A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief, and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.
Slowly Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating....
©2014 Clare Mackintosh (P)2015 Isis Audiobooks
"A hugely assured and gripping debut and a twist that made me green with envy." (Mark Billingham)
"Absolutely brilliant - I ripped through it." (Jenny Colgan)
"A superb debut, Clare Mackintosh writes eloquently about grief, guilt and fear and delivers some shocking twists." (Cath Staincliffe)
"A terrific, compelling read with an astonishing twist that floored me. I loved it and did not want it to end." (Peter James)
loved it. Couldn't wait to reach the end, I wanted so much for love and justice to win out!
Exciting but predictable,
I thought they both did a tremendous job of reading, but their inconsistent Welsh accents and pronunciation were a bit hit and miss, sorry.
The reunion with her sister
One of the best.
Yes, I found it difficult to put it down.
I am very much looking forward to more from this author. This book was highly compelling. Intelligently written, with great characters and rich context that gave me a real sense of being there with Jenna. Despite being brutal in its content, it was penned with a light touch. Highly recommended.
WOW! One of the best psychological thrillers I have listened to in ages. I can't actually believe this is a debut novel. The twists and surprises were jaw dropping. My emotions were all over the place with this one. I am not even going to go into any description of what the story is about for fear of spoiling it. Very cleverly written, the characters were all really excellent.
David Thorpe and Julie Barrie were both fantastic. Julie Barrie had me close to tears several times, while David Thorpe's sinister, evil voice felt truly threatening.
Loved it! I would give it more than 5 stars if I could.
"Slow start but good twists"
I was struggling with the first part of this book, it seemed quite slow and a bit pointless, then I found out why and I settled in and enjoyed it. So my advice is stick with the scene setting and hold on for the surprises!
"A gripping debut"
I have recommended this book to everyone I know. It is an amazing debut that I listened to at every available moment. My previous book of this year was 'Girl on the Train' but this was even better. I loved the Bristol/Wales settings and really felt that I was there in the middle of the story. The characterisation was excellent and believable and the twists were completely unexpected.
One of the twists which I really did not see coming.
Both readers were excellent. I love listening to audiobooks with multiple narrators.
There were many shocking moments but they were done with empathy and not to shock gratuitously. I felt completely caught up in Jenna's story.
"Didn't capture me"
I didn't enjoy this book. I found parts tedious, particularly the first half of the book.
I didn't like the characters. I wasn't interested in the police characters or storyline.
The main story didn't grip me and found it a struggle to complete the book.
I did not like the male narrator. His voice was harsh and a bit forced. His character voices grated and over acted.
Obviously many loved this book. It just wasn't for me.
"Kept me gripped the whole way through!"
Just my cup of tea! Such a gripping story with unpredictable twists and turns!! Right to the very end!
Come on Clare Mackintosh we need your next book asap!!
"Stilted reader but enjoyable story"
Unfortunately I found the male narrator rather stilted in his reading style, which spoiled this side of the story for me. His flat and final "he said"s reminded me of a child reading from a script at a school performance. Overall, despite the dark subject matter, this book felt more like "chick lit" with its predictable ending, but was nonetheless an enjoyable listen.
"Don't Let this one Go!"
Clare Mackintosh - who has a career as a police inspector behind her - has got the balance between everyday life and increasing terror just right in this unswitchoffable story. Jenna has fled to rural Wales from Bristol after she abandoned her car which killed a child. Or did she? The parallel narratives - read convincingly by David Thorpe and Julie Barrie - are Jenna's, that of her previous lover who first met her at art school, and that of the senior police officer running the investigation into the hit-and-run who is struggling not only with the pressures of the case but also with his marriage and troubled young son.
Even though the denouement includes a scene which lapses into horror movie, the overall story is cleverly structured between these narrative voices which build up real complex characters and a plausible story solidly rooted in reality. The reality - which is essential for the frightening development of the sinister elements to grip the listener - is helped by the portrayal of the contrasting Welsh community and the balm of the sea and the cliffs which promise Jenna a new life.
As Jenna's previous life is built up little by little, the suspense is ratcheted up, cleverly allowing you to think you've cracked it. But every time you're fooled, and there's another twist in the plot like a scorpion's tail. Hooked from first to last, I couldn't stop listening.
This is Clare Mackintosh's first novel. I'll certainly look out for the next.
"A Shocking Story"
Although the ending to this book is perhaps a little too neat, for three-quarters of the book the story is really fresh and compelling. Also, I am not normally surprised by so-called twists, as they are often well telegraphed beforehand, but I was completely surprised by a twist in this story. It would give too much away to describe why this book is shocking as well as surprising - suffice it to say that the story takes a brave, hard, unflinching look at Jenna's, the main female character's, predicament. The story is well narrated, especially by Julie Barrie, in her portrayal of Jenna, and by David Thorpe in his portrayal of Jenna's 'Nemesis'.
"An impressive first novel"
I believe that this is the author's debut novel which makes this well-crafted narrative all the more impressive. It opens with the death of Jacob, a 5 year old, knocked down by a hit and run driver. The accident witnessed by his horrified mother. The main female character, Jenna, then disappears to a remote coastal village in Wales traumatised by the accident. Thereafter the story alternates between Jenna’s agonised recollections of the sight and sounds of the boy being hit by the car and the efforts of detective inspector, Ray, and his DC, Kate, as they try to trace the driver of the car. The two sets of characters are slowly fleshed out over 20 or so chapters with no progress over identifying the culprit. We learn of marital friction between Ray and his wife, the frustrations of police work; and Jenna’s tentative steps to make a new life for herself in Wales, but still haunted by the accident.
It would be a spoiler to give any more details, but around chapter 24, a year after the accident, the story is transformed as Jenna’s backstory starts to be revealed, including the existence of an estranged husband. From then on I was glued to my headphones eager to hear the next twist and turn of the story that rapidly gains momentum.
Don’t be put off by the seemingly slow start to the book. These early chapter get one involved with the characters and when the story took off it meant that I was really involved with their lives and cared what happened to them.
Having two narrators, a male and female, works well as both are able to modulate their voices to make the various characters sound life different people.
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