Jane Whitefield is a Native American guide who leads solitary outcasts through hostile territory to escape the vengeance of their enemies. But the shaded forest paths her Seneca ancestors might have followed on such missions have all been converted to superhighways, and now the safest way stations are crowded urban buildings that offer the camouflage of anonymity. Still, the supply of runaways - and the need for a woman who will take great risks to save them - have never been greater. Jane knows all the tricks; in fact, she has invented several of them herself in the ten years she has been teaching fugitives to live with new identities. Many of her clients have been innocent people whom the institutions of society have been too slow and cumbersome to protect, but an increasing number have been like the gambler Harry Kemple: people who aren't especially admirable but who aren't bad enough to deserve to die prematurely. Jane opens her door to find in her house an uninvited visitor named John Felker, the latest to run to her for sanctuary. Felker is not like the others Jane has helped, and everything about him is disquieting. He doesn't even know whom he is running from - only that whoever is framing him as an embezzler has already circulated an open contract in the prison system for his death. Maybe his problems began years ago, when he was a policeman; a good cop makes an enemy with each arrest. But perhaps he is still a policeman and has invented precisely the right story to entrap Jane. Or perhaps he is something even worse. The unexpected guest draws this exceptional woman into an adventure of mystery, love and sacrifice, betrayal and vengeance, and propels her on a pursuit that takes her from the night streets of Los Angeles and Vancouver to the dark, unexplored regions of her own mind.More
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The Book - 4 Stars; Narration - 3 Stars
What a difference a narrator makes
This is the 5th Thomas Perry audiobook I've listened to, and it is the first I didn't love. This isn't his best story, there are some shoddy editing errors (shame on Audible, I expect better), but the real problem was the narration (see below).
Of course, every Thomas Perry book I've read or listened to has been good, and several were excellent.
I understand the choice of a female narrator considering the sex of the protagonist, but I can't help but imagine how much better this one would have been with Michael Kramer, who narrates other Perry novels. Joyce Bean can do the sensitive, intellectual side of Jane Whitefield, but reads dramatic scenes distinctively un-dramatically. A bigger problem is that she absolutely cannot do men's voices. I dreaded every conversation with a man because her voice became so grating. Finally (and this is not Joyce Bean's fault), there are a handful of repeated lines in this production. By far the most I have ever heard in an audible audiobook.
The story was fine. What you would expect from Thomas Perry. I state this caveat because I have to say my biggest reaction to the audiobook was disappointment.