The Spirit of Grace

  • by Terry Lynn Thomas
  • Narrated by Lillian Yves
  • 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sarah Bennett doesn't remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House, despite allegedly witnessing the fatal fall. There was talk of foul play, dark whispers, and sidelong glances, all aimed at Sarah, prompting her family to send her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco, under a cloud of suspicion. Now, on the one-year anniversary of her mother's murder, Sarah has been summoned home. Convinced of her innocence, she returns to Bennett House, hoping to put the broken pieces of her life back together. But when another murder occurs shortly after her arrival, Sarah once again finds herself a suspect, as she is drawn into a web of suspicion and lies.
In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as she works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great story; production needs work!

Full disclosure: I purchased and read the print version three or four months ago, but was given a free audio file in exchange for an honest review.

Having read and loved the print version of this book, I was more than excited to receive a promotional credit for the Audible file, because I'm an audiobook junkie. (Aren't we all?) But I found that this book is, if the audio stands as it is without further editing, much better in print.

This book is what I consider neo-gothic. Not quite as brooding as earlier gothic mysteries (see Du Maurier, Stewart, Michaels, etc.) the story nevertheless has all the right elements along with the necessary dollop of the supernatural. The characters are interesting and perfectly written for the first in a series; you never want to get too comfortable with characters that you're going to meet repeatedly or there's nothing new to discover. (Oh, I do love Zeke! Perfect foil for Sarah Bennett. I haven't read the second book yet, but I think his story goes a lot deeper!)

You can read the synopsis yourself, and I won't give anything away. Thomas has a deft hand with sudden surprises and her writing style lends itself well to the story and characters. I was very surprised at how much research she put into this; it wasn't until after I finished the book that I realized how immersed I had been in the setting without being dragged out of it by anachronisms. Too many mysteries these days that are set in a specific period are written by lazy researchers, but Thomas isn't one of them. She uses many tiny details along the way to create a rich, rounded WWII era setting.

Now we come to the crux of my problem with this audiobook. The narrator has a lovely voice, and the rather quiet, lilting quality of it would work well with this author. But poor editing makes this a difficult listen at times. There is literally NO dead air between sentences sometimes. The cuts between paragraphs and the rushed feeling during the dialog could be completely fixed by re-editing this book to provide the necessary pacing. If you do whispersnyc, it does adjust a bit to match your reading speed and that does help. If you are simply listening, I recommend adjusting the audio speed from 1x to .75x to get a more enjoyable (and understandable) listening experience.

Now! On to book two...Weeping in the Wings!
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- shelly

Great read!

Great book, excellent.story and kept me curious. can't wait for more books. Thank you!
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- Marie Theresa Rios

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-06-2017
  • Publisher: Terry Thomas