The Overnight Guest @hgundenkauf #parkrow @absltmom

“His shadow crawled across the wall. He was getting closer. “Come on,” he called out. “Did you really think I would let you leave? You know better than that. You belong to me.”

My review

I love stories that have a background of a snowstorm howling in the wind, so when this book started with a little girl being found on the doorstep of a true crime writer, it had all the makings of a story I would love. Wylie Lark is stunned to find her solitude interrupted by the appearance of this child who wouldn’t speak, but needed to be inside because of the bitter cold.

As if this was not offsetting enough, the house that Wylie was in had been the scene of a grisly murder of two adults and a missing child. Originally suspicion fell onto the son of the murdered couple, but later that evidence whittled away.

The three story lines in the book, initially threw me off, but as the author, Heather Gundenkauf, wove the pieces together, she created a well-done thriller with just the right amount of secrets, lies, and atmosphere.

We learn of a horrific killing, of a daughter escaping and a friend who was staying overnight missing, all of which happened in the past. The daughter Josie, was left alive but was able to flee with the murderer is hot pursuit.

The years go by and still no person has been brought to trial. Years later, we are introduced to Wylie, a true crime writer, who has rented the very same place where the murders had occurred. It’s a stormy night filled with ice and snow and in this isolated place Wylie finds a child, silent and fearful, who Wylie tries to help. There had been an accident so Wylie ventured out to find if anyone was hurt and finds who she assumes is the child’s mother badly hurt. She helps her as best she can, and decides to go back to the house to try and get help. When Wylie returns, the woman is gone and the story veers to the dangerous world that Wylie finds herself entrenched in.

I enjoyed this story and was particularly moved by the haunting atmosphere the author created. While one might have guessed some concepts, many were shed by revelations that indeed created the twists and turns of the tale.

Thank you to Heather Gundenkaug, Park Row, and NetGalley for a copy of this thriller which has already published on January 25, 2022

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