Stranger in the Room

Amanda Kyle Williams, read by Ann Marie Lee. Random House Audio, library edition, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $31.50 ISBN 978-0-307-96688-9
Williams’s second novel featuring Atlanta private investigator Keye Street finds the former FBI profiler and recovering alcoholic working three cases. Her cousin Miki Ashton—who has previously suffered from mental health and drug problems—sends Keye searching for a mysterious stalker, while the PI’s significant other, detective Aaron Rauser, taps her to help profile and locate a vicious serial killer. The third case proves stranger: it involves chicken feed and a crematorium. Narrator Ann Marie Lee—who provides Keye with a slight Southern twang—captures the character’s strength of purpose, frustration, and vulnerability. Lee’s approach to other characters ranges from the uninspired—Keye’s cousin and many of the book’s females tend to sound a little alike—to the spectacular: Keye’s stoner assistant sounds alternately spacey and snarky, and her hotel chef speaks with a thick Slavic accent that might pass muster in the Balkans. Lee’s pacing is solid throughout, but her performance catches fire as the book approaches its weirdly creepy but definitely thrilling finale. A Bantam hardcover. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2012
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