Dirty Business (Unabridged)
Author: Julie Elizabeth Powell Date: 2015 Narrator: Melanie Fraser Provider: Julie Elizabeth Powell Running Time: 3 h 31 min Audible Enhanced Audio Gavin Bloom and Alex Moore run an online magazine for an adult market; although each insists it has to be within the limits of not only the law but to their sense of decency. Gavin is on the edge of developing a revolutionary turn for that very magazine, a program that will no doubt secure the business, maybe forever. Amidst the excitement and enjoyment of its success, however, is the mysterious and heinous murder of one of their own. Who can have done it? And why? And who is the woman fastened by a chain to a wall? Follow the twists and turns and perhaps you can solve the puzzle before they do.
I have always approached reading a mystery as being akin to playing a friendly game with the author, the goal being to figure out the riddle before I’m told the answer. But games, even mystery games, have a few rules, and a really good opponent knows how to slip in hints, mask clues, and provide just enough sign posts to keep me on my way, if I am observant enough, and read carefully enough.
When the author doesn’t “play fair” there is no fun in the process, and I find myself disappointed. Writing a mystery is harder than it seems, because, the author must build a very careful foundation, and know when to give away a tiny bit and how to do that in a way that both reveals and masks the tidbit, making it hard, but not impossible, to find. In a way, a good mystery is like a good seduction, veiling more than it reveals, until just the right moment, and making full revelation delicately alluring, titillating and exciting.
I did not find that careful foundation in this book. The clues were either just not there, or so obvious I tripped over them. I think that, had the author taken her time, the book, even if significantly longer, would have benefitted enormously.
The writing was good; the language was evocative and descriptive, and certain scenes were nearly brilliantly presented, though, with one exception, I found the characters to be either overdrawn or one dimensional caricatures.
Again, although this narrator has what could be an excellent reading voice and good expressiveness, she reads so fast that her words tend to slur, and that rush to finish the book detracts from my enjoyment of it.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of audioBookBlast dot com.