Title: The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool: Book One)
Authors: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
Narrator:: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 5 hours and 11 minutes
At a Glance: Nick J. Russo gave an excellent performance.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Mischief, thou art afoot.
Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page – the world’s most irritating witness – alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.
Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law… though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.
When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.
Review: The Two Gentlemen of Altona was a really fantastic read and I thought, like I do with most good books, what would this be like on audio? Sometimes you can be disappointed by a narration, but Nick J. Russo gave an excellent performance. I think what really grabbed me was his tone of voice and the various emotions that he gave to Henry. Henry is a con-man, with so many disguises and personalities, but he uses those things to hide his fears and loneliness. Mr. Russo gives Henry such a big emotional range, from annoying to lovable, to mellow, to a child-like impishness. When Mr. Russo sings O Mistress Mine, you can hear the tremble in Henry’s voice and you can picture him as a scared little boy, and it gives us an in-depth view of the true Henry.
Mr. Russo also gives life to Mac, the gruff and tough special agent who’s without his coffee, doughnuts, alcohol and is really on edge. All Mac wants to do is get the bad guy and keep his witness, Henry, safe, but Henry is just pushing Mac’s buttons to the point of frustration. Mr. Russo gives that voice to Mac, from frustration to concern, and then eventually shows us Mac’s soft side.
Apart from Henry and Mac, there are a variety of characters throughout this story, and Mr. Russo gives distinguishable voices to them all.
The Two Gentlemen of Altona is an entertaining, suspenseful, humorous and heartwarming story from Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock. It’s a novel idea, using Shakespeare to give Henry his creativeness. Sammy submitted an excellent review of The Two Gentlemen of Altona here, so if you choose to listen, read, or both, you will not be disappointed.
The Merchant of Death and Tempest are the next books in the Playing the Fool series. If these come out on audio, I do hope, Mr. Russo will continue as narrator, as he did such a marvelous job narrating the story and portraying Henry and Mac.
You can buy The Two Gentlemen of Altona here: