Samaritan

  • by Richard Price
  • Narrated by Michael Boatman
  • 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After a lucrative television writing career comes to an abrupt end, ex-high school teacher Ray Mitchell returns to the New Jersey city of his birth to rethink his life, reconnect with his teenage daughter, and to spread the wealth on the housing project that reared him. He begins teaching again, embarks on an affair with a married woman from the old neighborhood and becomes a mentor to a former student. Then, disaster: he is found beaten nearly to death in his own apartment. He knows who did it, but he's not talking, and he refuses to press charges.
It is up to Detective Nerese Ammons - a childhood acquaintance from the projects - to get Ray to tell her what happened.
Alternating between investigations of the people in Ray's life most likely to do him harm and listening to his fevered ramblings about their shared past as he slips in and out of consciousness, Nerese is charged not only with uncovering the perpetrator of this assault but with understanding what kind of victim is more afraid of the truth than of his potential murderer.
Samaritan is an electrifying story of crime and punishment - a novel of literary suspense that explores what happens when too little is given, too little is understood and the results threaten to prove both tragic and deadly.

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What the Critics Say

"The crime-solving framework pulls us forward but is unencumbered by the pedantic detail of a police procedural, and the depth of the characterizations is magnificent: Ray, Nerese, and the considerable supporting cast are fully imagined beings who surprise us but never test our credulity." (Booklist, Starred Review)
"Price yields up not just the familiar, blanched moonscape of urban blight but the inner lives and jack-hammering hearts of those who pace and patrol it." (The New Yorker)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More than a crime story

There are many kinds of addictions. While Ray has experienced a drug addiction in the past, his current addiction is helping others. Like most addicts, Ray either doesn't think about the consequences of his actions or doesn't care. This is a surprising mystery with a message for all of us in its answer. It explores not only the mystery of the crime that has been committed but as we watch Ray make one bad choice after another, we also explore the mystery of the human psyche and why we do the things we do.

While the message behind the story is quite memorable, and the author's playing out of the story is interesting, I didn't get a real feel for any of the characters -- particularly Danielle. I didn't develop a sense of who she was and could not even form a mental picture of her. Also, his relationship with her was ambiguous and seemed unbelievable to me.

Overall, however, I felt this was a thought-provoking book and well worth the listen.
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- Diana

Good read with a twist

The way the story was laid out keept me interested to the end. The ending was revealed in the beginning and I had to keep listening to find out how he got into that situation in the first place. I was very surprised to find out what really happened.
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- Steven

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-07-2003
  • Publisher: Random House Audio