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  • Excellent political thriller, narration lacking

    I’ve been wanting to listen to this for a while and I’m so glad I made time for it this week. I didn’t realize from the description that the political facet was going to be as much a part of the story as the spy thriller perspective. I have no complaints as these two aspects weaved around and within each other to create an incredibly enjoyable ride. Bentley opted to pen all of Matt Drake’s chapters in 1st person while all of Peter’s were in 3rd person. I absolutely loved this technique. It made it easy to distinguish the changing perspectives and added an additional depth to their characters and interactions. While there were times I felt that Drake’s commentary was a bit repetitive – overall I felt that the pacing was well done. I may have occasionally been able to guess the direction the plot or characters were going, but it wasn’t without surprise or unique finesse. I enjoyed the many hurdles that Drake had to accomplish and that he wasn’t a superhero with perfect luck and unbeatable skills. He was a real man who had to overcome obstacles and imperfect executions. The political wrangling was delightfully frustrating. Given the current times, I especially appreciated that all the political characters were completely fictional and it didn’t feel as being “inspired by” real people. While Drake is overall successful in his mission, there are definitely doors opened to what promises to be an engaging series. I am absolutely looking forward to The Outside Man in 2021. Narration: This was my first time listening to Jack Armstrong. I really enjoyed his main narration, Drake & Peter’s voices, and his emotional deliveries. Unfortunately his secondary characters left a lot to be desired, especially those from “foreign” countries. Whether they were Syrian, Russian, or from Utah – they had the same accent. Even then they weren’t always consistent. I would be willing to listen to other narrations from him that don’t require these kinds of dynamics, but I’m pretty sure I’ll read the next book in the series.

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