Author: Terri Blackstock
Narrator: Nan Gurley
Published: March 2014 by Zondervan and Brilliance Audio
Genre: Suspense, Christian fiction.
Series: Moonlighters, Book 2
Duration: 8 hours, 48 minutes. Unabridged.
About the Book (from Publisher, Zondervan):
A husband’s lies can have deadly consequences.
When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her sons. But a threatening voicemail escalates this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.
Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too—unless she meets the killers’ demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband’s dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?
My Thoughts on the Story:
It was a pleasure to re-immerse myself into the world of private investigative “moonlighters” Juliet, Cathy, and Holly in this second book in Terri Blackstock’s Moonlighters series. This book reveals more about each sister’s unique personality, while immersing the trio in yet another mystery, with potentially life-or-death stakes. The sisters and their PI friend Michael make a great team, and it’s neat to see how much we learn about them each through their interactions in this story.
The author did a great job drawing me into the characters’ world and making me feel for them. Juliet in particular is going through a lot in this book. Not only has she lost her husband and father of her children, she’s also being forced to face the possibility that his character and their relationship weren’t quite what she thought they were. Consequently, the book takes on something of a mournful tone to match her mood. It’s not really a light read, but it is an emotionally gripping one.
The mystery element is suspenseful and at times quite exciting. It kept me turning the pages. Okay, not literally, since I had the audio edition, but you get what I mean, right? Did not want to hit that pause button.
At one point, the villains’ reasoning for escalating the situation didn’t make logical sense to me. Either I missed something or the characters did. But that instance aside, I was impressed with the story’s development. Plot twists came unexpectedly, but on thinking back, the clues were there, hiding in plain sight. Nicely done. I also liked the way Juliet’s faith colored her reactions within the story, particularly at the end.
You don’t have to have read Book 1 in order to understand and enjoy Book 2, but I’d recommend starting with Book 1 anyway (see my review). Why? The books in this series feature many of the same characters, and if you enjoy one, you’ll probably want to read the others too. And since they do take place in a particular chronological sequence, it kinda makes more sense to read them that way. 😉
Speaking of which, I remain curious to see how certain threads from Books 1 and 2 will be resolved in Book 3. And what kind of mess this family of moonlighting PIs will find themselves facing in the next installment.
My Thoughts on the Audio Edition:
The narrator who read this audiobook (Nan Gurley) is not the same one who read the earlier book in this series (Gabrielle De Cuir). I’m happy to report that I did not find the change jarring or unpleasant. The narrator for this audiobook did a great job with the reading, and I think her style and vocal quality were similar enough to what I remember of the earlier narrator’s performance that the change did not feel out of place. She did a great job reflecting the characters’ emotions, which made the story feel very true to life and gave an added sense of urgency at times. Character voices were differentiated enough that I could easily keep track of who was talking when, within a scene. Overall, a great choice for listening.
Thank you to Brilliance Audio for providing a copy of this audiobook for review purposes.