Your First Chance To Hear Explosive Gangland Thriller, Gripped: Second Son

When Gang leader Harun Haqq is murdered, a bloody turf-war on the streets of Sydney seems inevitable. But Harun’s younger brother Jamil doesn’t want to take on his new role as a ruthless crime boss.

Jamil is torn. Facing pressure from his family to avenge his brother’s death, while his wife Amy pleads with him to take their family away from this world for good.

This is the setting for LiSTNR’s new six-part gangland-crime audio fiction series Gripped: Second Son, a an action-packed thriller full of unseen twists and cliff-hangers, adapted from the award-winning novel The Second Son by Australian crime writer Loraine Peck.

The audio series stars actors Lincoln Younes as Jamil, who played John Ibrahim in the Paramount miniseries Last King of the Cross, and actor and model and daughter of INXS member Kirk Pengilly April Rose Pengilly (Amy) among an incredible cast.  The first two episodes drop today, exclusively on the LiSTNR App.

The adaption was written by former gang-member-turned-investigative-journalist, writer and reporter, Mahmood Fazal. It’s compulsive, immersive listening full of gripping cliff-hangers, high-octane action-packed episodes and double-crosses. Unease and suspense blankets every episode, as listeners become fully immersed in the drama.

LiSTNR’s Head of Factual and Drama Jennifer Goggin said at its coreGripped: Second Son is the story of a man torn between family honour, his duty as a parent and husband, and his loyalty to his gang.

“We chose The Second Son book for LiSTNR to adapt as an audio drama because it explores social, racial, and familial themes that were as interesting as the action that drove the thriller element of the story. Although the audio series adaptation is wrapped up in a different gangland era and setting from the book, the characters grapple with, and discuss, social issues at the forefront of public discourse in Australia today, like the migrant experience, racism in Australia, being torn between your duty as a parent and your responsibilities to your own parents, the allure of gang culture, and police racial-profiling,” she said.

Jennifer and her team worked with acclaimed investigative journalist and former gang member Mahmood Fazal writing the adaptation, and a team of consultants representing the nationalities, faiths, languages and communities that are represented in Gripped: Second Son.

“Mahmood Fazal’s role was to take the great source material in Loraine Peck’s novel, and adapt the story-format, its structure, and dialogue into a modern, audio-first drama series,” said Jennifer.

“Mahmood is an investigative journalist, and has produced many stories on gang culture, police brutality, prison life and abuses in juvenile detention systems in Australis for ABC, VICE, The Guardian and others. We wanted him to bring his experiences researching and reporting these stories to the script-writing process, to give depth, truth and complexity to the characters and the world represented in the series.”

“We also hired a cast that, for the majority, fit the cultural background of their character by reaching out to local Sydney artist collectives and community acting groups, and only turning to larger casting agents when needed.

“We encouraged cast members to be vocal about any changes they felt were necessary from a representation or realism perspective during both the scripting stage and in the studio.

“Our organized crime consultants shared insights into police surveillance techniques, encrypted communication devices, and branding techniques for different gangs to distinguish their drug shipments from each other. All these insights were built into the series to increase the accuracy and realism and help the listener to do what all great drama should do, to immerse you and help you step into the experience of someone else.”

“We also commissioned original music from Western Sydney artist, Vincent Assaf,which you can hear throughout the series foreshadowing the action. The entire production process on this series took close to a year to complete, so it is very exciting to finally be able to release the series for everyone to hear.”

Gripped: Second Son is told through a variety of perspectives, including those of the protagonists, Jamil, his wife Amy, and their son Salim, and Knox, the antagonist.

GRIPPED: SECOND SON Episode 1 & 2 releases 14 February exclusively on the LiSTNR App. New episodes drop each Wednesday at 6am until March 13.