cover image The Whisperers

The Whisperers

John Connolly, read by Holter Graham, Recorded Books, 11 CDs, 12.75 hrs., unabridged, $23.75 ISBN 978-1-4498-1834-0

Holter Graham's breathless, bordering on melodramatic delivery is an appropriate fit for private detective Charlie Parker's latest battle with otherworldly evil. The labyrinthine plot has the sleuth confronting his old foe, the Collector, while investigating the suicides of Iraq War veterans who were also guilty of smuggling valuable artifacts out of the country. Graham is particularly effective in maintaining a rat-a-tat pacing for the novel that sounds like a mashup of Raymond Chandler and Dean Koontz. He provides Charlie with a hard-boiled but sensitive sensibility, but is equally on target with the properly disquieting raspy voice of the Collector and the serpentlike sibilance of a sinister killer named Herrod. He also has an effective interpretation for the title creatures' mutterings. Connolly sacrifices some of the novel's tension with a protracted discussion of the PTSD suffered by soldiers during the Iraq War; Graham handles those sections briskly, while maintaining their informational value. An Atria hardcover (Reviews, May 31). (July)