cover image House Rules

House Rules

Jodi Picoult, read by a full cast, Recorded Books, unabridged, 17 CDs, 20 hrs., $44.99 ISBN 978-1-4407-8824-6

Having clear house rules has proven to be the most effective way for single mother Emma Hunt to raise her two sons: brilliant 18-year-old Jacob, who has Asperger’s syndrome, and 15-year-old Theo. Jacob’s obsession with criminal forensics has brought him to the notice of local law enforcement, and when a murder is committed, Jacob becomes a suspect. Gripping suspense, sensitive treatment of Asperger’s, and brilliant characterizations make for an outstanding listen. Playing Jacob and Theo respectively, Mark Turetsky and Andy Paris sound youthful but never childish or mannered. Rich Orlow as the police detective, and Christopher Evan Welch playing the defense attorney are mature and assured. And Nicole Poole as the mother delivers a star performance; her Emma comes alive, and while never imitating the other narrators, her representations of the other characters in dialogue are so true the reader could forget it wasn’t the designated cast member in the role. An Atria hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 21). (Mar.)