Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Mean Streets by Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Simon R. Green, Thomas E. Sniegoski

Mean Streets
by Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Simon R. Green, Thomas E. Sniegoski
Read by Dion Graham, Richard Poe, Mia Baron, T. Ryder Smith
Produced by Recorded Books
Approx 10.5 hours

So do you like Private Investigator stories? You know the one where the gumshoe pounds the pavement to solve the crime using only his amazing powers of observation. "Mean Streets" is a collection of 4 novellas about private investigators that have other powers. Yes these private dicks all have supernatural powers of some sort to back up their crime fighting skills. The neat thing about all these stories is, for the most part, they are told in first person, so the listener really is in the head of the P.I. Each of the readers of the stories does a great job in delivering the story that you feel as though you are listening to the P.I. as he narrates his own noir story.

The first novella is by one of my favorite authors and his awesome character of Harry Dresden, wizard and private investigator. Harry has often teamed up with a Knight of the Cross Michael Carpenter, this novella, "The Warrior," tells the story of what happens after Michael retires from God's Army. For the full review click the link below. This story is read by Dion Graham. While I'm used to the James Marsters voicing Harry Dresden in the regular Dion Graham really makes Harry his own.


The second novella is by Simon R. Green, "What a Difference a Day Makes," read by Richard Poe. This story contains Green's character John Taylor, from his Nightside series of books, based in the existing location of the "Nightside", a hidden area within London in which magic and advanced technology exist. The Nightside is a place where the lowlifes end up, especially the dead lowlifes. John Taylor is approached by a beautiful woman named Liza Barclay. It seems Liza has lost 24hours and needs John Taylor to find them. Basically she woke up on the Nightside and 24 hours of her memory is missing. With the help of Dead Boy, a back from the dead adolescent, and his futuristic car, their search carries them to the worst side of the Nightside and looking for Liza's husband. What led her and her husband to the Nightside is disturbing indeed.

The next novella is by Kat Richardson and is titled, "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog," Mia Baron. This one is fun romp to Mexico during the Days of the Dead celebrations and features Richardson's character Harper Blaine. Harper is a private investigator living in Seattle and was killed while pursuing a case. She was dead for only two minutes and brought back. She is able to recognize witches and vampires, see ghosts and is aware of other elements of the supernatural world . She discovers that her brief death has turned her into a Greywalker, a human able to move back and forth at will through the Grey, the realm that exists between our world and the next. In this story Harper is sent to deliver a clay dog to the grave of a man on November 1st, "Día de los Inocentes" (Day of the Innocents). When she arrives in Mexico, the customs agent drops the clay dog shattering the figure. As the dog shatters the ghost of a dog appears at Harper's feet and she realizes this was the package to be delivered. The mystery of who the man is and who the woman who bequeathed this journey to Harper unfolds to a tale of murder and revenge.

The final novella is one that delves into the world of angels. "Noah's Orphans" by Thomas E. Sniegoski and read by T. Ryder Smith. This features the character of Remy "Remiel" Chandler, an angel that wants to be human. He recently lost his wife and is grieving when Sariel a fallen angel approaches Remy to find out who has murdered Noah. Yes THE Noah, the ark builder. Noah has been touched by God and well when you are touched by God your life seems to be extended. In modern times Noah has been grieving over the ones left behind, the ones he could not save in the flood. The story reveals that God had two patterns for humanity, and that only one he was happy with and the flood was to clean the slate of the ones that didn't make the cut. Noah is murdered as he his trying to find this lost race. The mystery unfolds and the adventures abound in this interesting take on angel life. One of the best, or at least most fun, of this story is Remy's relationship with his dog, a black Labrador named Marlowe. Remy can speak to animals and can understand them the dog's words are fun, simple and yet the most informative. T. Ryder Smith does such a great job when voicing the dog that you actually think you are hearing a dog talk.

This book is a great collection of supernatural mysteries that only this odd collection of Private Investigators could handle.

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