Reviews: e-books and audiobooks - Michael Connelly, Gillian Flynn and The Walking Dead Invasion
This week's e-books include a murder-mystery, a haunted house and zombies
by Michael Connelly (read by Titus Welliver)
Orion Publishing (audiobook)
Michael Connelly's excellent crime novels alternate between his main hero, hardboiled LAPD detective Harry Bosch, and smart-talking lawyer Mickey Haller. The two, who are half-brothers, have finally teamed up in The Crossing, and not because Bosch hired Haller to sue the LAPD for unfair dismissal. Instead, Haller asks Bosch to help him with the case of Leland Foster, accused of brutally murdering a woman in her own bed. Harry's decision to help Haller pits him against his former colleagues, and excavates all manner of long-suppressed grudges. The exception is Lucia Soto, Bosch's last partner from The Burning Room, who lends her considerable investigative powers. Titus Welliver, who plays Harry in the TV adaptations of the books, reads the audiobooks in a voice could shake skyscrapers and crack highways. But he reads with commitment and a real feeling for Connelly's terse, punchy prose. The Crossing is excellent and engrossing. Welcome back The Bosch.
by Gillian Flynn (read by Julia Whelan)
Before you rush to download this new book by Gillian Gone Girl Flynn, a word of warning. The Grownup is a brief novella, clocking in at an hour and 18 minutes to be exact. The story itself has already appeared in George RR Martin's anthology Rogues. Not that there is anything wrong with releasing an award-winning 79-page novella, reasonably priced, but with big font and wide spacing. Just don't expect anything approaching a novel. This twisty tale is told by an eminently Flynnesque anti-hero - a prostitute turned con artist who masquerades as a psychic. One day Susan Burke walks in, seemingly straight out of a ghost story by Henry James. Believing her house is haunted, she turns to our kind medium for help. Flynn's heroine takes the job, only to run aground on Miles, Susan's uncanny son: "The kid was kind of likeable. Also a possible sociopath, but very likeable." Julia Whelan, who also read Gone Girl, is pretty pitch perfect, sounding utterly reasonable, but leaving you to wonder how trustworthy she or anyone else is. Sometimes less is more.
Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead Invasion
by Jay Bonansinga (read by Fred Berman)
MacMillan Audio (audiobook)
In case you are wondering why Robert Kirkman's name is up in lights, he is one of the comic book powers behind TV's favourite (and goriest) zombie series, The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead Invasion is the fifth spin-off - and the second Jay Bonansinga has written without Kirkman's direct input. So this is for hardcore Walkers. But if you want more of Lilly Caul, then fill your boots. When last we saw her, Caul was trapped in Woodbury's prison as an army of zombies were storming through the gates. Caul survives to lead a ragtag band into a brave new world. Standing in her way, besides ambulatory flesh-eating cadavers, is the nasty Reverend Jeremiah Garlitz, who has a ragtag army of his own. Fred Berman's intonation was made for this, constantly rising to peaks, then subsiding, then rising again to ram home how serious all this is. I quite wanted a woman reader, but Berman does just fine, even if I wearied at times.