Dirty Business by Julie Elizabeth Powell

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PowellDirtyBusinessWhere I Got It: Review Copy

Narrator: Melanie Fraser

Publisher: Julie Elizabeth Powell (2015)

Length: 3 hours 30 minutes

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Gavin and Alex started an English fashion model magazine not too long ago. It’s flirty and just skirting the edge of racy. They want to push the envelope without being trashy. But then model after another turns up mutilated and dead, with a third woman missing. The police are looking at Gavin and Alex pretty hard.

Gavin and Alex are opposites in many things. Gavin is more serious, definitely the kind to fall in and out of love hard, a bit of a workaholic. Meanwhile, Alex is something of a playboy, tending to excesses. Together, these characters strike a balance for the plot. Of course, I never suspected Gavin of any ill deed – he’s too much of a white knight. But Alex was another story.

There’s several ladies in the tale and they are well varied. We have Gavin’s ex-girlfriend, who is something of a snob. There’s models and fashion people and just plain office workers. In fact, Tally eventually takes center stage in assisting to solve the case of the missing woman. And let’s chat a little about that missing woman – she was no slouch. We meet her right at the beginning of the story (she’s already been snatched) and then we see her efforts in little snippets to assess her situation and try to free herself throughout the tale. So, all around I liked the characters. None of them felt like they were duplicates of another.

The beginning was a little slow for me because there was so much focus on the fashion magazine and the glamour of it all and I just wasn’t feeling the glamour. I wanted the mystery to get started and sleuthing to commence. But once the plot was underway, I was well entertained. The resolution to the story was a bit vague, a little too open ended. I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. Maybe the author wanted things left that way for a sequel? Anyway, I felt it needed a bit more to round things out. The motivations of the perpetrator weren’t fully explained.

Sexy fashion model magazine – Elvira’s? Gavin and Alex went into it  together. They love working with all the ladies. Gavin is the more serious one, and Alex the play boy. Gavin’s ex-girlfriend Sasha (?) turns up dead and mutilated. Then another model killed and a third woman missing. Gavin and Tally team up and Alex’s brother Doug turns out to be in big trouble. Mysterious man hired to do the dirty deeds. Resolution to the story was vague, open ended, not satisfying. The narrations was OK. Not as swarmy as last book but the accents were hit or miss.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Narration:  Melanie Fraser did a decent job. This is my second book narrated by her that I have listened too. Initially, her narration started off feeling a little forced, a little swarmy, like trying to put too much warmth into it. But pretty quickly she relaxes and the voices feel much more natural and she seems to have fun with it. Of course, her English accents were all fine. However, there were some other accents that were hit or miss. For example, for one character, I couldn’t tell if she was going for Irish or French, within the same conversation.

What I Liked: Great caste of characters; an entertaining mystery; the women are no slouches; the captive woman is not passive about being captive.

What I Disliked: Started off a little slow; the ending was too vague; the narration could use some work.

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