Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Village by Caroline Mitchell
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Published by Brilliance Audio, Thomas & Mercer on January 25, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 8 hours, 39 minutes
Ten years ago, the Harper family disappeared. Their deserted cottage was left with the water running, the television playing cartoons, the oven ready for baking. The doors were locked from the inside.
Overnight, the sleepy village of Nighbrook became notorious as the scene of the unsolved mystery of the decade, an epicentre for ghoulish media speculation.
For crime journalist Naomi, solving the case has turned into an obsession. So now, with Ivy Cottage finally listed for sale, it’s her chance to mount an investigation like no other. And her husband and stepdaughter don’t really need to know what happened in their new home… do they?
But Nighbrook isn’t quite the village she expected. No one wants to talk to her. No one will answer her questions. And as she becomes increasingly uneasy, it’s clear that the villagers are hiding something―that there is something very dark at the heart of this rural idyll. And the deeper she digs, the more it seems her investigation could be more dangerous than she ever imagined… In raking up the secrets of the past, has she made her own family the next target?
I have read another series by this author and somehow didn’t pay very much attention to the blurb, thinking this would be a police procedural. The Village is much more a psychological suspense. Naomi, as a crime journalist, wants to know what happened to a family and buys the home where they disappeared. Her new husband and step-daughter, Morgan, move to this remote small village and she sets out to solve the mystery.
The villagers are close to hostile right away when she asks about it. They begin shutting her out. Strange things happen with people in the house and around the house. Naomi continues reading old newspapers and searching through old boxes in the loft. The village takes right to gossiping and trying to ruin her credibility.
Meanwhile, Morgan is not pleased to be moved away from her mother and into a remote area. She pranks and maligns Naomi at every chance. She even has an online “boyfriend” who she shares her rants about Naomi. She does manage to make a friend in the new village which gives her experiences to better grasp her current situation.
Just when it seems like Naomi will be stymied, she learns some truths, which set off a chain of unexpected events. Would she and her family die like the Harpers? The ending was very exciting and well concluded.
I have listened to this narrator a bit now. The voices between books sounds similar so it takes a moment for me to settle into the new characters. I enjoy her performance with male and female voices sounding appropriate, with some differentiation between charaters. I love audio for a British setting. I was able to listen at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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