“Long Bright River” by Liz Moore, narr. by Allyson Ryan

Here’s another book recommended to me through the blog Sci-Fi and Scary that I read and liked. Actually, Sian, who reviewed the audiobook convinced me to try this on audio, which is really saying something because I try to avoid listening to new-to-me books on audio but because she described it as an “unsettling character driven mystery with a lot of suspense,” I decided to dip in and give it a try. Plus, I wanted something to listen to while working, so I didn’t mind tackling this.

Genre:

Mystery

Pubbed:

2020

Goodreads summary:

Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn’t be more different. Then one of them goes missing.

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

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“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

Who knew I’d become a Dan Brown fan? I sure didn’t. Thrillers and mysteries aren’t my go-to genre because I’m often too impatient to wait for the mystery to be solved. Such stories keep me at the edge of my seat, making me so anxious that I have to read the end before I even get there just to appease my curiosity. I didn’t do so with Brown’s books (although I was very tempted to), but I still enjoyed them.

The Da Vinci Code is the second of Brown’s books I’ve read. Two years ago, I read and enjoyed his Angels & Demons and since then have been looking forward to reading the Da Vinci Code. I’ve seen the film adaptation of both books but had forgotten much of the plot before reading Angels & Demons, so I was surprised by the twists and how that story ends. I read Da Vinci Code fairly soon after rewatching the movie, so I remembered more of that plot as I read, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book. I still had a good time with it.

Genre:

Mystery

Series:

Robert Langdon, book 2

Pubbed:

2003

Quick summary:

The Da Vinci Code places Robert Langdon in Paris for academic reasons (I think it was to give a lecture) as well as to meet with a noted art historian named Jacques Saunière, who’s the curator of the Louvre and the leader of a secret society. Unfortunately for Langdon, Saunière is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect.

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Two Audiobooks: “Blue Monday” by Nicci French & “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance

It’s the end of March and I’ve FINALLY started reviewing the books I read this year, smh. The first two books I read in 2020 were both audiobooks, which shows that this year began on a busy note.

It’s a little surprising to me how comfortable I’ve become with audiobooks. Now I don’t mind listening to new-to-me books on audio; however, I can only do so for certain genres. I refrain from listening to new-to-me epic fantasy books on audio since they tend to be very detailed and there’s no way I’d be able to keep up or remember what’s said. If I do listen to such a book on audio, it’s because it’s a reread.

As for these two books, one is a psychological thriller/mystery, which work well for me on audio because I get so hooked on the mystery that my attention hardly strays from the story, and the other is a memoir, which, surprisingly, works well for me on audio too. There are no similarities between these two books other than that they were the first books I read this year and they are both audiobooks. Those are the only reasons why I paired them in this post.


Blue Monday by Nicci French, narr. by Beth Chalmers

Genre:

Psychological Thriller; Mystery

Series:

Frieda Klein, book 1

Pubbed:

2011

Goodreads summary:

The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when a picture of his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is left troubled: one of her patients has been relating dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew.

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“My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Here’s another novel I read because of the hype surrounding it. It was buzzed about so much last year that when I was considering what mystery novel to get my cousin for Christmas (to break her away from James Patterson’s books), I immediately decided to get her this. At the time, all I knew was that the protagonist’s sister is probably a serial killer and that the book is GOOD because that’s what everyone said in their reviews.

They weren’t wrong.

Genre:

Mystery

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

2017

Goodreads summary:

A short, darkly funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends

“Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”

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Two Audiobooks: “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr & “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris

Considering that I was wary of audiobooks in the past, it’s a wonder that I listen to them so frequently now. I recently listened to three of them that were exciting and compelling, but I’ll discuss only two in this post because these two share some similarities.

In the past, I would struggle to focus on the story when I listened to audiobooks, so I instead listened only to audiobooks of stories I’d already read. It seems doing so has trained my ear or my brain to get used to this medium because now I focus on the story and remember what I heard, though my memory of the story isn’t as detailed as it is when I read the physical book or the e-book.

It could also be the genre of the stories I read that affected me so positively. By listening to the two in this post, I realized that the best type of audiobooks to listen to are thrillers. Thrillers often draw the reader in quickly and keep her hooked throughout as it twists and turns toward an explosive end. I was so hooked as I listened to these two that I completed both in a day each. I began with The Alienist because I am familiar with the show and wanted something to listen to at work. But I completed it on the same day I downloaded it, a Friday, so I downloaded Red Dragon to listen to on the following Monday. It was done by the Saturday evening.


The Alienist by Caleb Carr, narr. by Edward Herrmann

Genre:

Historical fiction; Mystery

Series:

Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, book 1

Pubbed:

May 1994

Goodreads summary:

New York, 1896: Lower Manhattan’s underworld is ruled by a new generation of cold-blooded criminals…Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt battles widespread corruption within the department’s ranks…and a shockingly brutal murder sets off an investigation that could change crime-fighting forever.

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“Providence” by Caroline Kepnes

I seem to be saying this a lot lately, but when I read the synopsis for this story, I truly didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I submitted a request for the ARC through Netgalley only because of the author’s name.

I read Kepnes’s first novel, You, about 2 years ago and loved it. You is a thriller about a man stalking a woman that is told in the second-person from the stalker’s perspective. It’s the only story I’ve read at such a length in the second-person narrative and didn’t feel annoyed by it. And the protagonist, Joe, has stuck in my mind ever since. I think Kepnes has a talent for developing strong characters that will stay with the reader long after completing the story. In Providence, the character who has stuck with me is Eggs.

Genre:

Mystery; paranormal

Pubbed:

June 19, 2018

Goodreads summary:

A propulsive new thriller about the obsessive nature of love when an intensifying relationship between best friends is disrupted by a kidnapping.

Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he’s suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

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“Angels & Demons” by Dan Brown

Dan Brown dropped a book last year, Origins, and apparently it’s great because I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews about it. It piqued my interest. Once again, I found myself toying with the idea to read a Dan Brown, an author who’s said to be both a great and horrible writer, depending on who you speak to.

Luckily for me, Angels & Demons was available at the library, so I borrowed it and started to read. After a few pages in, I realized I would be one of the many to sing Dan Brown praises for his creation. I was immediately hooked and had to purchase my own copy of the book soon after starting the story.

Quick summary:

Angels & Demons is a thriller/mystery novel about a Harvard symbologist named Robert Langdon who is called in to help solve a murder that occurred on the campus of CERN, a Swiss research facility, since the murderer branded its victim with the mark of the Illuminati, an ancient brotherhood.

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