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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

DECEPTIVE CADENCE (audiobook) by Kathryn Guare

Audio edition published in March of 2016.
Originally published in January of 2014.
Read by Wayne Farrell.
Duration: 11 hours, 19 minutes

I have reviewed a lot of indie and small publishing house audiobooks lately and have been mildly disappointed with almost all of them. I don't want to be cruel, but there's a reason why some of these books are languishing in the publishing wasteland.

But, sometimes you find a true gem out among the 2 and 3 star books. A gem just sitting there waiting to be noticed.

This book is such a gem and it is worthy of your notice.

It is an international thriller with a giant soul and a great deal of introspection. If you are looking for a "shoot 'em up" this is not your book, even though there is plenty of shooting. It is the story of two brothers, and like all families, this family is complicated.

The McBride family consists of Conor, a talented musician who plays violin at the international level and Thomas, the brother who stayed behind in northern Ireland to care for the family farm and their ill mother. But, one day, Conor's world comes crashing down when he learns that his brother has been scamming the European Union with falsified applications for farming grants. The money was sent to Thomas and Thomas left with all of it.

A slum in Mumbai. Photo by A.Savin
Conor loses his position in an orchestra due to government pressure and returns home to manage the family farm in disgrace. He has done nothing but he bears the family shame.

Conor is approached by a government operative who says that he knows where Thomas is. He is laundering money for a terrorist ring in India and that Conor could be just the man to lead them to him. Conor is intrigued - not because he wants to punish his brother so much as he wants to try to figure out why he did what he did.

So, Conor receives intensive training in how to be a spy and he is off to India. He hoped for a quick "in and out" meeting with his brother. Instead, he has a life-changing adventure full of action, danger, deep introspection, thoughtless violence, sorrow, pain, joy and humor.  Conor travels from the filthiest slums to the highest mountains for his brother. In the end, the reader is left to wonder if all of it was worth it.

The answer - yes, the journey is the point of it all and this is a journey worth hearing.

Clearly, the weakness of the book is the idea that a violin player can be turned into a spy. At one point it is noted that Conor is one of those people that just seems to be good at everything. You know the type of person - you admire them and envy them at the same time. In the real world, Indianapolis native David Wolfe is one of those guys. He is a aerobatics pilot/award-winning medical doctor/electrical engineer/astronaut with 15 patents. So, these guys do exist.

The audiobook was read by Wayne Ferrell and he was amazing. His voice drew me right in and brought this excellent text to life. He demonstrated a mastery of multiple accents and, more importantly, carried the mood of the story in his tone and pacing as he read.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Deceptive Cadence.

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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