Hold Your Breath by Wendy Walker

Book Description:

Published: October 1, 2020

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 2

Listening Length 2 hours and 31 minutes

From the best-selling author of All Is Not Forgotten and Don’t Look for Me comes a sharp, compulsive thriller about a young woman who narrowly escapes a violent crime and the psychiatrist helping to recover her memory of the suspect.

Gabby Ashford has just survived an attempt on her life. Detectives have connected her story to two other cases in the area: Professional women drugged at a bar, brought to their homes, and drowned in their bathtubs. Gabby, who miraculously woke up in her own bathtub unharmed, could be the key to finding a serial killer on the loose – but she has no memory of the attack.

Gabby admits herself to a high-end rehabilitation center to recover and to seek the help of a psychiatrist renowned for his work with memory recovery. As Dr. Forrester works with Gabby – interviewing not only her but her overbearing fiancée, her emotionally fragile brother, and the local detective working the case – questions about Gabby’s story, her past, and the ethics of memory recovery emerge.

Dr. Forrester, the central voice of Walker’s breakout debut All Is Not Forgotten, is a fascinating and deeply complicated character, barreling toward the truth of the case at hand while wrestling with the demons of his own past. Shocking and succinct, Hold Your Breath will have you on the edge of your seat from the first minute to the last.

Review –

This is an Audible Original and Audible is the only place it can be found. It was free as part of the Plus catalog .

I’m sorry but the above blurb, to me, is just a lot of hype. I found the novella to be boring, slow, and convoluted and I was thrilled when it was over.

Don’t waste your time.

 

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

 

Book Description:

Published: May 14, 2019

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Stars: 5

First dates can be murder. 

Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control. 

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date. 

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him… 

Review –

“It’s the day after Laura Lochner’s date with a man she met online, and she hasn’t returned to the Connecticut home of her sister, Rosie, her brother-in-law, Joe, and their little boy, Mason, where she’s been staying after a bad breakup. Rosie fears the worst, but Joe advises caution. After all, Laura is an adult and can have some fun, right? But Rosie has a bad feeling. Laura won’t answer her phone, and Rosie only has more questions after poking around online for info on Laura’s date, Jonathan Fields. Rosie eventually calls the police, and events begin to cascade like dominoes. Interspersed with Rosie’s attempt to trace Laura’s movements and get a handle on the guy she went out with is Laura’s first-person account of the actual date as well as enlightening snippets of sessions between Laura and her therapist. Laura’s is the most compelling part—a tormented, often prickly piece of storytelling by a woman carrying the pain of a horrible event that happened in high school and feelings of abandonment by a father who always seemed to love Rosie more. Laura’s desire to be loved is all-consuming, but her conviction that she is not worthy of love is heartbreaking. She sees subterfuge in nearly everything Jonathan says and does. Meanwhile, Rosie must come to terms with some ugly surprises of her own as she digs into their past. As the timelines inevitably converge, Walker’s clever misdirection paves the way to a truly chilling finale, and she has plenty of insightful things to say about the blame placed on women by society and themselves for the idiotic, careless, and sometimes downright evil things men do.” Kirkus Reviews

I found the storytelling to be clever, extremely well thought out, and riveting. By the time the book concluded, I had experienced so many feelings – anticipation, dread, anxiety, happiness, hope, shock, surprise and although my theories were wrong, the Author tidied everything up so nicely that I was not only happy I was wrong but was thrilled by it. Nothing really came out of left field, one does not really need to suspend disbelief while reading.

What you do need to do is find a comfortable reading spot and dive in! 

 

 

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Book Description:

Published: July 12, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.

As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

Review-

“The traumatic memories of a teenager’s rape are medically erased, but lingering thoughts of the attack remain, infecting everyone in her close-knit community.

15-year-old Jenny Kramer thought the party she’d been invited to would be the moment when she’d finally blossom, maybe even get a moment alone with the dashing Doug Hastings. Instead she found herself drunk, in the woods, the victim of a vicious hourlong rape, of which Walker spares the reader no detail in this unnecessarily explicit debut. After she’s rushed to the hospital, Jenny’s parents—blubbering car salesman Tom and tightly put together homemaker Charlotte —decide to give her an experimental drug cocktail to erase her memories of the attack. If the process were successful, there’d be no book, so enter the skin-crawlingly smug narrator, soon introduced as psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester, who begins treating Jenny, along with her whole family, after her nearly successful suicide attempt. It’s difficult to empathize with a character—our narrator no less—who looks at a 15-year-old assault victim and wonders to himself “why [he] could not see the rape in her eyes.” As the well-to-do enclave of Fairview, Connecticut, tries to regroup in the wake of zero viable suspects, Tom Kramer makes it his mission to find Jenny’s rapist, jumping on every slim lead, like the sighting of a blue Honda Civic near the party and  a boy in a blue sweatshirt.  The introduction of one of Alan’s other patients, a soldier who endured the same treatment as Jenny, merely clutters an already busy story whose resolution is anything but satisfying.

A repugnant narrator, even an unreliable one, makes it difficult to focus on the true victim, one who is crushed under the weight of this ridiculous plot.” from Kirkus Reviews

I couldn’t have said it better. As the book went on I began to wonder if indeed the rape of Jenny and her well-being was the focus of the story or if it was the Doctor Forrester and his well-being. To tell you the truth, I still don’t know.

Don’t waste your time.