Nine Lives by Peter Swanson was a winner for me. His books can be hit or miss, but this was a hit. The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen once again delivered a thriller that I enjoyed. Both of these books were provided to me by the publisher upon my request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson, Narrated by Jacques Roy & Mark Bramhill

Published March 15th 2022 by HarperAudio, William Morrow

4.5 Stars:

Nine strangers marked for death! Detective Sam Hamilton refers to this case as the “List-of-Nine case” and he wants to figure out how the names on a list are related and why are they being killed off? If he can figure that out, he will be able to stop him, he is sure of that. One of the names is an FBI agent, and it seems the other eight are from all over the US, across state lines, so the FBI is involved. As the people are located, they are placed under police or FBI protection if they agree. You should be safe then, shouldn’t you?

Nine Lives is loosely based on Christie’s And Then There Were None, and the book was referred to often, in fact it is used somewhat to solve the case. This was a quick listen for me, as I was on the road home from Florida. I was worried about the number of narrators, all 9 victims and the police, but I had no problem following the story. The characters were well defined and they were easy to keep straight. Having said that, I was completely in the dark for most of the story and only figured it when Peter Swanson wanted us to. You see, there was no connection between the nine names and there was no POV from the killer. There were very few clues, only gleaning information as the police of FBI uncovered it. I very much enjoyed this story and unlike some other reviewers, I thought the ending was perfect. Jacques Roy & Mark Bramhill narrated this audiobook and I very much enjoyed their performance. Perhaps that is another reason I was able to keep the characters straight as they provided them with individual voices. Their tone, expression and pacing were well done and added to my enjoyment of the story.

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, Narrated by Karissa Vacker & Marin Ireland

Published March 8th 2022 by Macmillan Audio, St. Martin’s Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Marissa and Mathew Bishop are a DC/Maryland “Golden Couple” They are beautiful people, popular, and successful in their individual careers and have the perfect marriage, or do they? When Marissa is unfaithful to Mathew, she knows their marriage is in trouble. She hires the infamous couple’s counselor, Avery Chambers, hoping that her unconventional approach is going to salvage her marriage. Avery was a therapist who lost her licence for some questionable practices, but a counselor does not need to be licensed. She claims that she can help you resolve your problems with just ten sessions. She is also very selective in who she chooses to treat. Marissa and Mathew have an 8 year old child and Marissa is the main caregiver as Mathew works so many hours. Can Avery help them save their marriage?

This was a story that took me some time to get into, as the first part of the story sets it all up and is a bit slow, but stick with this one. There are also several secondary characters that play important roles in the story. The story is told from the POV of Avery the therapist and Marissa, the unfaithful wife. As I read this book, I wasn’t sure who to believe. There were secrets, spying on each other, phone calls and more that played a role, but you had to figure out what. Hendricks and Pekkanen took this reader on a wild ride as the true natures of these multi-faceted characters are revealed. Things happen that kept me trying to guess what was going to happen next? There was also a secondary storyline where Avery was a whistle blower and someone was stalking her. As tidbits were revealed, I was sure I had it all figured out, but wow, was I wrong. Secrets, unreliable narrators, lies and tension made this a domestic thriller that I enjoyed. This is one of those popcorn books that you just need to sit back, go with it and enjoy the reading experience. I enjoyed the audiobook that was narrated by Karissa Vacker and Marin Ireland. These are two performers that I enjoy due to their voices, expression, tone and emotion. With the story being narrated by two female characters, this was a perfect choice for the audiobook. I did a read/listen, but recommend the audiobook, if you enjoy that format.