by Sukey HowardNovember, 2000
The legal eagle has landed
The cast of characters in Tim Green's new legal thriller, The Letter of the Law, ably performed by Keith Szarabajka, is a little more conventional but a little more lethal, too. Eric Lipton, a super-smart, super-suave, nationally known law professor, has been accused of the grisly murder and mutilation of a young law student. Casey Jordan, a beautiful, brilliant, top-notch defense attorney who likes high profile, big-buck clients, is asked to represent him. If anyone can manipulate a jury and stay within the letter of the law, it's Casey . . . but it's possible that she's being manipulated herself. Sergeant Bo Bolinger, on the case from the beginning, isn't as easy to manage, nor is the murdered girl's grief-stricken, justice-obsessed father. My verdict: a compelling, adrenaline-pumping audio that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat (unless you're on the Stairmaster).
Dick does it again
A new, race-paced Dick Francis mystery is always a safe bet for bestsellerdom. Shattered, available in a seven-hour unabridged version read by Fiacre Douglas, and in a three hour abridgement read by Martin Jarvis, proves yet again that Francis knows his turf and knows how to turn out a winner.
A rough and rowdy memoir of teenage angst
If you loved The Liars' Club, Mary Karr's award-winning memoir of her Texas childhood, you may find Cherry, a new memoir of her teenage years, as good, if not better. Here again, Karr's bold, poetic prose, full of kick and down-home cussing, achieves a rare reality perfectly suited to memoir; and as raw and rough-edged as the teenager she's writing about. Karr never romanticizes, never whines, blames, makes excuses or embarrasses with undue detail (a major relief in this tell-all age). And though she looks back with unavoidable hindsight, it never eclipses her ability to get into the mind and spirit of her 15 and 16-year-old self, with all the dizzying adolescent angst, misery, joy and dreams. Karr reads on this audio presentation, punctuating her vivid language with even more immediacy and intensity.
Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.