Audio: Fatal attraction
John Lescroart hasn’t left San Francisco, but he’s giving a sabbatical to Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky, the stars of his long-running crime series. In his latest standalone thriller, Fatal, read by Jacques Roy, he pairs his trademark genres—police procedural and courtroom drama—in an intriguingly different way. Beth Tully, a homicide inspector for the SFPD, and the strikingly beautiful, happily married Kate Jameson have been very close since their college days. When Kate confides that she’s obsessed with a man named Peter, a lawyer she met at a dinner party given by her husband’s law partner, Beth pleads with her to let it go. She doesn’t. Six months later Peter’s body is found floating in the Bay with an obvious gunshot wound. It takes Beth, who lands the case, a while to sift through the suspects and connect the dots that may implicate her best friend in a murder. Then this whodunit tilts and twists in a swirl of moral ambiguity, the inevitably disturbing consequences of marital infidelity and the strong bonds of female friendship.
THEN AND NOW
Finding a decent, affordable place to live in London, like New York, is a Herculean task. When Emma and Simon hear that there’s an unusual, austerely elegant, super-high-tech house in their price range, they’re intrigued. So what if One Folgate Street comes with a weird, probing questionnaire, a long list of rules and an interview. Emma, who was brutally attacked during a recent burglary, is all for it, while Simon is not so gung-ho. Emma is the “girl” in JP Delaney’s debut thriller, The Girl Before, performed by Emilia Fox and Finty Williams. Her story intertwines with the life of Jane, who might be called “the girl after,” and she, too, has just had a personal tragedy. In increasingly chilling “now” and “then” chapters, both women fall for Edward Monkford, the owner, obsessive perfectionist and acclaimed architect of One Folgate Street. Are Jane and Emma reliable narrators? Or, since the title has “girl” in it, do we have to find the kernels of truth under elaborate and deliberate lies? That’s the psychological game here, and it’s a doozy.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Carlo Rovelli’s Seven Brief Lessons on Physics was a phenomenon, a rare bestseller in the serious science category. Now with Reality Is Not What It Seems, he’s done it again, giving us an elegantly written explication of the “enchanting” landscape of current thinking on the quantum nature of time and space and its antecedents. Yes, the subject is difficult and esoteric, and yes, you may not grasp all the concepts (I must admit to listening twice), but you won’t regret taking Rovelli’s invitation to follow this extraordinary intellectual journey. It starts with Democritus, who lived and wrote 26 centuries ago, the man who gave us an “immense vision”—a world made of atoms—“on which the knowledge of a civilization would later be built.” The journey continues with Lucretius, Galileo, Newton, Faraday and Einstein, of course, from classical physics to today’s research on quantum gravity. Rovelli’s enthusiasm, his excitement about discovering the true nature of things, is enhanced by Roy McMillan’s narration of this mind-expanding audio.