Aural Noir Review of Fever by Sean Rowe

Aural Noir: Review

As part of our revival of the Aural Noir label, we’ll be re-running some of our classic (offline) Aural Noir posts, including this “vintage” audiobook review which was first posted in December 2005…

Tantor crime audiobook - Fever by Sean RoweFever
By Sean Rowe; Read by William Dufris
5 CDs – Approx 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: 2005
ISBN: 1400101778
Sample: |MP3|
Themes: / Crime / Heist / Noir / Thriller / Terrorism / Florida / Cuba / Nautical / Family /

Raw, is probably the best one-word sum up of Sean Rowe’s first novel Fever. Rowe’s prose lacks the polish found in novelists like Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake and Elmore Leonard, but he doesn’t lack what it takes to eventually become worthy of hanging out with these masters, especially if he keeps writing like this!

Fever follows a tight knit group of fuck-ups through their attempt to rob thirty million dollars of stashed drug money from an aging cruise ship plying the waters between Miami and Cuba. The crew, on paper at least, looks like it should be able to handle anything. It consists of an ex-FBI agent Matt Shannon, his step brother (an ex-DEA agent named Jack Fontana), an emergency room nurse named Julia, a former Black Panther, and a South American soldier of fortune. Despite their collective skill set these are all losers in almost every way. Shannon’s past is slowly revealed, working backwards we know that he’s an in-debt alcoholic, with a dead wife, missing an index finger and has a step-brother who is a recently paroled felon. When the step-brother frames Shannon in the sinking of a freighter Matt is half-blackmailed into going along, with a vague desire to somehow help his brother. The rest of the crew are nearly as sad, Julia was an orphan who was sexually abused from a young age. And Jack Fontana is dying after serving his sentence. Even the minor characters have their share of problems…. one passage detailing the last job the mercenary took killing Indians in the jungles of South America is brutal, funny and illustrative of just how unlikely this string will be of pulling off this or any job. The malformed love triangle between Shannon, his brother, and Julia pays off in a tasty neo-noir style. In fact love, brotherly and the other kind is probably at the heart of this story. Fever is extremely enjoyable, the dialogue is crisp and fun, the scenes are imaginative and original. A constant surprise awaits in every chapter. None of it goes exactly according to plan and that makes it all the better to follow. The novel’s few problems seem mostly structural, scene transitions aren’t handled as well as I’d like and despite it being a first person perspective we never really get an idea of what’s going on inside the narrator’s head. This could be a deliberate style on the part of Rowe, as both flaws could be thought to pay off in certain ways later in on the book, but I’m thinking a more seasoned novelist might have been better able to give us everything. I eagerly look forward to reading the next Sean Rowe novel!

Read by the always reliable William Dufris, the first person perspective plays into such classics as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. Dufris’ natural timbre doesn’t exactly embody the gravelly voiced loser we imagine as the narrator but his voicing of the rest of the crew is spot on. Men, women, a Colombian drug lord, the string and even minor characters like an aging boxer all sound just like you’d want them to. Tantor Media, an exciting new player in unabridged audiobooks has packaged Fever in a clamshell CD case with leaved pages. The cover is the same as the Little Brown & Co. original and the sound quality is phenomenal. The pricing is extremely reasonable too. I think Tantor is probably the most exciting new big little publisher of the decade!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Audio exerpt: Philosophy course in solving murder

SFFaudio Online Audio

Obedience by Will LavenderHave a listen to this |MP3|. Normally I wouldn’t bother you with a mere excerpt from a new novel, but the premise of Will Lavender‘s Obedience does catch the ear and tease-out your attention. It is listed in the mystery/thriller section of most online bookstores but at least one site is classifying it as a Fantasy (though I suppose we’ll have to listen to the whole novel to know for sure). The unabridged audiobook is available from Books On Tape and

When the students in Winchester University’s Logic and Reasoning 204 course arrive for their first day of class, they are greeted not with a syllabus or texts, but with a startling assignment from Professor Williams: Find a hypothetical missing girl named Polly. If, after being given a series of clues and details, the class has not found her before the end of the term (in six weeks), she will be murdered.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Author Focus – F. Paul Wilson

SFFaudio Author Focus

F. Paul Wilson F. Paul Wilson is an award-winning author of dozens of novels and more than a hundred short stories. While he considers himself a “Thriller writer” his storytelling spans many genres. Wilson’s books cover everything: Horror, Adventure, medical thrillers, and of course Science Fiction and Fantasy too. He is most famous as the author of the popular “Repairman Jack” series. Wilson has had a fair number of his tales produced to audiobooks, but quite a few of them are out of print. Here’s the complete listing:

The Keep
By F. Paul Wilson; Read by Michael Prichard
10 Cassettes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books On Tape
Published: 1983 (OUT OF PRINT)
ISBN: 073660846X
In the spring of 1941, a message is received from a German Army commander stationed in a remote castle high in the Transylvanian Alps: “Something is murdering my men.” An SS extermination squad is sent to destroy the enemy, presumed by the military to be partisans.

The Touch
By F. Paul Wilson; Read by ?????
? Cassettes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books On Tape
Published: 1986/1987/1988 ? (OUT OF PRINT)
ISBN: 9998438845 / 5557087567
After twelve years of practicing medicine, Dr. Alan Bulmer develops a supernatural ability to heal, but the miraculous power carries a potentially lethal price.

The Select by F. Paul WilsonThe Select
By F. Paul Wilson; Read by Elizabeth Shue
2 Cassettes – Approx. 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audioworks
Published: 1994 (OUT OF PRINT)
ISBN: 0671883186
Quinn Cleary is smart, idealistic and poor. She’s been accepted at The Ingraham, a prestigious medical school, where a select few receive the finest education free of charge. But something is terribly wrong at The Ingraham. Quinn notices subtle changes in the bright, hand-picked students. Then she stumbles upon the silent, staring patients in locked Ward C.

By F. Paul Wilson and Matthew J. Costello; Read by ????
2 Cassettes – Approx. 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Soundelux Audio Publishing
Publisher: 1996 (Out of print)
ISBN: 1559352396
A team of doctors creates a virtual reality scanner that allows them to enter a person’s memory and watch it via videocasette recorder. Neuropsychologist Julie Gordon decides to use the device to enter the mind of her twin sister, Samantha, who has lapsed into a coma in Paris. Julie’s looking for the neural pathway that is blocking Samantha’s mind, but in the process of probing Samantha’s memory, Julie makes shocking discoveries about the fire that killed their parents.*INCLUDES: “An exclusive author interview.”

Seeing Ear Theatre Interactive Audio DramaDerelict
By F. Paul Wilson and M.J. Costello; Performed by a full cast
Publisher: The Sci-Fi Channel / Seeing Ear Theatre
Published: 1997 (NOW TAKEN OFFLINE)
A mining crew found it floating on the outer reaches of the asteroid belt. When they saw what it was, they called the marines. Now an exploration team has entered the floating hulk of a ship… abandoned, lifeless. Or so they think.

Conspiracies by F. Paul WilsonConspiracies
By F. Paul Wilson; Read by F. Paul Wilson
Publisher: WyrdSisterS ProductionS / Gauntlet Press
Published: 1999?
The audio CD of F. Paul Wilson reading a dramatization of a scene from his novel Conspiracies.

Horror / Fantasy Audiobook - Midnight Mass And Other Great Vampire StoriesMidnight Mass And Other Great Vampire Stories
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by various narrators
4 Cassettes – 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Dove Audio / Phoenix Audio /
Published: 1999 / 2002
ISBN: 0787119040, 1590402456
“From the horrifying to the humorous, some of today’s finest authors share stories about one of mankind’s oldest imagined evils, the vampire.”
“Bite Me Not, or Fleur de Fur” by Tanith Lee
“Food Chain” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
“Moonlight in Vermont” by Esther Freisner
“Madeleine” by Barbara Hambly
“Victims” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Seat Partner” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
“Midnight Mass” (a novella) by F. Paul Wilson (read by Theodore Bikel)

Masque by F. Paul Wilson and M.J. CostelloMasque
By F. Paul Wilson and M.J. Costello; Read by Michael Prichard
9 Cassettes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books On Tape
Published: 2000
ISBN: 0736655980
Tristan is the perfect spy. He’s a “mime,” an artificially created and cloned human who’s metamorphic DNA can be programmed to transform him into a “masque” – a perfect genetic copy of anyone. Mimes can be turned into anyone their corporate city-state owners want, until the stress of assuming masques causes a meltdown.

leftThriller: Stories To Keep You Up All Night
Edited by James Patterson; Read by various readers
? CDs or ? MP3 CDs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1423321758 (CDs) or 1423321774 (MP3-CD)
This hefty collection contains just one short story by F. Paul Wilson

Dark Voices Vol. 6 Sex Slaves of The Dragon TongDark Voices VOL. 6: Sex Slaves Of The Dragon Tong
By F. Paul Wilson; Read by F. Paul Wilson
Chapbook and 1 CD – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Borderlands Press
Published: June 2007
ISBN: 188032590X
A short story paying homage to the pulp era.

Conspiracies by F. Paul WilsonBloodline
By F. Paul Wilson; Read by
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publisher: October 2007
ISBN: 1423346041
It starts off simply enough. (Doesn’t it always?) Jack has been on hiatus since the tragic events in Harbingers. With his beloved Gia’s encouragement he dips his toe back into the fix-it pool.


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