Friday, August 7, 2015

Audiobook Review: An Eye for Murder by Libby Fischer Hellmann

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher, and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

Libby Fischer Hellmann
Ellie Foreman is a recently divorced woman with a tweener daughter and an aging father to care for. She works as a film director for a small independent production company in Chicago, and her greatest claim to fame is a small regional history piece she produced for the mayor a few years back. Everything is getting to a normal place in her life, when three unrelated incidences converge to force her world to come undone.

First she receives a request from a TEA Party candidate for the governorship to produce a bio-pic which the campaign hopes will introduce the candidate to the voters. Next, her ex-husband brings her the bad news that he is having financial difficulties due to a poor investment decision which threatens his ability to contribute to her financially. Finally, an unknown elderly woman calls to inform her that upon the death of an aged border, Ellie’s name was found amid the dead man’s possessions, and she believes that Ellie may be the intended heir of his meager belongings.

How these three otherwise minor incidences play out to bring Ellie to the brink of bankruptcy and involve her in a 65 year-old conspiracy to revive Hitler’s final solution makes for a fast paced, and colorful tale. Along the way we meet Ellie’s Syrian gardener, a handsome stranger named David, an Hispanic woman with secrets of her own, the charismatic leader of a Neo-Nazi Church, and a young boy who hopes the library might be his ticket out of gang life; as well as a number of other peripheral characters who all have a part to play in this tightly told yarn.

Capably voiced by Karyn O’Bryant, the audio version of An Eye for Murder by Libby Fisher Hellmann is not overly produced with sound effects and distracting mood music, which I always appreciate. The story did require some accent work, and a little emotional depth from the narrator, all of which Ms O’Bryant handled masterfully. In fact, for the whole of the production, I was only pulled out of the narration at one point during a scene describing how Ellie dealt with an unrealized romantic moment. During a few paragraphs where Ellie describes how she brought herself to completion, the narration felt just a little disconnected.  
Karyn O'Bryant

There are also a few very minor issues with the story. For one, I find it very difficult to believe that the liberal daughter of a Jewish WWII survivor would be easily swayed to believe that a TEA Party darling could be even a little bit pro-union and pro-choice and still have party backing. There’s also a short scene describing in too much detail how Ellie chooses to hide a copy of an old document. She hid it in a seldom used window-well. That’s all we need to know. But these two issues and a few other quibbles are nothing to complain about.

Overall, the story is satisfying and believable and entertaining. All the things one wants in an audio thriller. This is billed as the first in the series of Ellie Foreman mysteries. It might be worthwhile checking out the rest.

Amazon, Audible

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