The Switch

Joseph Finder, read by Steve Kearney. Penguin Audio, unabridged, 8 CDs, 10 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-1-5247-2363-7
Late for his flight home to Boston, Finder’s protagonist Michael Tanner grabs what he thinks is his laptop, realizing later that it belongs to U.S. Sen. Susan Robbins. The senator is silly enough to stick a Post-it with the computer’s password to its case, allowing Tanner to access top-secret files about a very nasty government program. A friend of Tanner’s convinces him to hang on to the laptop and reveal its contents, causing the senator’s chief of staff, Will Abbott, to engage fixers to hunt Tanner down. Soon, he is on the run, not only from Abbott and his goons but also from a wily Russian named Gregory and Earle Laffoon, an NSA agent. Narrator Kearney brings energy and a fast pacing to the production, taking the plot swiftly past a few credibility potholes to get to the heart of the book, the fever-paced chase. Kearney makes character identification easy. Tanner sounds like an honorable guy, trying to decide what the right thing to do is now that he knows the contents of the computer. Kearns follows Finder’s description of Gregory’s “barely detectable accent” precisely and slightly modifies Laffoon’s “deep-southern accent” to a mild drawl that sounds sternly authoritative. Kearney’s best portrayal, of Abbott, the novel’s most complex character, is all faux efficiency around the senator, filled with self-doubt and guilt when with his wife and baby boy, and dangerously angry when on Tanner’s trail. A Dutton hardcover. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Genre: Audio
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-101-98578-6
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-1-5247-7836-1
Ebook - 978-1-101-98579-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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