Thursday, November 06, 2014

Review: Close to Home by Lisa Jackson (audio)

Title: Close To Home    
Author: Lisa Jackson      
Narrator: Joyce Bean  
Published: August 2014, Brilliance Audio  
Length: 15 hours 52 minutes  
Source: Publisher 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson comes an atmospheric and riveting novel of suspense that uncovers the horrifying secrets buried within a ramshackle house. . .

Vowing to make a fresh start, Sarah McAdams has come home to renovate the old Victorian mansion where she grew up. Her daughters, Jade and Gracie, aren't impressed by the rundown property on the shores of Oregon's wild Columbia River. As soon as they pull up the isolated drive, Sarah too is beset by uneasy memories--of her cold, distant mother, of the half-sister who vanished without a trace, and of a long-ago night when Sarah was found on the widow's walk, feverish and delirious.

Ever since the original mistress of the house plunged to her death almost a century ago, there have been rumors that the place is haunted. As a girl, Sarah sensed a presence there, and soon Gracie claims to see a lady in white running up the stairs. Still, Sarah has little time to dwell on ghost stories, between overseeing construction and dealing with the return of a man from her past.

But there's a new, more urgent menace in the small town. One by one, teenage girls are disappearing. Frantic for her daughters' safety, Sarah feels her veneer cracking and the house's walls closing in on her again. Somewhere deep in her memory is the key to a very real and terrifying danger. And only by confronting her worst fears can she stop the nightmare roaring back to life once more. . .

My thoughts: This is the first Lisa Jackson book I've ever read and so, going into it, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was intrigued by the description of the book and since I was able to get an audio copy, I thought I would give it a go.

There are quite a few storylines going on and at first, I was confused as to how they were all connected - because as we all know, some how everything in a book ends up being connected in some way! What kept me hooked, though, were the characters. There was just something about the characters themselves - whether they were likeable or not, that drew me in and I just had to find out what would end up happening to them in the end. 

There's a good mix of suspense, mystery and even a little romance with some paranormal thrown in that keeps the story fairly well balanced. Even the house becomes part of the story - not only an integral part of the setting, but almost a character at times. The flashbacks that Sarah has throughout the book help to fill in some back story about Sarah's family, and that, coupled with the diary that Gracie finds hidden in the house lead to some interesting revelations.

All in all, this was a rather enjoyable book. I've been on a mystery/suspense kick lately and this certainly satisfied that craving. 

Audio Thoughts: Joyce Bean is one of my favorite narrators and so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that she was narrating this one. I thought she did a great job with the voices and was able to add just the right amount of tension and suspense to her voice as needed. She gave all the characters their own unique voice, including little Gracie, and the young teenage girls.



  1. Joyce is one of my favorite narrators too!

  2. Yeah, I love Joyce Bean as a narrator too, however haven't listened to her for awhile, must seek out one that she narrates.

  3. Excellent review, Kristin. I have not read anything by Lisa Jackson, but her work sounds compelling. (I wonder how you "break into" audiobook narration? It's something I'm interested in learning more about.)

  4. I like this story.. Now to track it down.

  5. Lisa Jackson is an author I've been wanting to try and this definitely looks like my kind of book! Something about old houses gets me every time. I have heard Joyce Bean's narrations but I'll be on the lookout for her. Great review!


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