Agent 6

Tom Rob Smith, Author, Dennis Boutsikaris, Read by
Tom Rob Smith, read by Dennis Boutsikaris. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $34.98 ISBN 978-1-61113-990-7
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 01/01/2012
In his third and final novel featuring Russian policeman Leo Demidov, Smith covers three decades in his protagonist’s life, beginning in Stalinist Russia in 1950 when Demidov meets his soon-to-be-wife, Raisa. Then it’s on to 1965, when the cold war thaws enough for Raisa and their two adopted daughters to travel to New York and get caught up in a deadly conspiracy. The book operates on several levels, as a spy thriller, a study of obsession, and a harsh criticism of political expediency, and narrator Dennis Boutsikaris finds a splendidly sardonic voice that captures all three. When it comes to dialogue, much of it from the mouths of Smith’s carefully crafted Russian characters, Boutsikaris uses a minimal accent and a slightly brusque, typically Slavic manner of speech. Equally commendable is his subtle approach to female voices: a softening and mild shift in pitch. Worthy of special notice is his vocal choice for Jessie Austin, a world famous African-American singer and avowed Communist. It’s vaguely Southern, educated, and filled with the wonder of the politically naïve. A Grand Central hardcover. (Jan.)
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