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***** Unbelievable art mystery Review by Rox Burkey

Michael Balter crafts a nonstop action-adventure crime thriller set in Oregon. Marty tells the story in the first person, making it personal. He and his business partner, Bo, are entrepreneurs in a Paladin start-up. Marty and his wife are at odds over his chasing this business dream. Everything about this story is perfect. Thrills, action, fear, uncertainty, and doubt are woven into a realistic story. Well-researched discussions on World War II, art history, and the lengths people will go to win keep listeners and readers on the edge of their seats.

Marty and Bo start the story at gunpoint with a maniac waving a gun demanding an unknown painting and ten million dollars. Their business partner Nico seems to understand but has permanently stopped speaking. Tracking clues, uncovering deceptions, and learning the truth take Marty and Bo on an unbelievable journey.

Listening to the story unfold flashed vivid pictures of these characters’ situations. The excellent prose left no stone unturned as each character and their idiosyncrasies contributed to the story. This debut novel by Michael Balter is a winner in the believable situations, riveting, realistic character development, and realistic, fast-paced dialog made this listen impossible to set aside until it finished.

The narration by Frits Zernike was outstanding. Perfect pacing, well-timed voices, and accents easily delineated the characters. There were no problems with the audio, and I enjoyed this voice. Lucky for listeners and readers, the author is working on another Marty and Bo thriller, which this listener hopes is narrated by this outstanding voice actor. Fans of crime thrillers who revel in action adventure will enjoy this book to the very end and beg for more.

About the Author

Michael Balter is an award-winning author whose debut novel, Chasing Money, was selected as the top crime thriller of 2023 by the Best Indie Book Awards. Midwest Book Review calls Chasing Money “Exceptionally clever and compelling.” The BookLife Prize said Chasing Money features “A strong voice paired with authentic dialogue” and is “packed with action.” It was awarded 5 stars by Reader’s Favorite, who called it “an impressive debut novel by a gifted author.” Known as a talented and witty storyteller, Michael Balter has captivated audiences for years with tales of his extraordinary life as a German emigrant, a Vietnam War veteran, a Silicon Valley pioneer, and a serial entrepreneur. A Russian mobster once kidnapped one of his business partners, which inspired a portion of the plot of Chasing Money, the first book in his Marty and Bo thriller series. Michael lived in Oregon for 29 years and now makes his home in Charlevoix, Michigan, where he works hard on the sequel to Chasing Money.


About the Narrator

I live in the Hudson Valley.

I studied acting with Suzanne Shepherd and with Michael Howard, and have had voiceover and narration coaching from Paul Rubens, Johnny Heller, Sara Krieger and Debra Sperling.

My screen credits include Sal Stabile’s GRAVESEND and Damon Lindelof’s GREAT WHIRLWINDS. Stage credits include KICKING INSIDE. I wrote, produced, and directed the short film WIND OVER HEAVEN and wrote the screenplay MOTORBOY. 

I’ve also attended law school, served two terms as a County Legislator, and run a small family business for ten years. 

I like to think I bring all of that to every voice-over gig. How else could it be? It’s like the man said:

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