Brian Haig,
Private Sector
(Time Warner, 2003)

If you are familiar with Brian Haig's novels then you know who Sean Drummond is -- a brash Army attorney whose mouth will keep you as entertained as his stories will. If you are familiar with any of the Sean Drummond audiobooks, then you also know that John Rubinstein has the perfect voice for this witty character. Brian, Sean and John have joined forces again for the audiobook Private Sector.

With all the adventures Drummond has experienced, you can imagine what a letdown it must be for him when he is being loaned out to the D.C. law firm of Cupler, Hutch & Westin. Criminal attorney cases involve murder, intrigue and mystery. Business law involves wordy contracts (yawn), finances (too confusing) and not a lot of courtroom drama (boring). It is bad enough the Army has this exchange program with the private sector. Why him? At least fellow JAG officer Lisa Morrow has already experienced a year of uptight, expensively suited, over-charging attorneys and can fill him in on what to expect.

But on the evening Drummond plans to meet with Morrow, he arrives late to find her brutally murdered in the parking lot outside the Pentagon, where she works. Within days, more women are murdered -- and there seems to be a connection between the victims.

As usual, Drummond bites off more than he can chew as he both helps the authorities with the murder investigation as well as works on his new firm's biggest client, Morris Networks. But don't worry. Drummond has a way of digging himself in a little deeper with his unruly mouth. It's perhaps not so good for him, but it's certainly worth the price of admission for listeners.

Haig has another winner on his hands with Private Sector. As a West Point graduate and retired Army officer, you have to wonder how much fun he has envisioning the dangerous, yet exciting life his alter-ego (if I can call Drummond that) lives.

Rubinstein has read the part of Drummond on several tapes. I have come to expect this voice when I hear Drummond speak and would hate to think there ever might be a new voice for a future Drummond novel. Rubinstein has also acted on both the big and small screens (Another Stakeout, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town).

A new voice joins the cast on this story. Michael Emerson (The Practice, The X-Files, Law & Order, to name a few) provides the voice of the murderer in Private Sector. His role is small, but important. While John does a good job of portraying a multitude of characters, they all sound vaguely similar. Michael gives the killer a distinctive voice (which, unfortunately, does not match the description of this character in my opinion).

If you have enjoyed prior Sean Drummond tales, there is no reason not to expect the same with Private Sector. If you are new to Brian Haig novels but like the thought of an Army attorney whose exciting adventures take him all around the world running into more sinister plots than he has a right to experience, then Private Sector is an acceptable place to start. Like all Sean Drummond novels, this one has the ability to stand on its own.

- Rambles
written by Wil Owen
published 10 January 2004

Buy it from