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Not a Sound: A Thriller Paperback – May 30, 2017
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"Heather Gudenkauf is one of my favorite new authors, and NOT A SOUND explains why. You won't be able to put down this breathless story of a young nurse, Amelia Winn, who has lost everything after a tragic accident – her nursing career, her husband, her stepdaughter, and even her hearing. You'll root for Amelia as she battles to reclaim her life and even fights to get justice for a friend of hers, a nurse who was brutally murdered. NOT A SOUND is not only a riveting thriller, but it's a moving portrait of a woman who is stronger than she ever believed possible, against all odds." -Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author
"[A] moving thriller... Gudenkauf maximizes tension all the way through the literally cliff-hanging finale." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Gudenkauf has created a memorable character in Amelia. Self-deprecating and sometimes angry, her candid voice is a breath of fresh air and an antidote to traditional thriller heroines. In addition, she is self-reliant and strong. The plot contains some clever twists, and the final showdown crackles with tension. It's hard not to root for Amelia and Stitch; flawed as they are, they're tough, engaging fighters. Come for the mystery; stay for the taut suspense, the unique heroine-and of course, the ugly, loyal dog." -Kirkus Reviews
"Heather Gudenkauf has created a special thriller with a unique and brilliantly effective hook that I simply could not put down. Not a Sound gripped me and held me tight until the very last page-and I'm still shivering." -C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Vicious Circle
"Twisting, atmospheric and dark, Heather Gudenkauf's NOT A SOUND will draw you right into the silent world of Amelia Winn and keep you riveted. This is a thrill ride to be sure, but it's also a gripping tale of tragedy and redemption. If you haven't read Heather Gudenkauf yet, now's the time." -Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of THE RED HUNTER
"When was the last time you stayed up late because you just had to finish a thriller? [Not a Sound] kept me reading till the birds started chirping." –The Washington Post
"Heather Gudenkauf has written a spell-binding thriller which reminds us just how strong the human spirit can be, and yet how fragile life is." –Suspense magazine
"[Heather Gudenakuf is] rendering some of the most compelling and likable female characters in print today... Recommended for all fans of psychological suspense, particularly those who enjoy Jennifer McMahon and Jodi Picoult." –Booklist
"A fast-paced... suspense novel that will appeal to fans of Joy Fielding and Jenny Milchman." –Library Journal
About the Author
Heather Gudenkauf is an Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Heather lives in Iowa with her husband and children. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and running.
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Amelia Winn was a successful ER nurse in Iowa for 18+ years specializing in sexual assault cases until one night she walks a patient to her vehicle and both are hit by a hit and run driver. The other woman is killed and Amelia wakes up totally deaf.
She was happily married before the accident with a step-daughter she loves and she ends up losing her job, her marriage and visiting rights to her step-daughter when she self-medicates with booze.
Two years later she's finally getting her life back on track when she finds the body of a nursing friend of hers that has been murdered in the river where she's been paddle boarding with her Slovak short-haired pointer service dog, Stitch.
I loved the way the author developed Amelia's character and I loved Stitch. I do wish she had developed some of the other characters more because, by not doing so, it made the ending feel rushed.
I liked the storyline and it kept me guessing right up to the very end. There were lots of interesting tidbits about lip reading, American Sign Language, service dogs, and nursing that I enjoyed reading about.
The only thing that kept me from giving this a five star rating was the last chapter, which arrived at a lot of conclusions that weren't well developed throughout the whole story.
I still recommend this to anyone looking for a mystery with a different spin - or those interested in books with deaf protagonists, dogs, or nurses.
Once a nurse, Amelia Winn is left deaf after a car plows into her and a domestic violence victim she’s escorting to the car. She turns to alcohol and estranges herself from her husband, her stepdaughter, and her friends, losing her job as well.
Now trying to put her shattered life back together, she’s out paddle boarding with her service dog when she finds the dead body of a nurse she’s once worked with.
I liked reading from a deaf person’s perspective. Also, Amelia is always out jogging or kayaking, but she does it to relieve stress and enjoy nature. We’re not constantly being told how strong and attractive she is, which I appreciated.
Unfortunately, I figured out the killer early on, although not all the specifics, and it didn’t take away from how intense the tension was once Amelia figures it out and realizes she’s in fatal danger.
At the beginning of this captivating suspense novel, we learn that Amelia was rendered profoundly deaf by a hit-and-run driver. She lost her job in the emergency room. She became an alcoholic. Her husband kicked her out. Contact with her stepdaughter was restricted. Fighting depression, she stopped drinking, learned sign-language and lip-reading, acquired Stitch, a big Slovakian service dog, and hopes to land a clerical job in a cancer center. Then, in the river near her cabin, she discovers the body of Gwen, another nurse and once a good friend, who had been brutally strangled.
Is Amelia in danger? An intruder sneaks into her cabin. Someone wants people to think she is drinking again. Besides Stitch, whom can she trust? Her ex-husband, who didn’t want her to take the job at the cancer center? Her friend the cop, who warns her not to play detective? Her odd neighbor? The dork who once dated Gwen? Amelia’s new boss? He berates her, now a mere clerk, for saving the life of a woman who collapsed in the waiting room. While entering records into the center’s computer system, she finds anomalies. She wonders if Gwen suspected something at the cancer center was amiss.
The cliff-hanging (well, bluff-hanging) climax reminded me of the 1967 movie “Wait Until Dark,” in which Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman who must fight for her life at the end.
Best-selling author Heather Gudenkauf is partially deaf, herself. So am I. Both of us must struggle to hear others in a noisy environment. She told bookish.com, “I wanted to feature a heroine who is smart, strong and fiercely independent, who happens to be deaf.” Amelia Winn is all that.
You will root for Amelia even if your hearing is 100%.