THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS

Olen Steinhauer, Author, Ned Schmidtke, Read by
Olen Steinhauer, Author, Ned Schmidtke, Read by , read by Ned Schmidtke. Blackstone Audiobooks $35.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7861-2412-1
Reviewed on: 08/04/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-2378-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-9327-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-9329-5
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-312-32601-2
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4299-8116-3
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-09-945198-3
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-312-30245-0
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-9055-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4551-0335-5
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-434-01120-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7861-4283-5
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Schmidtke's reading of Steinhauer's debut is rich with subtle nuance, but his portrayal of the actual characters' voices, which are rarely graced with anything resembling an Eastern European accent, may strike listeners as off-key. Set in a rubble-strewn, unnamed Eastern European country in 1948, this intrigue focuses on 22-year-old Emil Brod, a rookie homicide detective for the People's Militia who seems to be up against the world. His department thinks he is a spy, and treats him with utter scorn and malevolence. He is not even given a gun, and has to take public transportation for his investigations. However, not unlike an eastern Dirty Harry, Brod defies direct orders and continues his investigation of a murder, which ultimately leads him to one of the country's most powerful men. Schmidtke delivers the flirtatious lines of Brod's widow/love interest with a decidedly non-sexy, octogenarian breathiness, and his voice takes on a strange Sean Connery–like lilt for Brod's reluctant partner. However, the momentum Schmidtke builds through his performance overrides these peculiarities and renders this intrigue worthwhile. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 20). (Feb.)

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