Gas City

Loren D. Estleman, Author , read by Mel Foster. Tantor Audio $34.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4001-0620-2

Shamus-winner Estleman momentarily sidetracks his long-running Amos Walker series in favor of a rich, smartly detailed study of a Midwestern city that is serene and law-abiding on the surface but corrupt at its core. Its population includes depressed and bent police chief Francis X. Russell; cynical, alcoholic Catholic bishop Hugh Dungannon; Tony Z, the mob chief who controls Gas City's 10-square-block sin pit, the Circle; and Palmer, a hard-luck hotel dick and pimp who may be the novel's sole honorable man. Russell attempts to clean up the Circle after the natural death of his beloved wife and a slew of hatchet murders by a serial killer nicknamed Beaver Cleaver. The author's vivid and dynamic prose is given a surprisingly bland reading by Mel Foster, whose slow, singsong delivery undercuts the book's tension. On the plus side, his voice is resonant, his dialects good; the bishop and other Irish-Americans have a nicely underdone brogue, the mobsters are properly gruff and tough. But the novel, arguably one of the best of the year, deserves a much better interpretation. Simultaneous release with the Forge hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 5, 2007). (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 02/01/2008
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FORMATS
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4001-2620-0
Hardcover - 299 pages - 978-0-7653-1956-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3620-9
Hardcover - 479 pages - 978-1-4104-0546-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5620-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60514-863-2
Paperback - 298 pages - 978-0-7653-1959-3
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-2593-8
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