Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Little Lies ~ Heather Gudenkauf (earc) review [@hgudenkauf @HarlequinBooks @MiraEditors #HarlequinMIRA]

Little Lies (Little Mercies prequel)
March 1, 2014
45 pages
add to Goodreads/buy Kindle version

For me, at least, buying a book based on the cover (well first the cover, then the summary, as well) has never led to better results than with Heather Gudenkauf's The Weight of Silence.

Not only did I love, love The Weight of Silence (and its cover) but also her next two novels These Things Hidden, and One Breath Away. I have been checking for anything about a new novel from Gudenkauf probably much too frequently.

While Little Mercies won't be released until June, there is an ebook prequel novella, Little Lies is available now.
In this riveting prequel to her novel Little Mercies, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores how even the smallest lies can have far-reaching consequences.

When the body of a woman is discovered in a local park—with her bewildered four-year-old son sitting beside her—veteran social worker Ellen Moore is called in to assist in the police investigation. Positioned beneath a statue of Leto, the goddess of motherhood, the crime is weighted with meaning and, Ellen discovers, remarkably similar to one from a decade past.

Ellen's professional duty is to protect the child, but she's not equipped to contend with a killer. As she races to connect the dots, she knows her time is running out. And the stakes are high: if she fails, another mother is sure to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Little Lies is my favorite sort of prequel novella: it both introduces us to the upcoming novel's characters, Ellen in this case, and has its own little story.

A short, self contained murder mystery plays out in Little Lies. This seems to be a very good way to introduce readers to the character and world. We learn about Ellen's past, about her family and their life, and meet other characters who are likely to appear in Tender Mercies, too. As Ellen works to put all of the pieces together, we get a sense of how seriously she takes her job and the responsibility and of her character.

While Little Lies's story is concluded at the end of the novella, it will leave you anticipating Little Mercies release even more. Gudenkauf has a very compelling character in Ellen and I am very much looking forward to seeing her in a full novel.

From my These Things Hidden review:
In These Things Hidden, much like she did in The Weight of Silence, Heather Gudenkauf uses the relationships--and intimacy--of a family and a small town to weave a literary tale that feels so real you'd sear it has to at least be 'based on' a true story.
After we've met Ellen, her family and a co-worker, I am eagerly anticipating seeing how their lives all play out in Little Mercies - and any new characters and their role, their influence.

Rating: 9/10

review copy received from publisher through NetGalley

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