• Favorite Sons

  • A Novel
  • By: Robin Yocum
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Arthur
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,402 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A riveting novel in which old friends must excavate the formative event of their childhood - a murder - and determine how to pit truth against justice.

Hutch Van Buren is 15 years old, playing sports and searching for arrowheads in a small industrial town in Ohio with his three closest friends when an altercation between the comrades and Petey Sanchez, a troubled 17-year-old, leads to Petey’s accidental death. Together, Hutch and his friends become ensnared in a web of secrets and moral dilemmas. A local ne’er-do-well goes to jail for the crime while the boys keep their pact of silence. Each boy shoulders the burden of truth in his own way as each attempts to leave the past behind.

Thirty-three years later, in 2004, Van Buren is the prosecuting attorney in Summit County, Ohio, and a candidate for state attorney general when he learns that he and his boyhood friends weren’t the only ones keeping a secret about Petey’s death. A convicted sex offender in need of a favor attempts to blackmail Van Buren in return for his silence. Van Buren must decide between his political career and the duty of the office he has sworn to uphold. With the clock ticking, Van Buren has a week to seek out his boyhood friends and search his soul while he sorts out three decades of deceit he helped create. Favorite Sons is a wonderful, suspenseful novel with nuanced, memorable characters and unpredictable plot twists.

©2011 Robin Yocum (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“It’s rare to find a book that doesn’t fail on some level, but this is one I read without a hint of disappointment.” (Bookpleasures.com)
“This is a seething mass of moral turpitude, opportunistic extortion and endemic corruption. What a tasty debut novel it is.” ( Dayton Daily News)
“Favorite Sons keeps the reader turning pages with its twisted plot and characters facing high stakes.” ( Columbus Dispatch)

What listeners say about Favorite Sons

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

A well written story, good characters, good narration....all good. Nothing exceptional, but better than average.

3 people found this helpful

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This one's a keeper!

Well-written and a great storyline! Sometimes it's hard to find both in one book, and as a bonus, the narrator did a great job. Had me on the edge of my seat when I thought the bad guy was going to get away with it. Ending was sad, yet appropriate and all questions were answered. I can recommend this book if you enjoy a good mystery!

2 people found this helpful

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Great Story!

Favorite Sons flat out was the best book I have read so far all year.
The book has all the necessary ingredients that makes great crime fiction. Captivating. Twisted plot with unforgettable characters facing high stakes.

This reminded me of the 1986 movie Stand By Me but it hit different.
The story takes place in the small fictional town of Crystalton Ohio. In 1971, a group of young teen boys are part of an event that will alter their lives forever. 
Years later, the event threatens to change the course of their lives as adults.


This was the first novel from former crime reporter Robin Yocum and in my opinion showcases him as a brilliant talent in the crime fiction genere.
The book was first published in 2011.

Favorite Sons was named the 2011 USA Book News Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense, and is a Choose to Read Ohio selection for 2013-14. 
The only thing that bothered me about the book was Yocum using the irritating trope laden with racial stereotypes for one of his characters.
Margaret,  a black woman and office secretary, was described as a large woman, no nonsense and given "sassy", "honey chile" dialog in the scenes she was portrayed. She was hired over white candidates who were better qualified only because she was qualified. While this pissed me off, I let it slide because it wasn't an integral part of the story.
The best part is that this was an include as part of my audible membership.
The narration was impeccable and really helped keep my interest.
Great read!

2 people found this helpful

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Great to the end.

The story kept moving and had interesting, plausible plot twists up to the end. I am reading another of his books now. The narrator had a pleasant voice and did great with character voices. My favorite was the voice of the protagonist's assistant. Great story. Wish it was a series ... maybe it is? I'll need to check.

2 people found this helpful

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Couldn't stop listening

This is a very well-thought-out book, well written and well performed; it kept me listening & I enjoyed the description of the characters & environment of the Ohio valley.

2 people found this helpful

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A-pop-lectic

The story is good. The narrator’s voice control, rhythm and where above average. Some slightly obscure words were pronounced so poorly that it was absurd.

The title of this review is the pronunciation given to the word apoplectic. I only partially blame the narrator who was otherwise excellent.

I am rather tired of this kind of ignorance by the editors/directors who fail to catch these issues.

It is bad enough when place names are mangled but there are really no excuses for not catching mispronunciations of words used in normal conversation.

Don’t let my comments keep you from this otherwise excellent book and performance. It is worth the time and occasional cringe.

1 person found this helpful

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Another well written story!

Really enjoy Robin Yocum's writing. He definitely knows how to tell a realistic story with great characters. Just enough mystery & not overly violent- but deep moralistic issues that make you think "what would I have done in this situation". Listened to two of his that were included- now I'll have to use credits, but if they turn out to be worth the listen, that's ok!

1 person found this helpful

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surprisingly good

This is a great addition to the audible plus catalog. Very enjoyable. I recommend this audio book

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

Great reader with a awesome story! felt like I was there. Even if you knew what was going to happen, you still had to listen and hear how it played out. Great ending!

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Thumbs up.

Entertaining all the way. Did not disappoint. Had a couple good plot twists. Narrative fit with the story.