After 10 months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect...except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica's past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.
When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory.
Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?
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Idle hands, the Devil's playground.
This is a superbly written book, which might initially seem to be a simple horror thriller but emerges to be far more than that. Nothing 'simple' here. The characterisations of the main protagonist, including a couple of dogs, is cleverly insinuated. Conversation is realistic, sometimes trivial and away from the plot itself, just like real life. There is a large cast, both in the small town but also in the family left behind, including the lazy, fat Bassett hound, Newman, and the house security, housekeeper scum research assistant AI Nigel and his inventor, brother Tristan. The whole is a convoluted mystery thriller and very amusing as situations develope, extend and unravel. Not just one mystery here - there are several and each laps against the next. This really is a plot of many parts which keeps the reader guessing, gasping and, often, giggling. Not quite the usual horror thriller but never over the top comedy, either. Great combination.
Narrator C.J.McAllister adds to the fun with a great reading, pace perfect to the story and with good individual and easily recognisable voicings of the characters. His conversations are natural, the people living, real. I especially enjoyed his performance as Nigel.Altogether, a different and very enjoyable book and I will definitely be looking out for others written by Lauren Carr or narrated by C.J.McAllister.
Recommended especially to all who don't mind losing the plot sometimes. My thanks to the rights holder of A Fine Year for Murder, who generously and freely gifted me a copy without any expectations of return, via Audiobook Boom. It surprised me and I loved it.
- Norma Miles