Knock...knock... When Emma finds a dead body on her porch with her name written on the dead man's hand, she uncovers a sinister clue to the mystery that has haunted her since childhood.
FBI Agent Emma Griffin is sent undercover to the small sleepy town of Feathered Nest to uncover the truth behind the strings of disappearances that has left the town terrified.
To Emma, there is nothing that can lay buried forever. Even though her own childhood has been plagued by deaths and disappearances. Her mother’s death, her father’s disappearance, and her boyfriend’s disappearance. The only cases that she hasn’t solved. Her obsession with finding out the truth behind her past was what led her to join the FBI.
Now, she must face what may be her biggest case. In cabin 13, there lies an uneasy feeling. The feeling of her movements being watched. When a knock on her door revealed a body on her porch and her name written on a piece of paper in the dead man’s hand. Suddenly, her worlds collide.
With the past still haunting her, Emma must fight past her own demons to stop the body count from rising.
The woods have secrets. And this idyllic town has dark and murderous ones. Either, she reveals them or risk them claiming her, too.
In Feathered Nest, nothing is what it seems.
The girl in cabin 13 is about to find out that the dead may have secrets of their own.
The story is told through main character Emma’s point-of-view, and it alternates between the present and flashbacks of her difficult past. She’s had a rough life and bad luck, and she hasn’t reconciled much of it. Add to that the lack of closure to some horrifying life events, and readers understand the basis for some of her motivations and behaviors. (It feels like these flashbacks will be important to know down the road, in future books.) Author A.J. Rivers is to be commended for writing that effectively manipulates readers’ feelings; for example, in Emma, we feel sympathetic, maybe even empathetic, while also finding her immensely irritating in her immaturity and lack of professionalism.
Emma doesn’t fit the profile for an FBI agent, acting impulsively, being careless, withholding evidence, showing her cards instead of staying low-key, and forgetting that everyone is a suspect, whether they seem nice or not. This is problematic for me because I expect an FBI agent to be sharper and cleverer than Emma is shown to be. If the FBI agent moniker were removed, and Emma was a journalist or amateur sleuth – or even a former FBI agent (which is realistically what she should be), the story would have worked better. There are other issues I have with character responses not being realistic for the situations, and there’s an awkward info-dump from the killer to explain to readers why this person has done these horrible things.
While there’s not a lot of mystery around the identity of the killer, author A.J. Rivers adds some unexpected twists and the big reveal is truly startling. Seriously: it’s unique, nose-wriggling, and macabre, and Rivers gives just the right description to it. Plus, the action really ramps up in the last quarter of the story, so readers will be on the edge of their seat, right up to the finish.
It is important for the reader to remember that The Girl in Cabin 13 is a series starter and as such, there are numerous questions that go unanswered, scenes and characters that seem important but aren’t shown to be, and loose ends that aren’t neatly tied up. So while there is a good stand-alone case that’s resolved within this first book, it doesn’t have the satisfaction of a stand-alone book. My recommendation is that if you decide to read it, either be willing to commit to the series or be willing to let go of the niggling things that don’t add up.
ABOUT THE NARRATION: I have nothing but love for narrator Claire Duncan. Her pacing is perfect and allowed me to listen at regular speed, and her performances of the various characters keeps their voices all unique. She lends the right amount of emotion to the characters to perfectly complement Rivers’ writing. The recording has no glitches and is professionally done. I would definitely
Thank you to the author and Audiobookworm Promotions for providing an audio code in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.
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