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First, I need to sing the praises of Jane McLaughlin who did a fantastic job reading the book. I'm not sure how many readers out there have ever tried reading a book aloud like a play with only one actor playing all the parts but it is much harder than you think. Ms. McLaughlin did a great job switching from female to male to different female and male characters all in a split second. That's what must be done in a conversation. So hats off to her voice acting.
Secondly, a good voice actor needs a good story to read and this one is very enjoyable. With enough introspection from the main character to understand her a little better and a cast of other characters we all "know", the story seems very realistic and possible which is also much harder to pull off than you might think. The story is captivating and you want to keep reading to know what happens next. Had fun listening to the book. I would recommend the book to mystery lovers who want a story that takes place in the here and now.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Where does Sign Off rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I liked it! It is well written, well read, and definitely entertaining. The writer knows how to put a good sentence together, and while the story evolves somewhat slowly, it held my attention and moved along without rambling. I'd have given the story five stars, except for its unusual pace, although in fairness, a slower start provides added emphasis to the fish-out-of-water story of a big-city reporter and her introduction to life in the great open West. Rather than a more traditional mystery format that puts the crime up front with a bang, the writer uses several beginning chapters to set out characters and background. I tend to prefer the straightforward thriller, but this story's central character is an easily relatable recently divorced female reporter, and the writer's intentions are clearly to develop her, as well has her exploits, in new directions. All the time used to explain this character, then, and where she is at the moment is not wasted, and thanks largely to the narrator's lively approach and distinct voices (good male voices too, which is hard for many female narrators), the character-driven chapters that begin the story with an introduction to interesting people and places as opposed to nefarious acts make a fun and funny listen, even for a more action-oriented listener, like myself.
What other book might you compare Sign Off to and why?
The main character, for whom the narrator's voice was just perfect, is matter-of-fact at times, but always extremely likable. While she is not unlike other determined female leads in sundry best-selling mystery and crime series, I am reminded more of the woman in the TV series The Good Wife--a story driven by the interactions of groups of characters you can like and relate to, with a strong female at the forefront.
What does Jane McLaughlin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
For a listener more accustomed to action than character, the energetic narration through the beginning chapters held my interest, I think, more than might have been the case with the written page. Actually, the story includes a multitude of characters, and rather than finding them too many, the several distinct voices made this most enjoyable. Some of these voices--the male voices in particular--were raspy or resonate or otherwise filled with a character that made me more immediately picture the individual than if I had been reading.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
A smart, professional reporter takes on a totally unfamiliar environment and never backs down from the challenge, even when it looks like a murder, or could be her own.
Any additional comments?
There will be a Part Two (there are more books in the series, apparently) and I'll be there when they are released on Audible. Definitely worth a credit.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful