Audiobook, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Problem Child by Victoria Helen Stone

Problem Child

Our favorite sociopath is back! This time we find Jane working for a top law firm in Minneapolis, an associate to another lawyer who is taking credit for all of her work. It doesn’t take long for Jane to plot how to correct the situation (you immediately begin to fear what’s to come for him) but in the midst of that, she receives a call that her 16-year old niece Kayla is missing. It’s her incarcerated brother’s oldest child and Jane can’t even remember if she’s ever met her. Just as she’s about to move on…not her problem…she’s sees a picture of her and recognizes herself in the child’s eyes.

In the first book, we got to know Jane in her adult life, who was in her orbit starting after she graduated college. Here we gain insight into how she was formed as Jane revisits her life growing up in Oklahoma. Though she attempts to be glib about it, you can hear the heartache and pain underneath. What was most fascinating was to experience her evolution in thinking about herself as she visits her family, learns more about Kayla’s circumstances before her disappearance and draws comparisons between them both. Jane views herself realistically as someone with the inability to feel empathy and care about someone else outside of selfish motives. In the background of it all is her conflicting emotions about boyfriend, Luke, who is looking to deepen their relationship. Her mixed and sometimes raging feelings about that pressure challenges all of her beliefs (and mine!) about who she is.

This is a more complex story than what lays on the surface. Jane’s metamorphosis is subtle and nuanced but if you pay attention, it’s there. Yes, she’s entertaining as usual and her sense of justice speaks to our darker impulses, but she also emerges with fresh perspectives. I can’t sing enough praises about the narrator who takes this character to the best heights. If you have a choice to read or listen, choose the audiobook. It’s a stellar performance and you can hear Jane’s shifts. The ending will make you rewind, leaving you in that place where you say, “Uh, oh. When’s the next book gonna be ready?” It was perfect.

Book Info

  • Release Date: March 24, 2020
  • Series: Jane Doe #2
  • Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella
  • Audio Length: 8 hours, 24 minutes
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio




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(Thanks to Brilliance Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

28 thoughts on “Problem Child by Victoria Helen Stone”

  1. Ooo, excellent review, you give us such insight and make this one sound so compelling that now, I want both books to find out who Jane is. Dang, Jonetta, what’s the first book?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks so good!! I actually came across the cover and immediately stopped, it’s so eye catching, and I’m always in the market for a new thriller to read. Will be adding this one to my tbr. Do I need to start reading the prior book first?

    The Brown Eyed Bookworm

    Liked by 1 person

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