FICTION

The Searcher

Penguin Audio. 2020. 1,430p. ISBN 9781984838025. $45. F
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Still recovering from a dispiriting divorce, family trauma, and a quarter of a decade in law enforcement with the Chicago police force, Cal Hooper needs to make a serious change. On a whim he purchases a ramshackle house in the middle of the Irish moors. Between learning the geographical and social lay of the land, working diligently to rejuvenate his crumbling home, and meeting a host of neighbors, Cal quickly finds that the quiet lifestyle he envisioned may not be on the horizon. When local teen Trey Reddy corners Cal into finding a missing sibling, Cal begins to see another, seedier side to this idyllic landscape. Roger Clark’s masterful narration brings to life the gruff, seasoned detective whose experiences and personality are juxtaposed with the bucolic setting, the quirky characters, and the slowly revealing plotline. Clark’s voice, discordant with this locale, perfectly mirrors Cal’s appearance as almost an interloper in a place where everyone knows everybody else. Though neither the expected crime novel nor a quaint mystery, this work brilliantly meshes the two as it touches on belonging, morality, and the jarring way criminality seeps into almost all crevices of society. A thought-provoking ending provides opportunities for reflection on self and community.
VERDICT This will make a valued addition to audiobook collections of most sizes and target audiences.

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