THE SUMMONS

John Grisham, Author, Michael Beck, Read by , read by Michael Beck. Random House Audio $39.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-71463-0

Beck offers a fine performance in this no-frills production of Grisham's latest, despite its lack of overall narrative zip. University of Virginia law professor Ray Atlee stumbles upon more than $3 million in cash in the rural Mississippi house of his dead father, then tries to discover the source of the money and elude an increasingly persistent and menacing extortionist. Beck is a dynamic reader and excels at tackling the challenge of capturing the characters' Southern twang in the story's dialogue. Ray's voice is refined and authoritative, while that of his black sheep brother, Forrest, carries a slight crack that befits a person lacking in confidence and maturity. Family friend and local lawyer Harry Rex stands out the most, and Beck also deftly portrays a smarmy, boozing Delta attorney who calls himself the "King of the Torts." But even with these intriguing, well-rounded characters and a nice evocation of the legal system's more unsavory machinations, the plot won't move listeners to the edge of their seats. Beck, however, does well with what he has, which is a decently written but rather sluggish tale of suspense with a quirky cast and one good twist at the end. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Forecasts, Feb. 4). (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 04/01/2002
Release date: 02/01/2002
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FORMATS
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-307-57609-5
Hardcover - 356 pages - 978-0-7089-9396-5
Hardcover - 341 pages - 978-0-385-50382-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-52890-9
Analog Audio Cassette
Hardcover - 352 pages
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-375-43148-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4159-4535-3
Paperback - 391 pages - 978-0-09-953833-2
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-09-940613-6
Prebound-Glued - 373 pages - 978-0-7569-3129-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 373 pages
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-375-43197-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 373 pages - 978-0-345-53198-8
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-59825-5
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-385-33959-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-440-24429-5
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4070-5948-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-02897-5
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