Abby Donovan’s decade-long dream of partnership at her prestigious Chicago law firm is just months from fruition. But it’s all about to change because of one misstep. One step onto a late-night train headed in the wrong direction. Headed into Chicago’s west side, where gangs and violence and drugs fill the streets. In this engaging debut, E.C. Diskin, a former Chicago attorney, takes us on a fast-paced thrill ride with a believable and flawed heroine. Listeners will relate to her, fear for her, and get a glimpse inside Chicago’s best and worst. From the roughest streets of the west side to the estates of the North Shore, Abby Donovan and the unexpected villains of The Green Line will keep you listening late into the night as they shine light on a little-known, often-used, and widely-abused legal maneuver.
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Narrator Jeff Cummings tries to reflect the emotions, voices, and accents of all of the many characters who have dialog. He does a horrible job which irritated me for the first hour. But then it became funny and added to my enjoyment of the book.
The Green Line is an excellent legal thriller. The protagonist is a lawyer but all of the action is outside the courtroom. I would definitely read other books by this author.
- Wayne "I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!"
Preposterous Story Made Even Worse By Narrator
I listen to a TON of audiobooks, but this is one of the first that I've given up on. It's that bad. First, the narrator is unlistenable. I know, that's not a word, but I don't know how else to describe jut how horrible the narration is. The book is told mainly from the perspective of a woman (so far, I couldn't get beyond chapter 9), with most of the quoted material female voices, but the producers of this audiobook chose to go with a male narrator. And boy, does this dude suck at doing women's voices. The main character, Abby, is supposed to be from Georgia, so she has a Southern accent. Sometimes. It seems that the narrator often forgets that Abby has an accent and just uses his "generic female voice" for Abby. This voice sounds an awful lot like Mr. Garrison from South Park. When Abby and her friend Sara get together, the falsetto undifferentiated tones sound like a drag queen talking to herself. But the female voices aren't the only place where the narrator ruins the experience - he gives half the young black men in the book the same falsetto treatment. Oh, and the Iraqi guy gets an Indian accent. Whatevs, close enough, right? It was all distracting to say the least.
If the only problem with this book were the horrible narration, I could pump up the speed to 2.5x and power through the dialogue. Alas, the story itself could not redeem this train wreck. The only believable aspect of the book is the scenes in which Abby is working as a senior associate in a big law firm. That is, if you discount every time Abby and her fellow associate Sara call each other "girlfriend." Professional, adult women don't talk like that. It made me shudder every time. Anyway, the story. So, without spoiling too much, Abby ends up on the wrong train, runs around a seedy area of Chicago at night, and ends up witnessing a crime. First, her stupidity was just unbelievable. If she felt unsafe on the train or at the station, there are ways to alert the cops. Instead, she goes running around an unfamiliar and unsafe area in the middle of the night. Her cell phone is dead. She finally finds a bar with a pay phone, but she ends up leaving without making a call because she doesn't know the address of the place. Seriously? The address is printed on the pay phone, and, if it's been scratched off, you could call the operator or go out onto the street and check for a number and street name. Instead, this woman with a law degree and the credentials to work at a big Chicago firm can think only of running back to the train station, not realizing it's closed, then she runs back to the bar, where trouble ensues.
Even if you accept all that, how weird is it that she doesn't call the police at her first opportunity to do so and then doesn't tell any of her friends or coworkers the crazy story about finding a dead prostitute in a bathroom? I mean, if she's getting into trouble at work for missing assignments, it would seem that this would be a factor affecting performance and worth mentioning. I was also annoyed that the author made this obviously intelligent woman such a wuss. The character just seems so inconsistent. All she does is think about her ex-boyfriend. Just leave him alone! She also calls him multiple times and hangs up before voice mail can pick up, then the author tells us she's working up the nerve to call him. Huh? So much of this book doesn't make much sense. I don't consider myself a militant feminist, but between the author's depiction of the main character as a complete ditz half the time and the narrator's supremely annoying voices, this book made me angry. I couldn't go on.