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Not a Sound

Review

Not a Sound

Amelia Winn is struggling to get her life back on track. Two years ago, she was involved in a hit-and-run accident that left her deaf and another woman dead. Coming to grips with the wreckage of her life has been hard: “Two years later, I’m almost divorced, unemployed, profoundly deaf, probably an alcoholic and still a little pissed. Okay, an alcoholic. No probably. I still find it hard to admit.” Her marriage to David, an OB/GYN, is all but over. In the wake of her accident, Amelia turned to the bottle and David finally couldn’t take it. He didn’t want Amelia around him or his seven-year-old daughter, Nora, his only child from his first marriage, even though Amelia is the only mother she’s ever really known. She lost her position as a nurse at the local hospital, a job that she truly loved and at which she excelled.

When Amelia was at the end of her rope, Jake was there. Jake, a local police detective in their hometown of Mathias, Iowa, had been a longtime family friend, one of her brother’s best friends, who dragged her out of bed and got her to an AA meeting. He helped put her on the path to recovery. Not only that, Jake introduced her to possibly the most important man in her life: her new service dog, Stitch, who is now faithfully by her side to help her navigate her new, soundless life.

"...a compelling, page-turner of a thriller... Heather Gudenkauf surprises her readers with each turn, and with each new possible scenario. But in addition to being transfixed by the action, you also really care about the characters."

In an effort to establish a new life, Amelia has moved to her family’s empty lake house along the Five Mines River, and most days begin with the newly sober Amelia on her paddle board, along with Stitch, traversing the circuitous river. But this particular morning is different. She's trying to clear her head before the job interview she has later that day. Her soon-to-be ex-husband went out on a limb to set up this appointment at the local health care clinic run by his colleague, Dr. Huntley, even though it’s not a nursing position. Despite still having her R.N. license, Amelia has to find a way to nurse despite her disability. This job is purely clerical, but it’s a start.

Hopefully it’s the first of many steps to get her old life back. She will prove it to David, Nora, Jake and everyone else who doubts her commitment to sobriety. But when Stitch takes off on her and races into the brush by the side of the river, Amelia thinks he has found a skunk or some other animal. It’s soon clear, though, that’s it’s something far more sinister. It’s a dead body. And what’s worse, “I know her. Knew her. The dead woman is Gwen Locke and at one time we were friends.”

On what should have been a typical morning, Amelia finds herself in the midst of the investigation into Gwen’s death. They had both worked as nurses at the local hospital. Gwen had even reached out to Amelia after her accident, but like most of her former friends, she had ignored her. Was Gwen’s death the result of random foul play, or was she involved in something nefarious? Was she having an affair, or did she uncover something criminal at the hospital and was killed because of it? Can Amelia find out the culprit’s identity before falling prey to the killer herself?

NOT A SOUND is a compelling, page-turner of a thriller --- similar to Wait Until Dark, but with a hearing-impaired protagonist. Heather Gudenkauf surprises her readers with each turn, and with each new possible scenario. But in addition to being transfixed by the action, you also really care about the characters. If you're looking for a great vacation read, plane read, or if you have time on a rainy afternoon and want to be utterly transported, this is the book for you.

Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on May 30, 2017

Not a Sound
by Heather Gudenkauf

  • Publication Date: May 30, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Park Row Books
  • ISBN-10: 0778319954
  • ISBN-13: 9780778319955