Narrator: James Anderson Foster, James Foster
Published by Brilliance Audio on 20 March 2018
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Psychological
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He’s as lost as the victims he failed to find…
Eight years ago, Elliott Nash’s daughter was murdered. Since then, everything the brilliant former criminal psychologist had is a memory - his child, his career, his wife, and his home. Now he lives on the streets around Washington, DC, with only a bottomless well of guilt and nightmares to make him feel alive. Until Amy Scowcroft solicits his help.
She refuses to believe that her daughter, Lacey, who was kidnapped a year before, is dead. To the police, it’s a case gone cold. To Elliott, it’s redemption. In fact, Amy has stumbled upon an unnerving new clue: Lacey is just one of seven children from broken homes who vanished near their birthdays. Right now, it’s all they have to run with. Right now, they have no idea where the chase will lead.
As Elliott navigates the streets he knows so well, he and Amy will discover how dark they are—and how many secrets they conceal. Because in a search this harrowing, everybody has something to hide.
©2018 Matthew Iden (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved
Elliot Nash, a criminal psychologist is a ruined man. His daughter was abducted and murdered years ago, causing a deep depression, divorce, alcoholism and ultimately homelessness. Now he may be the only one who can solve the mystery of a host of child abductions, hopefully saving them before they are murdered on their birthday.
This is an unusual crime/mystery novel in that the protagonist is so deeply damaged by his own haunted memories. He is barely able to function, having been homeless so long. Now he has to pull deeply from a long forgotten well of strength to help a desperate mother. Self-destruction is no longer an option.
There are many strange twists in this psychological thriller. What makes a seemingly normal person do such heinous acts? The author does a wonderful job getting us into the minds of his characters, creepy as they are. It is not so much a mystery as a thriller in that the listener kind of watches from above as the events unfold, will they get there in time, and can such damaged people help save these innocent lives.
The story is performed by James Anderson Foster who has a pleasing voice, so easy on the ears. He keeps a melancholy mood throughout, absolutely perfect for the novel. His character voices are appropriate and easily discerned. An excellent performance worthy of this engaging novel. The production quality is excellent as well.
Birthday Girl is a psychological thriller that is thoroughly entertaining, albeit disturbing due to the subject matter. The characters are fully fleshed out, truly the heart of the story. You don’t want to believe such broken and disturbed people exist and can do such terrible things to children. But also know this and worse happens in reality. The question as to why is what really makes this a good listen. Recommended.