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After returning home from her father's funeral to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman, Mackenzie Clair is looking for a fresh start. She thinks she'll find it in her favorite childhood vacation spot, but returning to Donn's Hill awakens more than nostalgia. Mac regains a lost psychic ability to talk to the dead, and the poltergeist haunting her apartment is desperate to make her use that gift to find his killer.
Aided by her new roommate - a spirited Tortoiseshell cat named Striker, and the ghost-hunting crew of the nationally televised show Soul Searchers, Mac struggles to learn how to use her powers. But she'd better get a handle on them fast, because someone in town is hiding a deadly secret. If Mac can't somehow divine the truth, Donn's Hill will never be the same.
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By Marcus Damanda on 05-08-17
Haunting Story, Award-Worthy Performance
Mackenzi Clair is leaving home--or is she finally returning there? This is the unstated question that colors the rich beginning of a book that invites the reader to come home to Donn's Hill as well. Pull up a chair, put on some Chai tea, and grab a plate of lemon squares. But don't get TOO comfortable. This home has a history, and you're about to get a full serving of it.
Enter Mac's world--at twenty-seven years old, she's lost both of her parents and finally ditched that duplicitous boyfriend. She's completely adrift, and finds her focus by returning to the vacation home she remembers so fondly from childhood. Listeners get a complete tour of the place, and we come to love the people in it: the ghost hunting apartment neighbor Kit, Gabrielle the medium, Yuri the show runner, even the unaccountably and perpetually cantankerous deputy-mayor who's got it in for Mac from the start, for no reason at all. Or ... is there a reason after all?
Because there's a reason for EVERYTHING at Donn's Hill, and a complete story-unto-itself for every character. The listener may be lulled into a false sense of comfortably wandering security early in this book, but really, you're kind of being set up, here. Author Caryn Larrinaga knows exactly what she's doing from the start, and you don't want to miss any of the details.
Ghosts, hauntings, poltergeists, and murder--take THAT with your lemon squares, Listener. This book has a real tendency to lure you in and then unexpectedly scare the stuffing out of you, so without spoilers, fair warning.
But half of the dark and comfortably-scented magic of this whole experience is the performance of the young but veteran voice actor Jessica McEvoy. In this particular medium (see what I did there?), there's absolutely no one better. She has an uncanny knack for reading the story exactly as you might hear it in your head, whether the part in question being read is a narrator of her own generation and gender, a middle-aged Russian, a Spanish gypsy psychic, or a ... strangely intuitive cat. Yes. Cat. She plays a cat. And before you tune out, listen to me: she pulls it off. Seriously.
More importantly, Jessica McEvoy has a natural empathy with the full emotional range of the human condition, and she brings reality to situations that are beyond the scope of most people's experiences. Couple that with an instant relatability to the simple pleasures, disappointments, self-doubts and fears that we all feel and express--she draws you in with the authenticity of her voice and delivery. It's really amazing, every time. She's done it before, but it surprises me every time.
Donn's Hill is so, so worth the time and investment. To reveal any more here would be criminal. But do yourself a favor: check it out. Enjoy the experience. It'll be one you don't soon forget.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Derek on 06-08-17
A fun mystery indeed
Caryn Larrinaga's newest book, Donn's Hill, was a blast to read/listen to and I quite enjoyed Jessica McEvoy's vocal talent as always. She brings the story to life and makes Mackenzie's character her own and the mix of great writing and wonderful character voices makes this audiobook a must-have for any fan.
A simple but well written novel for the entire family, this is a must-have for any fan of mystery on the more casual side.
Check out the Sample and see for yourself if this wonderful tale is worth your time. For me, it was.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Mike on 16-08-17
Miss McEvoy is an outstanding voice talent with a well written story. drew me in
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Steven Harrington on 05-02-19
Caryn this is the best
This is the kind of book you should write as a detective paranormal series. I loved it and the narrator.
By Kindle Customer on 15-09-18
Just couldn’t get into the book.It was pretty bland for a paranormal story.You could’ve summed it all up in less time.A lot of unnecessary filler.Good snooze book.
By Jen.Sky on 24-03-18
This story weaves a spell and takes you for a ride. The writer makes you feel for her characters. It is a lite mystery with enough surprises to keep you reading. The performer is absolutely fantastic. Jessica M is a steller performer, though quite young. Lots of promise in her future. Check Jessica and more performances along with great stories on no sleep podcast. This book would be greatly suited for a fun beach read or somethng when you want to be entertained /o keeping track of a million othe things/w
By Nicole on 22-03-18
Excellent Characters, Wonderful Story - Must Read!
Would you listen to Donn's Hill again? Why?
I would absolutely listen to this book again, and I plan to once I've made it through some of the other titles in my library. I am a HUGE fan of Jessica McEvoy's narration style, but I also just love the flow of this story. It's the kind of book that, even if you know where it's headed, you still want to pick it up and read it (or listen, in this case) over and over.
What did you like best about this story?
Honesty time. I love the cat. Striker totally makes the story for me. She adds something that's difficult for me to describe...she's like that one little pinch of spice you add to a dish that takes it from great to completely delicious.
Aside from my love for Striker, I also really enjoy how connected to every single character I felt throughout the story. The author does a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters without being overly wordy and makes you wish you could be a part of Donn's Hill too. I was sure other reviewers were exaggerating when they brought this up, but they were not! It's part of the reason I know I could read or listen to this story many times over.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
There were a few moments that got me in the feels, but I don't want to say anything to spoil the story. I will say that I like how there are no "perfect" characters. The good ones make mistakes and the bad ones have redeeming qualities, which makes them feel more real to me.
You'll definitely develop strong feelings one way or another for most of the people in the book.
Any additional comments?
Overall, the book is a great and engaging ride from beginning to end. It is absolutely worth buying simply because you'll want to listen to it again and again. The combination of Caryn Larrinaga's fantastic writing and Jessica McEvoy's amazing narration gave me a serious "book hangover" when it ended. I cannot wait for there to be more books about Mackenzie and Striker!
By Daniels Lyon on 07-02-18
A good opening to a series.
While I'm normally bored to death with most supernatural or ghost heavy stories this was interesting enough that it kept my attention. The pacing good. Quick but not overwhelming. Interesting premise and setting. characters that are relatable. And the revels are quite well placed. Certainly time well spent.
By Johnny Stitches on 18-01-18
A Creepy Mystery with an Amazing Voice Narrating
What did you love best about Donn's Hill?
The world building for the town and cat being voiced instead of just described.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Donn's Hill?
The dead guy appearing in a certain group session. -Don't wanna spoil it-
What does Jessica McEvoy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Everything! Her diverse voice makes the story feel so real!
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Jessica made me feel the pain of Mackenzie's losses on multiple occasions it was very memorable.
Any additional comments?
Buy it! It's worth it! I hope Caryn writes a sequel and Jessica voices it!
By Debbie W on 29-10-17
Fun little mystery
This is a fun little mystery that will keep your attention all throughout. And of course, the narration by Jessica McEvoy is top notch as always. I'll listen to anything she narrates.