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River City Blues Audiobook

River City Blues

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Publisher's Summary

It's early 1944 and Richmond, Virginia is a devil's paradise. Ration scams and police corruption are rampant while the inflated black market commands top dollar.

Detective Sergeant Bennie Sherwood, fresh off a soul-scarring tour of duty with the Marines, couldn't care less. His old man was recently murdered under suspect circumstances, and he's on a hunt for the truth.

But then an old friend is killed during a botched black market raid and Bennie is thrust onto a hellride through Richmond's underworld. Suddenly, he's at the front lines of a new kind of war, one that's played out in gentlemen's clubs and back alleys between tobacco kingpins and numbers runners.

It's a dark, twisted journey that will test Bennie's every limit, even as it gets him closer to the truth about his father...

Until, that is, he's framed for murder.

Now the subject of a citywide manhunt, Bennie must choose - disappear into the shadows and succumb to his fractured mind, or confront his darkest fears and root out the evil that has infested his city.

©2016 Ward Howarth (P)2017 Ward Howarth

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Norma Miles 07/04/2017
    Norma Miles 07/04/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    350
    283
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""Hunger and need are universal, my good friend.""
    Any additional comments?

    Returning home after a stint in the fighting of World War 2, 1943, Benny Sherwood is injured more in mind than body. His constant night terrors took him back to the jungles and the constant Japanese threat, and these fears even infiltrated his waking hours when he was under duress, the feeling of danger, of being watched and even faces of people he knew morphing into murderous Japanese, causing him to freeze up in fear or even pass out. All of which made his new job that much more difficult. Because Benny signed on as a cop, made detective by virtue of his war record, and that of his father, another well respected cop in the area, who had recently been murdered. That case was still unsolved. Benny intended to find out who killed him.

    This is a fabulous story set in the dark days of wartime, where black marketeering was rife as well as youth gangs, racial prejudice, homosexually kept hidden, prostitution and robbery as well as dance halls and jazz, corruption and murder. And the constant sadnesses of the telegram to tell that a loved one would not be coming home. The author captures the dark atmosphere perfectly, the poverty, desperation and the need to find release in some instant gratification. It is a thriller and a mystery, well, more than one: there are murders to be solved and always that one killing closest to Benny's heart: the death of his dad. The book is complex and twisting, moving ever faster to the final conclusion.

    The narrator is excellent, perfectly matched to the tale being recounted by the damaged yet dedicated cop, Benny, in his ongoing search for justice. Ward Paxton's reading is steady and clear and he voices the other characters distinctly and in such a way as to further give life to already well drawn characters, real people with shifting attitudes, fears and allegiances.

    I was very fortunate in being gifted a copy of River Street Blues by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. My thanks for this. It wasn't until i had finished the book that a brief note about the author, Ward Howard, revealed that this was his first novel. I was surprised given how well constructed and visual it had been. It is a story which will stay with me for a long time and is one which i recommend to anyone with an enjoyment of unusual detective noire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Between the Coverz
    Texas
    10/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An exhilarating twisted page turner!"
    Any additional comments?

    River City Blues is a suspenseful thriller that is intriguing and well written. There were many twists and turns that formed a believable plot. There was a lot of action and suspense with just a little romance to keep my interest piqued. This author really knows how to build up the suspense and keep your attention to the very end. The characters are well developed although I did not feel any attachment to any of them. Listening to the book, there was definitely a police feel to it.


    Ward Paxton did a great job with the narration. He had a clear and crisp voice that was easy to follow and listen to. Ward had a good variation of voices for the different characters. There was good inflection during the heightened times such as stress, anger, drama, danger, etc.

    This is the first book that I have read by Ward Howarth. I recommend River City Blues to anyone that enjoys reading a suspense/thriller that will keep you entertained all the way to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Audiobookish
    25/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It was the jungle, all over again"
    What did you love best about River City Blues?

    Oh, it was a very engrossing listen. I was taken back to the 40s, but the struggles feel ever-so-fresh. There's racial prejudice - downplayed, but present - and homophobia. There's PSTD, and love, and loyalty.

    Will this book revolutionize the genre? No, but it did a damn fine job fitting in and entertaining me. I took a star from storytelling because while I felt for Benny and some other people that had their story revealed by the end, I didn't get attached to many of the other characters, really.


    What does Ward Paxton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Ward Paxton sounds so badass. No, really! I don't think I would have been able to get the same enjoyment from the book had I not heard it in his voice - I think I would have imagined a completely different one.

    At times it was really easy to imagine I was in the 40s, in a smoky detective's office, and Ward Paxton telling me this story standing next to a window complete with a fedora, coat, and cigarette. It would be a rainy night, the sound of sirens echoing in the empty streets...

    ...that's the kind of vibe I got.


    Any additional comments?

    When I asked for a free copy in exchange for an honest review, I didn't know what to expect. This is not a perfect book, but I got a "Makes me want to smoke a cigarette while looking out of some half open venetian blinds on to a rainy street and internally explain my story of lust greed and betrayal" feeling.

    I had noir jazz playing quietly while reading, and I do recommend this to any future reader, by the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Summer
    28/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good audiobook"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook,the narration matches the plot and the feelings of the characters.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was a nice listening.


    What about Ward Paxton’s performance did you like?

    Good narration.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The tg line would be that of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    "This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jenniferk
    sc
    26/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History and mystery with noir feel"
    Any additional comments?

    A good blend of historical Richmond as a backdrop for a scarred former WWII marine turned detective. Intriguing plot and characters that are well narrated make for a good listen. I would let listen to more from the author. I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dee
    LA
    20/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great noir!"
    Any additional comments?

    I just found out this was a debut novel for the author. What a pleasant surprise (much like this listen.)

    I love the mystery. I loved the characters. I loved the setting and a I really loved the ending. (I could have done without all the references to "Negroes" though.)

    If you like mysteries and film noir, you will love this novel noir. (Book noir? Noir book?)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ashley Hedden
    09/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Novel"
    Any additional comments?

    River City Blues by Ward Hogarth was a good read. It's set in 1944 Richmond, Virginia. Things like scams and corruption run rampant. Detective Sergeant Bennie Sherwood returned from a tour with the marines and is now thrust into the crime in Richmond. This was a good debut novel by Ward Hogarth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kayceen
    Madison, WI
    08/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Courageous Crime Fighter"

    I very much enjoyed River City Blues. It's an interesting portrayal of the WWII era in Richmond, VA. Bennie Sherwood comes home after serving in the Marines and gets a detective job in the police department. Author Ward Howarth writes a gritty story about two investigations that are on a collision course. The dialogue was realistic and the developments in the cases come together for an exciting ending. I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Ward Paxton whose style makes the moody and tough character's lives seem very real. The bad language in a few spots didn't bother me at all because it is so in keeping with the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • connie michael
    04/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    "Wartime Memories"

    I love books about. this period of time. I hope Mr. Howarth writes a whole lot more along this time line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kelly watley
    03/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark, Gritty and Powerful !!"

    This gripping thriller is full of mystery and suspense, plot twists and surprises. If you like espionage & Police Procedural, pulp thrillers, murder thrillers, men's or women's adventure, books & hard-boiled mystery thriller suspense & action, you will not be able to put this down & the end will have you begging for more.A fiction reader’s delight!  River City Blue's  has villains you will despise and heroes you’d love to meet. Add intrigue, and betrayal, and you’ll be captured by the Powerful and Realistic Narration by Ward Paxton, and long for Ward Howarth's next novel!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cherrese
    02/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A tale of Richmond's Underworld"

    This was an excellent debut by Ward Howarth! I loved how he weaved Richmond's historic landmarks throughout this novel. Bennie is back from the war and trying to clean up the black market ring while wrestling with his inner demons. And he needs solve his father's murder. I was intrigued by this detective story full of underworld activity and police corruption that I couldn't stop listening! I hope this becomes a series. I would like to know what will happen next for Bennie. Or even what Bennie was like before and during the war. I thoroughly enjoyed this and hope the author has more in store!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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