Unleashed : Sydney Rye

  • by Emily Kimelman
  • Narrated by Sonja Field
  • Series: Sydney Rye
  • 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of Joy Humbolt's dog walking clients turns up dead and she begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity and then out of anger. As she digs deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, Joy gets too close to the killer with disastrous consequences.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Coming of Age intertwined with a detective mystery

I am not sure exactly what I was kind of book this would be when I requested it from Audiobook Jukebox. I have seen the series around, downloaded the first book for free from Amazon, and even did a Choose the Narrator Tour for the series back in March. But I hadn't read it. One thing I can say: this is not a cozy mystery. It is very much a cross between a thriller and a detective mystery interwined with a coming of age story. Because that's what Joy Humbolt does in the book, she grows up the hard way.

The book opens on Joy Humbolt telling us she became Sydney Rye, how it all started. Joy is a young woman, who's biggest problem each day is how blitzed to get when she goes out with her brother and friends. As a pretentious barista in a non chain coffee shop, and recently breaking up with her loser boyfriend Marcus, she snaps and loses in the middle of her shift. The victim, a middle aged woman who comes in orders a drink, really wanting a Frappuccino® trademark item, but clueless about what she will really be getting. Needless to say the manager fires her, especially after she makes a comment about him masturbating in the beans. Yes, Joy is that young and stupid.

In a fit of pique, she heads off to the pound to get a dog. One that will give her the unconditional love and support that she hasn't been able to find from either a boyfriend or her mother. She ends up with Blue. Blue has one blue eye, one brown eye, has the head shape of a collie, with the body size of a great dane and the coloring of a siberian husky. He is a big, big dog, but she falls in love with him at first glance. It is Blue that leads her neighbor to tell Joy about a friend of a friend who knows someone who has a dog walking business she wants to sell. Which leads to her discovering a dead body and eventually becoming Sydney Rye.

This wasn't like anything I have read before. I tend to stick to cozy mysteries, though I am a fan of soft-boiled mysteries. This was darker, harder, grittier. Joy had to grow up fast and is left to deal with the consequences of her actions and how they affect other people. She ends up seeing the darker side of humanity, both in others and in herself.

Sonja Field had an interesting take on Joy. Sonja really nailed a lot of the voices, especially that New York Jewish motherly tone and the bored socialites. One voice in particular, I didn't agree with, at least not until after the book ended and I really thought about it. Now I think she was foreshadowing with her voice. Scary good job. The most interesting thing was the change in Joy's voice and tone. She starts as an annoying Young Adult and gradually progresses into something more mature and seasoned.

This reminded me very much of the Holly Barker series by Stuart Woods. It's definitely not for everyone, but I do think I will be going back for seconds. There are several books in the series out, and I am sure that more audiobooks will follow. This earned 3 stars from me.
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- Judy C

a combination of hysterical, hectic and dumb

What would have made Unleashed better?

Not writing it. For me - not wasting time on it.


Has Unleashed turned you off from other books in this genre?

It does not have a genre. It starts like a cozy mystery about a dog walker, than you get some of currently fashionable BDSM, then catacombs, hidden doors and tunnels, several love (lust) interests and finally a thriller. There is no logic or brain in the plot, actions or anything in this book.


What about Sonja Field’s performance did you like?

Like the book itself its a tiresome combination of boring and hysterical.


What character would you cut from Unleashed?

The main heroine. She is constantly whining, crying, complaining, having long incredibly dumb dialogues and equally dumb monologues...she is simultaneously hectic and boring.


Any additional comments?

Wasted time and wasted money.

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- Akela

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-19-2014
  • Publisher: Emily Kimelman