I enjoy a good thriller and when I find one with a different premise, I want to snuggle down and see where the author is going to take me. Well, these three all satisfied that hunger. All of these stories had plots that were different from others I had read and pulled me into the stories, albeit not right from the start. It took a bit to become immersed in the story, but I definitely recommend them all. I also did read/listens with all of them and recommend either format depending upon your preference.

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin, Narrated by Imogen Church & January LaVoy

Published August 9th 2022 by St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan Audio

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi without a phone or her keys, she heads to her apartment to wake her roommate to let her in. The woman who finally comes to the door is not Amy, but an angry woman who tells her she and her husband live there, do not know her or Amy and want her to go away. She has writing all over her hands and body saying STAY AWAKE and DON’T SLEEP. She also has a bloody knife wrapped in a shirt! What is going on? She remembers working, but she looked very different then. Meanwhile, an unidentified businessman is found dead in an apartment with a single knife wound to his heart. The woman they see leaving the apartment on the CTV has long hair and is in a hurry. Detectives Darcy Halliday and Jack Lavell are on the case, although Jack is sure they know who killed him and are looking for the evidence to prove it, but Darcy wants to follow the evidence first, before deciding who the killer is. How will Liv figure out what is going on or who to trust when she loses her memory every time she falls asleep?

Wow, this is a story that will have you guessing throughout and flipping the pages to get to the satisfying conclusion. The story is told in dual timelines (one present day and the other two years before), and they were both done very well. There was no confusion of the timelines, and both gave clues to what was happening. I found the premise very different from anything I had read before and was a bit leery at the beginning, but with each chapter, I was pulled into the book more. We don’t know much about Liv at first, but as the story progressed, and I began to get to know her and what she was dealing with, I felt so bad for her. Was she going to end up being caught and thrown into jail for something she doesn’t remember doing? Did she kill the man? Once I got into this book, I didn’t want to stop reading or listening. This was a thriller that pulled me in completely. I did figure out what Liv was trying to remember before it was revealed, but it did not diminish my enjoyment of the story at all. If you are looking for something a bit different, something with twists, great characters and a well-developed plot, then I recommend you pick up Stay Awake by Megan Goldin. I did a read/listen, but mostly listened. Two of my favourite voice actresses, Imogen Church and January LaVoy are the narrators and they definitely pull the listener into the story. They use their voices, expression, tone and pacing to add suspense and atmosphere to the story. I definitely enjoyed listening to this one.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister, Lesley Sharp (Narrator)

Published August 2nd 2022 by William Morrow, HarperAudio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wrong Place, Wrong Time is like an onion, that is pealed slowly to reveal the rotten core in the middle. As a mom, waiting up for my 17 year old son was a common occurrence, but watching him stab someone and kill him in the driveway was never on my radar. Jen, can’t believe it when she sees her son kill this stranger. Who is he? Why did her do it? Why won’t he say anything? She has to find a way to help her funny, happy boy who is now in custody. Each day she wakes up, it is a day earlier and she is looking for something to help her prevent the events of that late October night.

This is a story that needs you to suspend belief, and if you can do that and just go with the premise, then you will enjoy this very different, well-written story. My heart broke for Jen. I can not imagine what she was feeling, but she never gave up trying to figure out how to sort everything out and prevent her son from becoming a murderer. She was smart, flexible and tenacious when it came to saving her son. She has a wonderful marriage and loves her husband, but as she uncovers secrets and sees events in a different light, will it destroy her family? I was kept guessing throughout and was so far off, it was laughable. The twists were all there and kept my head spinning. What would I have done as a mother to save my son? The reason for my four stars instead of five? The middle dragged somewhat and was a bit overlong, but the end more than made up for it. If you enjoy a twisty suspenseful mystery, then I recommend Wrong Place, Wrong Time. Lesley Sharp narrates this story and does a good job. It is my first book she has performed and I enjoyed her voice and presentation.

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard, Alana Kerr Collins (Narrator)

Published August 17th 2021 by Blackstone Publishing

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A body is found smelling up an apartment. Who is it? What happened? The story then goes back to 56 days ago where we meet Ciara and Oliver. They meet in a supermarket in Dublin, just when Covid 19 hits the Ireland. They run into each other a few times and strike up a friendship. On day 35, lockdown is imposed. They decide to share an apartment instead of both being alone. The story progresses where they get to know each other more, and feelings emerge. They also both have secrets, but what are they. We know someone is dead, but we don’t know who until the end of the story. The investigation, back story and even the present don’t give us a lot of clues, but I was gripped by this one.

I really enjoyed this story, even though it kept me guessing throughout. I knew both Ciara and Oliver had secrets, but I couldn’t figure out what they were. I wanted to like both of them, but there were things that kept me from connecting to them, but that didn’t mean I didn’t like the book, I really did. Both characters were a bit aloof, but that was part of the intrigue. There was a lot of jumping around in the various timelines, but as it was only a couple of months, 56 days to be exact, it was easy to keep track. I held off reading this one as it was set during lockdown and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that, but besides the reason for their isolation and moving in together so quickly, Covid was more of a backdrop, so I was okay with it. This was a story that pulled me in and kept me listening long after I should have gone to bed. So, who is the dead person? You will have to read this one to find out. I really enjoyed the narration by Alana Kerr Collins. She has such a great accent for books set in Ireland and her expression and tone were right on. I definitely recommend this book, especially the audiobook.