Dark Side by PT Deutermann – Audiobook Review [djinn24]

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Larry reviews the book and audiobook of Dark Side by PT Deutermann, read by Dick Hill. Published on St Martin’s Press. Originally published on December 1st, 2002

A dark grim thriller about a murder at Annapolis, a smashing good read – The Founding Fields

A dark thriller set at Annapolis, the United States Naval Academy. A Midshipman plebe lands in a plaza from six stories up. At first ruled an accident, things get really weird when they find the Midshipman is wearing the panties of Midshipman first class Julie Markham. Suicide? Murder? That’s what the NCIS and the security team have to figure out. Her father, Ev Markham an Annapolis graduate himself, fears that the Academy’s administration, referred to as the ‘Dark Side’ by the Midshipman, will try to scapegoat his daughter to avoid a scandal. Julie’s reputation, athletic achievements, and high academic standings make her an unlikely suspect but Ev is taking no chances and hires high-powered attorney, Liz DeWinter to defend her from the Naval Crime Investigative Service or NCIS as they complete their investigation in the matter.

This was the first book of PT Deutermann’s that I read, but his 6th published. I remember picking it up off of a bookshelf jammed full of free books sent to us in Iraq from supporters. The title and cover had me intrigue and I decided to give it a chance, at the time I really was not into mystery or thriller books. I was glad that I did as Dark Side really introduced me to a whole new genre of books as well as the author that I have grown to admire, PT Deutermann. Dark Side really starts off with a bang, literally as the Midshipman smashes into the ground. He does a good job introducing you to the various characters as they come up, giving you enough background to really understand them. The book does get slightly draggy towards the middle, but never enough to make me want to put it down, or stop listening to it. The ending is what sealed the deal for me, it really was top notch as the various plot twists are revealed and flow together. He writes from shifting points of view, mainly in 3rd person, but he does the arch-nemsis in 1st person in the few parts that he is in. Some people can find this overwhelming but to me it kept the story interesting. The one main down point is he uses a lot of military jargon in this book, which is daunting for non-military folks to understand, but can be cleared up with a quick Google search if you find yourself stumped.

I recently signed up for Audiobooks.com and they have all of his books available so I decided to give them a relisten for old time sake.
The audiobook is narrated by Dick Hill who does an exceptional job on this book. He is able to change his voice enough to give all the various characters a unique personality. You know who he is speaking as, even when he does not mention their name. He is definitely a voice actor that given good material can read a story and make it better then just reading it.

Relistening to this was a blast from the past for me, I honestly enjoyed it the second time more then the first. Having the truly talented Dick Hill read a great book by PT Deutermann was a treat to say the least. I give the book itself an 8/10, and narration a 9/10. If you are a fan of military books, mysteries, thrillers or just need a good book then this would be one for you.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; 1st edition (December 1, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031228120X
ISBN-13: 978-0312281205

djinn24 is a professional miniatures painter, with an equally strong love of books. His reviews are concise and critical. He’s definitely good at what he does.

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