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Publisher's Summary

A powerful thriller of redemption, hope, and courage that overcomes all obstacles.
It began well - an experiment in techniques to teach high-risk children - poor, minority, children - the life-strategies that will allow them to succeed in life. And not just succeed, but overcome the odds and become wildly successful. They chose as their model a man who had done it all - Alexander Marcus, a black man who raised himself up from poverty to become one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in America. The imprinting is effective. The children are focused, driven. They are inventive, intelligent, and love learning. But there is a mysterious darkness to them - a ruthlessness that is surprising.
Renny Sand first met the children as a journalist covering the sensational trial of a preschool operator. There were terrible charges of sex abuse, but the thing that stayed with Renny was the strange poise and power of a group of eight-year-old children. That, and the face of the mother of one of them, Vivian Emory. Now the children are 13 years old, and one of them has been killed in a mysterious hit-and-run accident. Renny Sands sees the possibility of big story, a human interest story, a story that might jump-start his flagging career. He'll do a follow-up on the preschool scandal; and he might get a chance to restart his love life as well - Vivian Emory has divorced her husband in the five years since he met her.
©2002 Steven Barnes (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Lin SP on 03-20-13

Very odd narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

a better narrator

What could Steven Barnes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I've read Steven Barnes' books in the past and enjoyed them. This one just didn't work for me. I didn't care about the characters. and after listening to about two thirds of part one the story didn't seem to be going anywhere - Just a series of incidents with unrelated characters doing uninteresting things.

What didn’t you like about Barrie Buckner’s performance?

His voice is too rough and has an odd rhythm. Everything is at the same tone with a stress on about every fourth or fifth word no matter what the meaning.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?

I would be willing to try another Steven Barnes book with a different narrator.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Terri on 02-01-13


A mediocre story, read by someone who can't pronounce basic words. For example, "he served the connection" instead of "severed the connection" and "satanized" instead of "sanitized", "wadded into the water" (waded) are just a few examples. The entire story is littered with mis-pronounciations from start to finish - disappointing to say the very least.

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