22.7.17

BLOG TOUR: Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf

I'm on the blog tour today for Heather Gudenkauf's latest book, Not a Sound, here's the idea behind this fantastic book:

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters- her job, her husband David and her step-daughter Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.
As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

Publisher: HQ
Pages: 352

Heather Gudenkauf has kindly written a piece about Thrillers for my stop on the blog tour:

Growing up, my initial love for thrillers came from watching Friday and Saturday night television with my dad and five brothers and sisters. My mom would spread an old sheet across the television room floor and we'd gather around a big bowl of popcorn to watch shows and movies like Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Unsolved Mysteries, The Hand, and The Sentinel (I still have nightmares about this movie). At the beginning of the evening, much to the dismay of my siblings, I'd park myself directly in front of the television set and as the suspense and tension grew I'd slowly inch away from the screen until my back was pressed against the door. As much as I loved watching scary I'd inevitably pay for it with sleepless nights with visions of all sorts of evil lurking beneath my bed.
As a child after my frequent visits to the public library I'd come home with stacks of Encyclopedia Brown, Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew books. In my teen years I discovered VC Andrews' FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC and Richard Peck's absolutely terrifying ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? When I became an adult my dad and I started passing suspenseful novels back and forth and to this day we still swap our current reads.
Over the years I found that while each thriller writer has their own style and unique way of bringing a story to life, every gripping thriller has a few things in common: an engaging premise and characters the reader cares about.
Like most writers, I’m a collector of possible topics for my novels. I scan newspaper headlines, listen to talk radio. Interestingly, as a writer of suspenseful, domestic dramas, I am constantly asked by well-meaning people about the awful childhood I must have experienced but I'm relieved to have had a blissfully uneventful childhood with two great parents. However, it is perfectly okay to infuse life experiences into the creation of your suspense novel. For example, in my new release, NOT A SOUND, the main character, Amelia Winn, is profoundly deaf and discovers a body while paddle boarding along the river. I also have a significant hearing loss and got the idea for the novel while paddle boarding with some friends. Thankfully we found no dead bodies but did see a man digging a hole along a particularly isolated section of river and the idea behind NOT A SOUND was born.
The characters in your thriller need to capture the hearts and minds of your readers. It's important to develop characters that your readers instantly care about. Once readers become invested in what happens to those who inhabit your books, they will stick around to the very end. Early readers of NOT A SOUND said they immediately fell in love with flawed, feisty Amelia and her service dog Stitch. I hope Amelia and Stitch capture your hearts too!

I was very impressed by Heather Gudenkauf's previous book Missing Pieces so I jumped at the chance ti be part of this blog tour and review her latest book, Not a Sound
Amelia Winn is the protagonist  and I immediately liked her, she's quite feisty and determined but with a deeply caring side. Heather Gudenkauf takes the reader straight into the thick of it and we see Amelia involved in a hit and run accident which leaves her friend dead and Amelia profoundly deaf. Gudenkauf shows how she spirals after the accident, losing her job, her husband and her step-daughter Nora. She does eventually get a hold of herself and we see her two years later trying to get on with her life. She has a new job and her hearing dog, Stitch is helping her negotiate the world without her hearing. The book takes a dramatic turn when Nora discovers a body by the river; she becomes disturbed to learn that the woman murdered was also a nurse. She starts to spend a lot of time with Jake who she knows from childhood and he is now the police detective in the town where she is living. Amelia becomes convinced that she knows the identity of the killer and she becomes focused on bringing them to justice. But doing so could mean risking everything all over again.
Not a Sound is fast paced and well plotted, I loved that the author went straight into the thick of it. Once Amelia discovers the body there are so many twists and turns and Gudenkauf successfully keeps the reader guessing. 
As with Missing Pieces, the author has created very well rounded and believable characters. I found Amelia and her situation to be completely realistic. I really enjoyed the relationship between Amelia and her hearing dog Stitch. They are very much a team and the love and respect they develop for each other adds a different element to the book. 

I would highly recommend Not a Sound, there is a lot going on in the book to raise it above the standard, cliched thriller, don't miss it! 




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