A fantastic collaboration between author and narrator
I hate gore, I don’t like violence and I avoid those types of books like the plague. But I love Cari Hunter’s novels. Call me crazy but I find that her well-written, British-based, police procedural/thrillers are right up my street. Add the fact that the audiobooks are usually narrated by the incredibly talented Nicola Victoria Vincent, and this one is very hard to pass…
As Dr. Grace Kendall is kidnapped by a wounded woman, she is dragged into a desperate situation in which her chances of survival will depend on the woman who can take her life.
Detective Sergeant Safia Faris is in charge of the murder investigation of an unidentified man killed in a park. It should be an easy case, but when the investigation sets her on the path of Grace and her abductor, nothing is as it seems and all their lives are at risk.
Cari Hunter is one of those rare authors in lesfic who has found a distinct voice. A type of writing style that is quintessentially British – more precisely Northern English – socially critical, full of fast-paced action and unfiltered crime. Her characters are flawed ordinary people, not born to be heroines, but nevertheless, women who gather all the strength they didn’t know they had to survive terrible threats to their lives. Ms. Hunter’s settings – either in the city or the countryside -, always reflect a dark, gloomy side of humanity. What’s not to love?
Unbreakable is part thriller, part police procedural. I like the duality of the plot in which one moment the reader is immersed in the tense and suspenseful events surrounding Grace’s kidnapping and in another, is following the detailed aspects of the police investigation surrounding the case. It’s like being on the stage and the stalls’ seats alternatively watching the events unfold and hoping for a good resolution. I thought that both the criminal and the investigation aspects of the story were done very well. My knowledge of medicine is lacking but I trust Ms. Hunter’s medical descriptions implicitly as she’s a paramedic with a lot of experience in treating patients in the field. That’s another good thing about her books, I don’t have to worry that I might find something medically unrealistic.
If you are new to this author, you might think there’s no place for romance in Ms. Hunter’s books. On the contrary, in between getting almost killed and seriously injured, this author always finds a way to bring romance to the characters in her books. That’s yet another good thing about her novels: come for the mystery, stay for the romance. Sanne and Meg, from the Dark Peak Series, is one of my favourite lesfic couples ever. This raises my expectations for a bit of romantic payoff amongst so much suffering and pain. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case here, the romance payoff wasn’t enough for me. I completely understand that the extreme situations in which the characters were involved made any romantic liaison complicated but Ms. Hunter has done it before so she was more than able to do it here too. Even maybe in the epilogue. However, I know I’m being a bit hard on Ms. Hunter and most readers buy her books for her unique take on crime and suspense. So I might be in the minority here. And despite what I’ve just said, I really enjoyed Unbreakable. Great title, by the way.
The audiobook version was narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent who did an extraordinary job. In fact, this audio is the result of a fantastic collaboration between the author and narrator that is described in a blog post by Cari Hunter. I’m in awe of Ms. Vincent’s ability to replicate so many accents. All the characters in this book have distinct voices related to their gender, age, ethnicity, place of origin, and even their medical condition. Absolutely amazing. I’m glad that Ms. Hunter is adamant to have Ms. Vincent as the narrator of her novels and I hope there are more collaborations to come. 5 stars.
Length: 8 hours and 22 minutes