A Secondhand Life

  • by Pamela Crane
  • Narrated by Melanie Carey
  • 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In a freak collision when she was 12, Mia Germaine faced death and the loss of her father. A heart transplant from a young murder victim saved her life, but not without a price. Twenty years later, chilling nightmares about an unresolved homicide begin to plague Mia. Compelled by these lost memories, she forms a complicated connection to the victim - the girl killed the night of Mia's accident - due to a scientific phenomenon called "organ memory."
Now suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the "Triangle Terror," Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her - along with a killer set on making her his next victim.
As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited specters lead her further into danger's path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself. A Secondhand Life weaves a tale of second chances and reclaimed dreams as this taut, refreshing story ensnares and penetrates you.

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A bouquet of lilacs

A car accident, a father killed and his young daughter, Mia, saved by the transplanted heart she received from another twelve year old found murdered that same day. Twenty three years later, Mia, now enjoying a successful life and in a loving relationship, starts to have disturbing dreams, dreams of being strangled then stabbed, similar to the way two other young girls have died. Learning about the death of her doner, Mia determines to try to find the killer using her dreams as pointers to his identity.

Written mostly from the perspective of Mia herself, periodically there are sections as if written by the murderer, giving his feelings at the time as well as detailing his view of the killings. It is an interesting concept - is there actual muscle memory that can pass from doner to receiver of a transplanted body part? Unfortunately, this reader found too many problems associated with Mia's investigation to find this a satisfying story - from the apparent non thorough police investigation of the original murder of a twelve year old girl to the fact that the dreams would have been enough to reveal the killer's identity at least to Mia, even if she then didn't have further proof (If I could work it out well before the ending, surely someone with visuals would have seen it far sooner!).

The narration by Melany Casey is far more subtle, with the 'killer' voice resonant with a flat, depressant tone whilst that of Mia is animated with proper intonation and emotion. Well paced, also, it is a good performance and carries the story forward well.

My thanks to the rights holder of A Secondhand Life, from whom I received a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom, at my request, and this review is given freely. It was an interesting listen which posed intriguing questions but even despite this, and the good narration, I personally found it unable to sustain the level of mystery which I look for in this 'who dun it?' type of story. More cozy than the horror thriller that the subject matter and introduction would suggest.
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- Norma Miles

Narration spoils book

I can't understand the raves for the narrator on this book. Please listen to the sample before you buy. Whenever the chapters or segments are from the point of view of the killer/heart donor, the narrator reads in a robotic, monotonous voice which is near impossible to listen to.

The reading perks up in chapters from the main character - but only really in dialogue, the descriptions or narrative sections are also in a monotonous voice with a staccato rhythm. So irritating! I got to chapter 6 and gave up. Up until then the story was only okay, maybe it perks up later but I can't listen to this anymore.
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- Elinor Dashwood

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-06-2017
  • Publisher: Tabella House