Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan [in Library Journal]
“This was a long time ago,” Jennifer Finney Boylan (She’s Not There) begins – August 1980, more specifically. “[N]one of us now are the people we were then.” Thirty-five years later, the college friends who trespassed into the boarded-up Eastern State Penitentiary are now “ghosts: two…dead, a third unrecognizable, a fourth suspected of murder.” Telling the story of what happened then and what’s happening now is the same person – albeit a rather chimerical character who was once a lonely lost soul, who’s now an adored wife, mother, and successful travel writer in small-town Maine.
Despite lies, betrayal, and murder, Boylan’s novel is actually quite an entertaining romp, not least because she narrates in her unique, immediately recognizable staccato voice. Her initial breathiness between phrases adds an effective sense of urgency – we’re listening to a murder mystery, after all – and eventually dissipates as she settles into a rhythmic cadence as the intriguing plot unfolds.
Verdict: For savvy listeners ready for a twisty-turny thriller with a narrator sure to induce both laughter and tears.
Review: “Audio,” Library Journal, September 1, 2017