cover image The Finishing School

The Finishing School

Michele Martinez, , read by Anne Twomey. . Harper Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-075980-3

A federal prosecutor and single mother, Melanie Vargas, the protagonist from Martinez's first book, Most Wanted , is back with some of the same characters, plus a handful of new ones who will not be easy to forget. Vargas is investigating the heroin overdose of two elite prep school girls and begins to suspect one overdose may be murder. As the plot unravels, Vargas takes the listener on a wild ride of hunches, risks and action. Broadway and television actress Anne Twomey does a superb job of performing all parts. She has a quiet, calm, determined voice, slightly reminiscent of Jane Fonda; crystal clear diction; and an knack for delivering convincing dialogue and believable accents. Her talents become particularly evident with Carmen Reyes, the mixed-up, and kidnapped, classmate of the girls, and with the sleazy and deadly nightclub tycoon, Jay Esposito, whose preferred lethal weapon is his set of golf clubs. The fear Twomey generates is palpable, as is the longing and desire felt by Vargas as she is partnered with her former crush, FBI Agent Dan O'Reilly. Simultaneous release with the Walker & Co. hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 12). (Jan.)