Grey, Dorien. “The Serpent’s Tongue” (A Dick Hardesty Mystery, Volume 15), Zumaya 2014. (audio)
Another of Dorien Grey’s Dick Hardesty detective novels is now available as an audio book. Jeff Frez-Albrecht, who does all the Dick Hardesty reads “The Serpent’s Tongue” as well. I have read so many of the books in this series that it seems that both the author and his creation, Dick Hardesty, are old friends of mine. What is really hard to believe is that this is already volume 15.
This time Hardesty is hired to check threats to Dan Stabile, a former priest and quite naturally he assumes that they might have come from someone whose confession Dan had heard during the time that he was still a priest. But Hardesty does not think there is anything strange or special about the case until Dan is killed and his partner, Jonathan is badly injured. Now the usual case becomes personal for Hardesty. Was the murder and injury due to an accident on a rain slick road or was it murder? Hardesty means to learn this.
But then our detective discovers something about a child and a murder and aside from that someone is bothering Jonathan. Hardesty who has always prided himself on his objectivity suddenly finds himself in a tough situation and the more he investigates the more he realizes that Dan was not the target. But if he was not, then who was?
I do not want to go anymore into the plot because I might accidentally give something away but I can tell you that to read this, forget about being a sleuth yourself—there are just too many surprises.
I must admire author Grey’s focus here—first he creates a complex situation and then he brings in his detective (who has never let me down and does not do so this time either). Somehow, and this is Dorien Grey’s skill, we are not just pulled into the story but also into the mind of Hardesty. I was attempting to solve the crime almost immediately before I even had all of the facts. Since the novel is written in the first person (Hardesty), we feel as if we are part of the story/mystery. This is quite a read and if not the best of the Hardesty series, it is without a doubt, one of the best.
Listening to a book is quite a different experience than just reading it and Grey is lucky to have a reader that does justice to all of his books. “The Serpent’s Tongue” is a fine class read and a wonderful listening experience.