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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (842 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Gruber Narrator: Margaret Whitton Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2005 ISBN: 9780060829193
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Jane Doe was a promising anthropologist, an expert on shamanism. Now she's nothing, a shadow living under an assumed identity in Miami with a little girl to protect. Everyone thinks she's dead. Or so Jane hopes.

Then the killings start, a series of ritualistic murders that terrifies all of Miami. The investigator is Jimmy Paz, a Cuban-American police detective. There are witnesses, but they can recall almost nothing of the events, as though their memory has been erased -- as if a spell has been cast on each of them. Equally bizarre is the string of clues Paz uncovers: a divination charm, exotic drugs found in the bodies of the victims, a century-old report telling of a secret place in the heart of Africa.

These clues point Paz inexorably toward the fugitive, Jane Doe, and force Jane to realize that the darkness she has fled is hunting her down. By the time her path intersects with Jimmy Paz's, the two will be thrust into a cataclysmic battle with an evil unimaginable to the Western mind.

Performed by Margaret Whitton.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sorcery, magic, witchcraft—by whatever name, no matter what you think about it now, you will take it more seriously after you’ve experienced this mind-bending novel…The author wields his own sorcery as he lures us into the hallucinatory world of his imagination. No summary can do justice to the richness and fascination of this novel.”

    Washington Post 

  • “Brilliant and riveting. Tropic of Night combines a chilling and original plot with the sort of superb writing and deep characters you only expect from the finest literary fiction.”

    Phillip Margolin, author of Wild Justice and Ties That Bind

  • “Michael Gruber has written a book with such intelligence, confidence, dazzling bits of arcane knowledge and downright page-turning scariness that other novelists are going to want to just smack him. Absolutely mesmerizing…Equal parts literary novel and thriller…Gruber has an astonishing way of pulling in the reader. ”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “A dark, brilliant book with as indelible a central character as Smilla from Smilla’s Sense of Snow.”

    Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park

  • “A fresh, intelligent thriller that will alter the way you see the world…One of the most absorbing and original novels I’ve read this year…[Gruber’s] unforgettable heroine, Jane Doe, is a rare and remarkable creation.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune 

  • “Wow—what an incredible talent! Michael Gruber is a gifted writer with a truly distinct voice. Tropic of Night is a superb read that draws you down into its dark spell of murder and magic. Astonishing.”

    Ridley Pearson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer and The Art of Deception

  • “Bold, provacative, and frightening…An extraordinary debut.”

    USA Today

  • “A blockbuster…Just when it looks as if detective fiction has plowed every gory, suspenseful possibility, along comes a novel that raises the stakes on the genre…Gruber creates a hallucinatory atmosphere as unsettling as it is exciting.”

    People

  • “An intricate thriller…Gruber keeps his far-flung locations, complicated characters and anthropological information perfectly balanced in this finely crafted, intelligent and original work. While readying herself for battle, Jane’s commentary on cleaning her rare Mauser pistol could read equally well as a description of Gruber’s meticulous plotting: ‘Each part pops free with a precisely directed pressure and snaps in with a satisfying click, just where it belongs.’”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Monstrously entertaining…Cleverly drawn characters, trunkloads of ethnobotanical factoids…The climax is pleasantly apocalyptic.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 2/15/2014

    " I gave it a 3 only because there were LOTS of words that were from an African language (that I don't speak or read) so you often had to reference the glossary in the back (thank gooddness for the glossary!) but for the most part you could read it and get the jist with out looking up every word. I really like the story - wierd, wild stuff! How the characters intersected, her 'found' child. It was really good. I bought it randomly off a bargain book table at Harry W. Schwartz. A favorite Milwaukee book store. "

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

    " Good book - adventure mostly, but some voodoo kinda stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jillann | 2/11/2014

    " Great mystery/suspense novel! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 1/27/2014

    " A little too much magic and sorcery for my tastes, and I thought the journal entries really bogged down the momentum. I really like Mami Paz, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jcurmudge | 1/15/2014

    " A whole lot of afro words that don't make any sense to me. Is Gruber just showing off his anrhro edudation, or is all of this necessary to make the story. A slow read, but I did finally finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerin | 1/15/2014

    " I really liked the main characters. I also liked the premise that the Western way of looking at mental illness is not the only way. Fascinating ideas proposed about how other cultures look at things. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry Lamar Yates | 1/10/2014

    " This works as a thriller/mystery, but without letup in the entertainment raises serious and substantial questions about what we have lost as the technology of machinery overwhelms the technology of pre-literate people. It assumes that that technology was profound and complex; given that people with brains just like ours had millenia to develop it, that makes sense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Casey | 1/8/2014

    " I will always keep this book around for when I have nothing else to read. It's just pulpy enough that you don't have to think, but it's still well written and have a fabulous plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 1/8/2014

    " Ritualistic murders in Miami. Way too much description of African Santeria gory stuff of mutilated pregnant women and their fetuses. Tho he is a good writer about 200 pages of book could have been edited out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen Dannenhold | 12/31/2013

    " Picked this up in an airport when i forgot my book. It's by a Seattle author and has great reviews but unless you are fascinated with black magic the dense and almost academic descriptions of that art can be a bit heavy. It may haunt you - best not to read alone on a windy night. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Helene | 12/27/2013

    " Too much voodoo stuff "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 12/20/2013

    " Engaging, though the plot gets bogged down in a lot of details about sorcery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 12/14/2013

    " Mysterious,thoughtful and at the same time a slamming adrenaline filled adventure.one of my favorites! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 11/29/2013

    " One of the best page-turners I've read in a long time. Nice cliff-hanger chapters kept me reading straight through. Interesting characters. Not sure I completely loved the ending - I would've liked a deeper motivation for the bad guy I think - but still worth getting there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 4/11/2013

    " African religions, Miami fauna, Santeria "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 2/11/2013

    " Cutting out the excess would have helped. I see why he went with the multiple perspectives but he could have cut out much of the back-story to make it more reader friendly. Prepare yourself for dream scenes, flashbacks and other obstacles, like voodoo terminology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jano Cohen | 7/2/2012

    " This was a page-turner with a surprising topic. Serial murders done by a sorcerer trained in Africa told through the experiences of his wife, an anthropologist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sunni | 4/9/2012

    " Gripping, but gruesome. Recommend to those who love mysteries, magic, and can handle some grisley crime scenes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 1/22/2012

    " Excellent read. Fast paced. Well-developed characters and plot line. Humorous at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna Porter | 11/23/2011

    " Unfortunately I read Night of the Jaguar first so I already knew who would "survive" in this story. I liked the archeology and African witch doctor angle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessamyn Saltysiak | 11/19/2011

    " Page-turner. I enjoyed it a lot and found myself thinking about some of the themes after I read it. I am excited to try another book by Gruber. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 11/6/2011

    " Great supernatural mystery. Highly intellectual with discussions of religion, anthropology, and mysticism, but the gruesome killings are here too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bernice | 8/5/2011

    " First book in a trilogy featuring a detective from Miami whose investigation leads him to learn more about Santeria on a personal and professional level. Fantastic supernatural mystery - loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marye odom | 7/18/2011

    " Tropic of Night is one of the most atmospheric books I've read in a long time. Best part, it's part of a trilogy, so I'm on to the second. Gruber is just so much ahead of the pack when it comes to a good thriller, real plot, characters, and themes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angie | 5/4/2011

    " I really didn't care much for this book. There was way too much jumping around from the past to the present to the very distant past. It was a good story line, just too much skipping around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonja | 3/25/2011

    " Perhaps not the best first book to read post-partum... only thing worse would have been reading it while pregnant. That'll learn me to not read the synopsis beforehand. Anyhow, great book, though the subject matter is often quite disturbing - especially for mothers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 3/22/2011

    " Cutting out the excess would have helped. I see why he went with the multiple perspectives but he could have cut out much of the back-story to make it more reader friendly. Prepare yourself for dream scenes, flashbacks and other obstacles, like voodoo terminology. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerin | 2/17/2011

    " I really liked the main characters. I also liked the premise that the Western way of looking at mental illness is not the only way. Fascinating ideas proposed about how other cultures look at things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 1/2/2011

    " I love the Jimmy Paz trilogy - and hope for more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 9/23/2010

    " A-MA-ZING!!!! So full of amazing detail and fascinating stuff. mesmerizing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deidre | 8/8/2010

    " Very weird but kind of compelling...Had to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 7/19/2010

    " One of the best page-turners I've read in a long time. Nice cliff-hanger chapters kept me reading straight through. Interesting characters. Not sure I completely loved the ending - I would've liked a deeper motivation for the bad guy I think - but still worth getting there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leaf | 7/19/2010

    " If he would just stop flogging his hobby horses, especially his new-agey conviction that science is deeply flawed, it would have had five stars, no problem. The Paz novels are imaginative genre busters in the vein of Dick or Lethem, but they suffer from self-indulgence. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gabe | 7/15/2010

    " like all mgruber's, I have to read the reviews to remember what the book was about. this one was not the best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessamyn | 7/7/2010

    " Page-turner. I enjoyed it a lot and found myself thinking about some of the themes after I read it. I am excited to try another book by Gruber. "

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About the Author
Author Michael Gruber

Michael Gruber, a former marine biologist, restaurant cook, federal government official, and political speechwriter, traveled a fascinating path toward his latest occupation as the bestselling author of critically acclaimed thrillers such as The Book of Air and Shadows.

About the Narrator

Margaret Whitton came from the New York stage, performing in off-Broadway gems Baba Goya and Nourish the Beast in the 1970s; she made her Broadway debut in Steaming. She has appeared in many film as well, including Love Child, The Best of Times, The Secret of My Succe$s, Major League, and The Man Without a Face, among others. Margaret has worked on television, appearing in the soap operas One Life to Live and The Doctors. In made-for-television movies she is best known for her portrayal of the tough-as-nails attorney Leslie Abramson in Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills.