Review of The Big Tow by Ann McMan, Audiobook narrated by Christine Williams
I have had this book on my TBR list since its release in October 2020 and after it’s got so many good comments from readers. I wanted something light and entertaining and this is just what I was looking for.
When Vera “Nick” Nicholson is sacked from her underpaid attorney job at a big firm in North Carolina, she decides to try working for a repo agency recovering vehicles. There she is teamed up with Frances “Frankie” Stohler, a beautiful third-grade teacher who moonlights as a recovering agent. As they are assigned to the strangest recovery tasks, they will bond with each other and maybe find love as much as trouble…
The Big Tow: an unlikely romance, is part romance, part mystery, part adventure, part comedy, all in equal measure. Count on Ann McMan to create a romance with the unlikely setting of the world of assets recovery and make the story work. Moreover, I’ve never thought that vehicle repossession could be such a funny business. Some time ago, I heard the author talking in an interview about the amount and detail of research that she did on the subject and the reader can really tell. Mix this knowledge with hilarious situations and quirky characters and you’ve got a perfect recipe for great entertainment.
As I said above, the romance is part of the story but there is more going on so don’t expect a full-on romance. Both mains have great chemistry together and they are opposites who complement each other very well. Their first kiss is super hot but there isn’t much more than that as the sex scenes are fade to black. Frankie and Nick’s compatibility together goes beyond the romance which makes them a great team for repossessing property but also gets them into a lot of really entertaining trouble.
The rest of the cast is very well fleshed-out and hilarious. It reminded me a bit of Robin Alexander’s weird characters. From the staff at the repo agency, no-nonsense Antigone and questionable boss Fast Eddie, to Frankie’s quirky family of morticians and beauticians, every single character contributes to the hilarious and absurd situations.
The action parts of the plot keep you turning pages fearing the trouble those two are getting themselves into and, at the last time, laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. There’s a big deal of popular culture jokes and quotes which I didn’t particularly care about but very possibly because, as a foreigner, I don’t share the same culture and miss some of them. It’s a type of intelligent humor that I appreciate in my own culture but alienates me here, no fault of the author.
Talking about my own culture, as one of the characters is from Guatemala. I liked the references to her culture and the difficulties of life as a mixed-race woman. However, I’m almost sure that the expression of two people who are an item, isn’t translated to Spanish as “un artículo”. It’s definitely incorrect in South America, México and Puerto Rico (“artículo” means a merchandise item) but I couldn’t find anyone from Guatemala to correct me on that. I’ll give the author the benefit of the doubt but it sounded wrong to me every time it was mentioned.
I’ve listened to the audiobook narrated by Christine Williams. I think this is my first audiobook by this narrator and she did a very good job. Her voices were distinctive and her comedic timing very good. Her Spanish isn’t too bad for a non-native speaker either. I’m glad that I’ve listened to the audiobook instead of reading it because it increased my level of enjoyment. 4 stars.
Length: 11 hours, 38 minutes