Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Bright and Deadly Things by Lexie Elliott
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham, Vidish Athavale, Olivia Dowd, Andrew Fallaize, Saskia Maarleveld, Elle Newlands, Nicholas Guy Smith
Published by Berkley, Penguin Audio on February 14, 2023
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 12 hours, 31 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
The Chalet des Anglais should be the ideal locale for recently-widowed Oxford don Emily to begin cutting through the fog of her grief. With no electricity, running water, or access by car, the rustic chalet nestled at the foot of the verdant, snow-topped Alps should afford Emily both time and space to heal. Joining her will be a collection of friends from the university, as well as other fellows, graduates, and undergraduates.
Something feels off, though—heightening Emily’s existing grief-induced anxiety. Before even making it to the airport, she’s unnerved by a break-in at her home. Once at the chalet, tension amongst the guests is palpable. Her friends and colleagues are behaving oddly, and competition for a newly opened position has introduced a streak of meanness into the otherwise relaxing getaway. As hostilities grow, Emily begins to wonder if the chalet’s dark history has cast a shadow over the retreat. In the salon, a curious grandfather clock looms, the only piece of furniture to survive a deadly blaze a century ago. As its discordant bell begins to invade everyone’s dreams, someone very real has been searching through Emily’s things and attempting to hack into her computer.
When a student disappears, Emily realizes that she’d better separate friend from foe, and real from imagined—or the next disappearance may be her own.
Nothing like a remote location, work trip to be conducive to murder. I knew when Emily had people breaking into her house and office, that she should be more careful. Pretty quickly, it was clear someone was after her based on her husband’s work and patents he could have. I even knew who it was going to be early in the story.
The problem was proof. It was easy to get distracted by all the odd happenings and then the death of the student. I felt Emily was a little stupid about her own safety, although who was really trustworthy? Emotions were running high in that space and people made some rash judgements. It was good to finally see her sit back and actually think through what she knew and not tell people or question them. But she had grief over her husband’s death to cloud some thinking. Plus it’s hard to believe bad things about people one has considered close friends and coworkers.
Events were exciting and a bit titillating, with too many dangerous attempts on lives. I wasn’t sure who killed the student. It was thrilling to get to hear part of her diary and then scary when the diary went missing. I really enjoyed the ride here, being a bit scared and worried. The ending was satisfying with the truths coming out in the end.
With most of the story from Emily’s point of view, Fiona Hardingham had the bulk of the narration. I enjoy her work and this was no exception. The other narrators came in seamlessly, not disrupting the flow of the story and its spell, which is a splendid performance. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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