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Publisher's Summary

The breakout author of The Forgotten Girl and Cemetery Girl, "one of the brightest and best crime fiction writers of our time" (Suspense Magazine) delivers a new novel about a man who is haunted by a face from his past.

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire 20 years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.

The next morning the police arrive at Nick's house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She's been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick's name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket. Convinced there's a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend, Laurel Davidson, to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa's death. But the young woman's murder is only the beginning...and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

©2015 David J. Bell (P)2015 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Snoodely
  • Santa Barbara, CA United States
  • 07-15-15

Definitely Worth a Credit

I — gratefully — just discovered both this author and this narrator, thanks to Audible’s “New Releases” email updates. I enjoyed “Somebody I Used to Know” enough to be now considering purchasing David Bell’s previous audiobooks, “Cemetery Girl” and “The Forgotten Girl.” (I only wish that Mr. Bell would stop calling young women 𝘨𝘪𝘳𝘭𝘴!) Partially, at least, I liked this audiobook so much because of Andy Paris’ excellent narration. I love good acting — and resent bad acting — so I rejoice when I come across a virtuoso like Andy Paris, and I begin keeping an eye out for other audiobooks that they have narrated. The little four-minute audio sample that Audible provides for “Somebody I used to Know” won’t demonstrate Paris’ versatility to you, because it doesn’t show him changing characters; but it will give you an idea of his timing and his voice. Later in the audiobook, you will see how well he distinguishes characters in dialogue … although you will need to pay attention, because he does the switch so effortlessly that you might not even notice it happening — which ability signals a true, natural-born actor. “Somebody I Used to Know” has other attractions going for it, besides the narrator, though. In fact, I would normally not consider purchasing an audiobook like this one, because it falls more into the Drama category than the Thriller/Suspense/Mystery genre that usually attracts me. The main character, Nick, is no action hero: not a detective, nor a cop, nor a commando, nor a spy. He leads a quiet life as a social worker. You might even put “Somebody I Used to Know” into the Romance genre (if a Romance-for-Men genre existed), because this novel deals with a man mourning the Love-of-His-Life … for twenty years! However, the plot has lots of complexity, intricacy, and surprises; and author David Bell wrote it well. Dog-lovers will like this audiobook, because of Nick’s endearing devotion to his old dog, Riley, and Riley’s reciprocation. I don’t think that you will regret purchasing “Somebody I Used to Know,” unless you 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 can’t live without your daily testosterone fix.

114 of 119 people found this review helpful

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

Bit of a soap opera, but I used to watch those.

I enjoyed this book. The protagonist, Nick, is obsessive but gentle, loves his dog like crazy, and also loved a woman named Marisa like crazy. However, he hasn't seen Marisa in twenty years. He is now forty. Marisa was presumed dead in a house fire near the campus of a small college in a small town in Ohio. Nick is now wondering if Marisa is actually alive, against all odds, and he ferociously tries to solve the mystery of her disappearance. David Bell has written a book that grabs you. He writes well. Although Nick obsesses constantly, about a whole laundry list of puzzles, his search for the truth(s) about these events is excellent entertainment. Things are not what they seem, as you probably have guessed by now, so Nick has many layers of people's motivations and lies to wade through. He chases all over the state investigating, and we puzzle at the ups and downs ourselves. Andy Paris is a good narrator. I had never heard of either of these guys before this book, but I will listen to other books if they are available. The book does flag a bit while Nick over-thinks everything, but soon he comes out of his trance and gets moving. I really had no complaints with the book. It is not a great book, but you just need an interesting book to listen to, not a great one. I recommend it to you.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

More twists then a pretzel...

I enjoyed this book. It begins with a mysterious murder that leads to a 20 year old fire that took four lives of young college students. Was that an accident as everyone always believed or was it really arson? There are quite a few twists that will throw you off course but they are believable and get the story moving in a different direction. Parts of the book dragged a little and the retelling of the original crime became a bit repetitive. Over all this is a very good book with a surprise ending.
Andy Paris does a very good job narrating.
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Thank You.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 02-25-18

This Is A Romance Novel!

Remember when adults were different from adolescents? David Bell doesn't, and that's what frames this story. Not one of his key characters grows between the ages of 20 and 40, or at least their motivations don't. No one can learn, mature and move on. In fact that implacable infantilization is the goo that coats every motivation.

Okay, there's an interesting mystery here but its solution demands minds made fuzzy by a puppy-love narcotic. Romance buffs will most enjoy the way virtually every motivation is fueled by pre-drinking-age hormonal combustion.

Me, I just couldn't relate to the protagonist, Nick Hansen's bizarre ability to have a life filled with women-of-his-youth while lacking even one male friendship. Especially since Nick's life is, well a mediocrity at best... no, in any other setting, this guy's a wimpy-failure. In what world is Nick a chick-magnet? We'll the world of this odd story.

This book will probably work for readers who fantasize about magical mailboxes that communicate with lovers in different life-zones. The rest of us, expecting men to be men, will like it not so much.

Once again, Andy Paris does a workman-like creation of cast - however too many of the characters lacked sufficient voice variations to totally keep them straight.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Quick read mystery with lots of twists

Our main character, Nick, doesn't aspire to greatness: he has an average job, typical divorced family, stuck in the same town where he went to college, and enjoys hanging out with his dog while drinking a beer. And it's been this way for the last twenty years. Ever since his girlfriend died in a house fire on campus at college.

What's he to think when he sees a girl in a grocery store who looks just like that girlfriend? He wants to know more. But the girl turns up dead with Nick's phone number in her pocket and he's automatically on the police's radar. And like all the crazy kids do these days, Nick does his own investigating to find out who the girl is and why the heck she had his number in her pocket in order to clear his own name. (How he doesn't get into trouble for this, I have no idea.)

I liked the plot idea, but the story read a little slow for me. I felt like I was mentally three steps ahead of Nick the whole time. And then some of the extra twists and side stories just seemed illogical or implausible or forced? Honestly, I think the thing I loved most about the book was the fact that it was set in Ohio - aside from getting to meet the author of course.

If you're looking for a quick mystery read and you aren't the type to get hung up on tiny annoyances, then I think you'd definitely enjoy this one.

The narrator did an excellent job at voicing the characters.

51 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane
  • Clio, MI, United States
  • 10-21-15

Suspense...what's next?? Not what you think!

Would you consider the audio edition of Somebody I Used to Know to be better than the print version?

The print might be okay, but I enjoyed listening to Nick think things out in his head and the narration was pleasing to listen to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite was Nick, but I also liked Detective Reese...he sounded "crusty"....a real cop.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Nick "got" Heather after all those years!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

It's like Grisham meets Harry Bosch!

Any additional comments?

So many surprises....never saw some of them coming. Wow! It's a great read!

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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

I didn't want it to end!

This is the first story I've had the pleasure of listening to on Audible. I heard about it from a Youtuber and I immediately knew I had to check it out for myself. This story held my attention from the beginning, I finished listening in 2 days! I thought I had the story figured out from the get go, but after many twist and turns it ended up in a completely different place, and I never wanted it to end! Definitely worth a credit!

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Predictable.

The story starts off well, then drags on. You can see what's coming and want to slap the main character and shout REALL YOU COULDN'T SEE THAT.
I finished because I had gone to far and held out hope that it would take a turn for me to have found redemption for writer and his creation but it never came .

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Should be titled--"Nobody I Want to Know"

What disappointed you about Somebody I Used to Know?

The worst book I've ever listened to.

A story so full of insipid characters, you care nothing for any of them. The author writes this like a soap opera, with chapter breaks similar to silly commercial breaks. This miserable stew could not even engender interest from a producer at Lifetime. The main character is so pathetic you never feel sorry for him, or worse, care if he gets what he wants.

The reader of this melodrama is just as bad. He has a soap opera voice except when he does the detective. He reads this part like he's channeling Agent Smith from "The Matrix". Could it get any worse? I considered returning this book many times during the run, but had a strange curiosity to see how bad it could get.

It did not disappoint here, it just got worse--straight through to the ending. It made me think that the good reviews had to come from friends and family of the author or reader. It's that bad. Stay away. There is so much good to read or listen to!

Has Somebody I Used to Know turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not at all, so many great titles out there...

How could the performance have been better?

Too mainstream

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None

Any additional comments?

None

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Two hours in, and can't get through any more

I think those who like this book, and those of us who don't, will divine along generational lines. This book is for millennial -- or younger -- women. Not for tough old cookies like me, women who still think that there should be differences between men and women.

The protagonist in this book, Nick Hanson, is what I'd call a girlie-guy. He is one of those new-age "sensitive men", deeply into his "feelings", memories and long-lost relationships. When faced with this troublesome, puzzling, even dangerous, situation, his first reaction is to run around to all his women friends -- most of them stemming from prior romantic relationships -- to "talk" about it. What real man would do that? That's what women do -- and when they do, it's fine. But I don't like men who act like women -- anymore than I'd like a woman who'd go into a biker bar, challenge some dude to a beer-swilling contest and then knock his block off. I can't relate to that -- or to this sissified man.

I have considered that it might be the narrator -- or else he just perfectly fits the character, but whatever, it's just too annoying.

I don't need all my books to be hard-boiled. Average MEN are fine -- they don't all need to be Jack Reacher. But I guess it comes down to this: if I knew Nick Hanson in person, I'd cut him a wide swath. I'm sure he's a fine upstanding person, a very caring social worker doing a lot of good, but he is not someone I'd care to spend any time with.

And two hours in, I don't want to hear any more about his adventures, either. Feh.

34 of 44 people found this review helpful