MINI REVIEW: THE DISPATCHER (THE DISPATCHER #1)
When they have to kill you to save your life...
While browsing Audible, I saw advertisements for a trilogy of thriller novellas that were available for free (not sure if they are free for everyone or just Audible subscribers).
HOW I RATED IT
4/5 A unique concept and a compelling whodunnit mystery made this quick story a delight to listen to.
THE DISPATCHER weaves an interesting mystery that delves into the realm of speculative science fiction. Our main character, Tony, is a member of the illustrious and sometimes hated group of "dispatchers." Very early on, we learn that a dispatcher's job is to save people's lives... by murdering them. It was fascinating to learn the how and this job's mechanics as well as why it is deemed as both acceptable and even necessary within this society. Things take an even more interesting turn when one of Tony's colleagues goes missing and a Police Detective corners him into helping with the case. Along the way, we learn about a whole "legal grey area" of private dispatcher work that may have resulted in the man's disappearance. I enjoyed all the morally questionable characters that the case introduced and had fun with all the little turns that the story took. Tony has some interesting secrets of his own as well. In spite of being a generally amiable sort, there wasn't much that made me feel connected to Tony. Given that he's sort of forced into helping with the case, I also didn't feel like the stakes were as high as they could have been.
The narrator does a stellar job of giving all the characters different voices, clearly vocalizing the prose, and setting the story's overall atmosphere. The production itself has some nice little flourishes like some simple music at the start and end of the story as well.
Clocking in at two hours and eighteen minutes, this short science fiction mystery is well worth a listen. I will definitely check out the other two books in this series at some point, especially since I am curious to see how else this unique science fiction premise is developed.
(+) A fantastic narrator who gives each character a very different voice
(+) Nice production touches like music at the beginning and end of the story
(+) A cool, speculative science fiction concept
(+) An intriguing mystery with some fun turns
(-) I didn't necessarily connect with the characters in way I would have liked to
(-) The stakes didn't feel as high as they could have