The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

Published: June 7, 2022

Poisoned Pen Press

Pages: 292

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Sulari Gentill is Australian, born in Sri Lanka, learned to speak English in Zambia, and grew up in Brisbane. She went to University to study Astrophysics, graduated in Law, and after years of corporate contracts, realized she just wanted to tell stories. Sulari lives and writes on a small farm in the Snowy Mountains of NSW, where she grows French Black Truffles, breeds miniature cattle, and where she raised two wild colonial boys. Most of Sulari’s time is now happily devoted to researching and writing. She likes painting, dogs, and ginger ice cream.

The tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

“What story would I tell if I had to wear it on my body?”

Freddie is in Boston on a sponsorship to write a novel. She is provided ab apartment in a beautiful and central area, and she spends time at Boston Public Library. One afternoon, as she struggles to write, she notices the people sitting near her and tries to put together the beginning of a story- when there is a blood-curdling shriek. Hours later, a body is discovered in one of her library rooms. Suddenly, the strangers from the library have become both friends and possible foes.

I really enjoyed how this story was told. It was well executed and creative! I have never read anything with this sort of narrative, and I enjoyed it.

This is a slow burn, but it still sucks you into the story (alternating narrating helps here). Things do pick up a bit towards the end, but this is not a fast-paced free-falling thriller.

This was a controlled spiral, and the execution was fantastic. Everything was delivered perfectly, including the many chapters that ended on a cliffhanger! I very much enjoyed this slow burn!

That shouldn’t deter you, though. This novel is well-written and well researched, and the characters are fantastic. And as I’ve mentioned, the method of telling the story is brilliant.

I enjoyed these characters, and I loved how we learned about them. I loved that pen-pal Leo challenged so many of Hannah’s ideas, but Hannah stood her ground. Beautiful work.

I thought I had figured out the twist in this one, but I was wrong! And really, I shouldn’t have been (ha). This would be a fantastic series if done correctly. The action and intensity are there, albeit not at a 10.

I am intrigued by Surlari’s storytelling, and I would read her again. I enjoyed her narrative, and I appreciate the things she chose to emphasize and the things she didn’t.

This was a delightful read, and I am looking forward to recommending it!

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