Red Queen

Macmillan Audio. (Antonia Scott, Bk. 1). Mar. 2023. tr. from Spanish by Nick Caistor. 13:27 hrs. ISBN 9781250881946. $26.99. THRILLER
Internationally best-selling Spanish author Gómez-Jurado’s (The Traitor’s Emblem) gripping thriller, featuring two fascinating protagonists, will tempt listeners to increase the narration speed—but narrator Scott Brick’s sublime performance deserves to be savored. Bilbao police officer Jon Gutierrez, facing criminal charges for planting evidence on a suspect, can wipe the slate clean by assisting an elite EU organization that quietly investigates sensitive crimes. His first task—one that has thwarted many—is to convince brilliant detective Antonia Scott, a near recluse after a devastating personal trauma, to come back to work to help solve the murder of a teenage boy from a prominent family. Antonia seems to find the quirky Jon a kindred spirit, and the two set out to stop what has grown into a series of grisly crimes. While Brick expertly captures the high-stakes intensity of their investigation, he slows down to allow listeners to appreciate Gómez-Jurado’s intriguing characters and the tentative friendship that develops between them.
VERDICT Brick’s performance brings out the warmth, as well as the drama, in this witty thriller, the first in Gómez-Jurado’s trilogy featuring a Lisbeth Salander–like character paired with a wonderfully self-deprecating cop. Libraries should expect significant demand, especially with a TV series in the works.
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