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Extended Audio Sample City of the Sun: A Novel Audiobook, by David Levien Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (411 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Levien Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Frank Behr Series Release Date: February 2008 ISBN: 9781415945544
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Jamie Gabriel gets on his bike before dawn to deliver newspapers in his suburban Indianapolis neighborhood. He is twelve years old. Somewhere en route, as the October sky lightens, he vanishes without a trace.

Fourteen months later, Paul and Carol Gabriel are on the verge of abandoning all hope. Crushed by frustrating dead ends and exhausted by a police force that cannot (or will not) find their son, the Gabriels finally find a ray of hope: the name of an elusive private investigator who may represent their last chance.

Frank Behr is an enigmatic mountain of a man, a former cop who wants to help, but knows better than to give the Gabriels any hope of a happy ending. He has worked this kind of case too often. But Paul’s plea stirs up old personal demons that Behr can no longer ignore. Going against everything he fears, Behr enters into an uneasy partnership with Paul on a quest for the truth that is, in turn, dangerous, and haunting.

Richly textured and crackling with suspense on every page, City of the Sun weaves a moody narrative that hinges on the bond between a damaged detective and a lost father. From the antiseptic comforts of suburban Indianapolis to the city’s seamy underworld, David Levien introduces a private investigator as complex, idiosyncratic, and sympathetic as any in modern crime fiction. Levien is a gifted storyteller who will keep readers guessing right up until the final, explosive scene.

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Quotes & Awards

  • CITY OF THE SUN is one of the best books I've read in years.  Compelling doesn't begin to describe it.   All consuming is more like it.  A gripping, lightning-paced trip to the dark side of town that will leave you shaken, and the better for it.   A great read! Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author
  • Here’s what to expect when reading City of the Sun: relentless suspense that will not let you out of its grasp, and a cast of characters who are so utterly real you’ll forget you’re reading fiction. David Levien’s novel is moody, riveting, and special. Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of The Woods
  • City of the Sun is hard, mean, beautiful, touching–a dazzling novel. With this book, David Levien has placed himself among the best writers in the field. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike would be proud to call ex-cop Frank Behr their friend. Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author of The Watchman
  • One of the toughest, most gut-wrenching, and most believable suspense novels I’ve ever encountered. If David Levien pulled any punches, I was too dazed to notice. Lincoln Child, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Storm
  • “Crackles with raw intensity…complex and heartbreaking. Fans of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch will be particularly delighted. Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
  • Veteran screenwriter David Levien imagines with icy, almost sadistic precision in his thriller City of the Sun. Entertainment Weekly
     
  • A nerve-jangling novel that places ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Carol Memmott, USA Today
  • A remarkably assured exercise in grabbing you by the throat and shaking you until the very end. Kirkus

    “Levien is obviously schooled in suspense…A rare thriller.
  • “One of the toughest, most gut-wrenching, and most believable suspense novels I’ve ever encountered. If David Levien pulled any punches, I was too dazed to notice.”

    Lincoln Child

  • “Veteran screenwriter David Levien imagines with icy, almost sadistic precision in his thriller City of the Sun.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A nerve-jangling novel that places ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.”

    USA Today

  • “Crackles with raw intensity…Complex and heartbreaking. Fans of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch will be particularly delighted.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Here’s what to expect when reading City of the Sun: relentless suspense that will not let you out of its grasp, and a cast of characters who are so utterly real you’ll forget you’re reading fiction. David Levien’s novel is moody, riveting, and special.”

    Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author

  • A 2009 Barry Award Finalist for Best First Novel
  • A 2008 Hammett Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/13/2013

    " First Ed McBain book that I have read and I enjoyed his humor and the way the story unfolded. I didn't feel too lost, having not read any of the previous books in the series, but there was some things that I was missing from the story. Not the greatest mystery, but the characters were well rounded and McBain made me want to know all of them better. Would read more in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 12/10/2013

    " McBain is good at times, but too much of this reads like a Law and Order episode. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 12/9/2013

    " I enjoy the 87th Precinct novels. It is like a continuing crime drama, some crimes get solved, some don't characters appear from time to time. This is just as enjoyable as all the others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 wally | 12/6/2013

    " ed mcbain is a good story teller. an 87th precinct story. life in the big bad city. an entertaining read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 columbialion | 7/22/2013

    " Back to McBain....starting to really enjoy this genre...one more and then to move back to NF. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaylol | 7/3/2013

    " I like the unique way McBain writes "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margie | 4/13/2013

    " As usual this book was as good as the rest of the 87th pct series, I read this book many years ago and forgot, but it was a good reread. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 L. Lawson | 3/24/2013

    " I've never read a McCain I didn't like, and The Big Bad City is no exception. He's a master of dialogue and moving the story forward. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 P.e.lolo | 3/11/2013

    " Was a good read with a few twists. Overall good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia Majetich | 1/21/2013

    " Great summer beach reading. Well written and structured. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn Rose | 12/27/2012

    " It's always a good police-procedural read when I check in with Steve Carella and the guys of the 87th Precinct and ride along as they solve a couple of cases. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 1/25/2012

    " i didn't like this book as well as most in this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harry Lane | 12/30/2011

    " Typical gritty police procedural from McBain. This one had three plots going at once, and it seemed to me to have worked a tad less successfully than in some of his other 87th Precinct novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike O'connell | 10/20/2011

    " Another fast paced 87th Precinct mystery. Recommended for all readers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Irene B. | 2/21/2011

    " McBain is popcorn for the brain. This is one of the better ones. I read them to find out how his characters' lives progress. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 2/3/2011

    " My very first McBain novel. Totally dug it. I can see why people who love Parker's books would love this series. Good atmosphere, interesting characters, quick dialogue. Great summer read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 1/4/2011

    " Excellent; Continuing character: Frank Behr (first in series); more than a year after a boy's disappearance, his parents realize no one on the police force continues to work the case they hire a private detective who finds threads that speak to great evil
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 --- 365andMe | 12/24/2010

    " Compared to other thrillers I've enjoyed, it doesn't stand up. There were too many parts that I found unbelievable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Siebe | 10/9/2010

    " Fun, easy to read. Your typical ''I have 20 minutes left, what should I do'' type of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 7/8/2010

    " This was a surprising treat! I picked it up on a whim and was hooked throughout. Several good twists. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ann | 7/5/2010

    " It took all I had to get through this book. Poor writing and a lame plot! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marla | 6/20/2010

    " Good mystery about a young boy who is kidnapped off his paper route. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ollie | 6/14/2010

    " This book is one that you just can't put down. It is about the depravity of men and the fight to overcome the evil. This book made me want to continually flip to the back and read the end of the story. I found myself wanting to rush to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Belle | 6/8/2010

    " I like it til the 3/4s of the story.

    I hate the ending.

    Levien should write a sequel instead of ending it that way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chelle | 5/26/2010

    " While I love Scott Brick as a narrator, I couldn't get through this audio version of the book. Too dark, too seedy. "

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About the Author
Author David Levien

David Levien is an American screenwriter, novelist, director, and producer. Best known as the co-writer of Ocean’s Thirteen and Rounders, he has also produced films such as The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones. He frequently collaborates on projects with his writing partner Brian Koppelman. As a novelist, he has published City of the Sun, Where the Dead Lay, and 13 Million Dollar Pop. Earlier works are often published under D. J. Levien. He studied at the University of Michigan.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.