Series: Rachel Krall #1
Published by St. Martin's Press (8.4.2020)
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Audiobook, 344 pages
Length: 10 hours, 16 minutes
Narrator: Bailey Carr, January LaVoy, Samantha Desz
After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.
The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.
TW: Rape and sexual assault, child molestation, physical abuse
I’m not gonna lie, I probably never would have picked this up if my book twin Christy hadn’t recommended it. That cover is awful, sorry. But I’m glad I did give it a try! This book had some major A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder vibes, which is the kind of mystery I’ve been after ever since I read it. It even featured the same narrator, Bailey Carr (who is fantastic, by the way!). It also had January LaVoy (who narrates one of my fave audiobooks of all time, The Ten Thousand Doors of January), who is also fantastic. There’s a third narrator as well, Samantha Desz, which I didn’t realize until after the fact…because both of the latter voice Rachel. One voice for her POV, and another voice for her podcast, which was interesting. They sounded similar enough that I didn’t even notice (which is kind of embarrassing tbh, since I adore January LaVoy and should have been able to tell). So what I’m saying is, the audiobook was awesome. If you haven’t read this, I highly recommend this format!
I don’t get how we can almost unanimously agree that murder is wrong, yet when it comes to rape some people still see shades of gray.
This book tackles rape head on, which is an uncomfortable subject. It addresses the fact that many rapists get away with it because there’s not enough conclusive evidence, and it usually comes down to his word against hers. It’s a very sad reality, and some parts of this book were difficult to read. View Spoiler »I was so repulsed when the boys were messing with Hannah as a 9 or 10 year old girl and making sexual innuendos about her that I actually felt physically ill while listening. « Hide Spoiler
I found the ending to be quite predictable, but I still enjoyed the journey getting there. There’s not much else I can talk about without spoiler tags! View Spoiler »It was clear the cases were connected by people that were involved in both situations. I knew pretty early on that Knox was actually Bobby, and I had already pegged the son of the chief of police as the one who killed Jenny. I remember him being mentioned, and it was very clear that the police were involved in the cover up because of the obvious evidence that absolutely should have pushed Jenny’s death into a homicide investigation. However, I apparently wasn’t paying attention when it was stated that Kelly’s dad was said son of the chief. That was a surprise! (It was totally stated that the chief’s son was Dan Moore, I went back and looked. Like I said, I must not have been paying attention. Lol, oops.) The second surprise was that Bobby wasn’t actually driving the truck when it crashed, and that it was actually Dan; and his dad not only helped cover up Jenny’s murder, but the fact that his son basically killed his two friends, too. « Hide Spoiler
I only have a couple of minor complaints about this book. The first is that I had a little trouble keeping everything straight in the beginning. There were a lot of people introduced (probably why I didn’t remember who the chief of police’s son was), and there were also two timelines happening, and I mixed them up pretty frequently at first. It took me a while to separate them. My second complaint is that I lacked a connection to Rachel herself, who is the person we spend the most time with in the story. I think probably the narrator didn’t help, because while I liked her voice, she wasn’t super great at injecting emotion into the story (which right there should have told me that it wasn’t January LaVoy, who is great at it).
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5