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Publisher's Summary

Charlotte waves at her mother across the crowded lawn. Little red boots on, cowboy hat crooked over her blonde pigtails, she’s been looking forward to this party for weeks. Moments later, she disappears without a trace....

Kathy Hamilton drives away from her sister-in-law’s pristine-white suburban house in Maple Falls certain she’s left her daughter in safe hands. On the hottest day of the year, a birthday is the perfect excuse to gather friends, family, and neighbors around the pool for a barbecue. But when she returns hours later to find her little girl has vanished, her world shatters.

Nobody laughing and drinking in the garden that day saw anything unusual.

Kathy’s eldest daughter is anxious and hardly eating. Is she sick with worry for her sister, or hiding a terrible secret?

The phone rings and rings, but why can’t Kathy get hold of the babysitter?

And is she imagining it, or when her husband rushed from work to join the search, was he wearing a different shirt from the one she saw him leave the house in that morning?

As the temperature rises, and long-buried secrets begin to surface, it’s clear that even the most perfect families keep devastating secrets. But in a town as small as this, is there anyone you can trust?

Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Gone Girl, and Teresa Driscoll, it will keep you up listening all night long!

©2022 Wendy Dranfield (P)2021 Bookouture, an imprint of Storyfire Ltd.

What listeners say about The Birthday Party

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fabulous

Loved the story! Very fast paced, likeable characters, intriguing story line. Great domestic who done it.

2 people found this helpful

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A solid little soap opera

First let me say: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WTH THE NARRATOR on this book! I listen to an audio book a week -so a lot- and this narrator is solid, with subtle and appropriate alterations for each character. Not sure why people are going after her... The book is a soap opera with unlikely coincidences and two-dimensional villains but I love a good soap opera read. Especially in the summer. I will try more of Dranfield's books when I need that fix.

1 person found this helpful

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Worst book I've ever read or listened to.

Comes across as written by a 12 yr old. completely unrealistic characters. very disappointed

1 person found this helpful

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Decent story; distracting narration.

The narration was very annoying. It was difficult to get into the story line.

1 person found this helpful

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it was pretty good.

Lots of twists in the story. Narrator was good also. All and all I gave it 5 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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Ridiculously Implausible!

I understand this is a work of fiction. For me to really enjoy a work of fiction, it must be served up with a healthy dose of plausibility. This storyline is so beyond plausibility, it rings ridiculous. So much so, I was rolling my eyes and laughing out loud as I found myself predicting the next (of MANY) outlandish coincidences connecting the characters. Did not help that one of the main characters, Kathy, was dumber than a box of rocks (despite much time spent on describing her academic over-achievement). The narration did not make it any easier to listen to and in fact, in some odd way, lent to the storyline's ridiculous implausibility (voice of Evan...who talks like that?!). Save your money!

1 person found this helpful

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Kathy is annoyingly naive

A lot of this story was obvious and Kathy is horribly naive. It just happens over and over where she’s so confused how something happened. Frustrating to listen to

1 person found this helpful

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Worst narrator ever…

This is the worst narrator I’ve ever tried listening to. She does okay with the main character but all her others are terrible, downright awful. She often speaks in monotone attempting to have fluctuation, but everything comes off flat. The therapist is described as being in her 50’s, yet the narrator uses a voice that sounds like the raspy, age warn voice of a ninety year-old. She does the same with the male clergy. I’ve tried to get my brain to go with it and imagine the character anyway, but I can’t hang on anymore… she is so awful I’m returning the book. It’s too bad choosing the wrong narrator will ruin the book for the author.

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Awesome!

Loved it!!! Never saw what was coming! Kept me on the edge of my seat!!

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Good story poor narration

I struggled though this book. I don't like to be harshly critcal but eventually realized it wasn't the story that I found irritating , however, the narrator wasn't ideally suited to this book. Essentially, some people "just read" and don't support the character development.

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  • Pam
  • 06-02-22

Monotonous

Tried hard, had to give up.
It was slow and tedious with bland narration . Refunded

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