Written by: Robert K. Tanenbaum
Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio
Performed by: Lee Sellars
Marlene Ciampi was just interested in taking it easy and raising some guard dogs. Marlene’s life had been filled with mystery, terror, and death when she was a Manhattan D.A. with her husband Butch Karp and even more so when she was a bodyguard. She has survived all sorts of crooks, the tangled web of City politics, and the hidden perils of sudden wealth–all while maintaining a decent percentage of her sanity. She just wants to relax with her uncompromising, very religious, language prodigy daughter Lucy, and her precocious twins Zic and Zac. She becomes friendly with a neighbor, Rose Wickham-Heeney, whose husband, Red, is fighting to clean up the mining union in his West Virginia town of McCullengsburg. When the fighting turns deadly and they are murdered, Marlene charges in to help out their two sons. Butch gets in the act when the governor of West Virginia makes him a special prosecutor to clean up an unholy trinity of a corrupt union, a greedy mining corporation, and a criminal clan of hillbillies. The whole family gets involved, but when the bullets start flying, can tragedy be far behind?
The reading is passable. The characters are there, but they aren’t given enough strength to really make an impression. That’s essential in a story with a great number of characters and should be easy considering the great number of odd characters this story possesses. Even the accents are lazy. The Appalachians sound more like they are from the Deep South. I’ve heard better reading of this material, so I’m afraid I’m not terribly impressed with Mr. Sellar’s work. If you want my advice, pick up the book Absolute Rage–not this CD set.