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The overnight guest
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Library Journal Review
Gudenkauf's (Before She Was Found) locked-room thriller stars true-crime writer Wylie Lark, who's renting a remote farmhouse where a double murder occurred 20 years ago; she hopes to get a feel for the community where the crimes took place and to write uninterrupted in much-needed seclusion. Not long after arriving, Wylie is snowed in by a blizzard and comes upon an injured child. The traumatized child won't speak to Wylie, but as they wait out the storm together, Wylie finds that the child's presence has triggered long-buried memories of her own devastating childhood and the terror she thought she had forgotten. Wylie begins to question everything she thought she knew about the fates of her own family and best friend and ultimately discovers that she and the child she rescued from the snow have a tragic connection. In this audiobook, Brittany Pressley performs all the characters well and with perfect distinction and credibility. VERDICT Probably a better read than a listen, as the main characters have frequent flashbacks, and the thriller's multiple POVs can be disorienting.--Laura Brosie
Publishers Weekly Review
In this riveting thriller from bestseller Gudenkauf (This Is How I Lied), Oregon writer Wylie Lark retreats to an unoccupied, isolated farmhouse in Burden, Iowa, where two people were murdered and a little girl went missing in 2000. The murders and disappearance are the subject of her fourth true crime book. During a major snowstorm, Wylie discovers a bleeding five-year-old boy in her front yard with remnants of duct tape on his mouth. She can't contact the sheriff because her utilities are out due to the storm, so she brings the boy inside, tends to his injuries, and tries to get him to tell her what happened, but he's frightened and refuses to talk. Wylie goes outside to collect firewood, but on returning she finds she's locked out, and, through a window, she sees a woman with a hatchet. Wylie's frantic efforts to save the boy alternate with flashbacks that reveal in suspenseful increments what happened in the farmhouse two decades earlier. This twisty tale builds to a satisfying conclusion. The talented Gudenkauf consistently delivers. Agent: Marianne Merola, Brandt & Hochman Literary. (Jan.)
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