia National Park offers a perfect opportunity for her friends Heath and Gwen to tag along, putting some distance between their teenage daughter Elizabeth and the cyberbullying that has made her life in Colorado a nightmare. But additional issues crop up in Maine as Elizabeth’s stalker follows her to isolated Boar Island. At the same time, Anna must investigate a murder. Unfortunately, Anna’s concern with Elizabeth leaves the goings-on at the park in the backseat. Barbara Rosenblat’s usual fine performance creates a strong listening experience. Fans who were disturbed by the violence in previous series installment Destroyer Angel will prefer this book.
Verdict Quibbles aside, this is a fine novel. Fans of the series will enjoy. [“As in the previous mysteries, a dramatic landscape is a major presence”: LJ 2/15/16 starred review of the Minotaur: St. Martin’s hc.]—Janet Martin, Southern Pines P.L., NC

Black, Lisa. That Darkness. (Gardiner & Renner, Bk. 1). 8 CDs. 9:04 hrs. Dreamscape. Apr. 2016. ISBN 9781520004679. $47.99; digital download. F
thatdarkness082616Ohio-based forensic scientist Black (Close to the Bone) here launches a new series. Maggie Gardiner is a forensic investigator for the Cleveland Police Department, and she loves her job. As she assists in the investigations of a succession of murders, she must match wits with a serial killer with a sense of justice—the victims are all rapists and killers. Working with Maggie as she chases the bad guys is Jack Renner, a dedicated detective with secrets of his own. These characters are well written and interesting, and their motivations, both good and bad, easily propel the action. This unusual relationship will hopefully be developed further in later books. The narration by Kirsten Potter is professional and without distraction.
Verdict Fans of forensic mysteries will look forward to more in this series. Recommended. [“A great choice for readers of psychological suspense, forensic investigations, and mystery”: LJ 4/15/16 review of the Kensington hc.]—Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA

Blount, Roy, Jr. Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations. 7 CDs. 8:30 hrs. HighBridge. Mar. 2016. ISBN 9781622319985. $29.99. digital download. MEMOIR
Blount narrates his latest work focusing on food and eating, though what seemed a promising food-centered tale falls far short of the mark. The topics Blount covers are vast and include food trends, band names, songs, and down-home treats, but overall the work comes off as merely a curmudgeon griping about all things gustatory.
Verdict Recommended only for libraries where Blount is extremely popular. [“With a conversational tone and brief pieces that create a lighthearted read, Blount’s book will appeal to fans of his previous works”: LJ 3/15/16 review of the Sarah Crichton: Farrar hc.]—Donna Bachowski, Orange Cty. Lib. Syst., Orlando, FL

Fair, Eric. Consequence. 6 CDs. 7:06 hrs. Macmillan Audio. Apr. 2016. ISBN 9781427268051. $29.99. digital download. MEMOIR
An interrogator with a private contractor in Iraq shares his experiences and lessons learned. Fair’s recollections of his time and his actions in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison are indeed haunting; revealing what happened to him and to those he dealt with shows a side of him that isn’t pleasant. The author provides listeners with a glimpse into his childhood and education, army life, romantic interludes, and family. Religion takes up a central place and colors all he does. While the memoir is recommended, the narration by Fair is a bit monotone and depressing.
Verdict The overriding sense of pessimism that permeates this book complements the author’s sense of guilt from participating in “enhanced interrogations.” This story is uncomfortable, but hearing about the experiences of Fair and others like him is essential to the healing process of a nation that has endured a lengthy war.—Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib.

Steel, Danielle. The Apartment. 7 CDs. 8:30 hrs. Brilliance. May 2016. ISBN 9781455833214. $38.99. 1 MP3-CD, digital download. F
Four vivacious young women—Claire, Abby, Morgan, and Sasha—share living space in Manhattan. They also share their laughs, tears, and triumphs. Each woman has her own flaws to confront, her own family issues to cope with, and a wayward relationship to resolve. From bad jobs and bad bosses to weddings and babies, each woman goes from bad situations to better ones. In true Steel style, love finds a way, everyone overcomes their challenges, and, in the end, all is well. While narrator Dan John Miller does a fine job, a female narrator would have been a better choice for this predominately female-driven novel.
Verdict Recommended for the hazy days of summer and trips to the beach.—J. Sara Paulk, Houston Cty. P.L., Perry, GA