The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
June 7, 2022, by Sourcebooks
Review by Melinda
I’m always looking for good thrillers, and I think they can be difficult to find. It takes someone really talented to build the suspense necessary to keep a reader invested in the plot, and then even more difficult to have a twist that no one sees coming. The Woman in the Library does the next to impossible and has high tension, a unique format, and is completely addictive.
I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend for anyone reading this book, as there is a complicated setup in the beginning. There is a story within a story happening, beginning with Winnifred Kincaid writing a thriller about a murder in a library. Simple enough. But then there is the second story introduced with Leo, a big fan of Winnifred’s, who is emailing her with feedback and suggestions for every few chapters. The concept is not confusing to understand but the flow is interrupted enough in the beginning that it could be difficult enough to turn off some readers. Stick with it!! The audiobook helped me through that confusion because there are multiple narrators and that helped to clarify what was happening.
The main plotline is Winnifred’s, and we get to know the 4 main characters pretty well. Cain, Whit, and Marigold were all sitting in the library with Winnifred when the murder took place and they become fast friends. The book quickly turns into a Whodunit mystery as there are various attacks and murders happening – as well as hookups within the group of friends. I suspected each of the friends at different times but really had no clue who was the murderer.
But my favorite part of the book was how Leo, the deranged fan, was woven into the story. Getting his feedback every few chapters was amusing at first because I could just hear some of the complaints in reviews I’ve read before. But they turn darker as the book goes on. The author really did an incredible job of interspersing these sparingly and in exactly the right way to capitalize on the reader’s sense of ‘what is happening!?’ The audiobook was so wonderful with the alternating narration.
The audiobook was so wonderful with the alternation narration and I think audio is the way to go with this book. Overall, this was such a clever suspense and I’m looking forward to more from this author.