Prime Suspects: A Clone Detective Mystery
by Jim Bernheimer
Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer
4 hrs and 54 mins
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Homicide Detective David Bagini awakens in a strange world only to discover that he is, in fact, the 42nd clone of the Bagini line. With no memories of why his Prime entered into a clone contract, he wants answers. The first problem is his Prime is dead and Bagini 42 is in charge of the investigation. The second problem is all the clues point at a clone from his line and they already know all his tricks. How can he solve his own murder when every suspect has his name and face?
©2012 Jim Bernheimer (P)2012 Jim Bernheimer
This is an easy, fun listen of a strange mystery. The protagonist awakens in the hospital trying to recall what happened. He discovers that he is actually a 42nd clone of his “Prime” human, Homicide Detective David Bagini. Bagini 42, as he is called, is distressed to learn that he is a clone especially since, the last he recalls, his Prime wasn’t interested in extending his life by cloning. Bagini 42 next learns that he has been brought forth to investigate the murder of his own Prime because the clues lead towards one of the other clones being the killer! 42 has to learn the quirks of thirty-nine or so of ‘himself’ (a couple are dead) as he tries to figure out opportunity and motive for the crime. This is particularly tricky since the other clones all know his investigation methods.
42 is forced to attend counseling sessions to make sure he is adjusting to life as a clone. He initially resents being a clone and resents counseling but then he begins to find his counselor, also a clone, is one of the few people he can relate to. He ends up asking for help outside his own line when he feels uncomfortable with only two of his own brothers, who are not always cooperative, as partners. 42 also has to deal with his Prime’s widow and rebellious teen-aged daughter.
Although you might think that clones would be alike, in this story it is fun to listen to 42's efforts to sort out his ‘siblings’ different nuances! The writing is crisp and forth right. There are some fun quotes from other books, including The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The clone world is unique and interesting, if not overly developed. There is betrayal, danger and mystery blended with the dry wit of Bagini 42's struggles which make this a fun, quick listen. I highly recommend it as a new twist for mystery lovers.
Audio Notes: Jeffrey Kafer’s narration of this story is slightly reminiscent of Dragnet with an almost - but not quite - dry, presentation. Kafer manages to share the character nuances and portray 42's dry wit as well as keeping the story moving. This makes for a good audio listen.
I received this audio from the Publisher through AudioBook Jukebox.