#CrimeTime: An Audio Original

S. & S. Audio. Dec. 2023. 3:45 hrs. ISBN 9781797157337. $19.99. M
Nadiya lives a quiet existence and likes it that way. Though she’s an acclaimed crime novelist, she uses a pseudonym to avoid the spotlight. When she took a home DNA test as research for a book, she never imagined she’d uncover a half brother, but knowing her father’s seedy past, she isn’t surprised. Now Nadiya’s half brother, Chase, is living with her and totally throwing off her low-key life with his dreams of TikTok stardom. When Chase inadvertently live streams a larceny, he and Nadiya become instant targets, caught up in a whirl of organized crime and corrupt cops. Rose (It’s a Date [Again]) and Pyne present a crime fiction audio original too gritty to be cozy and too cheesy to be compelling. Jennifer Damiano and Abelardo Campuzano lead a dynamic cast with nine additional narrators, but the degree of flat dialogue and overacting make the audio feel more like amateur improv. Though some audio effects, like creaking doors and car crashes, add an immersive nature to the listen, others, like dog farts, are a bit absurd.
VERDICT Will appeal to listeners seeking a quick, campy crime novel in a fun audio format. Recommended for fans of the Hulu series, Only Murders in the Building.
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