Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Mark Dalton: Trucker/Detective (Graphic Audio) - Audio Drama Mini Review


This is a story about a private investigator who turns into an owner/operator trucker who lives out of his truck and has a habit of attracting trouble. To clarify, this story is based on a book series, but this review is for the 2 audio drama adaptations made by Graphic Audio and is not a sponsored review. Now, I never read or even heard of the book series before finding this audio play, but I have always had high respect for the trucking profession and it ending up being a very nice whim purchase. Click "read more" for my review.

Disclaimer: these are mini reviews to avoid spoilers and seeing as these are audio dramas there aren't any images to show besides the cover art.

1. Summary

This is an episodic audio drama that follows the adventures of Mark Dalton as he trucks through Canada and sometimes the USA during the late 90s/early 2000s where trouble always finds him. Originally, Mark was a private investigator who specialized in catching peoples spouses cheating in the act. But, after one case gave him the shock of his life and caused his struggling marriage to end, he decides to sell everything, buy a truck that he names Mother Load and lives on the open road. While just trying to make deliveries, Mark ends up getting in the middle of a lot of criminal activity including murders, people trying to rip him or his friend off, and sometimes just putting jerks in their place. 

The only characters in every episode are Mark Dalton himself, and his dispatch man Bud and most episodes are stand alone stories. Bud is the typical cranky boss, never too friendly, but is on Marks side. Mark has a way of always finding justice or getting even,. The messes or situations that Mark gets in can make you cringe, but it is honestly a lot of fun to listen how he always manages to come out on top. His detective skills come in handy a lot more than one might think during his trucker career. Sometimes he is bringing criminals to justice, or just getting even with someone who is a dirt bag to him. Either way, it is never boring.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this audio drama. Granted the ending doesn't offer much closure, pretty much just Mark saying he will keep on trucking, but this is not a story meant to be taken to seriously. Listening to this almost makes he want to become a trucker. I recommend this, it is a fun listen and can help pass the time while doing other tasks. (Which is something I love most about audio dramas.) 4/5

2. Summary

This second audio drama picks up almost immediately where the last one left off. Mark has returned to trucking after a week vacation and business continues like before. More criminals, more crazy situations, and more of Mark always finding a way out on top. There are a couple of re-used plot points from the first book and minor continuity issues. A constant re-used plot point is that Mark's truck Mother Load gets damaged which breaks Mark's heart and he has to gets it fixed. At one point, Mark gets a newer truck which is treated as a pretty big moment for him. 

Not all of this collection of episodes is just about the adventure, there actually is an effort to further Mark's character and possible future One episode actually involves Mark's ex-wife, whose named randomly changed from Julie to Jenny since the first audio drama, and a later episode actually has him in a new relationship.These don't amount to much, but at least it showed that Mark has not completely given up on some form of relationship.

My Thoughts

This second collection episodes is pretty really enjoyable, but feels like they were running out of ideas. It was a needed continuation as it brought us Mother Load 2 and let us know what became of Mark's ex-wife, and the ending was decent. Not to spoil to much, Mark was given a choice for his future and had to follow his heart. However, the misadventure bit does start to wear tired this time around and the little inconsistencies are annoying. I went back and listen to part 1 again just to be sure, and yes they did mess up Mark's ex-wives name, she was Julie in the first audio drama and Jenny in the second. Also, Mark has a friend named Johnny that had a decent episode in the first bunch, and he briefly returns here, but sounds completely different. Now, I have no issues with cast changes, stuff happens behind the scenes, but it is not just a different voice, Johnny has a different accent and barely feels like the same character. Regardless, this was still a fun collection to listen too. It had an ending that gave closure but still left room for a book 3, but it has been 13 years as of writing this without any continuation. Looks like Mark Dalton's adventures end here, listen too it if you really want more trips with Mother Load, but don't expect anything new. 3/5

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