Internal Combustion

  • by Joyce Maynard
  • Narrated by Janey Ivey
  • 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On Mother's Day night, 2004, award-winning fourth grade teacher Nancy Seaman left the Tudor home she shared with her husband of 32 years in the gated community of Farmington Hills, near Detroit, Michigan, and drove in a driving rain storm to Home Depot, to purchase a hatchet. Three days later, police discovered the mutilated body of Bob Seaman - a successful auto industry engineer, softball coach and passionate collector of vintage Mustangs - in the back of the family's Ford Explorer. As the shackles were placed on her wrists, Nancy Seaman asserted that her husband had been beating her, and she'd killed him in self-defense. At her trial, two radically different stories emerged.
One of the couple's sons, Greg, testified that his father had been abusing his mother for years. The other, Jeff, testified for the prosecution, charging his mother as a cold blooded killer. Joyce Maynard's chilling work delves beyond the events of the crime itself, to explore the lives of an American family who seemed to have everything. Her exploration of the story led to a year's research in suburban Detroit - but the story she found there will take the reader to the Depression-era farm country of Illinois, the working class neighborhoods of the auto industry in its heyday and even, surprisingly, to a Baptist church in burned-out downtown Detroit.
Along the way we meet a Transylvanian forensic pathologist, a beautiful young prosecutor, an old-school police chief, a television news crew hungry for ratings, the softball scorekeeper mom accused of carrying on an affair with the murdered man, and her two shell shocked teenagers, still reeling from the death of their beloved coach, and a mother who has to tell her daughter why her favorite teacher won't be in school any more. As in Joyce Maynard's previous books - including To Die For, based on a true crime, and her best-selling memoir, At Home in the World - Joyce Maynard's themes here involve family secrets, ...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This was no Agatha Christie novel

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

In the end the book became tedious. I made it to the end, but don't think I really enjoyed this book, although the beginning was more interesting.


If you’ve listened to books by Joyce Maynard before, how does this one compare?

I read almost every book of Joyce Maynard, but this was my first audiobook, though I have downloaded all of them. They are still waiting to be listened to.


How could the performance have been better?

The narrator sometimes had a voice like fingernails being scraped down a blackboard. Also she sometimes forgot to breathe in between sentences.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was a bit disappointed by the story. I prefer her books: After her, The good daughters, To die for and Labor Day


Any additional comments?

My favourite audiobook The lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan was not surpassed.

Read full review

- Frederiek

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios