I don't like every book I read...
I was looking for a recorded book that wouldn’t make me blush if someone heard me listening to it. Well, “Sand Sharks” didn’t have any descriptive shower scenes, or graphic blood and gore but it was embarrassing none-the-less. If I could have put a plain brown paper wrapper around the reader’s irritating voice I would have. Driving to Salt Lake City every week, I like to listen to an audio book in the car. I can’t listen very long to NPR without my blood pressure rising and local chat causes me to talk back to the people on the radio who can’t even hear me. Books pleasantly pass the commute time and help me arrive in a good mood despite the eternal construction delays on I15 - usually.
“Sand Sharks” written by Margaret Maron (Maron, not moron) is a novel somewhere in the middle of a mystery series featuring Judge Deborah Knott. She’s an idiot. I don’t like her. And she has my name! I don’t care about her personal life lurking in the background and I really don’t care about her southern friends. Words wasted on the descriptions of everything she eats and drinks are also irritating. What made the story worse was the chirpy narrator’s voice dragging me through the ridiculous plot.
Beware the enticing description on the back of the cover. “Margaret Maron (moron) never fails to deliver electrifying tales and well-wrought characters.” I guess there’s always a first time Margaret. The story is littered with meaningless clues and concludes with a surprise killer you could never guess since the author didn’t seem sure herself who was going to be the murderer. I liked the idea of the setting being in a North Carolina beach town but found myself annoyed by the obvious name-dropping of stores and restaurants. I wonder how much advertising cash they paid out to be mentioned.
Skip this 8 disc disaster and find something better in the library audio book collection. I really appreciate our library keeping it well stocked with new selections since they are expensive to buy and rarely worth listening to again. I wanted to be fair (and optimistically hoped the book would get better) so I endured to the end. It didn’t improve. I’m sure other people will check out this narration when they read “will leave readers awash in well-laid clues” but I can’t recommend it. It may even qualify as verbal abuse.