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Audio: Going for gold
After listening to You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott’s newest, read by Lauren Fortgang, you’ll never look at those small, supremely schooled and conditioned young gymnasts in sparkling leotards the same way again. If you enjoyed watching the summer Olympics, this suspenseful tale will be all the more fun. Katie and Eric Knox should be all-American poster-parents: good-looking, two smart kids, two cars, nice house in a nice community. But their teenage daughter, Devon, is a prodigy gymnast, a golden girl going for the gold. And the Knoxes are gym parents who will do anything, sacrifice anything to get Devon to the top of this wildly competitive sport. When Ryan, the irresistibly cute boyfriend of the tumbling coach, is killed in a hit-and-run, this gritty, behind-the-scenes look at the grueling life of aspiring gymnasts turns into a nail-biter of a whodunit, a thriller that asks those age-old, always intriguing, always-chilling questions: What’s the price of success? And how far will you go to protect your child?
TRUST NO ONE
Dr. Maria Martinez is a beautiful woman from Salamanca, Spain, with an eidetic memory who can take computers apart and reassemble them in minutes. She’s a brilliant doctor and plastic surgeon (not the cosmetic kind), and she probably has Asperger’s. But when we first meet her, she’s in prison, convicted of the gory murder of a Catholic priest. She has no memory of the killing, yet she knows she’s innocent despite the DNA evidence that puts her at the scene. That’s just for openers in Subject 375, the taut and often terrifying first installment of the Project trilogy by Nikki Owen, narrated with compelling intensity by the very capable January LaVoy. Is Maria an unreliable narrator, or has she been the subject of an elaborate clandestine project, plunged unwittingly into the shadowy world of covert intrigue? Slowly, Maria— and the reader—begins to put the puzzle of her unsettling life together and to figure out who, if anyone, is telling the truth.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Powerful and brilliantly imagined, The Sport of Kings, C.E. Morgan’s second novel, twines and dissects two very different but very American families whose last descendants are focused on an extraordinary thoroughbred filly with a lineage carefully manipulated to produce a super-horse. Writing with a mix of extravagant lushness and vivid accuracy, fully realized here by narrator George Newbern, Morgan moves backward and forward in time with ease, first giving us Henry Forge, who inherited his father’s bigotry as well as his wealth, and then the backstory of his influential Kentucky clan. Henry’s cherished only child, Henrietta, hires African-American groom Allmon Shaughnessy to care for the horse that carries all their ill-conceived ambitions. Allmon’s history is a brutal reprise of the legacy of slavery and racism so much a part of our past and present. The clash that rocks the lives of Henry, Henrietta and Allmon is inevitable, the moral complexities it spotlights difficult, but immensely important. This is an exceptional novel by a rare talent.