S. & S. Audio. Sept. 2023. 15:23 hrs. ISBN 9781797161419. $29.99. SUSPENSE
King (Billy Summers) is a household name, and fan-favorite character Holly Gibney is not far behind, having evolved across several of King’s works into an intrepid private investigator. Drawing on Bill Hodges’s training and an infinite supply of “Holly hope,” she takes on the case of a missing woman, one leading to a pair of unassuming octogenarians who are hiding a grotesque secret. Narrator Justine Lupe, who portrayed Holly on screen in Mr. Mercedes, expertly captures the insecurities and intelligence of the lovable leading lady and compelling cast of supporting characters. Fast-paced flashbacks over a decade of disturbing and deviant crimes create an intricate and unnerving atmosphere. Set during the height of the pandemic, the novel is overtly political, a fact reinforced by the endnote read by King. Though the novel can be taken as a stand-alone, references to Holly’s past will be better understood if listeners are familiar with other works in which she features.
VERDICT This audio will appeal to those seeking tense and twisted suspense with a chilling blend of heartwarming heroine and disconcerting depravity. Recommended for fans of Lisa Gardner and James Wade.
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