Publication Date: April 12, 2018
Stacey Ashton has disappeared. While Melanie Foster thinks she may have run off with Melanie’s husband. It soon becomes clear that there’s a good chance that she was murdered. But by who? Can suave, handsome, best-butt-in-the-nation, man-for-the-ages Brett Cornell solve the case Brett Enters the Golden Circle is the fifth book in the Brett Cornell series.
The author gave me a copy of this audiobook in exchange for my review.
The best way to start this review is with observation. This is Book five, so we know Brett Cornell. He is a quintessential 1980s man with his curly golden locks and porn star stache. My own father liked to top the look with a woven straw cowboy hat. Very of the day. At the start of Brett Enters the Golden Circle we are treated to a sexual flashback that includes so-called private sessions with one of his teachers. My first reaction, of course, is to vomit a bit in my mouth at the idea, but Brett is of the same generation of my aforementioned father who I remember laughing with relatives of his generation about that driver’s ed teacher who would give private lessons and be out a little longer or about how the boys on the football team got to drive the gym teacher’s sports car after a private session with him.
The attitude today is still that boys who sleep with older women have won the lottery. So what’s my point with this? The ability to gloss over Brett is partly because deep down we know he is a good soul but also that he was a man before the #metoo movement when men assumed that women really wanted a good ass slapping but really weren’t free enough to say. He considered the abuse, and let’s be clear; that’s what it was … as well as his other encounters with older women … as part of the sexual revolution. That he is so much a man of his time will, to be honest, put readers off. Some of us who remember the 1980s and remember the Bretts we knew (Dear Lord, help us all) chain-smoking, wise-cracking, full of pomp and themselves will take it for what it is, a nuance of an already pretty flawed character.
As we embark on Brett’s fifth outing, he still thinks of himself as the golden egg the goose laid. As has been the habit of the course of the series, D’Aguanno invites us to see a little more of what makes Brett tick which, frankly, is this character’s saving grace. Brett, as usual, is the one telling the story and readers know to take most of what he says with a giant block of salt. Brett Enters the Square Circle is less a mystery and more a story of Brett. He and Ginger are on a break, which he pretends to enjoy as it opens up his sexual horizons. He runs across bastards more unscrupulous than himself, women who are sometimes will and sometimes will not put up with his classic Brettisms. He, as the title implies, winds up in a square circle. This is where narrator Travis Henry Carter really comes into his own. From the start, this narrator has been a stroke of brilliance for the series. His voice embodies the bald face bravado that has become Brett’s brand.
While Brett may be Melanie Foster’s “dream come true,” his story isn’t something you would want to play during the daily school commute. D’Aguanno’s language is bold and brash but refreshing in its inhibition. Travis Henry Carter enhances what has become a pretty fluid voice gifted to Brett by his author. His quick patter and easy sounding shifts between Brett and his wise-cracking adversaries (both male and female) allow the reader to become fully engaged. Brett Enters the Square Circle is fast paced and entertaining. Come for the mystery, which is wrapped up pretty neatly, but stay to get to know Brett better. A truly good listen.
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|Title||Brett Enters the Square Circle|
|Narration||Travis Henry Carter|
|Length||8 hours and 32 minutes|
|Released||April 12, 2018|
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