"The little girl lay under the hay stack scarcely breathing. Sweat poured down her face and dripped into her eyes; her heart pounded through her thin chest. Tiny flecks of hay clung to her wet skin, making her itch. She squeezed her nose tightly afraid she'd sneeze. Eyes clamped shut, she lay there. Flies buzzed around her, crawling on her. She didn't move. She didn't know how long she'd been there in the loft. She didn't care how long she stayed. She couldn't move. Not yet."
Nearly a lifetime after a childhood filled with misery and abuse, Gina, now a successful doctor, finds herself thrown back into a terrifying world where her nightmares become far more than just a dream. With the help of an unconventional therapist with secrets of her own, the hunt is on and Gina fights for her life in this harrowing tale of cat and mouse.
Would you consider the audio edition of Relentless to be better than the print version?
Relentless by Nancy J Alexander was an amazingly well written and well read audio-book. I really enjoyed listening to it on audible. The voice actor did a great job with getting the mood of the story correct and the dialogue flowed together perfectly. There were no awkward pauses or speed reading. The reader really pulled me into the story. The voice acting was done so well that I actually believe that I enjoyed the audio version better than I would have liked the print version.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Relentless?
The story itself had a somber tone to it with Gina's past, but I liked the fact that she was able to become a Doctor and how much her career really meant to her. Gina's character was told perfectly in a mix of present day and flashbacks to her childhood. I really felt myself like Gina and her determination.
What about Nancy J. Alexander’s performance did you like?
The voice actor did a great job with getting the mood of the story correct and the dialogue flowed together perfectly. There were no awkward pauses or speed reading. The reader really pulled me into the story. Gina's part voice was particularly well done.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
There were definitely some parts of Relentless by Nancy J Alexander that made a few tears leak out of my eyes. One such part was when Gina was a child and her mother would not believe her about the abuse she was suffering instead her mother would only blame Gina.
Any additional comments?
Overall while the book was somber it was still an interesting book to read and I really enjoyed it!
Relentless: An Elisabeth Reinhardt Thriller by Nancy J Alexander was a great audiobook. I enjoyed listening to this book as I was driving to and from work. I would totally get into what was going on in the book and because of that it keep me from getting super pissed off while I was driving. I enjoyed that the author was the narrator of this book. I just liked knowing that the person who wrote the book was telling the story and for some reason, it made me like this audiobook even more. This is another book that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire thing because of how well it was written. I did find that when I got home from work, I would sit in my car until I was able to get through the chapter I was on because I hated having to put this book down and do something else. If you love thriller/suspense books than I know, you will love this book as much as I did.
I received this book free of charge from the author or publisher.
Any additional comments?
Gina is a successful doctor in Chicago but she is haunted by dreams of someone hunting her down. Gina great up on a family farm that was very secluded from modern day and had a troubled cousin that came to live with her family, Jake. She changes her name to try to stay away from him but he is obsessed with her. Jake and his two partners in crime are on the run from the police as they look for another victim that looks like Reggie Lee to have some fun with while they still look for Reggie Lee. Although Gina is trying to stay hidden, her high profile surgery is going to throw her right into the limelight and into the killer’s hands.
This story goes a roundabout way to learn about Gina’s past as she is remembering in her dreams. Thankfully Elisabeth Reinhardt is her therapist and can help her work through the memories and help her prepare for the potential attack from Jake. I really liked Elisabeth. She has her own history that makes are a tough gal to mess with along with a great connection for a network of people that can help.
I liked the story and how Gina was always on the run until she started doing things to get her ready like self-defense classes, shooting classes, security systems and such. I love when a character prepares to fight back instead of just cowering and hoping for help. Gina is a great strong character and I really enjoyed watching her with her surgeries and found it hard to learn of her past abuse.
The one thing that did get to me was the story seemed to drag and drag. I think that a good chunk of the story could have been taken out and made everything flow better. Nancy did a good job of narrating the story. It was easy to understand the different characters.
Overall I liked the story. It was a little slow in the beginning and I kind of forced myself to keep reading. I am interesting in reading the next book to see what happens with Elisabeth next.
I received Relentless from iRead Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this story.
Gina Reynolds is a successful doctor specializing in babies suffering from chronic illness or deformities. She has a cat, good friends, an exercise routine, and a deep, traumatic history. Even as she begins to unfold these long-suppressed memories, her childhood tormentor Jake continues to hunt for her. Dr. Elisabeth Reinhardt, Gina’s psychologist, is determined to help her, even if it is by unconventional means.
There were several things I liked about this book. First, Gina has a full, functional life, even as she deals with these traumatic memories. She has to find a way to fit them into her life even as she continues on with her life. I liked that she did several things that are healthy ways of dealing with such memories. She sees a professional, talks with trusted friends, and takes self-defense lessons (which are more than simply learning how to punch someone, such as including smart places to park, staying in crowds, etc.).
The book switches points of view often, which I liked. I was especially intrigued by Elisabeth. She starts off with a simple role of being Gina’s psychologist but as the story unfolds, we learn that Elisabeth has an interesting past and also is part of something bigger. I don’t want to give too much away, but I was pleased how her story arc grew throughout this tale.
There were lots and lots of info dumps in this book. I do wish it was edited a bit better. The info dumps were sometimes interesting but often I was left wondering if all of the info would play into the plot. While these added to the depth of characters, it was also a tedious way to impart that info to the reader.
Jake and his little gang worked well as our bad guys. When Jake was a kid, he was a handful and rather dangerous to smaller kids. Hence, he had been booted from home to home. As a teen, he had Reggie to torment, but eventually she escaped from him, disappearing. As an adult, Jake obsesses over her, the one that got away. He never gives up hunting for her, always asking after her with her family, checking her old haunts. As the body count builds, the FBI and local law enforcement pull at every little string they come across.
There is a cat and mouse game that starts early in the book and continues throughout the story. I got the cat and mouse part for young Reggie (AKA Gina) as she hides from her tormenters. I also got the cat and mouse game for much later in the story when it’s clear that Jake has a lead on Reggie. However, there was this long patch in the story where Gina’s certainty that Jake was still hunting her seemed unwarranted. For instance, she hasn’t had any indication for years that he’s even still interested in her in any way. Gina has this very elaborate way of communicating with a childhood mentor of sorts but she has severed all ties otherwise with her childhood self. Jake and crew are not masterminds, so I felt this near-espionage communication was a bit overdone. With that said, the second half of the book really shows the cat and mouse game to full effect and that’s when I became glad that Gina had done her best to be ready for Jake.
Sometimes things are repeated more than once, and once again, I think this book could have used one last round of editing to polish it. There’s a great story in here, full of suspense and drama, but those elements are diluted by the info dumps and the repetition. Still, I was impressed with the depth of character analysis we have here, showing the deeper motivations behind each of the main characters. While the ending does get a little off target, it eventually pulls back together and I found the over all end satisfying.
I received a free copy of this book from the author via iRead Book Tours.
Narration: Nancy J. Alexander narrated her own book. She was OK. She does have a limited range of characters, and this book did have a larger character list than the range of her character voices. However, all the main characters were distinct and she did use regional accents to carry off even more characters. Unfortunately, her voice for her main bad guy, Jake, often sounds cartoonish and this made it a little hard to see him as a true threat. There were a few spots that had minor mouth noises (she sounded like she needed a water break), but over all the production was pretty good.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I still think it has a decent premise, one that other readers may enjoy. Other readers may have found the pace excellent, as this differs for each reader.
What could Nancy J. Alexander have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
It could have had more action perhaps. I felt it was lacking on that front.
Have you listened to any of Nancy J. Alexander’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No. Nothing to compare with.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Yes. Excellent character sketching, and back stories. The audiobook experience was quite satisfying as well.
Any additional comments?
I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
Relentless is a good title for this book. Gina, aka Reggie Lee, was tormented by her cousin Jake when she was young. She left home at the age of 14 after he almost killed her. With help from a network of people, she changed her name and made a life for herself but she always feared that Jake would find her, even after she became a successful doctor miles away in Chicago. She had good reason to fear him because even after close to 20 years, Jake is still obsessed with her.
The characters are complex and believable. Even Jake and his crew, who are way "out there," are believable. Jake is a serial killer focused on finding and killing Reggie Lee after she got away from him so many years ago. His friends are followers and stay with him even when they want to get away because they're so afraid of him. It's obvious that Nancy Alexander knows what she's writing about by the way she portrays the characters.
Relentless is full of suspense. Gina is always on alert. I can't imagine living in fear for so many years.
If I read this book again, I would choose to read a print copy or the e-book. There were several times that all of the girls who were raped and/or killed were listed and to listen to those lists was a bit much to sit through. They were important to the story so they had to be there, it just would have been easier if I read the lists rather than listened to them. I also had to speed the book up because the author made noises (licking her lips?) in between sentences and those noises couldn't be heard at 1.4x speed. She did do very well at distinguishing the different voices and it was also nice having the author read the book because she knew exactly where she wanted to verbally stress certain points or occurrences.
I would definitely recommend Relentless in the print or e-book form.
Would you try another book from Nancy J. Alexander and/or Nancy J. Alexander?
What character would you cut from Relentless?
Any additional comments?
This book should have been right up my alley. Yet, I had a very hard time getting into the story or the characters. Even, listening to the story via audio version did not help. It was not the voice characterization that was the problem as I felt the narration was fine with the different voices from female to male. What I felt was lacking was any action intensity.
The story started out good and it had me drawn in but after that I lost interest. I could walk away while the story was playing with no problems. In fact, I did find myself doing so several times. There was not enough balance due to all of the conversations that Gina had with her therapist. It seemed like Gina was always talking with her therapist and sometimes repeating herself. This book suffered from too much talking and not enough action.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Yes, but I would tell them that I did not enjoy the reader.
Would you be willing to try another book from Nancy J. Alexander? Why or why not?
I might, if it looked interesting.
Would you be willing to try another one of Nancy J. Alexander’s performances?
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Yes, I think the movie could do a good job of making it more believable.