Cassie Larkin is a veterinarian on her way home after a long day at the clinic. It’s foul weather with gray skies and drizzle but clear enough for her to see a man and a woman fighting on the roadside. She calls 911 but then does something the operator begged her not to do: leaves her car and confronts the knife-wielding man before he delivers the killing strike to his female victim. When he hears the approaching sirens, he takes off but not before uttering some strange statements to Cassie and then absconds with her car, keys and purse. The next night is Halloween and Cassie’s husband Sam takes their 6-year old daughter Audrey out for treats. When they don’t return, she goes out searching for them and finds her daughter with strangers and no sign of her husband. From this point forward, Cassie’s life and her family’s are changed forever.
From the moment Cassie got out of that car, nothing in this story was predictable, including the decisions she makes along the way. She’s thrown curves at every juncture and most of the time she moves in expected directions and at others she makes choices that I found curious. Cassie’s entire life is turned upside down, including her marriage, relationship with her children and her job. She’s suddenly in a situation where she’s forced to be an amateur detective and protect herself and family. It’s difficult to know who to trust and to foresee what’s around the next corner. As a reader, I was as off balance as Cassie as I tried to navigate the whiplash turns.
It’s tough to believe that this is a debut novel but after researching the author, it’s clear that her early writing ventures benefited her culminating in this story. While I had some eye-rolling moments requiring some serious suspension of beliefs, for the most part this book was well plotted and characterized. The pace was really fast and I whipped through the story. The narrator seem to really get Cassie as a character, almost as if she was truly feeling what she was experiencing emotionally throughout. I liked that she didn’t try to come up with false sounding male voices, just a little lower pitch or dialect. It was a solid, well executed performance. And, I’ll definitely be reading whatever the author chooses to write next.
- Release Date: February 18, 2020
- Narrator: Megan Tusing
- Audio Length: 9 hours, 52 minutes
- Publisher: HarperAudio
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(Thank you to HarperAudio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)