cover image The Protg

The Protg

Stephen Frey, , read by Holter Graham. . Audio Partners, $37.95 (, unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs., $37.95 p) ISBN 978-1572705043

The mob and a disgruntled competitor are trying to kill Christian Gillette, the charismatic, good-looking and wildly successful chairman of Everest Capital, a multibillion-dollar private equity firm. He's got government spooks trying to use one of his companies as a front for a top-secret nanotechnology program. And on top of all this, he still has to run his firm and figure out the truth about his father's death. Narrator Graham does the book justice, voicing the high-powered businessmen with all the right intonations, using slight alterations to distinguish between characters, including a spot-on British accent (although his mob hit man accent does seem a bit trite). His facility for dialogue makes Graham an ideal choice for this audiobook, as the novel's characters are its primary strength. Graham is also adept at reading the narrative sections, using deliberate pacing that makes the action compelling and easy to follow—and this is essential, as the novel features a complex web of plot threads that, at times, strains credibility. Fortunately Graham provides a stabilizing influence, keeping the story more firmly grounded in reality even as the author has it veer off into thriller fantasyland. Simultaneous release with the Ballantine hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 3). (Jan.)