Audio books

Sunday, August 20, 2000

Reviews of new audio-book releases:

'Actual Innocence'

Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld and Jim Dwyer, read by Michael Boatman

The Innocence Project of the Cardozo School of Law in New York works to free the wrongfully convicted. In these hair-raising accounts, DNA expert Barry Scheck and his co-authors examine the many ways in which convictions can be wrong and the innocent confined to long prison terms or even condemned to death row.

Improvements in DNA testing have helped prove that 65 people were wrongfully sent to prison and death row. This book examines the cases of 10 wrongfully convicted people and how a combination of bad lawyering, sloppy police work, mistaken eyewitnesses and other flaws in the judicial system helped convict them of crimes they didn't commit.

Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld run the pro bono Innocence Project and Jim Dwyer is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who writes for the New York Daily News. The book is ably read by film and television actor Michael Boatman.

"Actual Innocence" is from Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio, three cassettes, 5 hours, abridged.

'Water, Carry Me: A Love Story'

Thomas Moran, read by Derdriu Ring

A classic tale of love and betrayal, "Water, Carry Me" is set in contemporary Ireland, where love offers no escape from the vicious political virus that infects the country.

Una Moss is a medical student living just outside the southern town of Cork. She pays little attention to "the Troubles," as the conflict in Northern Ireland is called. She meets Aidan Ferrel, a charming draftsman, who sweeps her off her feet. Orphaned at age 8, Una slowly but inevitably gives herself over to Aidan, a gentle and attentive lover. The growing bond of trust between them becomes all the more heartbreaking as the story unfolds, and she learns the truth about her family, her lover and her country.

Una and Aidan are unforgettable characters enmeshed in the tragedy of a war that has poisoned the country. "Water, Carry Me" is read beautifully with a lilting Irish accent by Derdriu Ring.

"Water, Carry Me: A Love Story" is from Nova Audio Books, two cassettes, 3 hours, abridged. Unabridged also is available.