- Author: Lisa Unger
- Performed by Julia Whelan
- Released: April 2017 by Simon & Schuster Audio
- Category: Thriller, Audiobook, Review, Crime, Suspense
What is the difference between justice and revenge? In this buzzworthy new standalone thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place…
Initially the characters, their stories and the differing timelines seem unrelated – until the threads of the intricately woven plot begin to come together. The story opens with an unknown protagonist, told in the first person as she confronts someone from her past.
Claudia Bishop was looking for a fresh start when her marriage failed. She moved to the country with her daughter, Raven, and began renovating an old, run down property in the country. Her life had never been the same after a violent assault in her own home, the struggle to regain some semblance of normality and the recovery process was chronicled in her popular blog, which morphed into an ongoing account of her renovation project.
In the wake of the trauma of her parents’ murder and recovery from her own injuries, Zoey Drake welcomes the growing rage that continues to consume her, channeling it into becoming proficient in martial arts, training other young women in self-defence and the need for her own form of retribution. The Red Hunter, vigilante, is born.
“Get out of here,” he says, snatching the groceries from my hand, pushing past me. “Go on now. Get out.”
I close the door. He turns and takes me in with those eyes.
There he is. The monster I remember.
“Who are you?” he asks.
“Don’t you know me?” I ask with a smile. It has been many years, and a lot has happened between then and now. A whole lifetime really.
But he does know me. He does. I can see it as he starts to back away.
“That’s right,” I say. “Me.”
Two strangers determined not to be victims again. Both trying to cope in their own way after violence changed their lives forever, both unaware of the dark past that unites them and how their lives will converge.
The initial build up is steady and intriguing as we get to know the characters through flashbacks, differing perspectives and the present. The story flows well and never slackens. Told in the first person from Zoey’s perspective, and the third person otherwise. The characters, including the evil ones, are well drawn, complex and, excluding the evil ones, sympathetic.
The underlying messages are thought provoking. Raven, wanting to know where she belongs. Was she the product of rape or was her father the man who has always loved her as his own. ‘Why do you think where you came from has anything to do with where you belong?’
Zoey, clinging to the conviction that avenging her parents’ death will be her liberation. Sometimes there’s a very fine line between right and wrong. ’When you plan revenge, you should dig two graves – one of them for yourself.’
A compelling and wonderfully crafted story with realistic characters, although not everyone is quite who they seem. There are secrets, intrigue, betrayals and truths to face. I loved the book, the way the story unfolded and I listened every spare minute. It was brought to life brilliantly by Julia Whelan’s excellent performance.
Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon.com, Independent Booksellers, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel to name a few.
Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.