An Ali Audiobook Review: Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh and Narrated by Craig Beck

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
betweenghosts_audiobook2400In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul.

Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.

Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.

But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.
I first read this around this time last year.  I was excited to get the opportunity to try this on audio because I had loved the story so much when I read it.  I’m happy to say that it was just as good on audio.  Connor is a journalist who has been an anti-war protester in the past. After his soldier brother dies Connor feels that he never really knew James and he fears James didn’t know how much he loved and respected him. Trying to find some peace in regards to his feelings about his brother Connor finds himself on a mission to Iraq with a SAS team. He’s going to do a series of articles showcasing what it is that the soldiers do and how they feel about their jobs.

Nat is the leader of that team and he’s been in war zones for years. He’s lost a lot of friends, as well as big pieces of his heart. He’s not happy about being stuck with a journalist but he quickly finds himself drawn to Connor and he’s challenged to start opening up the emotional parts of himself that he thought were long gone. Nat’s lost men in his command before that he feels responsible for and he’s consumed with fear that something might happen to Connor on his watch and that’s something he can’t live with.

The story is mostly set in Iraq so there is fighting and bloodshed. I didn’t find especially violent though and I do not think it will be an issue for most. There are some social and political issues raised but nothing that makes it preachy in either pro or con views. The war as a back drop to a budding romance just served to highlight the beauty of these two men’s relationship.

The highlight of this book are the relationships. Not just between Connor and Nat but between each of them and the other men in the group. Also important are the “ghosts” in their pasts. The brother that Connor lost and the best friend who’s death Nat feels responsible for. I loved both Connor and Nat and found them to be great MC’s. I empathized with what both of them were going through in the course of the story.
This is narrated by Craig Beck and I thought he did an excellent job.  There are a number of voices in this story and it was never difficult to tell them apart.  Also, there are a lot of emotions in this story and I think he did a great good making them all come through.  It added an extra level to what was already a poignant story.
This is an audio that I would highly recommend.  Everything about it is good.  It’s a unique story with an emotional plot and great characters and it is extremely well narrated.
The cover by Garrett Leigh:  I think this is a great cover and it fits the story very well.
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By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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