“Have You Heard?” is a column featured only on Lesa’s Book Critiques. It features many reviews of audiobooks (fiction, with a concentration in mysteries) but these reviews will include recent and past books for an interesting mixture of titles. Content is usually written by Sandie Herron. It also covers news of note and not generally available, such as ASAP publishing a limited edition for a certain author or perhaps something important out of Publisher’s Weekly. The column is published sporadically, so you’ll want to watch for it!
Thank you, Sandie. (Racing fans may want to listen to this one.)
Dead Man’s Switch
Series: The Kate Reilly Mysteries, Book 1
Written by Tammy Kaehler, Narrated by Nicole Vilencia
Listening Length: 8 hours and 53 minutes
Publisher: Blackstone Audio (August 2, 2011)
Kate Reilly is looking for a “ride” at Lime Rock Park speedway in Lakeville, Connecticut on the 4th of July weekend where the American Le Mans series (ALMS) is racing its Corvettes. Kate’s level of experience means that she must become a part of a racing team in order to be taken seriously as a driver. Turning up at the track says that she is ready and willing just in case a team needs a driver.
As luck would have it, Kate discovers a body by barely hitting it when she arrived and parked her car. That body is Wade Becker, driver of the 28 Corvette on the Sandham Swift racing team. She runs for help and finds Stuart Telardy, VP of operations and communications for ALMS, 33, and handsome. When the police arrive, the detectives question her repeatedly, wondering why she had found Wade’s body. She is incredulous when they ask for her alibi for the previous night. At least she’d been with her friend Holly from Western racing team, who takes Kate under her wing after the police release her on that Saturday morning.
Jack Sandham finds Kate in Holly’s team’s paddock. He hires Kate to drive for Wade for this race with possibilities for the remainder of the series. Kate is thrilled when her dreams come true and she is hired as the second driver. The rumor mill explodes, and Kate is considered a prime suspect in Becker’s murder. However, Wade was not a popular driver, so many will not miss him. They are happy to see what Kate can do. Many others believe a woman does not make a good race driver and let her know it. She’s a 24-year-old female who has been working her way up in the racing world since she was 12 years old. But she knows she is stepping into a chaotic situation full of emotion.
Sandham Swift is a private team racing two C6R Corvettes purchased from the manufacturer, numbers 28 an 29. The cars competed in GT1 (Grand Touring 1) along with large Ferraris, Vipers, Mazaradis, Astin Martins, and Selenes. Other classes include the GT2 and Le Mans prototype classes 1 and 2. Two drivers share the car in every race, with more drivers for longer races. Kate had joined this team for the third stint at the end of Sebring’s 12-hour race the year before so knew the car, the team, the pit crew, the owner.
Kate immediately meets with the crew, learning more about the car and the track. She will only have an hour to practice in the car before the race. She needed to convince the detectives she didn’t commit murder while getting to know the car and track as best she could.
When race time arrives, we are treated to a step-by-step rundown of what goes on inside the race car. With each turn of the car, Kate describes the actions needed to navigate the turns, the straights, and pit lane. She has done this a million times before she ever attempts it in the car. It is as close to a personal tour of the track as the reader can get without being there.