The cover of this book says it all for me but here are the details… I had listened to male/female POV narrations before hearing Patrick Lawlor and Angela Dawe with Suzanne Brockmann’s Infamous but this is the first duo that left a lasting impression. It’s been nearly three years and when I think back to that first listen, I can still feel the vibrations of the roller coaster ride the combination of story and narration took me on. The measure of a memorable audiobook experience.
Our heroine, Alison Carter, is a history professor turned author. After years of researching US Marshall Silas Quinn, she’s written a book that caught the attention of a movie producer. She pictures Quinn as a true old west hero while portraying Jamie “the Kid” Gallagher as an unscrupulous outlaw. Alison’s been hired as a consultant for the movie based on her book which takes her into a foreign world of spoiled stars and unexpected danger.
Our hero, A.J. Gallagher, doesn’t want to believe the ghost of his grandfather is spurring him from his home in Alaska to an Arizona movie set. As a veteran with a background of severe PTSD, A.J. questions his sanity but he’ll get no rest until he sets the record straight about what really happened between Jamie “the Kid” Gallagher and Silas Quinn all those years ago.
When A.J. Gallagher shows up on the movie set politely claiming Alison Carter has her facts all wrong and he can prove it, Alison can’t deny her curiosity when it comes to exploring his evidence. I appreciated Alison’s open mindedness when confronted with a history that didn’t jive with her own research. It made her extremely likeable even if I wanted to kick her a few times during the story. My wanting her to “get over it already” tells me that although I’m not generally a fan of beta heroes, I absolutely adored A.J. – his mix of humor, vulnerability and hotness was irresistible as voiced by Patrick Lawlor (and Angela Dawe for that matter – the true sign of a well written hero)!
Suzanne Brockmann is known for the multiple angles she uses to unfold her stories. In Infamous, we ascertain the interwoven subtleties of each character no matter who is delivering the audio. Angela Dawe brings us Silas Quinn’s first wife Melody (via diary entries) with palpable feeling and Alison Carter’s confident uninhibited POV while Patrick Lawlor delivers Jamie Gallagher’s acerbically hilarious ghost and A.J. Gallagher’s honest lay-it-all-out-there POV.
As the historical truth of Silas, Melody, and Jamie’s story is unveiled, you’ll re-live difficult parts of A.J.’s life while learning Alison has seen something she shouldn’t have, bringing the FBI into play. All of which is delivered fluently by Patrick and Angela in a way that keeps you entertained and on the edge of your seat. The sideline wit and humor from Jamie – the heartbreak in A.J.’s past making him the tough yet tender man he is – Alison’s receptive curiosity and understandable doubts – you hear it all with perfect pitch, pace and emotion. Yes, the narrators shine, I’ll always remember my introduction to both of them with Infamous as they bring these characters to vibrant life.
One example of Mr. Lawlor’s impressive skills is a scene where Jamie is thinking back to his childhood while telling A.J. of a family tragedy.
As Jamie spoke, he changed, and A.J. realized that he was getting smaller, younger. Right before A.J.’s eyes, he became the fifteen year old boy he’d once been… “
You hear the metamorphosis as Lawlor’s voice slides gradually from mature adult to a fifteen-year-old boy telling the story and as the boys tale wraps up you audibly hear him come back to him self with the words:
“Just like that, he was back – the twenty-something man. ”Except Mel,” Jamie said in his deeper, grown up voice.
Patrick Lawlor’s vocal acrobatics within that scene make me smile in delight, affirming once again that a good book can be kicked up yet another notch with a talented narrator at the helm.
As Alison and A.J. face their present day threats, the action continues to ratchet up to nonstop as they work through their personal histories to find a love worth fighting for. I found the synchronicity in the historical love story seeding the way to the current one captivating.
I won’t give further details as letting the divine narration take you up, up the incline to then plunge you into the decline as the full story of both couples is revealed, makes Infamous the exhilarating audio ride it is.
I laughed, I cried, I fell in love and I come back to Patrick Lawlor and Angela Dawe with Brockmann’s Infamous to feel it all again – which is the ultimate mark of a masterfully narrated audiobook in my ears.
Book Content: A
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Genre: Contemporary with a dash of paranormal
Publisher: Brilliance Audio