cover image FLASHPOINT


Suzanne Brockmann, , read by Melanie Ewbank and Patrick Lawlor. . Brilliance Audio, $34.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59355-590-0

It should come as no surprise to listeners that Brockmann began her career as a screenwriter. The dialogue in her romantic suspense novels is always plentiful and finely tuned, which is partly why her newest offering (after Gone Too Far ) translates so well to audio. The rest of the credit belongs to Ewbank and Lawlor, who narrate alternate sections of the book, Ewbank taking on the chapters told from a female perspective and Lawlor handling those told from a male point of view. Having just left the FBI, gorgeous Jimmy Nash soon finds himself on a plane with his old partner and friend Lawrence Decker and computer support specialist Tess Bailey, with whom he shared a passionate one-night stand. The trio have been hired by a non-government company called SOS Inc. to pose as relief workers in earthquake-ravaged Kazbekistan and recover a laptop containing vital information about terrorist plots. Ewbank does a fine job of highlighting Tess's insecurities and her enduring fascination with Jimmy, but Lawlor falters when giving voice to Decker, who's said to have a "mellow baritone" but instead comes off sounding like he has a gravel pit in his throat. Both narrators, however, deliver the book's spirited banter with gusto, making this an enjoyable beach listen. Simultaneous release with the Ballantine hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 5). (Apr.)