Saturday, June 03, 2023


Title: The Fear of Winter

Author: SC Sterling

Narrator: Jess Nahikian

Publisher: No Bueno Publishing

Pages: 233

My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐



Tom and Lisa Floyd’s lives have been upended since their daughter, Megan, disappeared over 18 months ago. Their marriage has disintegrated, and their lives are on hold. A year later, Tom hires PI Marshall Yorke, a former detective, and his assistant Hannah Jacobs to find the answers he’s been unable to find. Their investigation reveals that Megan was not the sweet girl her parents think she was. She was living a dangerous other life, that may have proved disastrous for her.

The book evokes the deep cold of the winter, plonking us into the setting. The author delves deep into the lives of all the characters, including Tom, Lisa, Marshall and Hannah, all with detailed broken backstories. Since this is Book 1 of a series, the details are understandable. But it doesn’t really help, as not all these characters will show up in Book 2.

Except for Hannah, I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of the others. Incidentally, Hannah cuts herself. The portions of the narrative referring to this might act as a trigger for vulnerable individuals.

There is a lot of bad language, which I find very off-putting. The deletion of the f-bombs and their variants would have cut this book down by more than 200 words. Also, the recitation of the names of the tracks that various characters were listening to, and the names of the performing artistes were details that told us nothing more than the fact that the author is a huge music enthusiast. The action and the images conjured by the descriptions are rather disturbing.

What complicates our feelings towards Megan is that she is not the quintessential good girl. She is a drug dealer. I didn’t care for her at all. I wasn’t expecting someone perfect, but we barely knew enough about Megan to care for her.

The chapters are long. There wasn’t much of a twist. After a while, the book became a real chore to read. Even the resolution of the mystery was rather tame. Halfway through the book, the identity of the person responsible for Megan’s disappearance was evident. By this time, I had stopped caring about the characters at all.

The narrator did a good job over 7 hours and 10 minutes, although the male speaking parts were a drag.

(I read this book on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.) 

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