Book Club: Not A Sound

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Author: Heather Gudenkauf
ISBN: 9780778319955
RRP: $29.99

We try to offer a range of genres for book club; I then try to separate the genres as I read but that doesn’t always work. I have just read another psychological thriller, we seem to have a lot of them at the moment.

Not A Sound is the latest offering by NYT bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf. I read One Breath Away on it’s release way back in 2012 (I didn’t realise it was so long ago) and really enjoyed it so when I saw this new one being released I jumped at the chance to offer it to book club readers.

Amelia Winn is a passionate sexual assault nurse who is tragically injured by a hit and run driver as she walks a patient to her car after her release from the hospital. Stacey is killed instantly in the collision and Amelia is left with life-changing injuries and an ongoing need to know who may have been driving the car.

Fast forward two years and Amelia is finally starting to find her feet and put her life back together. The accident left her deaf and without her hearing her physical recovery wasn’t enough to get her back to work so she spiraled into a dark depression and sought relief at the bottom of a bottle, ultimately taking away everything else in her life that meant anything to her.

Finally Amelia is finding her way in her new world with the help of her service dog Stitch and her proximity to dense woods and Five Mines river. A paddle on the river or a run through the woods is a great distraction when the temptation for a drink gets too strong, it’s a great way to clear the mind and relieve stress.

One morning Amelia is out for an early paddle before a job interview, her first major step back into society. Instead of clearing her mind Amelia discovers a body floating in the river and gets caught up in a murder investigation. The media doesn’t release her name as the witness but the 911 call she makes does a pretty convincing job of identifying her.

Amelia was an unusual heroine, she suffered injury induced deafness and I can only imagine how difficult that would be to learn to live with. I can see how it would make learning to lip read a little easier and she was still able to talk which I think would make things a little easier, though she was never quite sure on her voice modulation and that definitely makes for some awkward situations.

I think the biggest struggle Amelia faced was the blow to her career. She was still capable, qualified and passionate about her nursing skills but unable to conceive of working with patients when hearing impaired; that’s what spiraled her into an alcoholic haze and now that she’s dragging herself out of it the discovery of a body in her sanctuary is almost enough to send her back to the bottle.

The victim is someone Amelia knows, they were good friends until Amelia locked everyone out of her world and it hits her hard that there’s now no going back. Amelia knows she should leave the investigation to the police, and one of the detectives is her big brother’s best friend, but she can’t seem to let go and leave it to them.

Amelia  has been working hard to get her life back; to prove to her estranged husband that she has her life back under control so he should give her a second chance and allow her more access into Nora’s life. Countless times throughout the story Amelia reminds us that Nora is her stepdaughter and so she has no legal rights, any contact she has is down to what her ex-husband chooses to allow her.

Gudenkauf has woven a tight and suspenseful story that threw enough curve balls to keep me guessing. There were a couple of options that were easily dismissed but also some storylines that I would not have seen coming.

There is an under current of romantic tension and a possible love triangle which I’m still not quite sure how I feel about. In no way is Not A Sound a romance, nor is there a secondary romantic storyline but that element of tension is there. Amelia wants her husband back, she misses her life with him and her time with Nora. But does she really want him back?

The big brother’s best friend, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to learn that Amelia had a crush on him growing up. What girl didn’t crush on at least one of her big brother’s friends. The feelings fade, life goes on and you forget about it. But sometimes you become good friends and you are there to share in each other’s lives. Amelia is sure that Jake sees her as a little sister; he looks out for her and for the most part he doesn’t take her seriously. She will always be the annoying kid sister even if she is all grown up and doing her own clandestine investigations into the murder.

I enjoyed the pacing, I wasn’t left thinking that it just needed to hurry up and have something happen already and I enjoyed that there were so many options for my mind to explore as we started uncovering clues and getting closer to the murderer.

Heather Gudenkauf writes an intense story with an interesting heroine and an uncomfortable storyline. I hope our book club readers enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks to Harlequin 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club members are going to be reading Not A Sound so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

You can find Heather Gudenkauf on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Not A Sound is available now through Harlequin, Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld and where all good books are sold.


22 thoughts on “Book Club: Not A Sound

  1. Thankyou @beautyandlaceclub and @harlequinbooks for providing me the opportunity to read this hard to put down, exciting, riveting thriller.

    Amelia Winn provides a unique character, as Ive never read a book before with a deaf main character. Amelia being deaf provides different elements to the story, some of those things are things we overlook everyday. It provided a look into a different life.

    I absolutely loved Amelia’s service dog, Stitch. He was such a loving loyal dog and I loved him being in the book.

    My other favourite character was Amelia’s lifelong friend Jake. He never gave up on her, no matter what, and was so loyal and caring for her through the whole book.

    This was my first book I’ve read by the author, Heather Gudenkauf, and what a book! It was incredibly hard to put down, and if I’m honest I finished this book in 2 days, in 3 sittings! If I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about it! Will be having a look for other Gudenkauf books.

    I highly recommend anyone to read Not A Sound. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed!

  2. Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf is the first book I have read by this author and must say that I will be endeavouring to read more by her as she well and truly knows how to keep you turning the pages.

    Not A sound is a story of Amelia Winn a nurse who was accompanying a patient to her car when a freak accident happens and the patient dies and Amelia is left deaf. After this Amelia is left struggling with alcohol abuse and depression, her marriage to David falls apart and she is not allowed to see her step-daughter Nora. Moving forward two years Amelia and her service dog, Stitch are putting her life back together.

    Amelia finds peace in paddle boarding and kayaking but again her world is turned upside down when she discovers the body of a woman in a shallow part of the channel and then she realizes that she knows the woman, Gwen also a nurse whom she used to be good friends. This discovery also starts a bit of a roller coaster ride for Amelia, worrying that the publicity of her 911 call may lead the killer to her.

    As clues begin to surface over the death of Gwen, Amelia finds herself getting involved in the investigation. Amelia starts to wonder was Gwen silenced because of a secret she knew about someone in the medical profession. You will need to read the book to find out what really happens but all is not what you may thing it is!

    A great read and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a thriller.

  3. What an amazing, gripping and engaging book. From the first page you are drawn into the story which is rich with backstories and character development. The level of detail provides a rich visual story to play out in your mind and I have to say is the kind of book I love to hate. I hate them because it is just so darn hard to put down.

    This is an easy book to read that you will want to read and I can imagine, will find yourself stealing 5 or 10 minutes here or there to sneak in a couple of extra pages.

    I particularly enjoyed the many twists and turns which were threaded through this book and just when I thought I had the story line all laid out to the end, found myself with new information or a different perspective which kept me guessing all through out the book.

    This is the first book I have read from this author however I know it will not be the last!

    Highly enjoyable and well worth the time to read and I can see, reread in the future.

  4. Not A Sound is an emotional ,interesting, moving, and suspenseful mystery/thriller. This book hooked me in right from the beginning with that ever surprising and unexpected first chapter. I love it when a book grabs my attention and it delivers a well-written, fast-paced, captivating, read. The story is told through the eyes of our main character Amelia and the ears of her loyal service dog Stitch. I was totally immersed in Amelia even though she was such a powerful, unique, and strong female character with endearing and likeable traits. Lots of twists and turns and a hunky policeman added to the enjoyable read!

    … Highly recommended !

  5. Not A Sound is a fantastic thriller that I finished over a couple of days.
    The story is told from the point of view of Amelia Winn, a former nurse at Queen Of Peace Hospital.
    A couple of years ago, Amelia and one of her patients were involved in a hit and run. The patient died, and Amelia was deafened as a result of the collision. The driver was never found.
    The incident wreaked havoc not only her personal but professional life.
    Now a recovering alcoholic, estranged from her husband David and step-daughter Nora, Amelia is looking to return to the workforce.
    On the day of a job interview that she has with Dr Joseph Huntley, the director of a cancer centre, she is out for a paddle with her dog Stitch when she discovers a body floating along the river.
    She realises that the victim is known to her – Gwen Locke used to work with Amelia and was once considered a good friend of hers until Amelia shut out everyone out after the accident.
    When Amelia realises that Gwen had tried to contact her only months before, Amelia feels that she owes it to her friend to try and piece together the circumstances that led her to her tragic death.
    With the help of her brother’s best friend, detective Jake Schroeder, Amelia puts herself in danger on more than one occasion to uncover the truth.
    The story moved along at a good pace, and I was left guessing who the murderer was until the revelation, despite there being several suspects.

    I thought that Amelia was a great character. I admired her determination to regain the trust and respect from her ex-husband. I also felt for her because of the struggles she faced by being hearing impaired. She had worked for 15 years as a nurse, and a further 3 years as a sexual assault nurse examiner, and was clearly quite passionate about her job. Her willingness to return to the workforce after what she had faced was really impressive.
    I adored her dog Stitch, he was such a loyal companion and made sure that Amelia was alert and aware of her surroundings, even when she couldn’t hear what was going on.
    This book had all of the things I look for in a good read; a great cast of characters, and a well-written story line. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful page-turner!

  6. Not a Sound’ is Heather Gudenkaufs latest novel.

    The story is set in a North American town called Mathias, Amelia Winn a former nurse is our

    protagonist. Her life is immediately turned upside down while attending the needs of a patient by

    escorting them to their car.

    An accident leaves Amelia profoundly deaf and requires the assistance of a service dog.

    Two years pass and within that time she has not returned to work, her marriage breaks

    down and she turns to alcohol which results in limited visitations with her step-daughter Nora.

    Amelia’s husband is a doctor and their time together post accident is a strained and unhappy one.

    She is however supported by her childhood best friend Jake Schroeder, a detective and her

    loyal hearing dog Stitch.

    Life is beginning to get back on track for Amelia, she has a job interview for a clerical role in the

    local cancer medical centre. However on the morning of the interview she encounters a body

    floating off the shores of Mathias’s, Five Mines River.

    Amelia is then engulfed by the investigation that follows which threatens to destroy all the gains she

    has made.

    From start to finish I wasn’t able to put this down, it was electrifying and the momentum grew with

    each turning of the page. It was definitely a gripping read that was full of atmosphere that had me

    riveted throughout.

    Big thanks go to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin books for the opportunity of reading this fantastic

    emotive thriller!!!

  7. I read this book in less than two days and found it really easy to read.

    The story starts with Amelia “before” the accident and goes in to the story from there of her discovering the body of her former friend and colleague.

    I enjoyed how the author portrayed the methods Amelia used to try to solve the crime however I did find it a little far fetched that she would be this heavily involved. Despite my reservations I did enjoy the story and have shared the story with others.

  8. I loved this book. It didn’t take me long to read it as I just kept wanting to know what happened.

  9. I LOVED Not a Sound. In fact it’s one of my favourite books this year. It has a good mixture of meaty characters, murder mystery, red herrings and whodunnit.

    Not a Sound is based around the character of Amelia Winn who is left deaf after a hit and run ‘accident’ outside the hospital where ahe works as a sexual assault nurse.

    Fast forward 2 years and she has spent most of that time wallowing in self pity and drinking too much, leading to the separation of her marriage and estrangement of her much-loved step daughter and loss of her career.

    One day out kayaking, Amelia discovers the body of former colleague Gwen who has been murdered in mysterious circumstances.

    So who killed Gwen? Was it Amelia’s new kayak business owning neighbour? Gwen’s husband Marty? Former school mate Peter McNaughten??

    I couldn’t put this book down. It kept me guessing at every corner and kept me on my toes. Amelia was such a great character & her relationships with estranged hubby David & her brother’s friend ‘Jake the cop’ kept things interesting and entertaining.

    If you want a story that’s spelt out for you and easy to guess what’s coming…look somewhere else!

    If you want gripping suspense, excellent writing and a murder mystery with a difference , grab NOT A SOUND. 5 stars from me!

  10. Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf was a great read. Again I got very little extra work done whilst reading it and (luckily) I finished in a couple of days. I was ‘looking for’ baddies almost from the first page and my list of suspects changed regularly (sorry to the innocent characters in the book!) Once I realised who it (probably) was I was on tenterhooks waiting for him to jump out from the shadows and create mayhem and I wasn’t disappointed. The tension then changed from suspense to the fight for survival. Absolutely riveting and the deafness of the protagonist added an extra dimension and also educated me in some of the aspects of deafness and being deaf in ‘normal’ society. Fast paced and completely ‘unboring’.

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