Audiobook Review: The Couple At No. 9 by Claire Douglas

“It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found…”

Released earlier this year, The Couple At No. 9 by Claire Douglas follows pregnant Saffron Cutler who moves into 9 Skelton Place with her boyfriend Tom. But when they set about renovating their new home, the last thing they expected was for the builders to uncover a body – let alone two. Forensics indicate the bodies were buried at least thirty years ago, meaning that the police need to speak to the cottage’s former owner – Saffy’s grandmother, Rose. But Rose is in a care home and has Alzheimer’s, so her memories are increasingly confused. She can’t help the police, but it is clear she remembers something. As her fragmented memories resurface and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched. What happened thirty years ago? Why did no one miss the victims? And what part did her grandmother play?

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Audiobook Review: The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

“I wished I lived in a world where I didn’t know violence intimately, but I’d seen more than my fair share, given the work I did.”

Published in 2019, The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry follows happily married Christopher and Hannah who have picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature. As Janie’s behaviour threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

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Audiobook Review: Falling by TJ Newman

“Enjoy the flight.”

Falling by TJ Newman is set on board a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-four passengers on board, but what they don’t know is that the pilot’s family was kidnapped thirty minutes before the flight. For his family to live, everyone on the plane must die. The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

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Audiobook Review: Better Off Dead (Jack Reacher #26) by Lee Child and Andrew Child

“If Reacher is coming after you, you might be better off dead.”

The 26th book in Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher series and co-written by Andrew Child, Better Off Dead sees Reacher facing a new problem on a deserted road in Arizona, where a car has crashed into the only tree for miles around. Minutes later, Reacher is heading into town. To introduce himself to the shadowy crew who made it happen. Their boss has a terrifying reputation, and the stakes are high. Just to get in and meet him, Reacher is going to have to achieve the impossible.

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Audiobook Review: Talking With Psychopaths and Savages: Beyond Evil by Christopher Berry-Dee

Published in 2019, Talking With Psychopaths and Savages: Beyond Evil by Christopher Berry-Dee delves even deeper into the savage world of psychopaths and their hideous crimes. This time, however, he combines sections on killers whom he has known, interviewed or corresponded with, with studies of psychopathic serial killers from the past, including Peter Kürten, the ‘Düsseldorf Monster’, John Christie, responsible for the killings at 10 Rillington Place; and Neville Heath, a ladykiller in every sense of the word.

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Audiobook Review: The Magpies by Mark Edwards

“In cities, after all, you are always within screaming distance of a psychopath.”

Published in 2013, The Magpies by Mark Edwards follows optimistic Jamie and Kirsty as they move into their first home together. The future, in which they plan to get married and start a family, is bright. The other residents of their building seem friendly too, including the Newtons, a married couple who welcome them to the building with open arms. But when strange things start to happen, Jamie and Kirsty find themselves targeted by a campaign of terror. As they are driven to the edge of despair, Jamie vows to fight back, but he has no idea what he is really up against…

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Audiobook Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

“If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?”

Set to be published on 14th September, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty follows the Delaney family who love one another dearly — it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other.

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The four Delaney children — Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke — were tennis stars in their younger years. But as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. That’s okay, as they are all now successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon. Their parents, Stan and Joy, have just sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are they so miserable?

One night, a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. But when Joy goes missing and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure. But as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.

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Audiobook Review: A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

“What is wrong with you?”

The 2021 book by Paula Hawkins, A Slow Fire Burning follows three women. Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous. Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace? Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.

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Audiobook Review: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

“If you are honest, people may deceive you. Be honest anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfishness. Be kind anyway. All the good you do today will be forgotten by others tomorrow. Do good anyway.”

The 2018 book from Fredrik Backman, Beartown is set in a small Swedish town cut-off from everywhere else that experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart. And each year, more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest. Then, the town is offered a bright new future. But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. Who will speak up?

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Audiobook Review: Evidence Of The Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Often, I feel overwhelmed by this sinking feeling in my heart that I will never be enough.”

Evidence Of The Affair is a short story by Taylor Jenkins Reid that follows the correspondence between Carrie Allsop and David Mayer which reveals, piece by piece, the painful details of a devastating affair between their spouses. With each commiserating scratch of the pen, they confess their fears and bare their souls. They share the bewilderment over how things went so wrong and come to wonder where to go from here.

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Audiobook Review: The Hollows by Mark Edwards

Published in July 2021, The Hollows by Mark Edwards follows journalist Tom who, with his marriage over and his career in freefall, decides to reconnect with his fourteen-year-old daughter, Frankie. Desperate to spend precious time together now that they live an ocean apart, he brings her to Hollow Falls, a cabin resort deep in the woods of Maine.

From the outset, there’s something a little eerie about the place — strange whispers in the trees, windchimes echoing through the forest. But Hollow Falls has a gruesome history: twenty years ago this week, a double slaying shut down the resort. The crime was never solved, and now the woods are overrun with murder-obsessed tourists looking to mark the grim anniversary.

It’s clear that there’s something deeply disturbing going on at Hollow Falls. And as Tom’s dream trip turns into a nightmare, he and Frankie are faced with a choice: uncover the truth, or get out while they still can.

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Audiobook Review: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

Published in 2018, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara follows the true-crime journalist’s efforts to find the violent psychopath she called the Golden State Killer. Committing at least 13 murders, 50 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California between 1973 and 1986, the GSK, also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker, terrorised California for over a decade and eluding capture by some of the best detectives in the area. Determined to uncover the truth, Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

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Audiobook Review: The Devil And The Dark Water by Stuart Turton

“That mark on the sail is how it starts. It’s meant to scare us, because scared people will do anything to stop being scared and they’ll do it to almost anybody else.”

Published in 2020, The Devil And The Dark Water by Stuart Turton is set in 1634 and follows the world’s greatest detective, Samuel Pipps, who is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered. And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

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