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A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

From AudioFile Magazine:
Simon Vance is an ideal performer for this tightly plotted and beautifully made story about a French family whose stress fractures have widened into chasms. Antoine Rey still loves his wife, who has left him for a younger man. His beautiful sister, Melanie, is turning 40 alone after a romantic breakup. On a weekend trip to a place they haven’t seen since childhood, memories of their long-dead mother surface, and suddenly both are haunted by unanswered questions. Vance’s French accent is elegant and assured, but more important, his sympathy for these complex and interesting characters keeps the drama from crossing into melodrama. He is particularly strong with women’s voices and Antoine’s teenaged children, using deft changes of register that never feel forced. A performance to savor. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010

Publisher’s notes: Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister’s birthday: a weekend by the sea, at Noirmoutier, where he and Mélanie used to spend their childhood holidays and where they had never returned. Antoine is at a fragile point in his existence: his job no longer holds any excitement, his children are surly teenagers, and he hates being a divorced, single Dad. Noirmoutier triggers off a flock of forgotten memories and Mélanie has a shocking flashback. Trapped between a taboo family secret and a new crisis when his daughter is confronted with the death of her best friend, nothing is easy for Antoine as a son, a husband, a brother and a father. But then he meets streetwise, sexy Angèle, a mortician who will give new meanings to the words life, love and death.

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Moscow Sting by Alex Dryden

Recorded June/July 2010 for release in August 2010 – Tantor Audio

From the Publisher:
When Finn, a former British spy, is poisoned by a Russian assassin, his ex-boss Adrian, the chief of MI6, wants vengeance. He also wants answers—information that only Finn’s widow knows. But Anna, a former KGB colonel who betrayed her country for love, vanished with her child shortly after Finn’s death.
Adrian isn’t the only one eager to find Anna. Finn accessed intelligence so sensitive that the KGB killed to protect it—and now Anna is in the KGB’s crosshairs, as the only person who knows the true identity of the Kremlin insider, superspy, and double agent called Mikhail. The CIA and Cougar, a giant American private intelligence company, are also hunting her. With the Kremlin still in the grasp of all-powerful Vladimir Putin, Mikhail is the West’s best hope for revealing Russia’s obscure intentions for its newfound oil wealth.
Anna holds the key to the secrets of her motherland, and now the former Russian agent faces her greatest test. To secure her freedom and protect her child, she must uncover the full truth before anyone else does—even as friend and foe set her in their sights.
Moving from Paris to New York, from the Kremlin to the American Southwest, Moscow Sting is an absorbing and timely tale of intrigue, betrayal, fatal lies, and complex truths, told with the authentic detail and chilling insight of an experienced insider.

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The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

From AudioFile Magazine:
Simon Vance and Stieg Larsson are to blame for an exhausting 10 days in which I spent every spare daytime moment and most of each night listening to Lisbeth Salander outwit Swedish bad guys. Though I am groggy, I am grateful. This is a terrific finale to the worldwide bestselling Swedish series about the skinny, bisexual, socially hostile computer wizard Lizbeth Salander, ace reporter Mikael Blomkvist, and a host of nefarious criminals, bureaucrats, police, and politicians. The compulsively listenable Simon Vance personifies men, women, young, and old so well that one hesitates to interrupt their conversations by turning off the book. And he propels the narrative with fine timing and a seductive voice that leaves the listener satiated and happy. Get this book and start listening now. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010
This book was nominated for an Audie in two categories – Distinguished Achievement in Production and Thriller/Suspense – it won in the latter of the two!

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Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro

Read by Mark Bramhall, Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe, Simon Vance
From AudioFile Magazine:
Each of the stories in Kazuo Ishiguro’s first collection is told by a musician, and each explores the theme of music’s idealism and life’s harsh reality. This production uses four narrators to great effect: Mark Bramhall reads the first and last stories, deftly moving between the Eastern European and American accents of the characters. Kirby Heyborne’s youthful voice is ideal for “Malvern Hills,” which is told by a young guitarist-songwriter hoping to make it in London. The masterful Simon Vance shows again that he one of the best at moving into the register of female voices, while Lincoln Hoppe’s languid delivery captures the humor of the title story without letting it slide into absurdity. This collection is brilliantly arranged, like a symphony in five movements. D.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010

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The Runner by Peter May

From AudioFile Magazine:
Simon Vance’s performance will leave listeners breathless in the fifth episode of Peter May’s China series. Vance brings his superior narrating skills to May’s police procedural starring the detective team of Li Yan, chief of the Beijing Municipal Police, and Margaret Campbell, a forensic pathologist who is Li Yan’s American fiancée. China’s top athletes are being murdered. Three members of China’s sprint-relay team, a cyclist, a top swimmer, and a world-class weight lifter are dead. A female runner appeals to Margaret, fearing she will be next. Vance is splendid in this engrossing story of Beijing life, internal police politics, Chinese Triads, genetic research, and brutal megalomaniacs who stop at nothing to succeed—not even murder. Vance makes THE RUNNER top-notch listening. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010

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Paradise Lost by John Milton

From AudioFile Magazine:
If you’re in the mood for a heart-pounding morality tale, this is the book for you. This seventeenth-century classic has survived all these years for many reasons, not least of which is that it portrays Satan as a sympathetic hero. Narrator Simon Vance is equipped with a forceful British accent, which he uses to accentuate the text and bring the story to life. His subtly changes his tone and emphasis as the story moves from heaven to hell to earth, and he enables us to appreciate the story’s different personalities without providing character voices. Vance’s most effective attribute is his ability to interpret epic poetry by delivering the lines with rhythm and superb pacing. R.I.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010

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