Friday, December 16, 2022

Diamonds and Lies, by Inge-Lise Goss (author), Natalie Disaster (narrator)

Inge-Lise Goss, February 2021

Mia Sloane is a rising young advertising executive--and together with her brother, Andy Carlyle, a jewel thief. She mostly lives on her legitimate income, and uses her ill-gotten gains to build a nest egg for the future. But now Andy is in trouble; he went gambling with a part of a stash of uncut diamonds--and lost them, instead of winning big. Now he needs to have either uncut diamonds of the amount that he lost, or $5 million in cash, in just a week.

This doesn't leave time for their usual careful planning. Andy picks a target, the owner of a chain of jewelry stores, and sends Mia in to check the place, and the owner, out. As hoped, she connects with him, and gets both more information about the shop, and a date with the man, which will give her a chance to check him and the store's operations out further.

Soon, though, it becomes clear that something odd is going on. Someone is following Mia. Andy's criminal connections are suddenly distant. This whole situation may be not about Andy stupidly gambling with diamonds he stole for a far more dangerous criminal, but about Andy and Mia's father, Leo Carlyle, who hid a large stash shortly before he was arrested, tried, and sent to prison. Murdered in prison, Leo never told anyone, not even his kids, where the stash was hidden--but the local gangsters don't necessarily believe that.

Meanwhile, Mia is beginning to suspect that the man she met at the jewelry shop, the mark she's supposed to be playing, may be playing her.

The characters are interesting, and layered, and unexpectedly likable. I won't call the plot believable, but it's fun and exciting. I enjoyed it.

The narrator, though, is mixed. She has an excellent, clear voice, with good control--and repeatedly mispronounces words that aren't especially unusual. Every time it happened, it kicked me out of the story for a moment. I hope she works on that, because her voice is wonderful.

I won this audiobook in an author giveaway, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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