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Summary

A string of killings. An identity stolen. Only he can find the truth.

Reese Roberts was the guardian of Iron City. Its fearless protector. The only one willing to do whatever it takes...until he was shot on the streets and left paralyzed from the waist down. Now, the vigilante known as the Roach has disappeared. Faded into legend. 

It’s been years since Reese could take on crime and clean up the streets. He’s a shriveled old drunk, living like a hermit and waiting for his life to end. All that’s left to do is wallow in the mistakes that led him here. To wonder if he went too far. 

But when a copycat steals his suit and takes justice into his own hands, a new killer emerges, leaving brutal messages behind. He wants to eliminate the Roach for good this time. 

It’s time for Reese to re-emerge from his shell and fight back. Who else can stop the flurry of killings? Definitely not the corrupt police department. Iron City needs the Roach again. Only, this time, he’ll need to save it without his legs.

©2020 Aethon Books (P)2020 Podium Audio

Critic reviews

"A dark and powerful journey into the broken mind of a crippled vigilante, clawing his way out of despair to protect his legacy and his city. Reader beware: once you crack this novel open, you won't be able to close it!” (Jeremy Robinson, NY Times best-selling author of Tribe and The Others)

“A world worthy of being a sister city to Gotham. Gritty, grimy, and mesmerizing.“ (Actor Lou Diamond Phillips, Prodigal Son; La Bamba)

“Great narration and dialogue, Rhett C. Bruno brings to life a character who’d rather be dead...or at least has a death wish." (Darick Robertson, co-creator of The Boys - now a Prime Original Series) 

“White-knuckled and unfiltered. The Roach plunges you into the filth of the city and holds you under.“ (James S. Murray, number-one best-selling author of the Awakened series and star of truTV’s Impractical Jokers

What listeners say about The Roach

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Finally, some originality in the superhero genre.

I always enjoy books narrated by RC Bray and I also really liked the Children of Titan series of books. So it's no surprise that this was a great listen for me. However, I was blown away by this book in particular because it's offers a perspective that I don't think I have seen before in this genre and tells the story so intimately. Basically, I can't recommend it highly enough if you enjoy superhero stories but if you also read a lot of crime thrillers, like I do, this is definitely for you.

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Very well written and performed.

Not my usual genre of books but I found the story to be gripping from start to finish. I am always a big fan of R.C. Bray's narration, and in The Roach he just gives the story life and character. I do hope there will be further collaboration between Rhett C. Bruno and R.C.Bray in the future

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Gritty story, gritty narration

On paper this book ticks a few boxes: Superhero - check Thriller - check Gritty gravel voiced narrator - check But just reading the premise something in the back of my mind said I maybe wouldn't enjoy it. I think I thought it would be depressing and dreary. I was wrong. No spoilers ahead. Reece Roberts is the titular Roach, a former vigilante hero who cleaned up the streets of Iron City, but now he's in a wheelchair and is fighting a different kind of battle. This is pretty much all I knew about this book before I picked it up and it made me think I wouldn't really like it, that it would be a grind. It's not a grind, the book works on several levels, what do hero's do after retirement? How does a disabled superhero go about his day? What does a super hero without powers do? Does he have friends? How did this happen to him? You get answers to these questions and a story made up of other characters, some likeable, some not but all add to story and build up a picture of what it's like to be Reece living in Iron City. There's a more action than I thought, there's more feels than I thought and as I have already said I enjoyed it more than I thought. That's no slight on the author by the way, I didn't consider who wrote it or their other work. You probably have an idea where this will go and how it will end from the offset but you'll be surprised, there are some things in the book I didn't like, didn't agree with or just plain thought why is this happening but all in all I really enjoyed everything.

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What a ride. Highly recommend

First things first, trigger warning. This book deals with sexual abuse. Now onto the review. The Roach tells the story of a washed up vigilante confined to a wheel chair after his last rescue. No friends, no millions or rich and powerful friends to rely on. His only true friend is his next bottle of whiskey and even that company is turning sour. But things begin to change when he hears one more cry for help. The story gives off vibes more in line with The Watchmen and a Raymond Chandlers Noir detective novels more than a super hero novel, seeping grit with every page. Yet while I name these other works, this is truly something of its own. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Narration R.C. Bray if you are familiar with him has already sold you this book. If you are not, then you are in for a treat. He has the voice of a man larynx has been dragged over rough pebbles. It draws you into the story, sending you in the murk of the tale and bobbing and weaving with each bout of action. R.C. Bray doesn't just narrate a tale, but enhances it with every word. Yet despite his distinctive voice, he is more than capable of alteration, bringing different characters to life and making each recognisable. This is what for me really pulls it to 5*.

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Awesome

Fantastic narration of a unique story. Loved the characters and the pace of the story. Great job.

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Good and dark

Enjoyed the book but not my thing overall but for comic lovers I would say it’s up there with the dark night

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Interesting story.

I enjoyed this story and I expect I will be listening to it again. R.C. Bray does an awesome job bringing the characters to life giving each of them unique voices. This is the first book of Rhett C. Bruno that I have listened to. I would happily try another of his books.

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Pretty Good

Fast paced. I like that in a book. Even the retrospect and flashbacks were quick and contributed to the story, rather than taking the reader away from the immediate action. I’d read a sequel if he gets super strong robot legs. That would be cool. Or maybe a super powered wheelchair. Not sure about Laura’s character though. She’s fickle in the end of this book when she was so emotionally attached to the roach throughout. I guess high risk moments change a person. I’m sure this writer knows what he’s doing. Apparently won lots of awards, so I might as well check out his other books. I couldn’t hear the interview in the end as the recording sounds like it’s on the phone and garbled. Too bad.

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dark and gritty

Dark and at times violent it's a thought provoking look into disability and the seamier side of life with a really interesting main character and great world building. The end just fits so well. I could listen to AC Bray all day, he is the perfect narrator for this story

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Riveting listen

The combination of Rhett Bruno and RC Bray has resulted in a totally enjoyable listen .. I really couldn’t stop ... The plot is character driven and the main character is very dark , but enjoyable, and suits RC Bray beautifully..it feels like a really good film script ..a real joy to listen to ...

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 29-12-20

The novel was great. Bray makes it classic.

Reese is a beast! Don't mess with the Roach! Amazing work! This is an another great book by Rhett C. Bruno and Mr. Bray IS The Roach. Bray was made for this character. Full of action and unexpected twists, this novel really brings it. I have completely gobbled this book up twice already. I will listen again until we convince the author to write another story about our Roach. Edit: As I read/listen to this again it brings to mind Gotham, but dirtier and more crime-ridden. It reminds me of Watchmen, but the characters are exponentially better developed. I never thought I'd use heartfelt and intense action to describe the same book but here we are. I really felt like this was as much a mystery and thriller as it is vigilante/hero/anti-hero.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Surelda Heard
  • 02-01-21

Absolutely entertaining

I could not stop until I finished. The story was so detailed and complex. I had to know what happened next. The writing was brilliant, and the narration was perfection. I highly recommend this book. It was a great start to entertainment in this new year.

5 people found this helpful

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  • JollyGreenGoblin
  • 31-12-20

Great Story

As a comic book kid and a fan of more mortal superheroes like Punisher and Batman, this was a great listen. RC Bray was spectacular as always, but the story was engaging as is. I’d definitely check out more works by Bruno in the future.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Willis Burns
  • 29-12-20

The story we never knew we wanted

Superhero fiction might be the greatest phenomenon of our time, from the Avengers to the Justice League and beyond, but what we didn’t know we needed was the Roach. I’ve read/listen to everything Rhett C. Bruno has done and this is far and away the best of it all. It’s gritty and violent but heartfelt and realistic at the same time. This is not your Hollywood blockbuster. This thing has heart.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • bryan meyer
  • 31-12-20

The hero we all need

Just finished it a little while ago. Rhett you have written the best story to date that has been read by the almighty Bray. I’ve listened to a lot of his narrations and this one just really stands out on its own. Amazing characters and development through the whole thing. May be the last we see of the roach but the premise of a hero/antihero who has suffered a severe tragedy is an idea you should run with. I’d love to see another one about someone else who maybe not paralyzed but suffered a career ending trauma. And had to rise up again after alcohol or drugs, coma whatever and fight their personal demons to become that hero again. Well done my friend, keep on writing and we will keep reading and listening.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeremy Derby
  • 29-12-20

great book

it had a great story I recommend it to others. It is an interesting listen.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Draeb
  • 08-01-21

Great story line, hard to stop listening.

Another great one by Brett C Bruno. RC Bray does a terrific job as always. If you enjoy super heros you will like this book.. Storyline drug me in made me want more.

3 people found this helpful

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  • william boucher
  • 07-01-21

Amazing story! Excellent writing.

Great read/ listen. I couldn't stop listening and I was sad to see it end.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-01-21

Awesome!

An unlikely hero. Even from a wheelchair, he can't help but respond when his city needs him. Loved the relationships between the characters, and the background story of how the antihero developed into The Roach. Great engaging story, superb narration, and a final reveal that I didn't see coming, but that pulled it all together for me. Bravo!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • kixfan
  • 06-01-21

Awesome story

Very gritty yet entertaining story. Part thriller part superhero story. Has a great storyline and characters. Loved the narration. Overall great listen.

3 people found this helpful