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Thomas Perry, read by Michael Kramer, Tantor Media, unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-4001-1257-9

Perry's darkly comedic yarn follows a Southern California strip club owner who makes a costly mistake when he blames the wrong man for robbing him. Michael Kramer clearly appreciates and plays along with the author's sense of humor, and he understands the characters' gray-area approach to morality: the voice of the sociopathic club owner is splendidly brutish most of the time, but can turn surprisingly tender in the presence of his new love. Kramer saves his strongest interpretations for the villains of the piece: the smarmy masked robber and his nutty girlfriend; the former's tone is silky smooth while on the job, but dissolves into nearly incoherent self-doubt when berated by the latter. The girlfriend's attitude devolves from flirtatious to, by novel's end, screeching and psychotic. The only flaw in Kramer's reading is his mispronunciation of a couple of Los Angeles' major street names—not the best thing for a book where the city is itself a character in the plot. A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 1). (May)