Donn's Hill

Narrated by: Jessica McEvoy
Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Grief can change us... rewire our brains and shift the way we look at the world..."

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.

©2017 Caryn Larrinaga (P)2017 Immortal Works

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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outstanding audiobook

Miss McEvoy is an outstanding voice talent with a well written story. drew me in

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Story Good, Different Narrator

I tried many times to listen to the story, but even though the story seemed good the narration was just to much to off.

The narration seemed more for children and not for adults listening to a horror story or at the very least a ghost story. Don't get me wrong, she has a good voice, but for children books maybe. I just couldn't handle the added cat purr and singing, but the laughing put me over the line. It sounded very, Snow White for this genre. She didn't make mistakes that I caught, at least within the 1st 4 chapters.

If I could have made it around the narration I could have made it to the end, but it just was extremely sickening sweet sounding in the reading.

I am sorry, I did try.
I could recommend the book, yes!!
I would not recommend the narrator.

This book was given to me for free at my request & my honest review was given voluntaily.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good start to the series.

Mackenzie Clair has had a rough time of it. Her father just passed away and after coming home from the funeral she finds her boyfriend in bed with another woman. She decides its time for a change, and new start. She gets a bit more then she expects. She heads back to Donn's Hill. A place she loved going on vacation as a child. She starts to find out a few things about her mother who passed several years ago. She also is found by a kitten who decides Mackenzie is her person. She also meets a group of Ghost Hunters known as the The Soul Searchers. Oh yea and Mackenzie is psychic, she just doesn't know it yet.

This book is a mix of murder mystery and urban fantasy. The spook factor is there from the first few pages. And the body list builds quickly. Caryn Larrinaga does a really great job with this story. Jessica McEvoy's narration is pretty good. At time her over pronunciation got a but rough, but other then that I really enjoyed the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So loved!

Seriously! How on Earth did Caryn Larrinaga come up with such a magical story?!? I definitely can’t get enough!

Caryn did an amazing job making Donn’s Hill a must read for all that love paranormal. The characters are so realistic and seriously I can’t say that they aren’t relatable because they definitely are. Each scene had so much detail. I could envision the entire town. Let me not forget to mention how I was totally stumped until the end of this book on the mystery aspect. Seriously, Caryn knows how to end a book with a bang.

The narration was superb. Jessica McEvoy made this production flow so well. She helped make these characters come across as well as she does. I absolutely loved listening to her narrate this tale. I definitely need to listen to more books narrated by her.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with the Donn’s Hill audio production. This story captivated me. Honestly, I ran dish water and never finished the dishes. Oops! It was totally worth it. This is one story I am glad that I didn’t pass up. I cannot wait to dive right in to book 2. I’m already missing the mysterious town!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Caryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fun paranormal urban fantasy!

Ghost hunters, a cat familiar, the unruly dead, seances, and the ability to see spirits – Mac surely has her hands full! This was a great listen. I got attached to Mac right away. She’s restarting her life after a failed marriage and the death of her father a year ago. So she ends up going to Donn’s Hill, a small town that she and her mom visited often when she was a kid.

Right away, spooky stuff starts happening. As Mac meets a variety of characters, her newly rediscovered psychic abilities begin to blossom. But as they grow in strength, the scarier things get. Bodies start hitting the floor.

I love the mix of murder mystery and urban fantasy. The ghost hunters group, called Soul Searchers, is a nice touch too. Mac meets Kit because they live in the same apartment house and Kit’s dad founded the small team Soul Searchers. The entire town is gearing up for their annual festival which is a celebration of spirits and ghosts. The entire place is starting to look a little spooky.

As Mac fumbles through using her skills and tries to outwit a killer, she also learns more about her parents. Turns out quite a few people in Donn’s Hill remember Mac’s mom (Evelyn) and a few knew her dad as well. There’s a few touching moments as Mac reconnects with her family’s past.

Overall, the story had great pacing with the action being mixed in with humor, touching moments, eerie happenings, and reflection. Looking forward to Book 2! 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Jessica McEvoy was spot on for Mac. She sounded fully engaged in the story. McEvoy has unique voices for all the characters. Her Russian accent is decent however her Spanish accent needs a little work. Sometimes her male character voices needed a little masculinity and sometimes her female character voices needed a little femininity (I’m thinking of the lady sheriff in particular). The pacing was good and there were no technical issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Caryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Original and compelling

Not many towns can boast an annual paranormal festival, but Donn's Hill is a town like no other. Everyone has an aura, a vibe or a fascination with the paranormal. There's even a dedicated team of ghost hunters for a TV show. Not that Mac knew this when she moved there, though she did remember her mom taking her to the festival when she was a child. It's probably her only memory of her mom whose maternal instinct was somewhat lacking. Raised by her father, recently passed, and finding her boyfriend is a cheat, Mac packs up her belongings and heads for Donn's Hill where she discovers an ability to communicate with the dead, who are most eager to talk to her.

Mac is a likeable character, a true bookworm, an introvert, and coffee addict - how could I not like her? ;)

Learning her new "apartment" has a ghost is the least of her problems to start with, and she keeps the fact to herself for some time, trying hard to adapt to her new surroundings and not wishing to cause a fuss. At least she has Striker the cat to share her woes. Not just any cat though, Striker comes to her defence many a time, and especially when it matters most. When her apartment ghost proves more difficult, then she calls for help from the town's medium, Gabriela to rid her space of the now-frantic poltergeist.

Mac starts working for the ghost-hunting team, as they recognise her affinity with the spirit world, and how she seems to attract the very ghosts they are looking for. Except, ghost-hunting leads to her finding some more recently deceased residents. Solving these murders now becomes a priority.

The narration by Jessica McEvoy is well done; she plays the characters with differing tone making it easy to follow. Combined with an intriguing storyline, fascinating backdrops, and well-rounded characters the story comes alive in all its creepy eeriness and Mac's moments of vulnerability. I'm hooked and in this for the long haul - bring on book two!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Caryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great paranormal story!

Donn's Hill was a pleasant surprise. I ended up really enjoy the book. It involves Mackenzie who moves to Donn's HIll looking for a fresh start after the death of her father. There she finds a strange group of friends, an unusual job and a mystery she needs to solve before ti's too late.

As I said, I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I enjoyed all of the characters, especially Mackenzie. She is a character I definitely want to read more about. I also loved the mix of mystery and supernatural. It was a nice blend and well balanced. I was kept guessing until the end. I Can't wait to listen to the next book, Donn's Shadow!

*I received a copy of this book from the author

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Donn's Hill

Caryn Larrinaga’s first installment to her The Soul Searchers Mysteries series, Donn's Hill, was a fabulous first introduction to her work. I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version with Jessica McEvoy narrating. She did a wonderful job bringing this story to life. I was intrigued with MacKenzie and the mystery she was involved in.
I am giving Donn’s Hill a very well deserved five plus stars. I look forward to reading the next installment from The Soul Searchers Mysteries series, Donn’s Shadow.
I received the audio version of this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

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  • R. Simons
  • 03-21-20

Absolutely Brilliant

Mackenzie has recently lost her father, and after finding her fiancé in bed with another woman she packs up her bags and moves to Donn’s Hill, a place she and her mother used to go to on vacation.
The town is renowned for being haunted and it isn’t long before she starts getting strange things happening in her apartment. Luckily a stray cat who had befriended her and seems to be trying to protect her.
This is not the only strange thing that happens though and when she gets a job with a ghost hunting crew, more things start showing themselves to her and she is determined to solve a murder.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Donn’s Hill, it was kind of spooky at times and the mystery and twists were great. It kept me engaged from start to finish.

Mackenzie was a fantastic character and the cat! I love cats and this little lady was an amazing protector.
Caryn Larringana wrote a brilliant book and Jessica McEvoy
Was the perfect narrator, she made me fall into the Donn’s Hill and I didn’t want to leave.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Badger
  • 09-02-18

Subtly spooky

Jessica’s performance as ever is awesome. The story is easy going listening with beautifully illustrated characters and a subtly spooky twist to a mystery story

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Harriet Rose Smith
  • 08-12-17

Really loved this book.

A great story and amazing narration. Loved it really want more like this story and Jessica has a great voice.