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Friday, October 02, 2020

Miranda's Newest Another Twisty, Propulsive Psychological Thriller

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Twenty years ago, 6-year-old Arden Maynor made national headlines after being swept away during a flood while sleepwalking outside her home.  Her miraculous survival following three harrowing days in a drainage pipe brought all kinds of attention to Arden and her mother.  While they welcomed donations from well-meaning donors, they also received disturbing communications from people with less honorable intentions, especially after Arden's mom memorialized her young daughter in a bestselling tell-all. 

Tired of being exploited by both the media and her mother, Arden fled Widow Hills.  Now known as Olivia Meyer, she's made a new life for herself in rural North Carolina.  Desperate to move on from her past, she's panicked about the upcoming twentieth anniversary of her rescue.  No one in her new town knows who she really is and she wants to keep it that way.  When the stress causes her to start sleepwalking again, just as she did as a child, Arden becomes understandably distressed.  When she awakes outside her house with a dead body at her feet and blood on her hands, she's terrified.  Did she kill the man, a figure from her childhood?  Why?  What did he want from her?  As Arden's past and present collide, she searches frantically for answers.  Fame almost suffocated her once—she'll do anything to prevent it from happening again ...

If you dig a twisty, propulsive read, you've probably already discovered Megan Miranda's pulse-pounding thrillers.  I'm a fan, so I'm always excited when the author comes out with a new book.  Miranda's latest, The Girl From Widow Hills, isn't my favorite of hers, but it's still a riveting story that had me flying through its pages.  The novel uses intimate first-person narration to draw the reader into Arden's present as well as a series of articles, interview transcripts, and other snippets to fill in Arden's back story, which keeps the tale fresh, engaging, and suspenseful.  Although the ending is abrupt, leaving me with questions, it still caught me off-guard.  I read so many of these kinds of books that I'm rarely surprised by them anymore, so it's nice when that happens.  While The Girl From Widow Hills didn't absolutely knock my socks off, I still enjoyed it overall.  Miranda is a master of her craft and I'll never not be interested to see what she does next.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books by Megan Miranda as well as those by Lisa Jewell and Gilly Macmillan)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Girl From Widow Hills from the generous folks at Simon & Schuster via those at Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

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