Audiobook Review – GOOD BEHAVIOR by Blake Crouch (Narr. Julia Whelan)

Good Behavior

 

Publisher’s Summary

Now a television series starring Michelle Dockery, coming to TNT this fall.

Fresh out of prison and fighting to keep afloat, Letty Dobesh returns to her old tricks burglarizing suites at a luxury hotel. While on the job, she overhears a man hiring a hit man to kill his wife. Letty may not be winning any morality awards, but even she has limits. Unable to go to the police, Letty sets out to derail the job, putting herself on a collision course with the killer that entangles the two of them in a dangerous, seductive relationship.

Good Behavior comprises three interlinked novellas (The Pain of Others, Sunset Key, and Grab), which together form a novel-length portrait of Blake Crouch’s all-time favorite character creation, Letty Dobesh. This edition is the complete Letty Dobesh collection.

©2011, 2013, 2016 Blake Crouch. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Review

Blake Crouch has toped my best book of the year list two years running, from his second book in the Wayward Pines trilogy, Wayward, in 2015 to Dark Matter in 2016. Good Behavior shows once again how talented Blake is and why every new release of his will skip the line to the top of my to read list.

Good Behavior is a different story than I’m used to from Blake, since it isn’t science fiction or horror, but kind of a noir thriller that has a phenomenal central character. She’s an addict who was robbing a hotel room when while hiding in the closet, here’s the plot of a man hiring a hitman to kill his wife. Our heroine sees this as an opportunity to cross back over the moral line and help the woman before she is killed. That’s the story of the first of three novellas in this collection, but every one was fantastic.

I enjoyed the narratives in between the story where Blake tells us about his inspirations, how his main character was born, and the story behind the television show based on these stories. I am excited that these stories are not the same as the show and that I heard Blake’s reason behind it, so that I could enjoy the show with that insight.

If I had to pick a favorite of the three novellas, I’d pick the last one. They are mostly chronological, though I did wonder whether they used everything that prior stories had happen. I won’t spoil anything, so I can’t really expand on that. The last one gave us the most conclusive wrap up of Letty’s character arc, so that’s why I’d pick that one, though really each story had powerful twists and emotional involvement. She’s an addict who replaces drugs with thievery, but also has goals of entering her young child’s life again after drugs and jail forced her to revoke her guardianship. You root for her being the mother she wants to be, but also suffer with her as she’s pulled between her addictions and helping those she meets along the way.

The audiobook narration is top notch. Julia Whelan is a new voice to me, but she executed Letty’s character perfectly. At no point did I think, oh, this is just a narrator. That’s how real her portrayal of Letty was for me. Cheers on the outstanding job to all. Keep them coming. These are three stories that have made Letty a new favorite heroine to follow.

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About Timothy C. Ward

Timothy C. Ward is a former executive producer and Hugo Nominee of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. He has been broke and lost on the other side of the world and now dreams of greater adventures from his keyboard in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer, he released his second Sand Divers book, Scavenger: A.I., where two parents use an ancient technology to fight a reproducing A.I. while trying to resurrect their deceased infant, and a new series that begins with Godsknife: Revolt, an apocalyptic battle for godhood in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up for his newsletter for news, sales, giveaways and more: http://www.timothycward.com/newsletter/.

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