When it comes to audiobooks, it’s all about the reader (I know I’ve said that a thousand times before, but it merits repeating). My favorite female narrator is Kate Reading, who is phenomenal at capturing the mood of a story and who manages to give every character a unique identity. When I saw that Reading narrated Falling Off Air by Catherine Sampson, I downloaded it from Audible without even reading the book’s description. Luckily for me, Reading came through again with a superb performance of this murder-mystery.
On a stormy London night, Robin Ballantyne glances out her window and is stunned to see a woman literally fall from the sky. Using her skills as a former TV documentary filmmaker, Robin delves into the mystery of how and why popular politician Paula Carmichael died – was it suicide or murder? The more she investigates, though, the more Robin realizes how closely involved she is, until she herself becomes a suspect…
I was very impressed by Catherine Sampson’s debut novel, which was very much in the Agatha Christie tradition. The setting is domestic in feeling (Robin is a single mum raising twins) but the murders are fairly grisly and red herrings abound. There’s just the right amount of character drama too. Not only is Robin trying to resurrect her career post-babies, but it turns out her former lover/baby daddy was well acquainted with the deceased.
As always, Kate Reading’s performance is flawless. She masters a variety of accents – London, Scots, American – without a pause, and her pacing is perfect. Falling Off Air was an excellent summer mystery read, and I highly recommend the audio version.
Length: 9 hours, 3 minutes