When you're all that stands between the murderous past and the fate of those you love, how far would you go to save them?
When Audrey Kepler inherits an abandoned homestead in rural Queensland, she jumps at the chance to escape her loveless existence in the city and make a fresh start. In a dusty back room of the old house, she discovers the crumbling photo of a handsome World War II medic - Samuel Riordan, the homestead's former occupant - and soon finds herself becoming obsessed with him. But as Audrey digs deeper into Samuel's story, she discovers he was accused of bashing to death a young woman on his return from the war in 1946. When she learns about other unexplained deaths in recent years - one of them a young woman with injuries echoing those of the first victim - she begins to suspect that the killer is still very much alive. And now Audrey, thanks to her need to uncover the past, has provided him with good reason to want to kill again.
©2013 Anna Romer (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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"Five Stars With a Caution"
My reaction after the first hour of this book: Narrator's voice was irritating and insipid. I was drifting off, probably because of boredom or at least a very slow plot. Wondered if I should return the book for a credit refund.
My reaction after finishing this book: Wow! What a story!! Didn't want it to end. I'm on to Anna Romer's next book immediately and I'm delighted that Eloise Oxer is the narrator.
My caution: Don't give up until you've given this book a chance.
Now to the review. This is a complex story covering 3 generations' stories. The consistent thread is a string of murders, an enchanting family home and property, and the enduring relationships of mothers and daughters. Romer's descriptive talents are almost poetic, bringing the outdoors to life in a way that lets you see, hear and smell what she is describing. She has created intriguing and very human characters that I honestly felt I knew after a few hrs. Oxer is the exactly right narrator for this tale. Close to the end when very pivotal (and dangerous) events were occurring, Oxer's pace picked up with so much tension communicated that I actually could feel my heart racing.
This book wants the listener to have faith that all will become clear, which is to say that not all explanations are immediately forthcoming. I ended up liking that approach very much, feeling an even stronger connection to the story as the explanations were revealed. I recommend this book without reservation -- and just the one caution.
"I absolutely adored this book! One of my faves!!"
I just love, love, love stories about old houses, family secrets, mysteries surrounding diaries, and connections between the past and the present. This novel has it all! I almost listened to it straight thru, but stopped myself about 5 hours from the end and began listening to it in half-hour chunks here and there just to make it last longer. This was seriously one of those books that I didn't want to end. If you love Kate Morton or Kimberley Freeman, you absolutely have to listen to Anna Romer. I loved this even more than Lyrebird Hill (and I loved Lyrebird Hill). Eloise Oxer is the perfect narrator, too. One of the things I love most is the author's detail about nature and the animals -- but it's not so much that it distracts or annoys. Plus, her character descriptions and multiple "mini-twists" and mysteries keep the storyline flowing so well. I can't praise this book enough. I very much look forward to the next book by Anna Romer (and I hope it involves a beautiful old house with rambling gardens, secret rooms and mysterious family secrets!).
"Spectacular imagery, thrilling tale"
I stumbled upon the is book, and I was captivated from start to finish. I can't wait to read more from this author/reader team!! Highly recommended.
"Great story and setting"
A intriguing mystery and well woven story. My only complaint is the beginning drags a bit, the story could have been about 20-30 percent shorter. Narration is good.
"Love, Love, Love this book!"
Great story, Wonderful performance!
Loved the detail. Description of the scenery and landscape made you feel like you were there. The plot twists kept you thinking.
"Needs an editor. Badly"
Too much description of every little thing. Way too much. I just wanted her to get on with it. I honestly don't understand the glowing reviews. I don't think I'll be able to finish it and that rarely happens.
No. I don't have that much time to waste.
Wooden characters - no impact.
Deep down I think there may have been an interesting story, but every conversation and every description of every plant, bush, tree, book etc was just mind numbing.
"Could Not Finish"
I tried so hard to just get through the whole thing. I finally ended up returning it with 3ish hours to go. I would like to note that this was my first Anna Romer, and I have never read any Kate Morton, who I've heard the author compared to. I'm just not a fan of this style, I suppose. The story seemed to focus more on foliage than anything. I do not care THAT much about the description of every plant the characters encounter. The author exaggerates every detail of, not only plants, but every tiny thing. Was she paid by the word? I hate not finishing a book, but I couldn't force myself to endure any more of it.
"I hated this book - I sure am in the minority"
I thought the writing was terrible. Too many emerald eyes and much too much emphasis on the plants and birds. The writing was full of mindless cliches.
Spider's Nest Book
The narrator was ok.
When the book was coming to an end, there was moonlight - then there was lightning - then there was rain. More moonlight. Never any explanation of how the characters could see what they were doing when the rain was falling and the lightning subsided. They were in the middle of a dense woods. No way the events could have unfolded in total darkness.
"Started out slow..."
...but picked up and kept on rolling. Good story and nice reading of it. Going to check out more books from this author.
This was an interesting story line. I kinda saw where this was going half way through, although this did not lessen my interest in the story. Worth a credit for sure. I like the narration and found her voice pleasant and the different characters distinguishable from one another. I will be looking for more of this authors work.
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