#thegirlinthecorner #amandaprowse #authornarration #brillianceaudio #theforgottengarden #katemorton #carolinelee #bolindapublishing #outfox #sandrabrown #victorslezak #hachetteaudio #theaccident #nataliebarelli #tericlarklinden #dreamscapemedia
The Dog Days of August were definitely hot and perfect for staying inside with a good audiobook or floating in the pool with a pair of wireless earbuds. I did consider for about 5 seconds doing another theme post and focusing on dogs, but I couldn’t find any books about psychotic dogs! This month’s best listens include the work of extraordinary storyteller Kate Morton, perennial bestselling author Sandra Brown, and two authors whose work is new to me. I was not disappointed in Amanda Prowse who did an excellent job narrating her own work and Natalie Barelli who managed to tempt me into an almost non-stop listen.
I’ll begin with Sandra Brown‘s latest, Outfox. I’ve enjoyed Ms. Brown‘s work for years because I can count on her books to be well-written and entertaining. I frequently take a chance on new authors and new narrators, but it’s good to have those who are tried-and-true. The storyline evolves from Drex Easton’s relentless search for the serial killer who murdered his mother. The mystery does not lie with finding who this killer is or even where he is, but in finding who he is at the moment. A master at disguise, the killer is trying to outfox Drex before Drex can outfox him. There are twists and turns as expected and a love interest that threatens to thwart Drex’s hunt for his prey before Drex can nail him. Victor Slezak is a narrator I’m very familiar with so I feel comfortable saying this is not his best work; nevertheless, the author’s fans won’t be disappointed with the story. 4 Stars to Sandra Brown and better luck next time to Mr. Slezak.
Anything I say about Kate Morton and her work is going to be redundant. She is a master storyteller who is capable of both keeping you on the edge of your seat and breaking your heart. There is always a mystery and there are always characters you will love and characters you will hate. It was hard to decide who the central character was in The Forgotten Garden and I actually concluded that it’s not a who, but a what: a mysterious house with a mysterious garden opens a mysterious past to Cassandra, the beloved granddaughter who inherits it. What she learns will change her life and her concept of who she is. There’s a book within a book written by a mysterious “Authoress” which is a work of art within itself. For those of you who love to read for the sheer love of reading words beautifully strung together, The Forgotten Garden will be a jewel. 5 Stars to the author and to narrator Caroline Lee who performs Kate Morton‘s work so well!
I’ve said before that I’m leery of audiobooks narrated by the authors themselves. While most of the authors read very well, most of them aren’t performers so the work lacks the quality of drama which I prefer. The Girl in the Corner is an exception. Author Amanda Prowse performs like a seasoned actress. This is a coming of age story if one can actually say that about a woman who has been married for 25 years. Rae-Valentine is such an engaging character you will find yourself saying “you go, girl” just about every other page as this butterfly leaves her chrysalis and becomes her own woman. I loved her best friend Dolly and wanted to smack her faithless husband! For my HEA addicts, this one is a solid 4 Stars for the book with a 5 Star performance by the author.
The Accident by Natalie Barelli is one of those books where there are no likable characters, but I loved hating and being disgusted by each and every one of these psychos! Narrator Teri Clark Linden turns in a 5 Star performance of this twisty tale that wouldn’t let me take out my earbuds!!! She makes the chief psycho Eve sound so much like Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter, I couldn’t help smiling the whole time I was hating her. Eve is charming, as psychos often are, and insinuates herself into the life of the female protagonist Katherine. She quickly becomes the friend from hell and does her best to steal everything Katherine holds dear! Just when you think Katherine is a gutless wonder who deserves what’s happening to her, she begins to fight back and that’s when the whole thing gets very bizarre. Wait for it! You won’t see this ending coming, so block out plenty of time to listen. 5 Stars to Natalie Barelli for stealing a whole day from me!