Author: Caryn Larrinaga
Narrator: Jessica McEvoy
Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Books 1-3
Publisher: Twisted Tree Press
Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery
“Grief can change us… rewire our brains and shift the way we look at the world…”
After returning home from her father’s funeral to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman, Mackenzie Clair is looking for a fresh start. She thinks she’ll find it in her favorite childhood vacation spot, but returning to Donn’s Hill awakens more than nostalgia. Mac regains a lost psychic ability to talk to the dead, and the poltergeist haunting her apartment is desperate to make her use that gift to find his killer.
Aided by her new roommate – a spirited Tortoiseshell cat named Striker, and the ghost-hunting crew of the nationally televised show Soul Searchers, Mac struggles to learn how to use her powers. But she’d better get a handle on them fast, because someone in town is hiding a deadly secret. If Mac can’t somehow divine the truth, Donn’s Hill will never be the same.
I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy from Audiobookworm Promotions. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
Mac moves to Donn’s Hill which she has fond memories of visiting when she was young. As she starts a new page in her life, her psychic abilities are heightened. Her character is developed throughout the story and as Mac learns more about herself, the reader learns more about her as well. The other characters are interesting, some quirky, and although they’re not as well developed as Mac, they add a lot to the story. My favorite character is Mac’s cat, Striker. Actually, I’m not sure if Striker belongs to Mac or if it’s the other way around.
The story started slowly but became more interesting once Mac meets the Soul Searchers, a group who help people find closure with ghosts, and they even have their own show. They’re excited to have a psychic on their team before Mac even realizes that that is what she is. Shortly after she joins the Soul Searchers, Mac finds a body and realizes that it’s the man (poltergeist) who has been haunting her since she arrived in town. She has so many questions once she finds the body! Will she be able to sort things out? Will she be able to find the killer?
Jessica McEvoy does a great job with the different voices in the story. She’s the perfect narrator for Donn’s Hill. This is more a performance than a narration and she brings the story alive. I did have to increase the speed to 1.3X because the narration was a little slow but then it was perfect.
I’m looking forward to listening the next book in the series!
About the Author
Caryn Larrinaga is a Basque-American mystery and horror writer. She has been a Dragon Award finalist and won multiple awards for her work, including the League of Utah Writers Silver Quill (Donn’s Hill, 2017) and the Cat Writers Association Certificate of Excellence (Donn’s Legacy, 2020). In 2021, she was named Writer of the Year by the League of Utah Writers.
Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. Her 90-year-old house has a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed.
Caryn lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats.
Caryn is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Cat Writers Association, the League of Utah Writers, and the Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.
About the Narrator
Jessica McEvoy is a desert-dwelling Arizonian transplanted to the snowy hills of South Dakota. Though she is best known for her work on The NoSleep Podcast, Jessica can also be heard on The Wicked Library, Creepy, Sirenicide, Victoria’s Lift, and others, as well as a variety of audiobooks. Her days are spent being inordinately proud of her three cats for merely existing and praying for winter to end. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jnmcevoy for pictures of aforementioned cats, books, and copious amounts of food, or on Twitch at twitch.tv/jessicamcevoy where she fails to solve basic puzzles in children’s games.