Dead Eleven & Before She Finds Me

Posted June 26, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 7 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead Eleven & Before She Finds MeDead Eleven by Jimmy Juliano
Narrator: Lee Osorio, Tanis Parenteau, Annie Q., Shawn K. Jain, Cindy Piller, Tim Lounibos
Published by Dutton, Penguin Random House Audio on June 27, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural
Length: 13 hours 12 minutes
Pages: 448
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

"An ominously slow burn...Keep the lights on for this one."—A PEOPLE MUST-READ FOR SUMMER
"Very've been warned."R.L. STINE
"Gripping.”—ANA REYES

On a creepy island where everyone has a strange obsession with the year 1994, a newcomer arrives, hoping to learn the truth about her son’s death—but finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into the bizarrely insular community and their complicated rules…

Clifford Island. When Willow Stone finds these words written on the floor of her deceased son’s bedroom, she’s perplexed. She’s never heard of it before, but soon learns it’s a tiny island off Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula, 200 miles from Willow’s home. Why would her son write this on his floor? Determined to find answers, Willow sets out for the island.
After a few days on Clifford, Willow realizes: This place is not normal. Everyone seems to be stuck in a particular day in 1994: They wear outdated clothing, avoid modern technology, and, perhaps most mystifyingly, watch the OJ Simpson car chase every evening. When she asks questions, people are evasive, but she learns one thing: Close your curtains at night.
High schooler Lily Becker has lived on Clifford her entire life, and she is sick of the island’s twisted mythology and adhering to the rules. She’s been to the mainland, and everyone is normal there, so why is Clifford so weird? Lily is determined to prove that the islanders’ beliefs are a sham. But are they?
Five weeks after Willow arrives on the island, she disappears. Willow’s brother, Harper, comes to Clifford searching for his sister, and when he learns the truth—that this island is far more sinister than anyone could have imagined—he is determined to blow the whole thing open.
If he can get out alive....

This was great! I had such a great time with this creepy story set in a town stuck in 1994. I found this book almost impossible to set aside once I started reading and couldn’t wait to find out what was really behind the things happening on Clifford Island. Willow comes to the island after finding a clue in her deceased son’s room. She hasn’t been heard from for a while either so her brother comes to try to get to the bottom of things.

We see things from various points of view during the story which let the reader see just how strange this island really was. The descriptions in this book were incredibly well-done so I could clearly envision this town where OJ Simpson chase plays on repeat because everyone is stuck in the past. I was eager to find out why they went to such lengths and what was really going on in this strange community.

I thought that this cast of narrators did an amazing job with this book. They were able to bring the characters to life which took the story to the next level. There are several sections of the book that consisted of interviews which were especially well done. I do believe that the narration added to my overall enjoyment of this story.

I would recommend this book to others. I had such a great time with this creepy tale set on an incredibly strange island. I thought that this was a fantastic debut novel and cannot wait to read more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Dutton and Penguin Random House Audio.

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead Eleven & Before She Finds MeBefore She Finds Me by Heather Chavez
Narrator: Megan Tusing
Published by Hachette Audio, Mulholland Books on June 27, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological
Length: 11 hours 3 minutes
Pages: 352
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

In this shocking novel that is "both timely and emotional" and "sure to be the next big summer thriller" (Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author), two unlikely mothers race to uncover the truth behind a horrific attack—even after it becomes clear that the truth will destroy one of their families.

Julia Bennett has worked hard to create a stable life for her daughter, Cora, in Southern California. So when Cora leaves for college, the worst thing Julia expects on move-in day is an argument with her ex-husband and his new wife. But a sudden attack leaves the campus stunned—and only Julia’s quick actions save Cora’s life. Shaken in the aftermath, and haunted by a dark secret, Julia starts to wonder: What if the attack wasn’t as random as everyone believes?

Newly pregnant Ren Petrovic has an unusual career—she’s a trained assassin, operating under a strict moral code. Ren wasn’t on campus that day, but she knows who was: her husband, Nolan. What she doesn’t know is why Nolan has broken their rules by not telling her about the job in advance. The more Ren looks into the attack, the more she begins to question: Who really hired Nolan? And why did one woman in the crowd respond so differently from all the rest?

Julia and Ren each want answers, but their searches quickly pit them against each other. One woman is a hired killer, but the other is a determined survivor. And both mothers will defend their families to the bitter end.

This was fantastic! The story opened in spectacular fashion hooking me right away and the intensity never let up. The story was very exciting and the mystery kept me guessing until the very end. Once I started this book, I did not want to put it down. I am so glad that I took a chance and gave this entertaining book a try.

This story is told from two very different points of view. Julia is a college professor who is getting her daughter, Cora, moved onto campus as the story opens. They are joined by Julia’s ex-husband and Cora’s father and his new wife. When someone starts shooting into the crowd of students and parents, Julia’s quick action most likely saves her daughter’s life. Ren is a trained assassin. She operates under a strict set of rules making sure those she kills are not the innocent. She’s not so sure that her husband is still following that set of rules. Both women are determined to figure out what really happened that day.

Megan Tusig does an amazing job with the narration of this book. It was always really clear which point of view she was reading and I thought that she was able to add just the right amount of emotion and excitement to her reading. I loved how she was able to bring this story to life which only added to my overall enjoyment of the book.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. I thought that this book was very exciting and full of enough twists and turns to keep me hooked. I thought that the characters were incredibly well done and interesting. I would love to read more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Mulholland Books and Hachette Audio.

7 responses to “Dead Eleven & Before She Finds Me

  1. Both of these look like good thrillers but I’m especially intrigued by Dead Eleven. What an interesting premise!