I rarely review audiobooks. I prefer to review e-books, which allow note-taking within the e-book. I can’t do this with audiobooks. There have been a few I’ve reviewed. These are generally shorter, less time-consuming books.
Speak No Evil is an exception. It is in a genre that I rarely read, contemporary suspense/romance, so it made an impression. I just need to let you know how much I enjoyed this book. So today, something a little different….
If you love a gripping Southern suspense, USA Today bestselling SPEAK NO EVIL is for you. Lifting the veil of secrecy on a grand Southern family in decline. New York Times bestselling author Tanya Anne Crosby explores the lives of Caroline, Augusta, and Savannah Aldridge, three sisters who share a dark past and an uncertain future…
After the death of their mother, a newspaper heiress, Caroline Aldridge steps up to head the paper. But a killer is making headlines, and Caroline may have unwittingly stepped into the crosshairs. Even as she mends the tattered bonds of sisterhood, a sinister force beyond their control may tear them apart forever…
Review of Speak No Evil
Speak No Evil is not something I would normally read. I generally stick to SciFi and historical fiction. But I decided to pick up Speak No Evil because a) it is written by an author who’s historical fiction I enjoy and b) it was free (and still is as of when I am writing this.) Then I added on the audiobook for a very reasonable price.
Good decision. Speak No Evil is gothic and creepy. Maybe those are two words for the same thing, but I needed to write both of them. Dark, with a little bit of southern attitude too. Using genre terms, I would say romantic suspense, but all those other words are better descriptors.
First I want to review a bit of the blurb. “Lifting the veil of secrecy on a grand Southern family in decline.” Makes you think the plantation is going to hell. In reality, the Aldridge family has a complex and politically incorrect (former slave owners) history. But rather than decline, the family has evolved and adapted to the times. As for secrets, there are quite a few. That is what makes for a good story right?
Speak No Evil takes place around Charleston and Folly Beach, South Carolina, including the Aldridge’s Oyster Point Plantation. Southern living, including food, hot humid weather, coastal scenery and the area’s history are all part of the atmosphere of the story. Never having been in that part of the country, I soaked up the sights, sounds and sometimes smells of South Carolina just like a tourist.
There are three Aldridge sisters, but oldest sister Caroline is the focus of this book. Caroline broke up with Jack Shaw 10 years ago. Seeing him at her mom’s funeral did not bring back fond memories. Or did it? It soon becomes obvious that neither have forgotten their feelings for one another.
A murder may tear them apart again. As the detective in charge, Jack has a conflict of interest with Caroline who is digging for information to print in the paper. This ongoing conflict keeps them both arguing and making up for most of the book. Relationships are never easy.
The murderer is not identified, but the reader is treated to a third person perspective. This is where the description of creepy comes in. He or she may start having ordinary thoughts, but quickly they turn dark, judgmental and anticipatory. So – creepy. If you read the book, these sections are italicized.
Listening to the audiobook, you can’t hear italics, but you can sense the mood change. Overall, Julie McKay’s narration was well done and eventually led me to purchase the next audiobook in the series. Ms. Mckay’s voice makes me think she is of an age as the sisters Aldrige, so she is a good fit for the books.
You would think the book is about the murder mystery and the family secrets. And it is, but there is so much more. In Speak No Evil, for Caroline, the story is about her choosing who she wants to be, where she wants to be and who she wants in her life. One assumes each sister will get that opportunity in the Aldridge Sisters series, and I am looking forward to Augusta’s and Savannah’s stories.
Near the end of the book, the police investigation results in an arrest, but I have to tell you, I was really skeptical. But I don’t consider this to be a spoiler, because the book blurb for Tell No Lies suggests that the guilty party may still be out there. So, kind of a cliffhanger, but only sort of. No star-deductions from me on this one. Gothic, creepy, dark with southern attitude, Speak No Evil gets 5 stars!
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Since I am into this series, I will also leave you with blurbs from the 1st and 3rd books (click on cover for purchase link). I’ve already read (listened to) book 3, so now I am anxiously waiting for Savanna’s story.
Every event in a person’s life is connected. The state of our lives, at any given time, is the sum of everything we have done and everywhere we have been. Our next decision determines, not merely where our lives end, but who we become along the way. How far can one lost woman go to redeem herself by the time the clock stops ticking?
These are the final moments of Florence W. Aldridge…
Note: This is not a short story. It is a vignette, a snippet of time, meant to be used as a companion to SPEAK NO EVIL and Tell NO LIES. This book does not contain spoilers, so it can be read in advance of the books, but it does not stand alone.
Augusta Aldridge believes in Ian Patterson’s innocence, even after he was arrested for killing two young women. She was with him the night one of the crimes occurred, hidden in the shadows beneath a beachside pier, locked in a wild, unthinking embrace with a man whose dangerous fascination may have fatally lured other victims. Now that another body has been discovered, and a thirteen-year old boy has gone missing, the police suspect a copycat killer, but Augusta is certain they have the wrong man. She’s going to risk her reputation—and her life—to prove Ian’s innocence and save young Cody. But the clock is ticking…