Audiobook Review: The Safe Man and Mulholland Dive by Michael Connelly

29 11 2012

This is the time of year for sales. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Twofer Tuesday, and We’re Broke Wednesday, the American people are all about value. So, today, I will tap into the consumer spirit and give you two Audiobook Reviews! You can thank me later.

If you are anything like me, and this is an arbiter of good taste, then you anxiously await each new edition in Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. Connelly is one of the few thriller authors that has me hooked into more than one of his series, the other being that infamous Lincoln loving lawyer Mickey Haller. So, whenever a fresh new book with Connelly’s name attached to it comes out, I just have to have it. The latest Harry Bosch just hit the digital and physical shelves, and to get into the mood last week, I listened to two of his recently released audiobooks, a novella called The Safe Man, and a short story collection called Mulholland Dive.

The Safe Man by Michael Connelly

Read by David W. Collins

Hachette Audio

Length: 1 Hr 33 Min

Genre: Supernatural Suspense

Grade: B+

I love when authors break away from what you expect and explore areas that they typically don’t. From what I have read, this novella was originally published anonymously, yet, despite it being a break away from his typically straight forward Detective thrillers, it has a lot of the signature style of Michael Connelly. Connelly creates a haunting, moody atmosphere in this tale of a Safe Man who is hired to open a strange safe, which leaves him feeling uneasy. While its essence is that of a ghost story, and a unique one at that, also is a fascinating look at a man unjustly accused of a crime, and how easily people can lose faith in someone. I really enjoyed this story, and would love to see Connelly do more work in this genre. With his talent for setting mood and creating flawed by engaging characters, Connelly can definitely spin quite a Supernatural yarn.


Mulholland Dive: Three Stories by Michael Connelly

Read by David W. Collins

Hachette Audio

Length: 1 Hr 51 Min

Genre: Crime Fiction/Thriller

Grade: B

In Mulholland Dive Connelly tackles what he does best, Crime Fiction and Procedurals. He spins three stories, each dealing with a different perspective on Crime. In “Cahoots” he examines the criminal mindset through a twisted poker game among criminals, where the only way to win is to stack the decks. In “Mulholland Dive” he makes accident reconstruction actually interesting as a Police analyst investigates the death of a high profile victim. In the best story of the collection “Two Bagger“, Connelly follows two cops, a hardened veteran detective and his rookie partner, as they follow a recently released prisoner who may have been hired to kill someone on the outside. “Two Bagger” is a wonderful example of what makes Connelly such a great writer. Connelly gives emotional connection to the mundane, turning a baseball game into a metaphor for life. It’s a stunning story with a killer ending, and, personally, I think would make a brilliant movie. While many short story anthologies are sort of like a snack before the meal, Mulholland Dive, and the story “Two Bagger” in particular, is hearty enough for the hungriest of eaters.


This is my first experience with David W. Collins and I really enjoyed his reading of both audiobooks. Collins has a pretty straight forward reading style. While there weren’t a whole lot of bells and whistles to his reading, I was impressed with his versatility in character voices. Collins did a wonderful job creating the mood in The Safe Man, giving the story a haunting presence while properly progressing the main character from meticulous technician, to a man frustrated by the circumstances. In Mulholland Dive, he gives each story its proper feel, from the old time noir feel of “Cahoots” to the rhythms of urban LA in “Two Bagger.” Connelly’s work never needs a narrator who performs vocal gymnastic, just one who understands the natural rhythms of his writing, and Collins fit the bill. 

Note: Thanks to Hachette Audio for providing me with copies of these titles for review.