Author: Adam Carpenter
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Publisher: Linden Corners Press
Cover Artist: Deana C. Jamroz
Story Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 04/11/2016
Length: 05 hours 47 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay Romance, Mystery/Thriller
When Jimmy McSwain is hired to find missing heir Harris Rothschild, he finds that identities can be altered and lives can be changed – or taken with the simple pull of the trigger. Jimmy McSwain is a New York City private detective, operating out of Hell’s Kitchen, the rough and tumble neighborhood he grew up in. At age 14, he watched as his NYPD father was gunned down. Now, at age 28, and gay, Jimmy has never given up pursuit of whoever killed him. But a PI must make a living, and so he’s taken on the case of missing heir Harris Rothschild, whose overbearing father doesn’t approve of his “alternate” lifestyle.
Tracking down Harris is easier than expected, but the carnage that follows isn’t. With a shocking murder on his hands, and a threat coming from some unforeseen person, Jimmy’s caseload is suddenly full, and very dangerous.
Intriguing, well-paced, and boasting a cast of characters worthy of any whodunnit film, Hidden Identity is a crime thriller that captivates the reader/listener with its interesting plot and engaging main character, Jimmy McSwain. Ulysses does an excellent job of describing Jimmy in his print version review, which I highly recommend reading. The book has a definite film noir, private dick feel to it, and one can almost hear a lazy saxophone playing in the background. It never reaches the level of trite or cliché, however, as Adam Carpenter keeps events moving along at a nice clip and the character dialogue fresh and witty. Additionally, with his vivid descriptions of the streets of Hell’s Kitchen and its population, both human and structural, Carpenter immerses the reader/listener in the depths of this gritty section of New York City and brings it to life with richness and vibrancy.
This is not my usual sub-genre to read, and I found Hidden Identity to be quite a pleasant and entertaining departure. It isn’t technically a m/m romance, though there are definite scenes of intimacy (hot sex) and possible relationship-building for future installments in the series. I genuinely like the character of Jimmy McSwain, his backstory, and his drive to make a difference in his rather rough neighborhood while he continues his quest in finding his father’s killer. Once I finished listening to Hidden Identity, I immediately purchased the second book in the series and am eager to find out what is in store for the tough and sexy PI.
Joel Leslie’s narration of Hidden Identity had positives and negatives for me. Though I felt some of the female voices were a bit too affected, the distinct character accents were quite good, and Mr. Leslie transitioned from one to the other easily and skillfully as he brought each personality to life (I particularly loved the character of Terrance Black/Terry Cloth). Technically, the modulation was effective, though there were, at times, dramatic drops of pitch that created an inconsistency in volume and pace. Overall, however, the performance was well done and kept me involved in the story.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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