cover image Satori


Don Winslow, read by Holter Graham. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $29.98 ISBN 978-1-60788-692-1

Winslow spins a sequel adventure yarn very nearly as entertaining as its predecessor, the 1979 thriller Shibumi. Set in the Far East in 1951, it features a 26-year-old version of Shibumi's popular protagonist, mystic and master assassin Nicolai Hel. Holter Graham give the prose a splendidly nuanced narration, using a calm, subtly lilting voice in charting the progress of the "more Asian than Western" hero, beginning with his release from a U.S. prison in Tokyo courtesy of the CIA, which put him there, through dramatic sequences of romance, violence, honor, and betrayal, and ending with a slam-bang confrontation with the villains in the underground tunnels of Vietnam. Along the way, Holter makes his Far Eastern accent more prominent, giving voice to the Asian characters, and switches to a touch of French for the love interest, a beautiful spy named Solange; Russian for several of the secondary villains; and a guttural, ugly American for the book's major protagonist. A Grand Central hardcover. (Mar.)