by S E Lynes
Audiobook Link: Valentina
I didn’t think I would like this story, and it turned out to be one of my favourite reads of the season. I didn’t read the summary or preview of what the book would be and simply bought it because it was cheap and amazon suggested it to me. I first started listening to the book while I walked my dogs in the morning, and sort of didn’t get where it was going but I soon became really interested in figuring out where it was going and it did not disappoint.
The main character is a woman called Shona. She gives up her career and moves to basically the middle of nowhere for her partners work after they have a child.
They get a little cottage away from everyone and her partners job requires him to go offshore for two weeks at a time and she is unable to contact him during that time. Luckily, though, she meets a nice woman named Valentina, at least, that’s what she thinks. Valentina was there for Shona basically form the beginning and Shona is able to talk to her and spend time with her while her partner is away.
Sometimes Shona notices some things that seem a bit off about Valentina, but there is always some logical reason for it so for the longest time she thinks nothing of it. A few things seem potentially off with her partner too.
Basically how the story is written is as if Shona is telling you after the fact, how some events went down or played out. Periodically she will tell you about how things made sense at the time, or explain a few things before going back into the story. It was hard for me to recognize that this is how the story was being told at first but once I figured that out, a lot of it made more sense.
I have to say this is literally the first psychological thriller where I felt like I actually correctly guessed what was going to happen, and I think that was due to enough subtle foreshadowing. In-fact, I think it takes work to weave the story how S.E. Lynes did. Unlike other Authors who seem to just tell a story and come out with a “TADA, actually you never could have guessed this ending because I didn’t tell you anything to think it up” S.E. Lynes seemed to think very carefully about every detail. This is the first book that I have read by S.E. Lynes and I don’t think it is going to be my last.
I also enjoyed that after the climax, the book didn’t immediately end but contained numerous chapters really tying up loose ends and confirming what I had thought was true. There was an enormous amount of detail explained at the end, as to why certain things happened, and it really felt like there was no filler in the story, but that everything had been carefully decided and included for good reasons.
The Audiobook was narrated by Ruth Urquhart. I paid £2.99 for the 10 hour and 7 minute narration. At first I didn’t think Ruth was the best narrator, but as the story progressed, I actually found she did a nice job using different voices for the different characters. I always knew who was speaking once I became familiar with the voices she used for each character, and I did not find myself confused as I sometimes have found in the past.
I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers. I think this particular story is much less disturbing than some other psychological thrillers I have reviewed and would be enjoyed by most. I don’t think this is for people who really crave the more violent type of psychological thrillers as this story doesn’t really contain any noticeable mental or physical abuse that many psychological thrillers I have reviewed contain.