11th Hour

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, read by January LaVoy. Hachette Audio, unabridged, six CDs, 6.75 hrs., $34.98 ISBN 978-1-60788-465-1
In this 11th installment in the Women’s Murder Club series, a vigilante serial killer—possibly a cop—is slaying above-the-law predators, and a septet of human heads is discovered in the garden of an estate owned by a man recently acquitted of murdering his wife. Working both high-profile cases is homicide detective Lindsay Boxer—who also happens to be pregnant. Narrator January LaVoy turns in an understated performance, subtly changing her tone to distinguish between the characters. It’s an approach that yields mixed results. She lowers her voice slightly for the males and her depiction of Lindsay is appropriately bright, upbeat, and determined. However, the narrator could have done more to create unique voices for the book’s other characters. Assistant DA Yuki Castellano should—as the books indicate—speak a little faster. Medical examiner Claire Washburn, described as a rather large African American woman, probably shouldn’t be vocally indistinguishable from Cindy Thomas, a svelte blonde crime reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. However, LaVoy does not skimp when it comes to creating emotion or mood. And while her minimalist take on the characters may bother some fans of the series, it’s not likely to undercut the overall entertainment value of this audio edition, which delivers on deduction, suspense, action, and female bonding. A Little, Brown hardcover. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
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