I'm relatively new to audio books as a way of reading but I've discovered they are the easiest way to revisit some of your favourite characters. It should be obvious from my previous posts where I've recced audios that in the majority of cases I only listen to an audio once I've read the ebook. I like to form my own opinion of the characters and their actions without being swayed by a narrator. While a good narrator can and should bring a book to life, a bad one can kill it stone dead, and I'd rather give a book a chance to became a favourite because I read it and loved it enough to buy it on audio.
The audio book I want rec this week is Scrap Metal by Harper Fox.
Narrated by Sean Gormley
Is there room for love in a heart full of secrets? One year ago, before Fate took a wrecking ball to his life, Nichol was happily working on his doctorate in linguistics. Now he's hip deep in sheep, mud, and collies. His late brother and mother had been well-suited to life on Seacliff Farm. Nichol? Not so much.
As lambing season progresses in the teeth of an icy north wind, the last straw is the intruder Nichol catches in the barn. He says his name is Cam, and he's on the run from a Glasgow gang. Something about the young man's tired resignation touches Nichol deeply, and instead of giving him the business end of a shotgun, he offers Cam a blanket and a place to stay. Somehow, Cam quickly charms his way through Nichol's defenses and into his heart. Even his grandfather takes to the cheeky city boy, whose hard work and good head for figures help set the farm back on its feet. As the cold Scottish springtime melts into summer, Nichol finds himself falling in love. When tragedy strikes, Cam's resolutely held secret is finally revealed and Nichol must face the truth. He's given his heart away, and it's time to pay the price.
Scrap Metal is one of my favourite Harper Fox novels and I had my concerns about listening to the audio book. The landscape is as much a character as Nic and Cam and I wondered if that sense of place would translate into the spoken word. It does and for that we have to thank Sean Gormley who brings the biting wind, the smell of the grass and heather, warm spring sunshine, the vast bleak beauty of the landscape into this story as much as he brings life to Nic's grief and Cam's guilt and the stubbornness of an old man.
At over 12 hours this is a long audiobook but it is worth every second.