#aww2021 · 2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: A Voice in the Night by Sarah Hawthorn

Title: A Voice in the Night

Author: Sarah Hawthorn

Published: July 1st 2021

Publisher: Transit Lounge

Pages: 288

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

Following a bitter separation, Lucie moves to London to take up a position with a prestigious law firm. It seems an optimistic new beginning, until one day she receives a hand delivered note with the strange words: At last I’ve found you. A shock I ‘m sure. But in time I ‘ll explain. Martin. 

Lucie hasn’t forgotten a man called Martin who was tragically killed twenty years ago in the 9/11 attacks. When she was working in New York as a young intern Lucie had fallen in love with him and he vowed to leave his wife to be with her permanently. 

As an inexplicable series of events occur Lucie wonders if her long-dead lover could have staged his own disappearance under the cover of that fateful day. Or could it be that someone else is stalking her, or that her vivid imagination is playing tricks? 

In a novel filled with compelling characters, and set in London, New York and Sydney, it seems that anyone could be out to sabotage Lucie’s memories and ambitions, including herself.

A Voice in the Night is an addictive thriller of twists and turns, a gripping and emotionally resonant debut from a striking new voice.

Review:

After career jumps in acting and journalism, Sarah Hawthorn has now settled into the business of writing following the release of her debut novel, A Voice in the Night. A book that will have you on the very tip of your seat, A Voice in the Night is a mesmerising read that will satisfy domestic thriller fans.

A Voice in the Night exposes the bitter breakup of main character Lucie’s relationship. As a result, Lucie decides to move to a new city and begin work at a highly regarded law firm. But just as Lucie makes steps towards creating a new life for herself, she receives a shocking note, linked to a face from her past. This strange note takes Lucie back to a time in her past. Twenty years ago, as the world was engulfed by a global terrorist event, Lucie was attached to a man she has never forgotten. This married man claimed he would leave his wife for Lucie, but as the attacks occurred, he disappeared from her life. Lucie has always wondered if her lover may have staged his own disappearance during the attacks. But Lucie is also concerned that this ominous note could signify the work of a stalker. Moving seamlessly between three core global locations, A Voice in the Night is a thrilling page turner that is concerned about the past, memories and ambition.

Author Sarah Clutton has described A Voice in the Night as a ‘tightly crafted’. This is quite a fitting statement for Sarah Hawthorn’s debut novel and I concur with this endorsement completely. It is fantastic to see such talent rise up the ranks of the Australian literary world. A Voice in the Night is an excellent first novel.

There is a cosmopolitan feel to A Voice in the Night, as the action in the novel shifts between three different big cities and locations. From London, to New York and Sydney, Hawthorn has a firm grip of each of her setting interchanges. Hawthorn also presents her past to present style narrative with ease, engulfing the reader in a well-situated story and providing a very clear snapshot of these city landscapes contextually. A Voice in the Night is written in such a way that it is easy to fall into a new city and location, far away from the hassles of your own life at present. I appreciated this aspect of the story very much.

Hawthorn’s central protagonist Lucie was a carefully constructed lead. I personally found Lucie to be a very intriguing and appealing primary character. Hawthorn’s approach to her prime protagonist and related characters allows the reader to really get to know these figures. The personalities of all the featured characters in this story explicitly come through via Hawthorn’s expressive writing. The characters of A Voice in the Night are wrapped around plenty of drama, tragedy, loss and confusion. It is easy to get embroiled in their experiences as the book gradually works to the final release. Hawthorn is great at throwing twists, turns, misconceptions, complex charades and challenges for her cast members. A Voice in the Night is an immersive style read that takes the reader into some very interesting corners of life.

With themes of love, infidelity, hope, longing, obsession, trust, confusion, heartbreak, relationships, lust, loss, harassment, personal mistakes, violation and secrets, A Voice in the Night considers a wide range of life topics. With a mix of suspense and mystery, Sarah Hawthorn’s first novel is a great fit for domestic thriller fans.

A Voice in the Night by Transit Lounge was published on 1st July 2021 by Transit Lounge. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of A Voice in the Night, Sarah Hawthorn, visit here.

*I wish to thank Quikmark Media/Transit Lounge for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

A Voice in the Night is book #70 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge

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