REVIEW: NOT A SOUND, BY HEATHER GUDENKAUF

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters—her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again. 

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?


My Thoughts: As we begin Not a Sound, we are swept back to the moments before Amelia’s life changed drastically. It was an ordinary night serving as a nurse in the ER, tending to injured and battered women, collecting evidence, and offering comfort.

As she walks the latest patient to her car, another car comes screeching through the parking lot and slams into Amelia and her patient.

Two years later, we awake to another scenario. Amelia with her kayak and her dog Stitch. She runs and kayaks along the river near her home, a simple A-frame cabin. Everything she had before is gone. Her hearing, her husband, and her home. After the tragedy, she had turned to drinking, and her husband tossed her out.

Today she has a job interview at the cancer unit. Not as a nurse, but as a clerk scanning files. It is a start.

But finding a body in the river that day changes everything again. Not just a body, but a friend, another nurse who also worked with sexual assault victims. Amelia is immediately caught up in the case, and before she knows it, she is in the midst of another catastrophe.

Her best friend Jake is a cop, and he is wonderfully supportive, but even he is getting tired of the clues she brings to him. She thinks she has found another suspect for him, but then someone else rings the alarm bells. By the time she is really on the right track, she is in serious danger.

Why is Amelia’s husband David acting nice all of a sudden? Who has planted a bottle of wine on her counter at home? How did a bottle get into her drawer at work?

Finding out who is trying to sabotage her might just bring her face to face with a killer. A wonderfully captivating novel that kept me glued to the pages. 5 stars.


***I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.
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REVIEW: SUMMER SECRETS, BY JANE GREEN

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Our story begins in London, in 2014, with our MC Cat pondering her life: the choices she has made, the numerous mistakes, and the events that have led to her newfound serenity. She is a journalist; she is divorced, with a thirteen year old daughter, Annie; and her ex-husband Jason was the love of her life. But somehow she has made peace with what she has lost.

Flashbacks and fast forwards take us through Cat’s journey, and we soon learn about her addiction to alcohol, her numerous relapses, and how she finally bottomed out.

Nantucket is featured prominently in Summer Secrets, and as we connect with Cat’s mother Audrey’s story, we discover the very first big secret that defines their lives and informs what will come after.

Will Cat’s discovery of her mother’s secret change her life? Or will it lend itself to further disaster when she, too, visits Nantucket in 1998. What happens to finally alter Cat’s trajectory in life, and how will everything settle down for her? What will happen between Cat and her new-found half-sister Julia that will cause a rift that will last for years?

I loved settling into this story and feeling a connection to Cat. The descriptions of her drinking experiences echo some of mine, even though my journey did not lead to addiction. But hard partying was a common theme in the sixties and seventies, when I was young. I also loved the settings of London and Nantucket, even though I have never visited either place, except in books and movies. The author made me feel as if I were there.

As the story fast forwards to 2014 again, we see Cat returning to Nantucket to make amends…and when she believes that the past is truly behind her, she is stunned by an unexpected turn of events. How can she go on now, and what will ultimately bring about a resolution for her?

I loved this book and must give it five stars. Fans of Jane Green should enjoy this one.