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Jake Brand, PI finds himself in yet another mess. His new client is attractive and aggressive – she wants her boyfriend found but she keeps hitting on Jake. Mix in a hacker who does things unconventionally, a gorgeous Agent, a dirty cop and some hoodlums and you have a deadly combination for Jake and his colleagues/friends.
Mixed with lots of action and danger, Jake falls for a beautiful woman who … well, she shakes him up in more ways than one by the end of the book! While this is book 2 in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. This book has the back story to Jake, his friends and those he loves which makes a more thorough connection for the reader.
Louis does an excellent job of laying out the plot and then seeing each thread of it through tying everything up nicely. His writing style is brisk yet smooth, character development is full and not overly complex – some authors make the mistake of being too involved, Louis does just the right amount of character development enabling the reader to become entrenched in not only the story but invested in the characters.
We all have a little “devil” and little “angel” sitting on our shoulders but Jake’s is more outspoken than most. I enjoy the inner dialog his conscience has with himself – it’s fun and lighthearted but so packed full of wisdom – such as never tell a woman her morning face is worse than yours – no, you tell her she is magnificent every single second of the day! Fun yet full of twists and turns.
Colin Iago McCarthy does an excellent performance. His voice is Jake Brand down to the husky throaty voice. It is always exciting to hear an audiobook where the narrator becomes the character – they own it – McCarthy owns Jake Brand, PI! There is no doubt that he is Jake. His performance was flawless – no stumbling or missing words – everything was fluid and correct. I enjoy McCarthy’s reading.
There were no issues with the audio production of this book.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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8 of 10 people found this review helpful
4.75 out of 5 stars
Secondhand Smoke tells the story of a private investigator Jake Brand and a new case that he is introduced to. It feels like it's going to be a quick open-shut case, but after he does some digging it ends up being way more than he expected. He opened pandora's box, so to say. And now numerous different groups are trying to tie him to different things and figure out why he's hanging around in all the wrong places.
At the beginning of Secondhand Smoke, I wasn't sure what I was getting into. I knew what the synopsis said and I understood the story -- but I didn't read the first book in the series so I wasn't familiar with Jake Brand, PI or any of his quirks (his angel and devil for example). But, it didn't take long for me to figure out who he was and what made him tick. M. Louis did a great job making new readers feel at ease with Brand.
The story itself started off a little unsure of itself, I think this was done on purpose. Secondhand Smoke gave some back story and then showed the case that Brand was going to be working on. But once he had the case -- things started to fall into place very quickly (for the story, but definitely not for Brand). Every character introduced after that made the story feel real and interesting.
Louis did a great job writing a witty and funny noir-like private detective without making him feel old school or unimportant. The few jokes they made at him involved technology, but I liked the way that Brand attacked the situations (both old and new).
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and I ended up listening to it almost all day today (Sunday) so that I could finish it. I couldn't put it down. As soon as I finished it, I looked at the first Brand book and it's now on my wishlist.
The narration for this really made it enjoyable. McCarthy does a perfect job voicing Brand, making him sound competent and a little half-witted. The dramatic and the funny scenes weren't difficult for McCarthy. He breezes the reader through this great book with ease.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful