I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain
Narrator: Cris Dukehart, Julie McKay, Randye Kaye
Published by Tantor Audio on December 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Length: 13 hours, 33 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
Her family's cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer-until her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.It's been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie's memories of her sister's death still shape her world. Now someone from her past is raising questions about what really happened that night. About Julie's own complicity. About a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. About the person who went to prison for Izzy's murder, and the person who didn't.Faced with questions and armed with few answers, Julie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the complex emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.
Cozy mystery writer Julie Sellers answers her door one afternoon and her whole life changes. The daughter of her former summer beach playmate, Ethan Chapman, informs her that the man she believed to have murdered her 17-year old sister, Isabel, 42 years ago has died. Ethan’s brother, Ned, left a note that seems to confirm her long-held suspicions.
What I enjoyed
The story also focuses on the women in Julie’s family, including her 17-year old daughter who looks remarkably like Isabel. The narrative is delivered in three voices: Julie’s, her younger sister, Lucy, and her mother, Maria. It also transitions between 1962 and the present and is done skillfully. I never felt lost and the fusion of the three perspectives was just about perfect. I really enjoyed how the story unfolded and though I figured out the mystery fairly early, there was still some surprise.
The three narrators delivered fine performances, with the exception of the one delivering Julie’s story (Julie McKay). She has an affectation when reciting dialogue that ended in “he said” or “she said.” She separated them from the sentence, highlighting “said” and elongating the word into a question. It was highly distracting and annoying, marring an otherwise wonderful performance. I got used to it about halfway and was able to enjoy the story so stick with it!
The bottom line
This was my first book by the author and I like how she tells a story, weaving in many dimensions of the characters’ lives that somehow connect and make them relevant. She painted a vivid picture of each, flaws and all. My only criticism was how after creating such a lush story, the author seemed to rush the ending. However, I have several more of her books on my shelf and am now excited to start them.
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I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!
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