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review 2017-04-05 17:42
Not a Sound
Not a Sound: A Novel - Heather Gudenkauf

By:  Heather Gudenkauf 

ISBN: 0778339998

Publisher: Park Row

Publication Date:  5/30/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 5 Stars +++

**Top Books of 2017** 

I am utterly speechless! Brilliantly crafted . . . 5 Stars ++++ LOVED. Just finished this incredible and compelling book. It may take some time to get my heart rate back to normal. My nails will never be the same.

Heather Gudenkauf returns following Missing Pieces landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with her "Best Yet," NOT A SOUND. Hands down, this is the "best book I have read in 2017!" I have no doubt by year end, it will still be the best of the year.

As the book opens we meet ER nurse Amelia Winn, specialized in domestic abuse. She has a patient, Stacey and she is leaving. Amelia walks with her to the car and another car is barreling at them, full speed ahead, which ends in tragedy. An unsolved hit-and-run. (hopefully another book here . . . )

Flash forward two years later, Amelia has found herself deaf, jobless, and now separated from her doctor husband, David, her home and her seven-year-old stepdaughter, Nora.

Life has not been easy. She is not able to continue her career as a nurse, and suffers from alcoholism, since the accident.

She has moved to a cabin in the woods and spends her time on the river, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, and running with her service dog, Stitch. She is trying to rebuild her life.

Amelia delivers all her commands in Czech to Stitch. His former trainer Vilem was originally from Prague and trained all of his police and rescue dogs using Czech commands, including Stitch and Jake’s K-9.

Jake a childhood friend (her brother Andrew's best friend), now Detective and her best friend. He too has experienced tragedy in his life with his wife’s suicide four years earlier off the Five Mines Bridge. He has helped pull her out of the gutter.

Just when Amelia thinks she is getting her life back on track with a job interview at the hospital (a file clerk), not what she was trained to do, but a step back in the direction, she stumbles upon a dead body in the river that same morning. The body turns out to be a fellow nurse, Gwen.

There are only three ways to get to this remote Five Mines River location: by boat, by four-wheeler, or by foot. She cannot believe Gwen Locke is dead and she cannot help but think of her own accident two years ago, which she is not convinced was an accident, after all. They met being sexual assault nurse examiners. Could it be a rapist or an abusive boyfriend for husband looking for revenge?

What if Gwen’s murder and her attempted murder are connected? She and Gwen both treated patients who were abused by very bad people. Would it be a stretch to think they would come after the nurses who were trying to gather forensic evidence to put them in jail for a very long time? Now she is a witness.

Turns out Amelia had pushed everyone away during the two years after the accident while she spiraled down with the devil (alcohol). In looking at some old emails, Gwen had tried to reach out to her. They had been good friends once before she got hit by a car. Before she lost her hearing and abandoned her family and friends for alcohol. They had daughters about the same age.

Presently, Amelia has not had a drink in eighteen months and determined more than ever to get her life back in order to spend time with Nora.

Amelia is one tough cookie (love her) . . . and she soon suspects there is more than meets the eye with the murder. Crazy things begin happening. There are tons of suspects. However, she keeps her suspicions to herself, after Jake tells her to let them handle the case.

She becomes obsessed with finding the killer and begins her own investigation (she is some detective –no slouch here). Her dog Stitch was a gift from her friend Jake and he is always at her side as her loyal companion. Being deaf really sets her back, working with her handicap--especially with a killer on a loose and she may be next.

Without her hearing, she has to rely on her vision to gauge the world around her.

Pretty soon, she begins suspecting things are not as they appear at work, plus she finds herself doing all sorts of illegal things to gather information. She is determined whoever murdered Gwen, is out to get her next. She will not look the other way.

She has two choices when she gets the urge to drink.  The devil is calling her in the back of the cabinet (booze), or she can do what she does to make the urge pass.  Go for a run.  However, when it is dark, remote, and a killer on the loose, the two choices are not so great.  She chooses the darkness and lurking danger outside, over the bottle.

It the meantime, the only person near her is her closest neighbor, Evan who owns the Five Mines Outfitters. She now is dealing with Peter, someone from Gwen's past. An obsessive-compulsive quasi-stalker (used bookstore owner) who lives in his parent’s house and spends his free time in a garage, pasting news articles about his murdered ex-girlfriend into a scrapbook.

She cannot seem to wrap her head around all that has happened. Gwen’s death, her mysterious email, missing records at the hospital, David’s newfound interest in her, not to mention Jake’s; the break-in at her house, the condition of David’s boat, Peter’s strange behavior and his cryptic statement making her suspect her ex-husband.

None of this adds up and she must do more digging. Is she missing something? Something very wrong is going on. Could her doctor ex-husband be involved in a murder? Complex. 

Plus, someone is trying to discredit her by breaking into her house (using her past alcoholism), and setting her up. Someone is trying to cover their tracks, and she may be next on their list. The closer she gets to discovering the truth, she and Stitch find themselves in a complex dangerous web of deceit.

A huge fan of this talented author; have read all her books and enjoyed them immensely; however, this one is particularly powerful, compelling, explosive, intense, and emotional . . . as the author mentions, her most personal; referencing "Amelia is one of her most complicated endearing characters to-date."

If you can only read one (moving and emotional) crime thriller this year— this would be the ONE. There is so much here on a number of different levels. Yes, you need to pre-order ASAP and count yourself fortunate if you land an early reading copy. (I am beyond grateful).

Readers, you will fall in love with Amelia and Stitch (side kick service dog). The most courageous (and intelligent), strong-willed, and witty duo I have ever met between the pages. The duo tackles a powerful sociopath on their own. A whodunit on steroids.

Well-written, to give you an idea: A mix of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, Amy Hatvany, Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Unger, Lisa Gardner (my other 2017 favorite), Jennifer Jaynes, and Michael and Daniel Palmer (medical thrillers), and of course the icing on the cake: Heather Gudenkauf's own signature trademark style. Top-Shelf.

Intricately plotted, fast-paced, memorable characters with realistic inner struggles; highly-charged subject matter, more twists than you can imagine . . . and the riveting taut suspense kept my heart beating non-stop (the scene by the riverbank in the snow) full blown, Tachycardia. This is what I call an "emotional thriller." I would not change one word.

As I mentioned in my comments while reading, I give first prize to Heather, for the "most catching" hook me, at first chapter ever. Jaw-dropping. It does not stop there. The same breakneck speed intensity continues to the explosive heart-pounding finale.

I can see why NOT A SOUND has received rave advance editorial praise. Believe every word. Impeccable research, from cancer, the medical profession, health care, whistleblowing, terminal illness, alcoholism, addiction, step-parenting, marriage, murder, domestic abuse, victims of violent crime, hearing impaired, service dogs, to so much more.

The setting, weather, and nature add to the mystery and intrigue. Reminded me of my days living in Big Canoe (North Georgia mountains) in my log cabin in the woods overlooking a lake; heavenly.

In addition, a huge medical thriller fan as well, and cancer is a topic close to my heart. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. A cautionary tale, (more realistic than we know), without saying too much - a timely subject.

I for one, hope we see more of Amelia and Stitch in future books. They are too good to end. If you have not read this author, what are you waiting for? A book to re-read and have also pre-ordered the audiobook (narrated by Julia Whelan).

Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Reviews
Heather Gudenkauf and Lisa Unger in Conversation

A very "special thank you" to Park Row Books and NetGalley for an early reading copy.



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/01/Not-a-Sound
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-01-30 18:47
Das Flüstern der Stille
Das Flüstern der Stille - Heather Gudenkauf,Ivonne Senn


Mo, 07.11.2016







E-Book Format


9,99 €


Das Flüstern der Stille

Als sie an einem sonnigen Morgen im August aufwachen, stellen zwei Familien fest, dass ihre Töchter über Nacht verschwunden sind. Die siebenjährige Calli, ein verträumtes Kind, das seit seinem vierten Lebensjahr kein Wort mehr gesprochen hat, und Petra, ihre beste Freundin, ihre Seelenverwandte und ihre Stimme. Bei der verzweifelten Suche der Eltern schlägt die gegenseitige Unterstützung schnell in Misstrauen um. Und bald schon müssen alle der Wahrheit ins Auge sehen: Niemand ist so unschuldig, wie es scheint – und einer von ihnen könnte ein Mörder sein …


Meine Meinung:

Ich war bei Netgalley auf das Buch aufmerksam geworden und nachdem ich die Leseprobe dazu gelesen hatte, war ich sehr gespannt auf das Buch. 


Mir ist der Einstieg in das Buch sehr gut gelungen, ich war auch sofort in der Geschichte drin und Spannung war direkt vorhanden. Danach ist das Buch aber leider etwas abgeflaut, ab der Hälfte des Buches kam die Spannung aber wieder auf. Das Ende fand ich sehr passend, so dass dies das Buch für mich noch wieder aufgewertet hat. 


Man lernt hier die kleine Calli kennen, die seit einigen Jahren kein Wort mehr gesprochen hat und ihre Freundin Petra, die für sie mehr oder weniger das Sprechen übernommen hat. Mysteriöserweise verschwinden beide Kinder früh morgens aus dem jeweiligen Elternhaus und es wird eine große Suchaktion gestartet. Ist es derselbe Täter gewesen oder war es Zufall? Was ist mit den zwei Kindern geschehen? Das müsst ihr natürlich selbst herausfinden, aber mich konnte die Geschichte schon faszinieren, auch wenn ich es eher im Genre Familiendrama einordnen würde und nicht unbedingt als Thriller. 


Alles in allem hat mir das Buch sehr gut gefallen, die Thematik war mal etwas anderes. Es hatte zwar auch seine Längen, aber ab der Mitte wurde es wieder spannend und zum Ende hin konnte ich es nicht mehr weglegen. Ich kann hier eine Kauf- und Leseempfehlung geben. Es hat mich auch etwas nachdenklich zurück gelassen. Insgesamt gesehen möchte ich dem Buch 4 Sterne geben. 



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review 2016-02-05 20:35
Missing Pieces. Missing Parts?
Missing Pieces - Heather Gudenkauf

Missing Pieces starts of with some unanswered questions, and just piles more and more of them on.


Sarah Quinlan's husband Jack has been called back to his hometown, Penny Gate, Iowa. His aunt has had a horrific accident, and is in a coma. When Aunt Julia suddenly dies, Jack's family, most notably his sister Amy, are the first person the sheriff suspects of her murder.


As Sarah starts to look into Julia's murder, she discovers that Jack and Amy's mother was brutally murdered in their childhood home. Not killed in a car accident as Jack has maintained for twenty years. Sarah finds a way to get a hold of the case files in Jack's mother's murder, and finds that Jack was not only a suspect, but he was acquitted in the murder. And with Amy jailed for suspicion of Julia's murder, Sarah has to find the murderer before it's too late.


I'll admit, this wasn't my favourite murder mystery. Jack came across as a selfish jerk who puts his comfort ahead of telling his wife the truth. Jack's cousin Dean and his wife Celia had awkward roles, mostly revolving around Celia and Jack being deeply involved with each other before Jack's mother's murder. That's yet another thing that Jack lies to Sarah about. Everything about his past Sarah has to drag out of the past and throw it into Jack's face, where he continues to deny it until enough proof is given that he finally has to grudgingly admit that he's lying yet again.


The twist at the end, where they murderer is revealed did surprise me. It shouldn't have, in retrospect, but I was surprised. All in all, it wasn't a *bad* book, just not on the list of books I'll read again. The first 3/5's had a plodding pace, just rehashing things over and over again. Then the pace began to pick up, but it really didn't redeem the beginning. I picked up and put down this book at least half a dozen times, even reading another book in the middle of it.


If you like murder mysteries that have interesting twists, you may like this. If you like suspenseful books where things build and build slowly to an extreme climax, you may like this. I'm not highly recommending it, but I'm also not saying don't read it. It just wasn't my favourite.


I was provided an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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review 2016-01-27 19:53
Missing Pieces
Missing Pieces - Heather Gudenkauf


Penny Gate, Iowa, sounded like such a serene place, but Sarah found out it definitely was far from serene when it came to her husband's family.

The Quinlans, and especially her husband, Jack, had many secrets about family accidents /murders that were 30 years apart.  Sarah found out more about the secrets in the 24 hours she was in Penny Gate than she knew for the past 20 years of her marriage.

Sarah needed to know why Jack lied to her about how his parents died and answers to other secrets she found out he kept from her.

What brought Sarah and Jack back to Penny Gate after 20 years was an accident that his beloved Aunt Julia had that was similar to his mother's accident.  Aunt Julia had raised Jack and his sister after his parents were gone.

Every hour Sarah and Jack spent in Penny Gate was an hour that added more questions and more secrets being revealed about Jack and his relatives. The revelations were not pleasant.   

MISSING PIECES will have mystery lovers scratching their heads until the last pages as well as loving the intrigue.

Ms. Gudenkauf's detailed writing style and marvelous storyline made MISSING PIECES a book that was difficult to put down.  I stayed up way into the night to finish it.
See if you can solve the mystery of the 30-year-old murder as well as the current one.   The twists and turns along with the very suspenseful ending will have you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the end.

Don't miss reading MISSING PIECES.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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review 2016-01-27 00:00
Missing Pieces
Missing Pieces - Heather Gudenkauf Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

Clueless and Missing Almost Everything

Sarah’s husband of twenty years –Jack – has secrets…a lot of them. If it were not for the fact that they needed to go back to Jack’s hometown because of an accident in the family, we naturally wouldn’t know about these secrets and there would have been no book. (Sorry I couldn’t resist).

Now this apparent ‘accident’ turns into a case of murder and Sarah, who was an investigative reporter before she turned advice columnist, ends up suspecting everyone –though of course not the real murderer. Plus to add to this book –Sarah disregards actually CLUES that are sent directly to her. She was supposed to have been an investigative reporter and missed something as obvious as these clues being sent to her??? Or am I missing something here?

The only reason I didn’t give up on this book at the ¾ mark was to see if my idea of who-dun-it was correct and it was.

This was a very slow moving book that seems to really miss the mark – on nearly every level and could have used an editor or at least a better one. I could not warm up to any of the characters, none of them. Books that us the cliché of making everyone a suspect are usually spine tingling –this one just fell flat for me. It was just a tad too obvious as to who really did it.

*ARC supplied by publisher.
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