Birthday Girl by Matthew Iden

Posted June 14, 2018 by Jay Magidson in Reviews / 0 Comments

Birthday Girl by Matthew IdenBirthday Girl by Matthew Iden
Narrator: James Anderson Foster, James Foster
Published by Brilliance Audio on 20 March 2018
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Psychological
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Rating Report
Story (Plot)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Performance
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Production Quality
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Attention Holding
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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


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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.

About James Anderson Foster

Read the ABR Narrator Interview.

James was born and raised on the west coast, and even though he’s lived in the Midwest for over a decade now, still considers Oregon “home.” Nominated for three Voice Arts Awards in 2015 for best audiobook narration in the science-fiction, fantasy, and mystery categories, James has been praised for his conversational delivery and ability to sound exactly like the voice you were imagining in your head.

About James Foster

Read the ABR Narrator Interview.

James was born and raised on the west coast, and even though he’s lived in the Midwest for over a decade now, still considers Oregon “home.” Nominated for three Voice Arts Awards in 2015 for best audiobook narration in the science-fiction, fantasy, and mystery categories, James has been praised for his conversational delivery and ability to sound exactly like the voice you were imagining in your head.

About Matthew Iden

I write fantasy, science fiction, horror, thrillers, crime fiction, and contemporary literary fiction with a psychological twist.

I’ve held jobs with the US Postal Service, international non-profit groups, a short stint with the Forest Service in Sitka, Alaska, and time with the globe-spanning Semester at Sea program. Trips to Iceland, Patagonia, and Antarctica added to the creative pot, as well, and I started to put all those experiences to good use about eight years ago–thinking, dreaming, and writing.

About Jay Magidson

Lover of books, Sci-Fi, 19th Century literature, young adult, and more, as long as it's good, I'll read or listen. I'm a writer as well, my weekly art column was published for years in the Aspen Daily News, Roaring Fork Sunday and Aspen Sojourner Magazine. I have 5 books in print, all pretty entertaining if you'd like to check them out. And my Sci-Fi novel, "Threshold of the Mind" was recently produced into an audiobook, read by award winning actor: Jeff Clarke (Chicago, Mad Men).

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