Black Maps

  • by Peter Spiegelman
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

John March is a former cop now working as a P.I. in Manhattan. Haunted by his past, work is what keeps him sane, but his current case threatens to have the opposite effect. It involves an attempted extortion; an investment banker with some serious skeletons in his closet; and a money launderer diabolically adept at both psychological and physical intimidation. March is the perfect man for the job. His family's wealth comes from banking, so when he begins to follow the paper trail that might lead to the extortionist, he knows what he's looking at. But this paper trail is stained with blood, and scattered with powerful emotional echoes from his past, and before March has reached the end, his own blood may be added to it.

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What the Critics Say

"Nothing about this stylish, literate mystery reads like a debut, as Spiegelman handles the complex plot with verve....John March is one of the most intriguing new PIs to come along in quite some time, and if this strong first outing is any indication, he should be in for a long and enjoyable run." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Favorite Author Who Doesn't Disappoint here.

Nicely plotted hard-boiled dick novel and then tied together well with characters that shimmer. Liked it, recommend it. Enjoy.
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- Ted

Incredibly mixed bag, this one...

This book has an excellent premise and the story is executed with intrigue and suspense. Unfortunately, it also has a couple of problems: First, the protagonist has a stupid streak that makes him hard to root for. He does idiotic things and then repeats them. This being a first novel, I'm hopeful that the author will improve his character development going forward.

The second problem is huge: The descriptions. Oh my, let me see if I can find the words to accurately describe this problem. This author describes EVERYTHING worn by EVERY character in EVERY situation, and he does it EVERY time they appear. By page 100, I was ready to scream, and this problem is pronounced enough that I won't make it through his future books if they're the same way. I have no idea what he was thinking, and it's unfathomable that the publisher didn't insist on paring this practice back during the editing process.

NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, is left to the reader's imagination. Each time a character appears, he describes every stitch of clothing, from the shape of boot heels to the style of earrings to the color of hair ribbon, the hairstyle, the pants, the shirts, the blouse, the scarf. Matters not if they're walking down the street or staring into the muzzle of a gun, he's gonna tell us EXACTLY what they're wearing. If there are a group of people present, he ticks through each one like this. It's not limited to characters, of course. We get the same level of minutiae for every building, every room we enter, and basically every piece of furniture in every room. It's utterly maddening, and it's made worse in the audiobook format since you can't skim through this nonsense.

I want to like this author because of the good story and interesting premise. I can only hope that someone somewhere helps him understand the seriousness of this problem. Reading is about visualizing, about imagination. It's not television and it's not necessary to try to turn it into that kind of experience.
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- Jerry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-18-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape