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Audio Drama Review


A V.I. Warshawski Mystery
Killing Orders


Starring: Kathleen Turner, Martin Shaw, Avril Clark and William Hootkins
BBC Audio
RRP: £15.99
ISBN: 978 1 408 46695 7
Available 06 May 2010

Feisty Chicago private eye Vic 'V.I.' Warshawski is used to getting mixed up in complicated cases. But when three million dollars in share certificates are stolen from a Dominican priory, she really doesn't want to get involved. Because agreeing to investigate would mean doing a favour for Aunt Rosa, the priory's treasurer, and Vic has never forgiven Rosa for something she did a long time ago. Against her better judgement, Vic gets drawn in, only to be suddenly called off the case. But she doesn't give up easily and, despite a campaign of intimidation against her, starts to uncover a massive conspiracy involving the Mafia and the Catholic church...

Killing Orders is based on the stories of a female private detective which were originally penned by the crime writer Sara Paretsky.

Kathleen Turner reprises her role as private detective V.I. Warshawski, which she played in the movie V.I. Warshawski. Originally it was planned that the movie would be part of a franchise, but did so poorly at the box office that future film plans were dropped. The radio series was originally broadcast on BBC Radio in 1991 and was one of three BBC plays based on the character (only two of which starred Turner in the lead role).

I have to admit to finding the start of this audio play hard to listen to. I was worried that the whole production was going to be a little hard on the ears. Turner's performance seemed a little forced. However, it didn't take long to grow on me and by the half-way mark I was engrossed in the story.

I was surprised to hear Kathleen Turner's character use a racial slur (the "N" word to be exact). It didn't add anything to the production - in fact quite the reverse, so I've no idea why it was included.

On the whole, this is an enjoyable production, even if Turner's acting isn't quite up to the challenge for the duration.


Darren Rea

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