★Fleishman Is in Trouble
Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s stunning debut novel explores middle age, parenthood, divorce and the subjective nature of how we perceive other people, even those closest to us. Toby Fleishman is going through a divorce and discovers he’s a hot commodity on all the new dating apps. But when his ex-wife, Rachel, doesn’t pick up the kids when it’s her turn, he’s forced to navigate parenthood and dating while wondering what happened to his marriage—and to Rachel. He paints her as a neglectful mother and ruthless social climber with little care for his input. She makes more money, and he feels like he put his career on the back burner for her. But wait till you see her point of view. Read by Allyson Ryan with humor and attitude, Fleishman Is in Trouble is a ruthless look at class and relationships in modern-day Manhattan.
A North Texas-based athletic wear company gets shaken up when the “bad man list” is passed around in Chandler Baker’s Whisper Network. When one of those bad men is up for a promotion to CEO of the company, enough is enough. Four very different women—from high-powered lawyers to a member of the custodial staff—come together to stand up to him and to the company willing to overlook his history of sexual harassment. This #MeToo revenge fantasy makes for a fun listen with a bit of mystery, exploring women’s lives, their relationships to work and how they deal with the bad men they are forced to answer to. Narrator Almarie Guerra does a nimble job portraying the different women with honesty and sympathy.
When Anna McDonald’s husband announces he’s leaving her for her best friend, she finds comfort in true crime podcasts—until she recognizes the victim of her new favorite podcast as a man she once knew. When her best friend’s has-been rock-star husband turns up on her doorstep, he becomes the unwitting accomplice in helping her unravel the podcast’s mystery. Soon they’re jet-setting around Europe as Anna becomes entangled with assassins and uncovers a plot involving one of the richest, most secretive people in the world. Much of Conviction takes place in Scotland, and narrator Cathleen McCarron does a great job with accents and secret identities. Denise Mina’s latest thriller is a fun, edge-of-your-seat listen that feels very contemporary with its use of social media and podcasts to drive the story forward.