Narrated by Violet Gray
The story begins as Samantha witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she’s a waitress. The killer doesn’t see her but he takes the tape from the security camera. Sam realizes her face is on that video camera and is scared. The police aren’t interested in protecting her due to an old case where Sam made the department look bad. When she seeks out her old friend Vivi Angelino, she instead runs into Zach, Vivi’s brother and Sam’s former lover. Zach never contacted her after he went to Iraq, and Sam is still trying to get over the hurt and anger of his abandonment. Now, Zach is determined to protect Sam while still trying to keep her at arm’s length.
In this first installment of St. Clair’s new series, the reader witnesses the birth of the Guardian Angelinos security firm. As with many first-in-series books, it feels top heavy with characters who will no doubt show up in subsequent books. The writing was serviceable but not great, with too much pondering by both main characters, and too much rehashing of past events. While the first half of the book dragged, the second half was much more interesting. The story’s slow beginning wasn’t helped by Violet Gray’s moderately-paced reading, but her narration worked well in the action-packed second half.
Samantha’s character is too wishy-washy for my tastes. Due to sending an innocent man to prison with her eyewitness account years earlier, Sam is unable to trust her judgment. But while her fear of big decisions fits the story, her reluctance to trust any of her own decisions is less believable. In every other way Sam feels a little too perfect. Even so, I appreciate that Sam doesn’t act “too stupid to live” when she does choose a course of action
Zach comes across as a jerk for leaving Sam hanging the way he did. St. Clair fails to make a case for Zach’s decision not to contact Sam after he left. And his “I’m not good enough for her” reaction now that he’s home from war feels overly dramatic. Zach also refuses to accept his adopted family’s love, making him appear even more obstinate and ungrateful. Zach redeems himself somewhat as the book progresses and he is forced to look at things from other perspectives besides his own. Gray manages to get across Zach’s conflicted feelings in the tone of her voice without sounding like a female reading a male part. Some readers may enjoy Zach’s tortured hero persona, but I found both Zach and Sam a little too self-absorbed for my tastes.
Violet Gray is a new-to-me narrator. I’m pleased to say her narration style is quite enjoyable, with solid male voices and good NY accents. There were a few minor problems, such as Zach’s cousin Mark’s voice, which is too slow and measured even during action scenes. But Ms. Gray’s strengths were also evident. The main characters in Edge of Sight spend a lot of time thinking as well as speaking, and Ms. Gray is able to keep that distinction clear for the listeners by changing the tone of her voice without actually changing the volume. I’ll be looking for more books narrated by Violet Gray.
Book Content: C+
Steam Factor: Glad I had my ear buds in
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Recorded Books