Hell’s Corner, written by David Baldacci, read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy (AudioGO)

hells corner audio

In Baldacci’s latest Camel Club novel, former CIA assassin Oliver Stone is propelled into a dangerous mission involving a Russian drug cartel in Latin America. To complicate matters, Stone is paired with British intelligence operative Mary Chapman, who has her own agenda. McLarty reads with a steely voice that exhibits barely repressed fury, somewhat reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry. His reading demands that we pay attention even if some of the male characters sound similar to each other. Cassidy, in her portrayal of Chapman, speaks in a posh, slightly crisp British accent. Although she doesn’t have a large role (compared to McLarty, who reads the bulk of the story), Cassidy invests her dialogue with an appropriate air of mystery and double cross. We like Chapman, but we don’t trust her. Despite the occasional one-note feel of McLarty’s tough-guy performance, the audio works well for Baldacci fans.

This review originally appeared in Booklist, March 2011

 

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