picture from audible

Narrated by C.J. Boyle

Genre: thriller, wee bit paranormal

Note: I am generally skeptical any time I see the author narrated their own work. In this case, that gut feeling panned out, but that’s not always the case.


The blurb pretty much tells you the story. It starts out as a mystery/thriller and ends up with a paranormal aspect.

Ian Murphy loses just about everything, except his niece, Melody. From there, he starts to raise the nine-year-old girl. He gets involved online with Sarah (Gina) in witsec (witness protection) who turns out to be a mob man’s love interest and a different mob man’s daughter.

Additional Comments:

  • There are a lot of improbable things about this story. I’ll try to be vague to avoid spoilers, but connections between characters seem stretched.
  • There’s no talk about Gina/Sarah testifying, but I guess she could qualify for the program on the basis of keeping her safe so her father will testify against the ex. She’s also about the lousiest witsec protectee ever in terms of her contact behavior.
  • The blurb says Ian is ex-FBI, but he never quit. When he wants the job back, he waltzes in and asks for it back.
  • Interactions/banter between the partners comes across like a stereotypical buddy cop show with a heavy emphasis on high school locker room chit chat.
  • The book had some unique aspects.
  • The paranormal angle is okay but given the end twist, just comes off as odd. There’s a big fat why hovering in the back of my mind.
  • The action is fine but highly improbable. They blunder here and there like bulls in a glass shop, busting noses, getting run off the road, etc.
  • There’s a lot of over-the-top action in this tiny book, which makes it come across more like a parody of cop shows.
  • Didn’t get emotionally attached to anybody, but I’m assuming that had to do with the length being short.
  • Sound quality is awful. Definitely needed a professional edit to nix the background tunnel noise. I tend to play audiobooks faster, which usually helps with such things. It was still distracting here. (Not just me being an audiobook snob.)
  • Performance is ok. There’s hardly any variation in voices, except for mob guys and the landlady. They all sound like they walked out of a mob movie.
  • Random: Lots of movie references.
  • Content warning: some violence; quite a few f-bombs (I mention that because most of the books I listen to are squeaky clean.)


It’s okay, but not stellar. If you want something mindless that’s mostly a thriller with a ghost thrown in, it’s a fine way to spend a few hours.

I believe people who like all-action thrillers without thinking much about rhymes or reasons will still be suitably entertained, so in that sense, it’s still worth checking if that’s your thing.
*found on a free code site (Authors and Narrators leave their codes hoping for reviews)

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