Audiobook Reviews: Diamonds and Cole by Michael Maxwell

Introduction:

I’ve had the privilege of listening to a lot of audiobooks of late, and I’ll say that this is one of the most compelling of the lot for large sections. The narrator fits the role very well. I have a few content reservations, but overall, the hours slipped by swiftly while listening to this.

Summary:

Cole Sage gets a call from an old flame and goes flying to her side. There, he finds her languishing in a nursing home with a couple of huge favors to ask of him. From there, Ellie and Cole’s story unfolds in detail. To him, she’s the one that got away, the one he walked away from because his career sang a siren song.

Why I have slightly mixed feelings:

  • There are some events in here that I find disturbing. They show a cruel streak in our hero. In one sense, it fleshes Cole out and gives him a few flaws, but in another sense, it just makes him look like a petty jerk. That’s not cool. I want to be able to root for the good guy always.
  • It’s categorized as a mystery, but it’s probably 30% mystery with 70% romance done in flashbacks. For once, the flashbacks are done very well. Cole has some downtime at various points in the book so he thinks and dreams about times with Ellie.
  • Ellie and Erin are decent characters, but again, choices are made along the way that cast them in a less flattering light.
  • I heard the audio performance by Lou Hecker. For the most part, it’s a stellar performance. Unfortunately, there are times he did his job too well. The few times he was doing a TV like preacher set my teeth on edge by being both loud and 130% annoying. There was one slight editing mistake in the almost 8 hour narrative.
  • Content warnings: some strong language; a disturbing/crude image within the first few pages. Aside from those though, it was fairly clean compared to the grand scope of modern mysteries.

What I liked:

  • The twist at the end is highly predictable but also satisfying.
  • I loved the narrator.
  • The story of Cole’s relationship with Ellie unfolds in a series of flashbacks. It’s filled with regret but beautiful all the same. I loved how he flew to her side and becomes her knight in tarnished armor. He might not be perfect but at least he’s willing to stand up for his friend.
  • The characters in here are quite interesting, flaws and all.
  • I liked the FBI guy – Ferguson (sorry about spelling, I heard the audio).
  • Aside from the few spots mentioned above, it’s an easy to listen to narrative.
  • Cole’s the kind of guy you can see getting in to a lot of trouble.

Conclusion:

This is only the first in a long series of books about the title character. If the opportunity arose again, I’d probably pick up another and see what’s up in Cole’s life.

As Always …

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

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