Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: One of Us by Tawni O'Dell (audio)

Title: One of Us   
Author: Tawni O'Dell   
Narrator: Nick Podehl & Amy McFadden  
Published: August 2014, Brilliance Audio  
Length: 9 Hours 52 Minutes   
Source: Publisher 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Back Roads comes a fast-paced literary thriller about a forensic psychologist forced to face his own demons after discovering his small hometown terrorized by a serial killer.

Dr. Sheridan Doyle—a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist—is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office whenever a twisted killer’s mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he’s still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago.

Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners' deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny—in pursuit of a killer—comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself.

In this masterfully told psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the past and present collide to put Lost Creek’s long-lived ghosts to bed.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read/listened to by Tawni O'Dell and I really enjoyed it. It's a gripping, atmospheric tale that's full of secrets and kept me hooked from the start.

I loved how complex the two main characters were, Danny Doyle and Scarlet Dawes. They were so richly developed it was easy to love or strongly dislike them as you get to know them throughout the book. They each have troubled and conflicted pasts. Even the other characters are developed enough to give you a sense of either liking them or not. Coupled with that is the setting - a mining town with a troubled history, the ghosts of the past and tragic crimes.

This is why I love reading psychological thrillers - the depth of atmosphere and some truly chilling moments alongside real psychological insight into the characters and what has led them there. But there are also some lighter moments - a psychic dog and it's fabulous owner? Oh, but those scenes sure did lighten the tension. 

This story is filled with a crazy serial killer, lots of family secrets and some pretty shocking twists and turns that will leave you stunned. There are dysfunctional families galore and characters that you just can't get out of your head. I had a hard time getting out of the car while listening to this - I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I really think, if I could have managed it, that I could have listened to this straight through - it was that good!

Audio Thoughts: This was a fantastic book to listen to. The production was great - Amy McFadden did such a great job as Scarlet Dawes, having that sense of entitlement just ooze from her voice. Nick Podehl did just as great a job as Danny Doyle, the level-headed of the two characters. As the book alternated between Danny and Scarlet's points of views, there were times when Nick would have to do Scarlet's voice as well as the other characters and then vice versa, Amy would have to do Danny's voice and other characters. And they did this just fine. This really was a great production and I'm eager to listen to both narrators again.



  1. The cover caught my eye but your review sold me! Sounds good!!!

  2. This sounds good! I haven't listened to an audio that does different perspectives and I've thought it could confusing but it sounds like between the 2 narrators they were able to make it work. I'll have to look for this book in either audio or print form.

  3. I know I will like this book. You have convinced me to listen as I love Nick Podehl.

  4. Thanks for sharing - it sounds like the sort of book I'll love!!!

  5. Kristin, I'm glad you enjoyed this audiobook so much! Terrific review!


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