Harriet (Harri) Kealty, a former police detective, is finding herself rudderless after having been fired from the job because of a terrible incident. While visiting a library, she comes upon a used book on the floor with a strange inscription that’s a cry for help. It leads her to David Asha who was believed to have stepped off a cliff, distraught over the recent death of his wife, Beth, but leaving behind his son Elliott. Turns out that Elliott’s guardian is none other than Ben Elmys, the man who was once the love of Harri’s life before he inexplicably walked away. As Harri investigates, she begins to suspect that Beth’s death might not have been natural and Ben may be a murderer. And, when Elliott reveals that he’s got a big secret he can’t tell, Harri believes he may be in danger.
the heart of the story…
The story transitions between timelines and the points of view of Harriet and David Asha. It’s made clear at the beginning of the story that Harri was forced out from the police in disgrace because of an incident that’s often referenced but slowly revealed. We shift back and forth from the past, to the present and a point in the future involving a trial. It’s all pretty murky but always in the background is that secret Elliott is holding. As the book progresses, that secret becomes the cornerstone of the story.
Since a lot of the book involved David philosophizing about his life, the narrator seemed perfect for that aspect of the story. His storytelling fit the crux of the writing, even though there wasn’t much in the way of voice distinctions. By the end of the story, his performance approach made even more sense. He gave absolutely nothing away!
the bottom line…
There’s a point in the book when I became weary of all of the different threads that were unresolved and struggled with the pace. I implore you to hang in there as there’s even a purpose for that slow pace because when it approaches the revelation of that “secret,” it grabs you and never lets go. And that secret? The most explosive twist I never imagined, saw coming, or whatever else I can say to describe being utterly unprepared for what came next. It changed everything and that’s all I can say. It made all that came before feel like rather clever writing, despite the slow road getting there.
- Release Date: October 11, 2022
- Narrator: Justin Avoth
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 48 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)