This explosive thriller from Edgar Award-winner Ellis combines fast-paced action and unexpected plot twists with thematic depth and cohesion. Defense attorney Jason Kolarich is grieving the recent death of his wife and daughter when he is asked to defend his high school friend, Sammy Cutler, who is accused of murdering the man who allegedly molested and murdered Sammy's two-year-old sister 20 years ago. When Jason's investigations take him close to the solution, his own brother is kidnapped. This exciting start of what is sure to turn into a series deserves a performer on a par with Ellis' prose, but Luke Daniels's turgid pace and relentless monotone are off-putting. The phrasing sounds lifted from old Dragnet episodes and is dated and annoying. Fans should steer clear of this audio and opt for the print version. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, July 13). (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.