Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin (audio)

Title: The Birthday Girl
Author: Sue Fortin
Narrator: Penelope Rawlins
Published: November 2017, HarperCollins / HarperImpulse
Length: 10 hours 23 minutes /  364 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / Print - ARC E-copy via Netgalley

Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea
Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.

When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.
One of them is hiding a secret.
And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.

Four friends.
A party to die for.
Who will survive?

My thoughts: I have been a fan of Sue Fortin for a while now...knowing that her books are twisty and dark and this latest one is no exception. In fact, I had to re-listen to the last few minutes of the book 2 times to make sure I heard the ending was so out of the box crazy - but in a twisted, good way. I loved it! 

What starts off as a surprise getaway weekend for the girls - and really had me thinking of Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark, Wood - was sort of creepy from the get go - and then only got more so. I think this is where Sue Fortin really shines. She has such a creative mind...where she gets these ideas from, I'd love to know.

The story is mainly told from Carys's point of view and she is quite a complicated character. She has issues! But there are also these little sections interspersed that are voiced by an unknown character and these take on quite an eery tone as the book proceeds and it's not until the very end that you realize just who this person really is. I loved the final reveal and this is the part that I had to re-listen to to make sure I had out all the pieces together correctly. I thought I had figured this unknown person out early on but was totally wrong...and now that I do know the true identity am really considering rereading this book under that lens to see if I can pick up any clues along the way!

This book is such a riveting, gripping psychological thriller. It's one of those books that gets under your skin the further along in the book you get. From the games that Joanne has the girls playing to the secrets that each of the carry to the secluded setting of the cottage itself, you know nothing good is going to come from this birthday getaway weekend. Sue Fortin definitely knows how to build tension and suspense and this book is filled with both, so much so that you find yourself on the edge of your seat as you race to the conclusion. 

If you like the unexpected and intense reads...this book is for you! Sue've done it again and I cannot wait to see what comes next. You are definitely an author that cannot be missed for this reader!

Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Penelope Rawlins and I thought she did a good job with this audio book. I thought she did a good job with the different voices and her pacing and tone were spot on. I enjoyed listening to this audio book. 


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