Author: Frieda McFadden
Narrator: Leslie Howard
Published: September 19, 2022
Audiobook: 7 hours 22 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: November 22- 26, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Newlyweds Tricia and Ethan are searching for the house of their dreams.
But when they visit the remote manor that once belonged to Dr. Adrienne Hale, a renowned psychiatrist who vanished without a trace four years earlier, a violent winter storm traps them at the estate… with no chance of escape until the blizzard comes to an end.
In search of a book to keep her entertained until the snow abates, Tricia happens upon a secret room. One that contains audio transcripts from every single patient Dr. Hale has ever interviewed. As Tricia listens to the cassette tapes, she learns about the terrifying chain of events leading up to Dr. Hale’s mysterious disappearance.
Tricia plays the tapes one by one, late into the night. With each one, another shocking piece of the puzzle falls into place, and Dr. Adrienne Hale’s web of lies slowly unravels.
And then Tricia reaches the final cassette.
The one that reveals the entire horrifying truth.
Frieda McFadden is an author who is getting a lot of attention lately, and Never Lie is the first I have read by her.
We have two time periods: Present day with Tricia and Ethan and the recent past with Dr. Adrienne Hale. We also have two narrators: Tricia and Dr. Hale.
Tricia and Ethan are looking for their dream home, and are visiting a very secluded house. They are supposed to be meeting their realtor, but there is also a snow storm coming. When it becomes obvious that the realtor is not coming and they will not be able to leave for some time due to the storm, they make themselves at home in the house. After some time they realize whose house they are inside: Dr. Adrienne Hale, a psychiatrist who vanished and made the news several years ago. Exploring the house Tricia comes across cassette tapes of the doctor’s sessions with her patient. And she decides to listen to them to pass the time.
In Dr. Hale’s POV we learn about her and she is far from perfect herself! She has her own issues that slowly get even more out of hand as the novel progresses. She herself needs a psychiatrist at the least!
There are several twists that I didn’t see coming and then how the two time periods come together really pulls the reader in. I had to suspend my belief in reality quite a bit to get in the world of this novel. Two prospective home buyers can’t just go inside a house by themselves, let alone go to the secluded house with no cell service in the middle of a snow storm! And then be stuck in there for days!
There is the creepiness of the house itself with its sounds unfamiliar to Tricia and Ethan, along with who the previous owner is and her mysterious circumstances. Over time the house gets even creepier, and are they even alone?
I listened to the audiobook version and I firmly believe that audio is the best way to ‘read’ this book. Leslie Howard is superb in her narration! As Tricia listens to the cassette tapes, Howard just pulls you in to the story even more! I will be on the lookout for more audiobooks narrated by her. I will also look into more novels written by McFadden.
Many thanks to Dreamscape Media for granting me an audio copy to listen to and review. It was a pleasure as always to listen to one of your books!
Author: Laura Marshall
Narrator: Elaine Claxton
Published: September 5, 2017
Audiobook: 11 hours 10 min
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: November 14-21, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
A paranoid single mom is forced to confront the unthinkable act she committed as a desperate teenager in this addictive thriller with a social media twist.
Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston is dead. Isn’t she?
1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.
2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.
Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she’d severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria–or whoever’s pretending to be her–is known to all.
This one is a debut novel that had promise for me from the book description, as it has dual timelines which I always enjoy, but it just didn’t deliver for me. Louise just wasn’t likeable and she went full in on this friend request from Maria Weston, who may or may not actually be dead. She basically dropped everything and started living in the past. A past that involves peer pressure and bullying to an extreme. Friend Request shows how the past can haunt you years later with the decisions you made.
There is also a 25th high school class reunion, which brings her full on in the past as well. The twists and turns just did not work for me and I was curious enough to see how it was going to end. It also shows how social media can be a detriment to us all, but we are still taking part in it.
I did enjoy Elaine Claxton’s narration of the novel.
I would look into another of Marshall’s novels to see if it works for me more than Friend Request did.[Top]
Today I am helping in the cover reveal for the upcoming novel The Venice Secret by Anita Chapman. The publication date for this one is March 7, 2023!
One hidden painting. Two women born centuries apart. A secret uncovered.
In 2019, Rachel is stuck in a rut when she discovers what appears to be a Canaletto painting in her grandmother’s loft along with a note addressed to Philippa in 1782. With help from Jake at the local art gallery, Rachel endeavours to find out if the painting is an original and uncovers a secret from the past.
In 1780, governess at Chipford Hall, Philippa is offered the role of mistress by Earl Rupert. She escapes to Venice as companion to bluestocking, Lady Cordelia who reveals a secret that changes both their lives. They do their best to keep the secret from Lady Cordelia’s social circle, but their nemesis is determined to reveal all and ruin them.
Now….. What does the cover look like?????? Keep scrolling to find out!!
Here it is:
About the Author:
Anita Chapman enjoyed writing stories from a young age, and won a local writing competition when she was nine years old. Encouraged by this, she typed up a series of stories about a mouse on her mum’s typewriter and sent them to Ladybird. She received a polite rejection letter, her first.
Many of Anita’s summers growing up were spent with her family driving to Italy, and she went on to study French and Italian at university. As part of her degree, Anita lived in Siena for several months where she studied and au paired, and she spent a lot of time travelling around Italy in her twenties.
Anita likes to read journals and diaries from the past, and one of her favourite pastimes is visiting art galleries and country houses. Her first published novel, The Venice Secret is inspired by her mother taking her to see the Canalettos at The National Gallery in London as a child.
Since 2015, Anita has worked as a social media manager, training authors on social media, and helping to promote their books. She’s run several courses in London and York, and has worked as a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College.