With all the Historical Fiction I have read lately, I grabbed a couple of audiobooks from the library by authors that I have enjoyed. These books both involve secrets, government intervention, murder and are tense stories. They definitely did what I was looking for, a bit of escapism, suspending belief and just enjoying the ride while listening to these stories.

Twenty: A Jack Swyteck Novel

Twenty by James Grippando, Jonathan Davis (Narrator)

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Published January 5th 2021 by HarperAudio

I really enjoy the Jack Swyteck series and grab each book as they come out. I started listening to the audiobooks two books ago and love them. They are well produced and the narrator, Jonathan Davis is the voice of Jack that I love. His expression and tone are perfect for the way I pictured Jack.

This book starts off with a bang, literally. There is a school shooting and Jack’s wife, off duty FBI agent Andie Henning, is at the school where their daughter is in kindergarten. It is every parent’s nightmare. When the son of a Muslim man is arrested for the shooting it becomes a racial situation. The boy’s mother is also Atlee’s friend, so she asks Jack to defend him. This puts their family in danger as over 13 people were killed and he is defending this killer.

This story deals with radicalization of youth, race and prejudice in society, legal rights of everyone accused of a crime and how a shooting like this affects a community. It is a legal thriller that is very timely. As the story unfolds, Jack is sure that his client Xavier did not commit this crime and his goal is to find who did. He uses his efficient manner to get answers. Leo is there to help out as well as the lawyers in the Freedom Institute. This is a a clever mystery and legal thriller with a well-developed plot and interesting characters. I was engrossed in this story from the beginning to the satisfying ending. I recommend this one to those who enjoy a good legal thriller with some timely social issues as well. Although this is the 17th book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. The publisher gifted a copy of this audiobook upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

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Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine #1) by David Baldacci,  Narrated by Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer

3.5 Stars: 

Published November 13th 2018 by Hachette Audio

This was the first book in the Atlee Pine series. I enjoyed it, even though it was not what I expected, nor the type of story I normally read. When Atlee was five, her twin sister was abducted from their bedroom. She has spent her adult life hunting down those who hurt others. She is also trying to find her sister’s body. In this story she is called in when a mule is mutilated in the Grand Canyon and its rider has disappeared. This leads to other missing persons and Atlee is involved in a case that has taken her places she did not expect. This book is the introduction to FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine. Atlee’s character is well developed in this first instalment and we learn what makes her tick, her motivations and her past.

I liked the character of Atlee. She is strong mentally as well as physically, tall and solidly built. She almost made Olympic status in weight lifting, so when she has to fight, it is believable. She has also trained with MMA fighters. Atlee’s secretary, Carol Blum is an older woman, but is a badass herself. She and Atlee go rogue when Atlee is taken off this case and they are a regular Thelma and Louise (the reference is actually made in the book). This story escalates to a plot of political espionage involving North Korea, Russia and the US Government. You will have to suspend belief while reading this one, but it was an interesting plot that kept me listening while giving up on everything else to finish this one. It came to a satisfying conclusion with a lot of excitement along the way. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Narrator Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer. Brittany became Atlee for me and I hope she continues to narrate this series. She was awesome and helped me form a physical image of the woman and agent. Kyf Brewer does a good job with the male voices and added to my enjoyment of the story. The audiobook was very well done and added to my enjoyment. I enjoyed this introduction to the new series and recommend the audiobook if you are interested in starting this series.