- ISBN-13: 9781478936879
- ISBN-10: 1478936878
- Publisher: Twelve
- Publish Date: May 2016
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.2 pounds
Audio: Master of espionage
Even when I’m totally immersed in an atmospheric Alan Furst novel, I can always hear the faint hum of Carly Simon singing “Nobody Does It Better.” That’s because nobody does World War II espionage better than Furst. A Hero of France, his latest, performed with perfect pace and polish by Daniel Gerroll, begins on March 10, 1941, when the City of Light was shrouded in blackout curtains and the Nazi occupiers terrorized Parisians with impunity. We meet Mathieu, the nom de guerre of our “hero,” as he waits to hear if the British airmen he aided have made it safely across the border. Mathieu and his band of brothers and brave sisters form a cell dedicated to getting these much-needed men back to England. Cool, competent, someone you’d really like to have a drink with, Mathieu has enlisted the help of a fascinating group, including a Sorbonne professor, an attractive socialite, a fresh-faced lycée student, a woman who runs an occult store and more. Capturing mood and detail, Furst takes us into that time and place and keeps us in its thrall.
BURN, BABY, BURN
Anyone worried that Spenser, Robert Parker’s ever-popular, iconic, tough, tender Boston P.I., wouldn’t fare well when Ace Atkins took over the series can rest easy. Spenser still puts on the gloves and works out at the gym, is still the quintessential wise-guy quipper who banters with ceaseless bravado, and he still adores the brilliant, beautiful Susan Silverman, who still adores him. And, yes, Hawk is on the scene, as is Pearl the Wonder Dog. Joe Mantegna, long the voice and spirit of Spenser and his buddies, is still the ever--competent, unflappable narrator, making the continuity from Parker to Atkins seem seamless. Listeners know from the get-go who the bad guys are in Slow Burn, Atkins’ fifth in the series. The fun is in following Spenser, hired to investigate a suspicious fire in a South End Catholic church that killed three of Boston’s beloved firefighters, as he searches for the unknown arsonists, irritates old enemies, gets into a few knuckle-busters and watches his own apartment go up in flames. This satisfying Spenser is super summer entertainment.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Why does re-entering society seem more troublesome for so many returning vets than enduring the trauma of combat? That’s the difficult question Sebastian Junger tackles in Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. His brilliantly crafted, provocative mosaic of history, anthropology, psychology and memoir shows us that war may be hell, but it’s a hell shared by your platoon mates if you’re a soldier, by your neighbors if you’re a civilian under siege. In hellish times, people band together, share resources and sacrifice for the good of the community in the same way early ancestors did for thousands of years. A need for closeness, group identity and altruism runs deep in our collective DNA, a need that was filled by the “bonds of hardship” that came during the Blitz or combat or in an outpost in Afghanistan—the bonds so often missing in our comfort-filled but alienating modern society. Junger reads with intensity and compassion.