by James Patterson and David Ellis (read by January Lavoy)
Random House (audiobook)
Guilty Wives doesn't sound like your run-of-the-mill James Patterson title. If anything, it smacks of a Jackie Collins sex-and-sunglasses scorcher. And so it begins. Breathily read by January Lavoy, it stars Abbie (our main narrator), Winnie, Serena, and Bryah. Married to a mixed bag of other halves (two are rather better than the others), these 'gorgeous, interesting women' whisk themselves off to a five-star Monte Carlo hotel for a few days of pampered self-indulgence. The four proceed to breeze through the principality's swimming pools, nightclubs, casinos, and luxury yachts. This latter proves their undoing, as the plot moves from steamy to mystery. Having had a wild time of it with a quartet of strangers, the women awake to a pair of dead bodies - one of whom happens to be a world leader. Sacre bleu. Our hungover heroines are arrested, accused of being international terrorists and put in jail, where Patterson and his latest partner in crime David Ellis put them through their paces. The cursory plot and paper-thin characters are enlivened by Lavoy's vigorous narration. She reads Patterson's wooden prose as if her life depends upon it.