AudioBook Review: The second short form mystery from Gail Bowen in the Charlie D series again has us spending time with Charlie during his hour long radio talk show. A few months have passed since the first story, and it is now Halloween Night, and the show topic is Death – in celebration of the Day of the Dead. Charlie’s got a guest speaker, Dr. Robin Harris, a specialist in the study of death psychology. She is also looking to get the station owners to give her a show – so her time with Charlie is also serving as an on-air interview.
Bowen uses Robin’s ex-husband, and a fellow doctor to create the stories main conflict. Aside from her ice queen persona, she is unwilling to admit to any of her own missteps in her approach, and nearly walks out of the show when Charlie takes her to task for her cutting off a caller in distress. When her ex-husband comes on, the vitriol from her is amazing, until she is paralyzed with fear when it is clear that her daughter is not safely at home with the nanny.
I was on the edge of my seat for a good 75% of this story: Robin was a class A bitch and easy to dismiss – but Charlie and Nova’s management of her, and of the ex-husband caller was genius. You will barely breathe as the time comes close to the ‘hour’ of death, and when the little girl stops responding, your heart will too.
Daniel Maté again manages to infuse Charlie’s radio voice with that “dark honeyed smoothness” while keeping his own interactive voice laden with appropriate scorn and rebuke for the recalcitrant guest. The contrast in voices used for the flat affect of Dr. Knight, Kali’s exuberant 5 year old self, the accent-heavy caller with the tip and even the young boy who is mourning the death of his brother were spot on and clear to the ear: you could almost picture people who inhabit those voices.
I’m NOT a huge mystery fan: I tend to like the BBC productions and the older style ones, but Bowen’s stories as narrated by Daniel Maté are not to be missed.
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story: 5
Title: One Fine Day You're Gonna Die
Author: Gail Bowen
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Narrator: Daniel Maté
Published by: Post Hypnotic Press
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 1 Hour: 24 minutes
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Charlie D is back doing his late-night radio call-in show. It's Halloween--The Day of the Dead. Not a day filled with good memories for Charlie, but the show must go on. His studio guest this evening is Dr. Robin Harris, an arrogant and ambitious "expert in the arts of dying and grieving," who also seems to be auditioning for her own radio talk show. Charlie and Dr. Harris do not hit it off. Things go from bad to worse when the doctor's ex-lover, Gabe, goes on air to announce that he's about to end his life. Dr. Harris is entirely unsympathetic until she learns that Gabe also has her daughter Kali and plans to poison her too. It will take all of Charlie D's on-air skills to save both Gabe and Kali.
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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