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Extended Audio Sample Past Perfect: A Novel Audiobook, by Susan Isaacs Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.62 out of 52.62 out of 52.62 out of 52.62 out of 52.62 out of 5 2.62 (37 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Isaacs Narrator: Randye Kaye Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2007 ISBN: 9781423338925
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In Past Perfect, Susan Isaacs gives us one of her most glorious characters ever: bright, buoyant, and borderline luscious Katie Schottland. Katie seems to have the ideal life: a great husband, a precocious and winning ten-year-old son, and a dream job—writer for the long-running TV series Spy Guys. But all is not as splendid as it should be because writing about the espionage business isn’t nearly as satisfying as working in it.

Fifteen years earlier, Katie was in the CIA. She loved her job (to say nothing of her boss, the mysterious Benton Mattingly). Yet just as she was sensing she was in line for a promotion, she was fired—escorted off the premises by two extremely hulking security types. Why? No one would tell her: when you’re expelled from the Agency, warm friends immediately become icy ex-colleagues who won’t risk their security clearances by talking to you.

Until that day, Katie was where she wanted to be. Coming from a family of Manhattan superachievers, she too had a job she not only adored but a job that made her, in the family tradition, a Someone. Fifteen years later, Katie is still stuck on her firing. Was she set up? Or did she make some terrible mistake that cost lives? She believes that if she could discover why they threw her out, she might be at peace.

On the day she’s rushing to get her son off to summer camp, Katie gets a surprise call from former Agency colleague Lisa Golding. “A matter of national importance,” says Lisa, who promises to reveal the truth about the firing—if Katie will help her. Lisa was never very good at truth-telling, though she swears she’s changed her ways. Katie agrees to speak with her, but before she can, Lisa vanishes.

Maturity and common sense should keep Katie in the bright, normal world of her present life, away from the dark intrigues of the past. But she needs to know. As she takes just a few steps to find out, one ex-spy who might have the answers dies under suspicious circumstances. Another former agent is murdered. Could it be there’s a list? If so, is Katie now on it? And who will be the next to go?

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 2/19/2014

    " It was fine for a beach read, which is where I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/7/2014

    " I like Susan Isaacs books a lot as the heroine is always sassy, smart and slightly neurotic. She writes about characters who share the mundane of life with the terror of unexpected murder. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 1/13/2014

    " Didn't care for it. The synopsis on the jacket sounded interesting but it just didn't hold my attention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 1/8/2014

    " While this was fun (most of the time) and a quick read (except where it got bogged down with too much espionage background), I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Susan Isaacs previous novels. Nonetheless, I did laugh sometimes (although not as loud and frequently as, say...Compromising Positions..) and I did get scared...once. You get the idea... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/6/2014

    " A fun airplane read - feisty, sexy female does some espionage - Isaacs is good at strong female characters, but with lots of humor. Definitely light, though. Has anyone noticed I'm reading totally light stuff lately; got to get a life...as soon as I stop traveling! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie Revert | 12/30/2013

    " Very enjoyable and fun read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackie | 12/11/2013

    " I didn't really like this book. It was an effort to keep reading it. Finally the last 90 pages got interesting enough that I finished it. I'm not sure if I just wasn't into this book, or if it wasn't very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 11/25/2013

    " A fun, frivolous read. Author strayed into way too much minutiae for my taste when describing a scene but all in all a fun diversion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 11/23/2013

    " Susan Isaacs has a great turn of phrase. I find myself chuckling page after page. This is a fun read about a TV writer and her experiences with the CIA. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 11/13/2013

    " While this was a quick read and Isaacs creates some interesting characters, her mystery sometimes dragged and at other times was a little too manipulated for me. Overall I would still be interested in checking out a couple of her other novels though so there's something to be said for that..... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pmcdnld2 | 11/8/2013

    " This CIA based mystery was unbelievable in part and silly in places. The main character was rather neurotic and her reactions were folish. Don't bother. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 11/2/2013

    " Easy and amusing beach/plane reading. Would the main character be trotting off to investigate possible CIA shenanigans if she weren't in full-blown "I've got turning-40 angst" mode? But, hey, this is fiction ... isn't it?? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristy | 9/5/2013

    " Definitely not one of Isaac's better novels. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Curtis | 8/13/2013

    " Could have been a three chapter short story and I still would have been bored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kari | 5/6/2013

    " funny, good sense of humor. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 sue | 4/16/2013

    " So tedious! What happened to Susan Isaacs? Everything was in the narrator's head - no action until the last chapter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 1/16/2013

    " This is a great chick lit spy book. Sometimes I had a little problem staying interested. It had a really nice twist at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 1/2/2013

    " I was looking for a light read that still managed to keep my interest before I fell asleep at night. This book fit the bill, but isn't as good as some other Susan Isaacs books I read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ljonz | 9/28/2012

    " Funny fast paced and entertaining "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paddy | 8/25/2012

    " Isaacs' initial plots capture my interest, and her books are available on CD at my library. But I'm giving up on this author. Se squanders story possibilities with endless recaps, cliches, and prattling inner dialogue. She seems to think she's Nora Ephron. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda | 6/9/2012

    " Too many books, too little time. This is one I gave up on. Did not hold my interest. My rule of thumb is - give a book 50-100 pages. If it doesn't grab you - drop it. This one did not make the cut. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne McCarten-Gibbs | 5/3/2012

    " This was a fun beach read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 5/2/2012

    " A fun read. Her books combine mystery with NY smart aleck. Nothing serious - a good fluff book for vacation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darlis | 3/11/2012

    " We like listening to this. It is very cute and light,which was nice after the heavier, darker mysteries that we have been listening to. We liked the breezy style and often laughed at the descriptive language, metaphors, and insights that the narrator used. Thoroughly enjoyable! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 6/19/2011

    " Susan Isaacs has a gift for dialogue,but the book dragged and was hard to follow the reasoning behind some of the action. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Niki | 4/18/2011

    " On the back cover some critic says something about the heroine being smart and sexy. I found her to be insecure, obsessive, and kinda dumb. It had some good moments of intrigue, which kept me reading until I finished it, but by the end I regretted sticking with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Beth | 3/10/2011

    " Not up to Susan Issaacs usual standards. It wasn't awful, just okay. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debby | 2/25/2011

    " This has been on my TBR shelf for quite a while. The description of the book sounded better than it turned out to be; too much like a TV mystery/sitcom for my taste. Well, it's one less book on my TBR shelf and that's progress!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 10/24/2010

    " Light and fun. I enjoyed this one, very undemanding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 9/4/2010

    " Funny, a little silly, refreshing to have a happily married heroin. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alison | 7/13/2010

    " stopped reading 1/4 of the way - just couldn't get into this book - the author was just trying too hard to be witty "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn | 7/2/2010

    " Katie, the main character is obsessed with finding out why the CIA fired her 15 years ago without reason. The book was OK, but geeze...15 years is a long time to obsess over something. She has a good life now...so I say GET OVER IT! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 6/7/2010

    " This book was so bad, that I couldn't even bring myself to finish it. Don't waste your time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alev | 5/25/2010

    " Very good writing. Not too deep but easy reading. Susan Isaacs has very good observations about human behavior. I am looking forward to reading more of her works. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 5/11/2010

    " I enjoy Susan Isaacs as pure entertainment. This was not one of her best, but still enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Niki | 3/16/2010

    " On the back cover some critic says something about the heroine being smart and sexy. I found her to be insecure, obsessive, and kinda dumb. It had some good moments of intrigue, which kept me reading until I finished it, but by the end I regretted sticking with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andi | 3/1/2010

    " Not as fluffy as other Isaacs books, with a great lighthearted take on the CIA. The book also deals with things in your past you can't get over and family relationships "

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About the Author
Author Susan Isaacs

Susan Isaacs, novelist, essayist and screenwriter, was born in Brooklyn and educated at Queens College. Her novels, all New York Times bestsellers, include Compromising Positions, Close Relations, Almost Paradise, Shining Through, and Past Perfect. A recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award, she serves as chairman of the board of Poets & Writers and is a past president of Mystery Writers of America. Her fiction has been translated into thirty languages. She lives on Long Island with her husband.

About the Narrator

Randye Kaye is a national voice talent and actress, also currently heard as part-time newscaster and classical music host on NPR affiliates WSHU-FM and AM. Prior to that, while raising her children, she was a full-time morning personality for a top-rated Connecticut radio station in addition to her voice-over, on-camera, and theater work.