Publisher: Park Row Books
A shocking discovery and chilling secrets converge in this latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf
When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters–her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.
As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?
New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf has been described as “masterful” and “intelligent” and compared to Lisa Scottoline and Jodi Picoult. Introducing her most compelling heroine yet, she delivers a taut and emotional thriller that proves she’s at the top of her class.
This is the second book I’ve read by Heather Gudenkauf and while I struggled with my first attempt, I’m so pleased to say that I enjoyed this one much more. While this wasn’t one of those crazy, twisted thrillers that I’m usually drawn to, it was still a highly entertaining read.
This opened with a fantastic prologue, Amelia gets hit by a car and is badly injured and is now deaf. Fast forward to two years later and her life has changed drastically, and NOT for the better. Besides adjusting to life with a hearing impairment, she’s separated from her husband, David and stepdaughter Nora, she isn’t a nurse anymore, she’s battling an addiction to alcohol, and she’s living alone in an isolated house in the woods. Amelia was a highly original and unique protagonist and I’m always excited about something new and fresh in fiction. Seeing how she adapted to life with her impairment was really interesting and I think Gudenkauf handled the portrayal accurately and sensitively.
After Amelia finds her old friend Gwen’s body she develops an obsession with finding her killer and starts looking into it on her own. An amateur detective always draws me in and when they have a partner like Amelia did in her service dog, Stitch, I’m hooked. He was such a great addition to the story and I loved watching the bond between him and Amelia.
I’m a fan of Gudenkauf’s writing style, it’s sharp but still conveys a wide variety of emotions and fantastic descriptions. The visual descriptions were outstanding and I like to think Gudenkauf used this as a tool to show how Amelia had to rely more heavily on her other senses due to her hearing loss. This was pretty fast paced and suspenseful but not your typical thriller, I would say it’s an emotional thriller rather than a classic thriller. The author created an unforgettable cast of characters who I really liked and felt connected to and delivered a solid mystery that I didn’t quite figure out.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.