blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Woman in the Library – Sulari Gentill

In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

From award-winning author Sulari Gentill comes a mischievous, twisty crime novel in the vein of Only Murders in the Building and White Lotus.

Four strangers in the Reading Room at Boston Public Library are introduced by a scream. Caught up in the subsequent murder investigation, each one finds themselves revealing more than they intended about their pasts as they race to solve the murder before one of them gets hurt. Whilst their stories unfold, so does another.

Dear Hannah…

As correspondence between the author and an avid fan becomes interwoven with the core tale, the boundaries between what is fiction and what is real life begin to blur, highlighting the lengths people will go to keep their secrets. Through these entwined narratives, Gentill delves into the complicated nature of friendships, the lives we show versus the lives we lead and the ways in which art can imitate life. Or perhaps it’s the other way around?

A sharply thrilling literary adventure, The Woman in the Library is contemporary crime with a clever twist.

After setting out to study astrophysics, graduating in law and then abandoning her legal career to write books, Sulari now grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Sulari is the author of The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, historical crime fiction novels (ten in total) set in the 1930s. Sulari’s work has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book), the Davitt Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the ABIA. She won the Davitt Award for the A Decline in Prophets, and the Ned Kelly Award for her most recent standalone novel, Crossing the Lines. @SulariGentill

My thoughts: this was a very clever story within a story. There’s the murder at Boston Public Library that brings four strangers together and then there’s the increasingly disturbing emails written to the author of that story. One feeds the other and vice versa. As the letter writer gets closer to the object of his affection (?) and his letters become more sinister, the four library friends become involved in a nasty mess of their own, and there’s a body count. So, who’s the killer? You’ll have to read it and see…

I really enjoyed both the concept and the two intertwining narratives, in both stories you get increasingly invested in what is going on. Is Hannah safe? Is her novel giving us clues or just using up ideas from Leo’s letters. How much of Hannah is in her heroine? I did enjoy all the metatextual stuff but also the whodunit itself, the mysterious scream in the library, was that the victim or the person who found her? Lots of clever little hints and plot twists around. Highly enjoyable and lots of fun.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions

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