Worth Killing For (Julia Gooden Mystery #3) by Jane Haseldine, Emily Woo Zeller (Narrator)

Published March 27th 2018 by Kensington
Audiobook Published February 26th 2019 by HighBridge

Detroit newspaper reporter Julia Gooden returns in a twisting, superbly assured new mystery, where a brutal murder and a father’s sudden return may provide the answers she’s spent decades searching for . . . or lead deep into a fatal trap.

The past never really leaves us. Crime reporter Julia Gooden sees proof of this every day in her stories. A dark childhood, a negligent parent, early abandonment–any one of them can seal a person’s fate as either a villain or victim. Julia, who experienced all three, seems to have beaten the odds, finding happiness raising her two sons and a blossoming relationship with detective Raymond Navarro.

But now, after three decades of absence, Julia’s conman father has resurfaced to throw her life into turmoil again. Julia was only seven when Duke Gooden abruptly left. Barely a month later, her nine-year-old brother, Ben, disappeared. Ben was her hero and protector, and though the case is cold, Julia has never given up hope of finding him. Duke’s return offers vital clues–but it also makes her a target of those who intend to see Duke punished for his many sins.

When Julia investigates the death of a city councilman’s young nephew, she finds links to a string of other murders . . . and to a web of greed and kidnapping that stretches back decades. At long last, Julia may be able to discover what happened to Ben all those years ago, but only if she’s willing to risk everything in her present . . .

5 Stars:

This is the third book in the Julia Gooden Mystery Series and I recommend that you read them in order. There is an ongoing story in these books and there is a lot of character development that will be missed if you don’t. Having said that, some readers have jumped in and had not problems with the story.

Julia is a crime reporter which gives this mystery a unique viewpoint and perspective. Julia is a flawed character who is smart, assertive and daring. The story of the disappearance of her brother, Ben, is woven throughout this story and perhaps, the ties to that crime might come to the forefront in this outing. Her new story involves the death of the young nephew of a city councilman. The deeper she digs she begins to find connections to a string of past murders and kidnappings. Then there is the man who looks familiar to her, is it who she thinks it is? As her past catches up with her present, will Julia finally learn the answers she has been seeking.

I really like Julia’s character and find her to be realistic. Haseldine’s former life as a crime reporter gives the story authenticity. A good reporter and a mind for unraveling puzzles Julia also has an in with the police department through her boy friend Raymond Navarro. Ray is very protective of Julia and her boys and I was happy to see them take their relationship to the next level. This was a well-written story that held my attention from the first page. There were lots of twists and turns that led down a crooked trail revealing several other murders along with greed, corruption, blackmail, art crimes, kickbacks, and some psychopaths. When Julia finally comes to the end of the story, she finally gets some closure to the search for her brother. I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the next, new case that Julia investigates.

Once again, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Emily Woo Zeller. I enjoyed her voices, especially Julia’s. Even though the narrator changed for this book, I still felt very comfortable with Julia and after three books, I feel like I know her. She is able to give each character a distinctive voice, including the male characters. I am looking forward to listening to the next book in this series.

Jane HaseldineAbout the Author: Jane Haseldine writes the Julia Gooden mystery series for Kensington Publishing, including The Last Time She Saw Him, Duplicity, and Worth Killing For, which will be published in March 2018. Jane is a journalist, former crime reporter and also worked as a deputy director of communications for a governor. Jane lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons.

Twitter: JaneEyre77

About the Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. She returned to the United States in 2009 and found a natural fit as an audiobook narrator. Described by AudioFile magazine as doing “an extraordinary job of varying the voices in the dialogue without losing the intimacy of the story,” Emily’s multilingual, multicultural framework brings a particularly unique, clear-eyed, and intimate perspective into Asian American narratives. While she specializes in Asian American narratives, Emily’s work spans a broad spectrum, including young adult fiction and such titles as The Whites of Their Eyes by Jill Lepore and The Sex Diaries Project by Arianne Cohen. She also narrated Gulp by Mary Roach, for which she won an AudioFileEarphones Award.

There is a great interview with Emily found here: https://janiechang.com/2015/02/18/blog-ewz-audiobooks/