Wednesday, February 02, 2022

The Necklace by Matt Witten

 
First Lines: Sunday, April 7, Twenty Years Ago. "Which do you like better?" Amy asked. "The purple dolphin or the pink duck?"
 
Due to the generous donations of the people in her small hometown, Susan Lentigo is ready to set out on a road trip she's been waiting twenty years to undertake. Twenty years ago, her seven-year-old daughter was raped and murdered, and now Susan is on her way to a front-row seat at the prison to watch justice be done as the killer is executed.
 
She's barely set out on her journey when she is stunned to learn that the man in prison for her daughter's murder may actually be innocent and that the real killer is still free. At first, Susan isn't sure about what she should do, but when she learns that her prime suspect has a young daughter who's at terrible risk, she knows she must do something.

Trouble is, she's finding it difficult to find someone to help her. The FBI doesn't want to reopen the case. Even her mother thinks she's just having an emotional meltdown. But then Susan finds help from two unlikely sources: a rebellious teenage girl and the retired cop who made the original arrest. But is it too little too late? Will Susan Lentigo finally find justice for the condemned man and for her daughter?

~

Due to some stand-out writing by Matt Witten and some excellent narration by Harley Jane Kozak, The Necklace turned out to be a story that kept me cheering for Susan Lentigo's ultimate success. Susan's voice drew me right into the heart of the story and never turned me loose. This woman's life slammed into a brick wall twenty years ago when her seven-year-old daughter was raped and murdered, and she's never wanted to recover from it. She expects nothing from life, and your heart aches for her as she relives her memories of life with her little girl.

This story puts its foot on the gas and never lets up as Susan begins her journey to a North Dakota prison. Readers experience the trauma she and her husband suffered twenty years ago, and while we can see how the shock and indescribable pain sometimes made Susan overreact to situations, I for one never doubted her when she learned of the real killer's identity. 

What added strength and veracity to the story was the addition of the two people who believed Susan. One, a rebellious teenage girl who recognized in Susan the parent she wanted (and deserved) but didn't have, and the other, the retired cop who made the original arrest and wound up putting an innocent man behind bars. When you've got a trio of characters like these who are willing to fight against the odds, you've got one dynamite story and one emotionally-charged ending nothing will stop you from reading.

I want to thank the person who recommended The Necklace to me. I'm certainly going to be on the lookout for more of Matt Witten's writing.

The Necklace by Matt Witten
Narrated by Harley Jane Kozak
ASIN: B09CLQY1XW
Oceanview Publishing © 2021
Audiobook. 8 hours, 34 minutes.

Standalone Thriller
Rating: A
Source: Purchased from Audible.

24 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked this so well, Cathy. It certainly sounds like a powerful story, and I can only imagine Susan's pain and grief. I think I would have to be in the right sort of mood for this one, as I usually find it hard to read stories where that sort of harm comes to children. Still, it sounds very well done.

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    1. What happened to Amy was very sensitively handled, with the author letting readers' imaginations supply 99.9% of the details. I like it when authors trust their readers enough to do this.

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  2. I believe this one will be another "must read" for me.

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    1. I'll be interested in seeing what you think of it if you get a chance to read it, Dorothy.

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  3. So glad you liked it...I could not put this book down. The writing and characterizations are both excellent. I was cheering for Susan throughout the book, despite the final shocking results of her investigation.
    I will also look for more books by this author.

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    1. I'm in the middle of Book Heaven right now. I just finished an excellent historical mystery filled with hidden rooms and passageways, and I'm alternating reading with two more winners, Chris Hammer's Opal Country and Reavis Wortham's The Texas Job. I love it when this happens.

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    2. Good for you. Enjoy. I liked Hammer's Scrublands, but his books aren't carried by my library. Otherwise, I'd be immersed in one of his other books. And I'm Kindleless until the wifi/courter situation is cleared up.
      I'm recovering from long-haul COVID and today was my first da of any productivity at all. Once I got some things done, ready for FedEx and did some phone calls, I conked out for several hours. Have The Dark right now.
      What terrific historical mystery are you reading inquiring minds want to know? Or should we wait until the review is posted?
      I missed reserved library books due to not being able to go outside, but they're on hold again. I was so sick I didn't even read for two weeks which I lost. But now I'm up for reading.

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    3. Errata: That is wifi/router and day.

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    4. I'm finding it hard to imagine two hole weeks without reading. Wow. It's so good to know that you're feeling better, Kathy.

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    5. And I forgot to mention that the historical mystery was Ann Parker's The Secret in the Wall.

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    6. Well, I watched a lot of PP interviews and TV.

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    7. Nothing like finding a typo when it's too late to do anything about it. *sigh* hole/whole...

      Stephanie Barron/Francine Mathews is doing a live event at The PP at 2PM today. As much as I'd like to see her again, we'll be staying home. I just don't feel comfortable in small-ish indoor spaces that have a bunch of other people in them.

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    8. That's why these Zoom interviews are so good. You can be there and not be there at the same time. (Isn't there a famous philosophical conundrum about this?)
      I'll watch this and so many more online. How do I juggle PP, the online movies and reading?

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    9. You juggle as best you can. The reason why I would've loved to have seen Mathews again is because (if she arrives early enough), she'll come in and sit down with me to chat. I do miss that.

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  4. Wow...what a compelling plot! I am adding this one to my TBR list asap.

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    1. I hope you like it as much as I did, Lark.

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  5. I'm another who's adding this to my list after reading this review - sounds fascinating! (Meanwhile, here's hoping that the stack of holds waiting for me at the library will put me on a good reading stretch also ...)

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  6. I'm glad the child's death was not sensationalized. I'm like Margot, I have a hard time reading books where children are the victims. This mystery sounds intriguing, however, especially the characters who help solve the mystery.

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  7. The book is mainly about Susan, the child's mother and her feelings and investigation.

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  8. Matt Witten wrote for House, the fabulous (in my opinion) TV series with Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein.

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