Review: The Copper Bracelet by Various Authors

Title: The Copper Bracelet

Authors: (In order of chapter written) Jeffery Deaver, Gayle Lynds, David Hewson, Jim Fusilli, John Gilstrap, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline, David Corbett, Linda Barnes, Jenny Siler, David Liss, P.J. Parrish, Brett Battles, Lee Child, Jon Land, James Phelan

Narrator: Alfred Molina

Publisher: Audible Inc and International Thriller Writers Inc [2009]

Length: 8hrs 38 minutes

Genre: Thriller

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

My rating: 3.5/5

One-liner: A true edge of your seat thriller

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This book features the same band of war-criminal hunting ‘Volunteers’ who first appeared in The Chopin Manuscript, which, like this one, featured chapters written by different thriller writers. In the opening sequence Harold Middleton, leader of the Volunteers, and key members of his crew are nearly the victims of a hired assassin but, of course, they turn the tables and instead begin to learn that the copper bracelet which the assassin was wearing is far more than a piece of jewellery. The team must track down someone known as The Scorpion and prevent the world exploding into a new world war when a conflict between India and Pakistan is orchestrated by some nefarious types.

If Frederick Forsythe had written a season of 24 it would, I imagine, have turned out a bit like this book. It’s full of global politics, double-crossing assassins and the implausible high-tech gadgetry that a decent thriller must have. But, probably because each one is written by a different author all trying to leave their mark, the chapters each have their own story arc and cliff-hanger endings so it’s even more action packed than an average thriller. There are undoubtedly more twists and turns in the overall plot than would be the case if the story was written by a single author but it holds together well and there are surprisingly few loose ends left over. It’s not a particularly thought-provoking story but it didn’t lose my attention once.

As tends to be the way with thrillers the characters aren’t particularly well-developed, partly because they’re busy leaping out of the way of thermobaric bombs and partly because there are so darned many of them (that’s probably another side-effect of the multiple authorship). However the notion of a group of people tracking down the world’s war criminals is more clearly defined in this book and some of them were quite engaging in their brief appearances.

As he did with the first book Alfred Molina narrates brilliantly, taking the numerous characters of multiple nationalities in his stride. As someone who is a real fan of audio books I am pleased to see this audio only experiment continue. It’s quite clear the authors have fun collaborating as a change from their solo pursuits and I can’t imagine too many listeners wouldn’t experience a similar sense of fun with this classic roller-coaster of a thriller.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

As far as I can tell there are no plans for the book to be available in print but a version for the kindle is due in January 2010.

I reviewed The Chopin Manuscript, the first book in this audio-only series, earlier this year

This entry was posted in book review, Brett Battles, David Corbett, David Hewson, David Liss, Gayle Lynds, International, James Phelan, Jeffrey Deaver, Jenny Siler, Jim Fusilli, John Gilstrap, Jon Land, Joseph Finder, Linda Barnes, Lisa Scottoline, P J Parrish. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Review: The Copper Bracelet by Various Authors

  1. Thanks for the great review, Bernadette. It sounds like a really engaging story, even if the characters aren’t fully developed.

    It’s interesting that you mention chapters being written by different authors. Have you read Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch’s Serial? That’s also a thriller, ‘though not a spy thriller. It’s a horror thriller – the story of a psycho who preys on hitchhikers, and a psycho hitchhikers who preys on people who are generous enough to offer a lift. Definitely not for the squeamish, and I wouldn’t say it’s normally my kind of novel. But it’s also got all sorts of twists and cliffhangers. The first part was written by Kilborn, the second by Crouch. Neither read the other’s part before they collaborated for the third part. That makes for a really interesting approach to a book.

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  2. Beth F says:

    Since I never got started on the first Audible collaboration, I’ve decided to pass on this for now. But I love the concept.

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  3. Pingback: It’s audiobook month (apparently) | Reactions to Reading

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