Review - Not a Sound, Heather Gudenkauf
Hats off to the author for working so well within the constraints that would have been present when writing NOT A SOUND. The challenge would have been not only with what cues Amelia could receive herself but also in relating the expression of others ie ‘he said’ rather than ‘he drawled’ etc. The dialogue flows without any conscience effort needed by the reader to detect any further emotional nuances.
NOT A SOUND has two main highlights; the first is the unique perspective of Amelia being hearing impaired and the second is the inclusion of the dog! Stitch the service dog and his relationship with Amelia is wonderful to read of; Stitch not being the perfect dog in his service role any more than Amelia is the perfect pet owner. Every reader loves to read of pets playing serious roles in novels as that is real life – not many people live without a dog and/or cat.
Mystery wise NOT A SOUND has a small cast and setting so it does not present a huge puzzle to solve. Each step of characterization is carefully placed however and if this is to be the first book in a continuing series, NOT A SOUND is a solid start.
Amelia Winn’s life after her traumatic accident is completely different to the life she enjoyed before. Once Amelia had an attentive husband, a much-loved step daughter, a fulfilling nursing career – and her hearing. Now living alone with her service dog Stitch, Amelia is slowly coming back around to creating a new kind of normal for herself. Taking her kayak out has become Amelia’s daily therapeutic pleasure and the river has done much to assist Amelia with accepting that the world will now forever be silent to her. Amelia is considering working again, and she continues to work on maintaining civil relations with her ex in the hope that she may still have a place in the life of her step daughter Nora.
It was a long struggle for Amelia to adjust to her situation, and the river alongside her cabin home played no small part in her recovery. Her discovery of a woman’s body during her daily kayak is disturbing enough to Amelia, and to realize that she knows the deceased takes her distress beyond shock. This is too much of a coincidence for Amelia who has huge regrets about having pushed so many people away when she was recovering from her injuries two years ago. Gwen had tried her best to keep in touch back then, but Amelia had been in no mood to accept help. Amelia’s new mission is to find justice for her friend.