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Publisher's Summary

A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

Julie is missing, and no one believes she will ever return - except Elise. Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and feels it in her bones that her best friend is out there and that one day Julie will come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her. 

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, the women decide to reunite at a remote inn. But the second Elise sees Julie, she knows something is wrong - she’s emaciated, with sallow skin and odd appetites. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back. But then who - or what - is she?

©2020 Rachel Harrison (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Hair-raising horror and pure entertainment.... The tension and nuance of Harrison's complicated female friendships add depth to an already delicious, chilling debut." (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

"The Return is supernatural horror at its very best! Sharp dialogue, complex relationships and mind-bending action will have readers locking their doors and checking under their beds. Rachel Harrison has reinvented this genre and will surely be hailed as a pioneer among her peers." (Wendy Walker, national best-selling author of The Night Before

"Combining suspense and horror with razor-sharp insights into the nature of female friendships, Rachel Harrison’s The Return is a creepy, nerve-wracking, page-turning addition to the emerging field of horror thrillers." (Alma Katsu, author of The Deep and The Hunger

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What listeners say about The Return

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great climax.

Through out the book I kept on wondering what was wrong with her friend. Was she a vampire, ghost, or something else? Well the conclusion was pretty awesome. I thought the characters were perfect yet they all had there weaknesses just like us. The writing was fantastic. I never write reviews because I'm a shitty writer. I usually pick the stars yet this horror novel is one of my favorites and I have about every horror novel you can have on audible. I felt that her characters came to life for me. Lastly I feel this is easily a top 10 to maybe a top 5 horror novel I've listened too and I probably have a 1000 horror novels. I have no life. I forgot about the narrator but she did a fantastic job and shes probably the best female narrator I've listened to.

24 people found this helpful

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

Not what I expected

I thought I was just getting your basic ghost/demon/horror book, but I ended up getting a lot more! great writing and exploring female friendship

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Creepy story with irritating narration

I quite liked the story of this audiobook a lot. Some parts sufficiently creepy, lots to think about. A good look at female friendships, loss, existential unhappiness with life, etc. The voice the narrator chose for the character of Julie, especially during the end of the book when the character is very unwell, got on my nerves so much I had to keep skipping past dialogue. This would have been a better experience read than listened to but overall a good use of a credit.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent insight into friendship and losing a BFF

The reviews were not wrong! This author has laser focused insight into the intimacy of having a best friend or group or close pals. I found myself relating to many of the internal thoughts shared by the narrator Elyse. I even got a little teary eyed at points having lost my true best friend at age 20. You will enjoy the comradery, the closeness of these four friends

Interlaced among the smart dialogue and beautifully painted backdrop, the author inserts a growing sense of dread. At first you don't recognize it, sort of like a gnat that keeps buzzing around your head as you try to enjoy a gorgeous spring day. You swat it away to focus in on the dynamic between the characters. Nevertheless it sneaks up on you...LITERALLY... and before you know it you are smacked right in the face with it! This is one horror novel that actually had a near-perfect ending. I admit there are threads I'm still curious about, but in my vast experience, the ending kicks the proverbial posterior of most of it's current peers.

If you enjoy a good mystery, some creature horror, with a healthy dose of old fashioned good writing, then I think you'll really appreciate this tale.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Audible Narrator Ever

Everything about this book from start to finish was excellent. Characters were spot on. Plot fast! Narrator was amazing!!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Omg !!! Love love love love love love love this book!

this is truly an awesome book!! I wasn’t sure where the story was going at first ... but wow! The author is so good at making you feel like you’re there as you’re listening... and best of all it’s soooo spooky! Eek... I absolutely loved it! Highly recommend!

3 people found this helpful

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

A creepy, suspenseful story with great characters

I expected to have a difficult time with this one after the first few minutes because I thought I would hate these characters. They're vain, petty, and acerbic. They're written with a complex empathy that really drew me in, though. Even a particularly disturbing revelation about the main character about halfway through didn't turn her unsympathetic.

This is a great character study about how flawed people react to a stressful situation. It's also a great horror story, and a metaphor for the necessity of grief and moving on, as well.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun

A bit overly simple in dialogue, but makes up for it in narration. A bit silly too, but in a good way.

3 people found this helpful

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

Julie’s voice

At the end, when things were going bad for Julie and Elise at the hotel, Julie’s voice over and over is so annoying it was hard to listen to. I’m glad it was over soon.

3 people found this helpful

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

Creepy, to be sure.

I know that this story's description sounds a little out there. Don't be too put off. It is weird, at times maybe a little slow or repetitive, but if you hold out you'll be pleased. It's creepy.

3 people found this helpful