Podcast Review #115: In Broad Daylight

Title: In Broad Daylight
Author: Seth Harwood
Genre: Detective Crime
Released: 20 September 2011 – 27 December 2011
Located: PodiobooksiTunesAuthor’s site
Formats Available: podcast only
Rating: R for violence, language and adult content

When I first started listening to podiofiction, my listening appetites were quite voracious. I listened to a bunch of stuff. Good stuff. Bad stuff. Stuff we will not talk about. Ever. One of the things I listened to (and reviewed back in podcast review 44) was Seth Harwood’s Jack Wakes Up, and I counted it as one of the good ones. While I wasn’t as thrilled with the sequel’s I enjoyed it enough that when I heard Mr. Harwood had recently completed a new podcast novel, I decided to give it a listen.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: FBI Agent Jess Harding always gets her man… or woman.

In this thriller, Harding returns to the scene of her first years as an FBI agent to track the still-at-large killer from her first case. Back in 2006, as a young, inexperienced agent, Harding chased leads across Alaska for a full summer without catching up with this killer. Now, after 5 years of honing her skills, she’s back and ready to try again.

But when she starts to see that the killer knows a little something about her, the heat turns up and Harding realizes she may not be the only one getting chased. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: As I mentioned in the intro, it has been a long time since I listened to Mr. Harwood’s first novel. In the years since, I don’t know if I’ve become more picky or if Mr. Harwood’s production quality has suffered. Regardless, I did have a few issues with the production quality of In Broad Daylight. There are multiple examples of atmospheric noises making there way into the background of the audio. You will also notice the static. When it disappears. What I mean is, in almost every podcast there is some amount of “static” in the background. Noise we automatically filter out because it is consistent. The only issue is when it isn’t consistent. When someone creates a gap in the editing process and creates a true silence, the static becomes much more noticeable. This happens often in In Broad Daylight. Also, while not overly abundant, the listener will also notice a few repeated lines. Finally, while I won’t count off for this, it has been quite a while since anyone has included a “The Story So Far” in any story I’ve listened to. I have not missed this. At all.

Grade: C-

Cast: Mr. Harwood reads In Broad Daylight as a self read. He does a fine job. Some listeners might feel Mr. Harwood is a bit enthusiastic in his reading, but I feel it adds to the story. If an author can’t get excited about his characters, who can?

Grade: B+

Story: Mr. Harwood writes crime stories. I could easily see Jess Harding as a female Alex Cross. The story is set in Alaska and San Francisco. Whether Mr. Harwood has visited Alaska or not, he does make the reader feel like his descriptions are genuine. The characters all have flaws. Most are believable. I won’t say I like all the characters, but that is fine as long as they live and breath. For the most part, the characters in In Broad Daylight, do just that.

Grade: B+

Verdict: The story wasn’t perfect and definitely felt like a beta version. However, even as a beta, In Broad Daylight, should give any crime action junkie a good fix. In Broad Daylight proceeds at a good pace and was able to hold my attention the entire distance. I anticipate more Jess Harding stories, and if they are as good as this one, I think Mr. Harwood will continue to build his fan base.

Disclosure: I’ve never met or tweeted with Mr. Harwood. I do not follow him and he doesn’t follow me. I wasn’t offered anything in return for this interview.

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