Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair

  • by Frederick H. Crook
  • Narrated by Tom Cooper
  • 2 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is 2109 in Chicago and a double murder is discovered in Ping Tom Memorial Park. Investigating the crime is Frank Campanelli, a blind homicide detective who relies on bio-electronics to see and do his job. Together with his partner, Marcus Williams, a former Navy SEAL, the pair discovers that one of the two victims is the son of the local boss of the Tong, the most powerful Chinese gang in the city.
Tensions among the Tong, the other Chinese gangs, and factions of the mob rise as no one truly knows who is responsible. It is up to Detectives Campanelli and Williams to find the murderer before a gang war envelopes the city in this dystopian future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Blind detective is kicking butt & taking names

Set in Chicago in 2109, Detective Frank Campanelli and his partner Detective Marcus Williams are investigating the death of two men. One is identified as a son, Wong, of a leading Chinese criminal family. The crime scene is lacking the expected amount of blood and this simple clue sets Campanelli and Williams on a hunt for a killer. Hopefully they will be able to catch the perpetrator before a war can break out between the lead criminal families of Chicago.

First, I really enjoyed Frank Campanelli. He’s blind and uses cybernetic implants to mimic eyesight, allowing him to live an independent and pretty normal life. This gives him a little different way of looking at some things, giving him the occasional edge in his work. He’s chosen to stay on Earth while much of the population has left for another habitable planet, Alethea. The whole story has a noir detective feel but it’s set in this kind of grungy future Chicago with cool SF tech. This mash up works really well for me.

Campanelli isn’t new to the area. He has contacts and relationships with people in the area, including Lei Wong, whose son has just turned up dead. He knows the best forensics people and his partner, Williams, is a gengineered navy SEAL. Despite Lei Wong being this crime boss, the author makes him very human. Campanelli has to deliver news of his son’s death. Despite Lei’s need to keep a strong face on, Campanelli can still see how this news pains him.

Now, there are few ladies present in this story and I wish there were a few more and they were doing something besides being romantic interests. Tam, Frank’s part-time girlfriend, has potential to be more in future books. I did like the main forensics lady and her geeky ways. The pacing of the story and the mystery were all good until right at the end. Now I didn’t mind the whodunit part but I did feel that the big reveal was rushed and it was very convenient for a character to provide all the answers. I would have liked the detectives to have sorted most of it out for themselves.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Tom Cooper did a pretty good job with this book. He’s great at playing a male noir detective. He also had a decent voice for Marcus Williams. I did have a little trouble hearing distinctions between the characters here and there, especially with minor characters. He was good at an elderly Lei Wong and his pacing was good as well. His female characters could use a bit more femininity.
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- DabOfDarkness

Good noir detective story.

Would you recommend Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes. Couple of my friends like this sort of stories. I will definitely recommend this book to them.


Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, the narrator did a good job that way.


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not really. This sort of stories are good for books or maybe a mini-series on tv. Not really a movie material.


Any additional comments?

The Chinese gang, the murder mystery and impending war - all gave the book a mix of daredevil and gotham vibes. At places, the "set in future" plot sounded like it is setup like that just for the heck of it. But otherwise, the story was passable as an ok, one time listen.

A review copy was gifted to me at no charge. In return, I am happy to provide an honest review. Also at no charge.

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- Bikram Agarwal

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-23-2017
  • Publisher: Frederick H. Crook