Elegy for April Review
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Unabridged Audiobook: 8 CDs (9.5 hours)
Read by Timothy Dalton

Summer is a time for road trips—and that makes it the perfect time for books on CD. Whether you’re making weekly trips to your favorite campsite or road-tripping across the country, audiobooks make those hours on the road feel a lot less monotonous. There’s just one downside, though: if you find a book as spellbinding as Elegy for April—read by someone as distinguished as Timothy Dalton—you might not want to get out of your car.

Headstrong young doctor April Latimer has gone missing; it’s been days since anyone’s heard from her. Considering her somewhat questionable reputation, though, no one seems to be all that concerned—except for Phoebe Griffin.

When none of her other friends will listen, Phoebe goes to her father, Quirke, and asks for help. Newly sober after a stint in rehab, Quirke is still trying to adjust to his new life—and Phoebe’s request seems to be just what he needs. With some help from Detective Inspector Hackett, Quirke begins digging through 1950s Dublin for answers—answers that April’s wealthy and influential family seems perfectly happy to keep buried.

Though it isn’t a fast-paced thriller, Benjamin Black’s Elegy for April will easily keep you engrossed—in the mystery, the characters, and the wintery Dublin setting. The story itself is intriguing, but the characters make you eager to get back to your car to listen to a little bit more. In fact, even if this is your first Quirke novel, you’ll soon feel as if you’ve known the characters forever. Black develops them so well that you’ll be right at home with erratic, impulsive Quirke and his sweet but anxious daughter. And you’ll be fascinated by the supporting characters, too—from the mysterious Latimer family to Nigerian med student Patrick Ojukwu.

Dalton, meanwhile, is nothing short of spectacular in his reading. The classically trained actor (and former James Bond) is articulate and engaging. His narration is smooth and refined, yet brisk enough to hold your interest. Instead of trying to distinguish the different voices using different tones, Dalton gives each one a different personality—so you’ll rarely have trouble telling them apart. He makes each one come to life. And his is the kind of voice that makes it easy to listen for hours—without getting bored or irritated.

Of course, Elegy for April isn’t the kind of audiobook to pop into the CD player if the kids are in the car; it’s for grown-up road trips only. But if you’re packing up and heading out on a summer road trip, don’t forget to pack your sunglasses, some snacks, and this engrossing Irish mystery.

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