Author: Lisa Jewell
Narrator: Colleen Prendergast
Published: March 2017, Dreamscape Media / June 2016 Atria Books
Length: 9 hours / ARC E-copy 320 pages
Source: Personal copy via Audible / Netgalley
Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really?
On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?
Dark secrets, a devastating mystery, and the games both children and adults play all swirl together in this gripping novel, packed with utterly believable characters and page-turning suspense.
My thoughts: I really enjoy Lisa Jewell's books - it's so easy to find yourself totally immersed in her stories, completely captivated by the characters and the settings. This one was no exception and the mystery was one that had me hooked right from the beginning!
I really liked the way this story was told. It begins with the ending and then goes back in time to show the events that lead up to this incident...how clever and what a unique way to hook readers! I found myself so much more engaged throughout the book because I was always thinking about that incident...it was never far from my mind as each new piece of the puzzle, so to speak, was introduced.
This book is filled with some strange, unique characters, not all likeable! But, I think that's what makes it all that much more interesting. They each seem to have their own secrets and this is what drives them. And their oddness is what keeps you reading. This is definitely more of a character-driven book than a plot-driven book, especially as the secrets and lies start to come out.
Another big part of this book is the setting. The communal garden is very unique - a large park where basically the kids are free to roam day and night and everyone is in every else's business. This is all charming and friendly at first, but nothing lasts forever!
Lisa Jewell has such a way with words. She can take an ordinary situation and seamlessly turn it into something sinister without you even realizing it. The suspense builds slowly in this book, so much so that you don't even realize you are holding your breath until you finally let it out! I really enjoy her books and know that I am going to have a great reading experience when I pick up one of her books...she is definitely an author I can count on!!!
Audio thoughts: This was this first time I've listened to Colleen Prendergast narrate a book and I thought she did a great job with this audio production. There were quite a few voices to keep track of, but she was able to give each one their own unique voice and personality, even the younger ones. I had no problem distinguishing who was who and found this to be a great listening experience.