• Hard Time

  • A V.I. Warshawski Novel
  • By: Sara Paretsky
  • Narrated by: Jean Smart
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (277 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What secrets hide behind the razzle-dazzle of the entertainment industry? V.I. Warshawski is about to find out. Her friend, reporter Murray Ryerson, has just landed a plum job as host of a Global Entertainment network television show. On her way home from the party celebrating the event, V.I. stops to help a woman lying in the street. Her Good Samaritan act exposes dark truths, and suddenly V.I. finds herself playing a game she can only win by staying alive. This is the ninth novel in Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski series.
©1999 by Sara Paretsky (P)1999 by NewStar Media, Inc.

What listeners say about Hard Time

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    134
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    13
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    18
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    127
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellence Marred By Poor Technology

This is a rip-roaring "V.I." novel read with versatility and passion by Jean Smart, but the microphone bumps and shifts in sound quality knocked this down to four stars. If you are listening with headphones, turn down the volume about 2 hours and 25 minutes before the end. The volume jumps to DEAFENING and the sound is comparable to bad AM radio. Still, it's worth the listening experience.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Great Story - Monotone Reader

I love listening to audio books while traveling. At first I thought it was road noise that was causing this audio book to be unheard. After listening to this at home with no road noise, I discovered that it was the reader, both inaudible (no pun intended) and monotoned. I would love to purchase other VI stories, but I'm afraid that they all will be with the same reader.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Reader was worst ever heard

The reader significantly changed volume every other phrase or so making it very difficult to hear in a normal playback environment. I suppose earphones would have been helpful but an expensive automotive speaker system was not. Consequently, much of the story was lost and I finally had to turn it off.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Great book, truly awful narration

It's such a pity that this book - which in my opinion is one of Ms. Paretsky's best - has been recorded by this incredibly inept narrator. I agree with several of the other reviewers; this reading is so bad that it puts me off the whole book. The narration jumps along in fits and starts, sometimes in a whisper, and sometimes in a torrent of words - which might be OK if it had any discernible connection with what is actually happening in the story. The intonation is downright irritating. If this wasn't such a great text, I would give it one star. As it is, I would advise fans of Ms.Paretsky to buy the book instead and read it for themselves.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent V.I story with the best narrator...

This is one of those V.I. Warshawski stories that kept me right on the edge of my seat. I listened to this while commuting to and from work over a period of a few weeks. I found myself white knuckling the steering wheel during the really tense parts... and occasionally taking the long way home just to listen to more. V.I. goes through hell in this one, and takes her closest confidants with her. There is little Lotty in this one, but when she does show, the scenes are packed with emotion that seizes your heart. We are treated to quite a bit of Mr. Contreras and Peppy and Mitch, though. Jean Smart does the best narration of the V.I. novels, in my opinion, with Susan Ericksen falling a close second.

For those who are passingly familiar with the V.I. timeline, this is book 9, and the book in which she meets Morrell.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book - defective audio.

I really enjoyed this book very much. Very entertaining and captivating. However, the sound quality leaves something - much - to be desired, and the defect at the beginning of chapter 14 is a big problem. The sudden volume increase is jarring and could even be damaging to the ears if you were already listening at a relatively high volume. And... even after reducing the deafening volume, the sound quality form that point on is low quality. Great book - lousy audio!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid Mystery

One of fiction's best characters is back with a well crafted mystery. It's a double barrel offering with great character and fascinating puzzle. It's not going to disappoint you.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Narration is awful

Narration was terrible she would often whisper I had to keep turning the sound up and down. Story line was so-so

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hard Time

I had no problem with the sound on this book. Found this to be one of the most suspenseful of the V. I. books. While she was in the prison I could not stop listening until she was out. Enjoyed her dogs in the story. The pace moved right along and the "trip about Chicago" was fun. Jean Smart did a okay job narrating the story. The story has a bit of action, suspense and comic scenes.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

This is the first VI novel I've heard and it has now made me an addict!!! The quality of the file is sketchy at first. I'm not sure if it was just my download, but it just jumped into narration. Luckily I continued and was absolutely amazed with how great the story and characters were. Also, I am a great fan of Jean Smart and love her interpretation of VI. A must hear!!!

3 people found this helpful