During the month of April, I read several thriller/mystery books that I had not yet posted on my blog. They were all very different. One is a domestic thriller, one a supernatural thriller/mystery and the third is an Amish Mystery/Thriller. All of these books had been provided to me at one time by the publisher, but I chose to listen to the audiobooks which I got from the library. All the ratings and opinions shared are my own.
One in Three by Tess Stimson, Narrated by Chris Dyer, Antonia Davies, Adam Bromley, Victoria Fox, Julie Maisey, and Joan Walker
Published July 9th 2020 by Avon, April 16 2020 (Paperback)
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I’ve had this book on my TBR for over a year and boy am I glad I finally got to it. This is another of those books where I did a read/listen and was not disappointed by either format. This is a story that I could not put down. When I had to do something mundane, like make dinner or clean up, I would listen, when I could sit down, I would read. This story opens with the death of Andrew at a family party, the anniversary of his ex-in-laws. The story then goes back seven weeks before the party and through Louise and Caz, we learn the family’s story, or do we. Each of the wives has their own version of the story and the reader has to figure out who is telling the truth, if either of them is. These POVs are interspersed with police interviews with other people who were at the anniversary party. This is a story of a woman scorned, a family torn apart by infidelity, unrequited love, secrets, lies and more. As the final twist was revealed, my jaw dropped. I definitely recommend this psychological thriller to anyone who enjoys this genre. The audiobook was narrated by a cast of performers that made this stand out. Chris Dyer, Antonia Davies, Adam Bromley, Victoria Fox, Julie Maisey, and Joan Walker do an amazing job using expression, tone and inflection to give each of the characters their own voice and make them come alive to the listener.
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James, Narrated by Brittany Pressley and Kirsten Potter
Published February 18th 2020 by Penguin Audio, Berkley
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the story of two young women, thirty-five years apart, who work at The Sun Down Motel as its night clerk. The story is told in dual timelines by the two protagonists. Vivian (Viv) Delaney was heading to New York City but ends up in small town Fell, New York. She needs to earn some money to finance her trip, so takes a job as the night clerk at The Sun Down Motel. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that something is off about the motel, she sees, hears and smells ghosts. As she begins to ask questions, she finds out that several young women were mysteriously turning up dead on, in or near The Sundown Motel. One night, Viv disappears and she is never heard from again. In 2017, we meet Carly Kirk, Viv’s niece. After her mother’s death, she finds information that might tell her more about her Aunt, so she decides to visit Fell and look into that disappearance. Coincidentally, Carly is hired as the night clerk of the same Sundown Motel and also sees the ghosts.
I do not read a lot of supernatural stories, but I very much enjoyed Simone St. James’ previous book, The Broken Girls. This is actually a Supernatural Thriller that I really enjoyed. I liked both of the protagonists, as they were smart, strong and driven characters. What they did, was out of caring and concern for the victims, the people behind the ghosts. I found it interesting to see how Carly followed in her aunt’s footsteps and unearthed similar clue and information. The ghosts did not play a huge part in the investigation, but they were the impetus. Some of the ghostly activities could be over the top at times but it fit with the story. Of course, I had to suspend belief to appreciate it, but I liked what was done with those characters. Simone St. James does a great job combining the two timelines and POVs with smooth transitions. The ending was a huge twist, that had my jaw dropping, but was a great conclusion. I had read other reviews that said the audiobook was great, so I decided to listen to this one and I am glad that I did. Brittany Pressley and Kirsten Potter both do a great job voicing the characters. I enjoyed how each of the main characters had their own voice and that it gave them different personalities. This was an atmospheric story that will be enjoyed by those who enjoy ghost stories, mysteries and thrillers.
Amish Secrets (River Haven #3) by Marta Perry, Stina Nielson (Narrator)
Published December 29th 2020 by HQN, January 28th 2021 by Dreamscape Media, LLC
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the third book in the River Haven series and I enjoyed them all. They are all standalone stories, so you can read all or one, or you can read them in any order. In this story we meet Rachel Hurst. Rachel put her life on hold to stay at home and take care of her father and her siblings after her mother passed away. She was engaged to Jacob, but when she said she couldn’t marry him at that time, their relationship ended. Years later, her father had remarries and there is no room for Rachel in the family home. She takes a job away from home, accepting the position of housekeeper for a wealthy elderly woman in her isolated mansion. It is the same woman that her mother worked for when Rachel was young and she had spent summer days on the grounds. Someone does not want Geraldine to stay in the house though, and she begins to have accidents. Coincidentally, Jacob, who never married, is also the handyman for Geraldine, forcing him and Rachel to face their past.
Amish Secrets is a mystery, a thriller and a romance all meshed together well. There is suspense as the reader tried to figure out who the target of the “accidents” really is. As we get to know Geraldine’s family, I was sure I knew who was responsible, but then would change my mind. I was also sure of the motive behind the sabotage, but again, I was wrong. I liked the two main characters, Rachel and Jacob and enjoyed seeing them rekindle a relationship, first of friends then as more than that. Rachel is also dealing with her family and the sense of abandonment, so there was another plotline to deal with. Marta Perry creates a suspenseful atmosphere, which led this reader in several directions. I was very happy with the ending, the twists and surprises and how all the various storylines came together. An enjoyable story all around. The audiobook was narrated by Stina Nielsen. She has narrated many stories that I have listened to, especially Amish Fiction, and I always enjoy her performances. Using expression, tone and inflection she adds emotion to the story. I recommend this story to those who enjoy Amish Fiction, especially with mystery and twists involved.