Content Warning: This book touches on sensitive subject matter that some may find difficult to read.
I joined the Bookstagram community almost a month ago (time flies!) and this book was all over the place! I knew immediately that I had to read it and had to read it fast. The only problem was that the book was not being published until July 28th and I was extremely impatient. Luckily, Netgalley launched audiobooks right before the release date and His and Hers was a “Listen Now” option. This was my first Netgalley audiobook and it was AMAZING!
There are two sides to every story; yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying.
Anna Andrews finally has what she wants. Almost. She’s worked hard to become the main TV presenter of the BBC’s lunchtime news, putting work before friends, family, and now her ex-husband. So, when someone threatens to take her dream job away, she’ll do almost anything to keep it.
When asked to cover a murder in Blackdown – the sleepy countryside village where she grew up – Anna is reluctant to go. But when the victim turns out to be one of her childhood friends, she can’t leave. It soon becomes clear that Anna isn’t just covering the story, she’s at the heart of it.
DCI Jack Harper left London for a reason, but never thought he’d end up working in a place like Blackdown. When the body of a young woman is discovered, Jack decides not to tell anyone that he knew the victim, until he begins to realize he is a suspect in his own murder investigation.
One of them knows more than they are letting on. Someone isn’t telling the truth. Alternating between Anna’s and Jack’s points of view, His & Hers is a fast-paced, complex, and dark puzzle that will keep readers guessing until the very end.
The first thing I must mention is the narrators for the audiobook of His & Hers. I’m sure this book was wonderful to read, but the narration brought the book to life! The first voice we hear is incredibly creepy and one that I initially had a hard time understanding. It’s worth noting that I’m an avid audiobook listener and speed up the pace. I ended up bumping the speed down a couple of notches because I didn’t want to miss a single thing. Back to the creepy voice…. the best way to describe this narrator is to compare it to someone that’s on Dateline or 20/20 and doesn’t want their identity revealed. The voice is clearly muffled and distorted, which I loved because, obviously, we don’t want to figure out who the killer is too early!
Next, we are introduced to Anna, narrated by Stephanie Racine. This was my first audiobook narrated by her, but from my research she has narrated several books by Alice Feeney, among others. I found her voice to be extremely pleasant with just the right amount of snootiness and suspicion. She comes across entitled and a little snarky. Racine did a fabulous job embodying those qualities and conveying it to the listener. Richard Armitage, known for his role in The Hobbit movies, narrates the character of Jack. The calmness of his voice, even in moments of panic, almost lulled me to sleep. The ability of Armitage to narrate with such a calm urgency portrayed Jack as an unemotional and disconnected detective that has somewhere he would rather be. At the same time, readers sense a sort of longing in his voice for something in his past. Even when Jack is clearly alarmed at what he discovers, his voice remains steady and firm. Obviously, the audiobook was the right choice for this book!
Each narrator is extremely unreliable, and readers know that they are not getting the whole truth. Not only are the characters unreliable, but they are very unlikeable. Anna is cold and withdrawn, which makes her a complex and unsympathetic character. However, as the story progresses and more of her past is revealed she’s somewhat redeemed. Jack’s bad attitude and distrust of everyone around him isolates his character and comes across detached. Feeney did a fabulous job at depicting these traits through Anna’s and Jack’s actions. One line that I bookmarked during my listen was from Anna and encompasses both characters superbly, “Sometimes I think I am the unreliable narrator of my own life. Sometimes I think we all are.” This line resonated with me throughout the story and is likely the best one-line description for the book.
The story itself sucked me in right away. The mystery surrounding the unknown narrator, along with all the potential suspects had me listening late into the night. There are so many possibilities as to who the killer is and so many times I thought, “It has to be X,” only to be completely flipped upside down a few chapters later. Feeney’s capability to lead the reader down many meandering roads only to run into a dead end is unparalleled. I had whiplash from all the twisty plot turns and my jaw on the floor each time another secret was exposed.
It’s hard to put all my thoughts on paper and keep this review spoiler free! Basically, you just have to dive in and start reading, or listening. I cannot recommend this book enough and if you can snag the audio, DO IT!
Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for my advanced listen copy. All opinions are my own.
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