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Extended Audio Sample Mission Flats: A Novel Audiobook, by William Landay Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (843 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Landay Narrator: Ron Livingston Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2003 ISBN: 9780739307854
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob

Former D.A. William Landay explodes onto the suspense scene with an electrifying novel about the true price of crime and the hidden corners of the criminal justice system. Only an insider could so vividly capture Boston’s gritty underworld of cops and criminals. And only a natural storyteller could weave this mesmerizing tale of murder and memory, a story about the hold of time past over time present—and the story of one unforgettable young policeman who ventures into the most dangerous place of all.

By a gleaming lake in the forests of western Maine, outside a sleepy town called Versailles, the body of a man lies sprawled in a deserted cabin. The dead man was an elite D.A. from Boston, and his beat was that city’s toughest neighborhood: Mission Flats.

Now, for small-town police chief Ben Truman, investigating the murder will mean leaving his quiet, haunted home and journeying to an alien world of hard streets and hard bargains, where the fierce struggle between police and criminals is fought for the ultimate stakes.

Ben joins a manhunt through Mission Flats, where cops are scrambling to find their number-one suspect: Harold Braxton, a ruthless predator targeted for prosecution by the murdered D.A. To the Boston police, Braxton is a marked man. But as Ben watches the shadow dance of cops and suspects, he begins to voice doubts about Braxton’s guilt…especially when he uncovers a secret history of murder and retribution stretching back twenty years…back to a brutal killing now nearly forgotten. As past and present collide and a bloody mystery unfolds, only one thing remains certain: the most powerful revelations are yet to come.

Mission Flats is at once a relentless page-turning mystery and a vivid portrait of a cop’s life. Here are the street corners, courtrooms, and stationhouses; the deal makers, thugs, and quiet heroes. An unforgettable world—and the luminous, boundary-breaking debut of a new voice in suspense fiction—Mission Flats will haunt you long after the final pages.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Tough but true: a first-time novelist has to bring something new to the table—something like the trumps that William Landay throws down in his high-stakes police procedural, Mission Flats…Landay writes with eloquent intensity…about the no-win ethical choices that can corrupt or otherwise crush a good cop.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Tough but true: a first-time novelist has to bring something new to the table—something like the trumps that William Landay throws down in his high-stakes police procedural, Mission Flats.... Landay writes with eloquent intensity ... about the no-win ethical choices that can corrupt or otherwise crush a good cop. The New York Times Book Review
  • You'll get everything you paid for in William Landay's debut thriller, Mission Flats....Landay is a superb writer who can evoke visceral emotional reactions with skillful evocative prose. St. Petersburg Times
  • Landay's story is rife with nuanced characters and the gritty realism of street justice. His tale is reminiscent of his fellow Beantown writer Dennis Lehane, which is a true compliment. Rocky Mountain News
  • A crackling debut that answers the question: Who will be the new Grisham? ... Stylish writing, wickedly convoluted plotting, and an insider's view ... you'll barely finish this many-tentacled tale before you start clamoring form former ADA Landay's next. Kirkus Reviews, starred review
  • Every assumption the reader makes turns into a landmine, which makes for an excruciatingly suspenseful thriller…. [Author] Landay gives us an original detective creation in the humorous, self-deprecating Truman, and he also delivers an action-packed plot with a skillfully detonated final surprise. Booklist, starred review
  • [An] inventive, gripping, suspense debut…. Landay deals out pertinent details with the finesse of a poker player…. A rich, harrowing, and delightful read. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Lyrical, keenly observed, and occasionally as dark as a wrong turn at midnight, Mission Flats is a harrowing, memorable debut by a writer to watch. New York Times bestselling author Stephen White
  • Mission Flats is a stunning debut, heralding the arrival of a major new voice in mystery fiction. Landay's action scenes are electric, his prose crisp, his characters unforgettable. Read this book. You'll be getting in on the ground floor of something big. Rick Riordan, Edgar Award-winning author of Cold Springs
  • Mission Flats has action, excellent surprises and a powerful ending, but it also has strong, well-written characters. William Landay's debut novel is a cut above and I’m looking forward to his next book. New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin
  • The U.K. raves:
  • This debut undoubtedly marks the emergence of a fine new American crime writer. And for those of you who like Scott Turow, [Mission Flats] is the perfect find. Waterstones Books Quarterly
  • [Landay] couples a moral seriousness to his plotting, placing this book ahead of the likes of Jeffrey Deaver and Harlan Coben. Hampstead & Highgate Express
  • The naive country cop in the big bad city is not an unfamiliar story, but Landay makes it his own, with a sympathetic central character, good quality—often witty—writing, stark brutality and a stunning twist in the tale. Manchester Evening News
  • Landay's debut is a dark, tense affair, superbly written with a plot that steadily ratchets up the suspense to the brutal denouement. Jack Magazine
  • This impressive debut novel delivers a well-judged final shock, and left me looking for more from Mr. Landay. Mat Coward, The Morning Star
  • “You’ll get everything you paid for in William Landay’s debut thriller, Mission Flats…Landay is a superb writer who can evoke visceral emotional reactions with skillful evocative prose.”

    St. Petersburg Times

  • “Landay’s story is rife with nuanced characters and the gritty realism of street justice. His tale is reminiscent of his fellow Beantown writer Dennis Lehane, which is a true compliment.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “A crackling debut that answers the question: Who will be the new Grisham?…Stylish writing, wickedly convoluted plotting, and an insider’s view…You’ll barely finish this many-tentacled tale before you start clamoring for former ADA Landay’s next.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Every assumption the reader makes turns into a landmine, which makes for an excruciatingly suspenseful thriller…[Author] Landay gives us an original detective creation in the humorous, self-deprecating Truman, and he also delivers an action-packed plot with a skillfully detonated final surprise.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[An] inventive, gripping, suspense debut…Landay deals out pertinent details with the finesse of a poker player…A rich, harrowing, and delightful read.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Lyrical, keenly observed, and occasionally as dark as a wrong turn at midnight, Mission Flats is a harrowing, memorable debut by a writer to watch.”

    Stephen White, New York Times bestselling author

  • Mission Flatsis a stunning debut, heralding the arrival of a major new voice in mystery fiction. Landay’s action scenes are electric, his prose crisp, his characters unforgettable. Read this book. You'll be getting in on the ground floor of something big.”

    Rick Riordan, Edgar Award-winning author of Cold Springs

  • Mission Flats has action, excellent surprises, and a powerful ending, but it also has strong, well-written characters. William Landay’s debut novel is a cut above and I’m looking forward to his next book.”

    Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author

  • Winner of the 2003 CWA New Blood Dagger
  • A 2004 Barry Award Finalist for Best First Novel
  • Winner of The Crime Writers Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger, 2003

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly Russell | 2/16/2014

    " I have a love/hate relationship with this one. On one hand the first half of the book was really boring. On the other hand parts of the story were still really interesting. Landay's writing is supurb so I kept reading. Then it got boring for a while. Then he smakes you with an awesome twist. For me, it was worth the read because the writing quality is so fantasic. If you read Defending Jacob then you know he is the awesome at a badass twist near the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail Jorgensen | 2/15/2014

    " another good read by this author not quite as good as defending Jacob. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacia | 2/12/2014

    " At first, I was disappointed: it seemed to start slow and there were a number of flashbacks that I felt were disconnected to the storyline. That being said, Mission Flats does come together and becomes one intriguing read. Having read Landay's books out of order: Defending Jacob is his most recent (and by far most brilliant), then Boston Strangler (2nd book and not that great), now his first novel, I can see clearly the seeds for both the 2nd novel and Jacob. It is not often that a reader can track the evolution of an author and Landay is one to watch. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elopes5 | 2/10/2014

    " Interesting, a good read, but definitely NOT "Defending Jacob". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey Stanley | 2/9/2014

    " Almost as good as "Defending Jacob". I really like his surprise endings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim Tomasic | 2/6/2014

    " Having read Defending Jacob previously, I knew what style of writing I was in for with Landay's first book. I love the short chapters and character narrations, I enjoyed the build up of the story and the mystery behind dead assistant district attorney. I had a connection to Ben's character and really was hoping for a good ending. Up until the last chapter with the final twist, I enjoyed the book. However, I hated the ending and after dwelling on it for a day or two would not suggest this book to my friends. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Weaver "Andy" | 1/17/2014

    " could not get into this read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James McLaughlin | 1/10/2014

    " All in all a pretty good novel. A little confusing at times, but I couldn't even come close to guessing the ending until it arrived. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 1/7/2014

    " Great book. Landay is great at creating suspense and he never gives away the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 12/29/2013

    " A guilty pleasure is in order... (or 3) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayne | 11/21/2013

    " I really enjoy this author so far. This is his first. I liked Defending Jacob better, but this one is a fun read with interesting twists and turns. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dianne | 11/18/2013

    " Book was ok, it was a bit too much of a police/crime story for me. It took me awhile to finish, but did have a surprise ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heidi | 10/31/2013

    " Read on Amazon recommendation. Just ok. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Boyd | 10/23/2013

    " My 2nd book by this author. I really enjoyed it, it was a quirky book with a good mystery thrown in! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lizabeth | 9/9/2013

    " Good quick read. Nice twists and turns at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raymond Bial | 8/24/2013

    " Many twists in the plot and a variety of interesting characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara Rodgers | 6/27/2013

    " I read Defending Jacob earlier this year and really enjoyed the twists and turns in the plot. This book had much of the same but was unable to hold my attention. It took a LONG time to read and it wasn't really that good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 6/13/2013

    " One of the better first novels I've read. He's not yet in the class with Connelly, but he's definitely getting there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara Schweitzer | 5/10/2013

    " This was a very good detective story--almost as good as "Defending Jacob" which I found to be excellent. His writing is very philosophical and descriptive--you can really "see" the scenes and know the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 3/6/2013

    " I read this after reading Landay's recent novel, which I loved. It was a good book, and kept my interest, but it wasn't really good. I later learned it was his first novel, which now makes sense. Pretty good for a first novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 2/3/2013

    " I read this because I enjoyed "Defending Jacob" so much, and am glad I did. This book does not disappoint! Great characters, compelling story, surprise twist at the end... Really good stuff! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 10/28/2012

    " A darned fine rookie effort, written by the guy who gave us Defending Jacob. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 9/28/2012

    " Not nearly as good as Defending Jacob (which I REALLY liked) but I do think Landay is a great author and storyteller "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 9/21/2012

    " 3.5 stars. A good summer read. "

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About the Author
Author William LandayWilliam Landay is the author of the highly acclaimed Mission Flats, which was awarded the John Creasey Memorial Dagger as the best debut crime novel of 2003. A graduate of Yale University and Boston College Law School, he was an assistant district attorney before turning to writing. He lives in Boston, where he is at work on his next novel of suspense.
About the Narrator
Nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Captain Lewis Nixon in the Steven Spielberg produced mini-series Band of Brothers, Ron Livingston is an accomplished film and television actor recognized for his starring role in the beloved cult-hit Office Space and for his work on acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire and Sex and the City.