cover image Sudden Death

Sudden Death

David Rosenfelt, , read by Grover Gardner. . Listen & Live Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59316-057-9

Abridging a mystery is always a tricky task—cut too much and the reader is either in the dark or wondering about dangling plot threads. But this abridgement is superbly done, reducing the length while maintaining the novel's essence and without sacrificing clarity. Lawyer Andy Carpenter finds himself roped into defending a New York Giants star running back who police find holed up in his house with a gun, and the dead body of a New York Jets receiver. Getting his unwanted client off won't be easy, especially when drug lords become involved, putting Andy's life—and the lives of those he cares about—on the line. Gardner's voice isn't what one would call resonant or even particularly pleasant, but he's undeniably compelling, and here he portrays the wisecracking and insecure Carpenter exactly right—a mix of neo-noirish gumshoe and hot-shot city lawyer. Gardner is one of the stars of audiobook narration—he's recorded more than 450 audiobooks and AudioFile magazine named him one of the "best voices of the century"—and he reinforces that reputation here. Gardner takes this otherwise mildly entertaining potboiler and turns it into a must-hear murder mystery. Simultaneous release with the Mysterious Press hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 7). (July)