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Only Daughter: A gripping and emotional psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist

Narrated by: Tamsin Kennard
Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The must-read psychological thriller for 2019 from the million-copy-bestselling author of Silent Child.

"Your daughter is dead."

When Kat Cavanaugh hears the words every mother dreads, her perfect world shatters. She takes in the beautiful long blonde hair, torn yellow dress, and chipped blue nail-varnish. It can’t be real.

And then the police add the word "suicide". But Kat refuses to believe them.

Even when they show her the familiar looping handwriting and smudged ink on the note her little girl left behind. She knows her bubbly, vivacious daughter would never take her own life.

As she searches Grace’s perfume-scented room, filled with smiling photos, she uncovers secrets her little girl had been hiding. Secrets that could put her in terrible danger, too.

But Kat’s determined to find out what really happened to Grace on the night she died, whatever it takes....

This addictive and heart-pounding psychological thriller will keep you gripped late into the night.

©2019 Sarah A. Denzil (P)2019 Bookouture

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DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME

Only Daughter: A bland and overly-aggressive emotionally-unstable story with a predictable and overdone resolution.

Where to begin. This is an embarrassment. A waste of time. DO NOT BOTHER.

This novel is melodramatic and unrealistic with a delusional and heavily annoying protagonist who can't seem to stop playing the victim. The entire novel is the protagonist whining to the reader for attention. As for the "jaw-dropping twist" ...laughable. The novel loses interest hours before the twist comes, and when it does; it is not in the least surprising, given the circumstance. I was constantly disappointed and sadly did not enjoy any one part of listening to this novel. The narrator was fine for the main character, but the rest of the character voices are awful.

The writer also comes across as desperate to please the millennials, with constant pop culture references, talking about social media, influencers, clothing designers and specific songs. The novel comes across dated by these references practically before release. As a millennial, I found it increasingly embarrassing to read.

Another gripe is the continuously unreliable timing of the novel. One moment there will be no drama, the next, without leadup, everything has escalated to a high degree. It seems the author has not wanted to put in the work to escalate the situations naturally. Likewise, there is an overload of "tell not show", where again, the author either does not know how to 'show' the story, or is simply too uninterested to do so. The bulk of the story is the protagonist TELLING the reader (and other characters) what is happening, what has happened, and how to feel. Additionally, the author always follows up these episodes of lazy writing with the protagonist excusing either her irrational actions (due to a lack of natural escalation of situations) or her explanations, by saying it is 'because she has a mental illness'. Frustrating, to say the least.

I lost count of the amount of times the protagonist boasts, "you don't know who I am," "I am not like the others," "I am more dangerous than you know," which comes across as insanely arrogant as well as delusional. Not to mention the fact that she does not act on these threats at all, making her appear both shallow and dishonest. Perhaps the author realises this toward the end of the novel, so using her sole skill of *using a character to explain instead of writing it into the story*, she has another character tell the protagonist that she is "all bark and no bite." An eye roll for sure.

To cover over the "jaw-dropping twist" (said with a lot of sarcasm), the author gets to it, and makes EVERYBODY a suspect. It makes me wonder if the author has ever read a novel in this genre. My understanding is that intriguing your reader is far better than confusing your reader.

The novel also has an overload of predictability. Everything has 'shock' value. Nasty text messages from unknown numbers. Car chases. House fires. Drugs. Sex. Pregnancy. It's like the author read a bunch of blurbs from books in this genre, made dot points, and then used all of these things in her book. It's too much, and too obvious. The reader very quickly expects the 'shock value' occurrences to happen.

There is also so much unpleasantness in this novel. Nobody is likable, which I think is the biggest blunder of all. Nobody. The entire novel is filled to the brim with so much bitterness, so much anger. There is no balance, only full-force anger. Reading this felt like dealing with an angry teenager, but for 11 hours. Exhausting. I also felt like the anger/bitterness did not connect fully with the protagonist. Makes me wonder if the author feels these things and simply tried to push it out through this novel. Regardless, it's bad.

Again to the unbelievable happenings. The story revolves around a set of upper-class characters, mostly mothers and teenagers, and so that is what we are dealing with. And yet somehow all of them are A) trained fighters and B) have no conscience. Hearing about the skilled physical fight of two of the characters is humorous. It simply does not line up for a believable character or story.

The end of the novel: "If you were COMPLETELY GRIPPED by Only Daughter, sign up....to be the first to know when the next HEART STOPPING book ...is released." Absolutely laughable.

Overall, I honestly found this novel terrible. I read a lot in this genre, and while I can appreciate different styles, I genuinely just found this to lack skill and finesse. The entire work felt like a stream of angry consciousness from the writer about a mental condition. The same facts over and over with no understanding or regard for a fluid storyline. It felt like this novel was written for the accomplishment, and not because the author loves (or cares about) literature.

May I suggest a professional editor and some writing classes.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A good thriller

This was a good psychological thriller. I did find it dragged on a bit but I couldn't stop listening to it. It kept you guessing until the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms
  • 21-06-2019

annoying

language around suicide and ASPD was annoying and outdated. unbelievable in parts. nearly asked for refund!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

a good book to pass the time.

in parts great, in parts a little unbelievable. It is well written and spoken. I found this enjoyable and pretty addictive.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but not as good her last one.

Slow to start and a bit to much of the characters repetitive thoughts. Story improves as you preserve into it.

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easy to listen

an easy read ,enjoyable good narration. enjoyed the story line. worth a listen had me hooked till the end

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Great reading

Really got involved with this little gem. Full of interesting twists and turns.
I had no idea until the very end how the story would unfold. Well read and so cleverly written. I’m disappointed it’s finished!
Might be a bit upsetting for some people but not for me!

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Only Daughter

Thoroughly enjoyable listen. Keeps you interested & invested in characters. Find yourself wondering how a parent knew so little about who their daughter really was. But in the end, there’s the big surprise

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Real life

Suspenseful from the beginning, a heart wrenching thriller, can't wait til the next momentous story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It was OK

I found myself becoming frustrated with the story in parts. Not as good as The Silent Child

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  • holly poe
  • 16-04-2019

Amazing! Do not miss!

I don’t know how I missed the release of this book! I love Sarah Denzil’s writing and this book is amazing! Kept me guessing and intrigued through the end. The narrator is wonderful too!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mimi
  • 03-04-2019

Spell Binding

This story grips you at many angles! Extremely hard to put it down! Sarah paints clear visual pictures for you. Totally entertaining......looking for another one of her books!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Whiplash
  • 08-05-2019

Pretty great

The story had me rapt from the beginning. Really easy to listen to & enough intrigue to keep you involved. I found myself finding excuses to keep listening.
The "twist" wasn't quite a twist, but it was good all the same.
I liked this book so much I got 2 more from this author & listened to those in 2 days.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-03-2019

just awful

boy oh boy. why did I listen to this whining? don't even think about it.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • J.
  • 25-04-2019

Story Great, But ENTIRELY Too Long

If this was shortened by about 10 chapters, I think it still could've been epic-in spots I grew bored. But ultimately worth staying until the end.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendi
  • 27-06-2019

Great read, until the ultimately stupid ending..

This book had everything going for it. It had a complex woman with a personality disorder who was finding it difficult to mourn properly for her daughter, who recently committed suicide. She refused to believe that her daughter really did kill herself. She started her own investigation, and it was leading to all sorts of interesting places.

Then came the ending and the denouement. I have to say, I just couldn't believe how stupid and obvious it was. It totally ruined to book for me, and I asked for my credit back.

So frustrating!

-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Misty Knight
  • 15-05-2019

I'm glad I'm finished

There's a twist, but I'm not invested in the story enough to really care.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amber J. Allen
  • 02-05-2019

Drawn out and mostly predictable

The character development was lacking. She really hammered the same things home over and over again So that the characters were more two dimensional. I did finish it because I could not let the plot go unfinished in my mind
But if I had it to do it over again I wouldn’t choose this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cherables
  • 01-05-2019

Excellant book!

This book kept me enthralled from the beginning! Loved all the twists and turns. Narrator was wonderful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tiff Case
  • 05-04-2019

WHOAAAAA

I loved this book. I loved the story, the twists and turns... just when I though “oh I know where this is going” ... nope! Such great writing and the Audible performance was brilliant! I cannot wait for another thriller from Sarah! Hurry!!!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Avril
  • 30-04-2019

Warning!

Do not attempt this if you are feeling remotely depressed. From the get go the narrator lays on the moaning grief, although to be fair, the author probably intended this, but it’s way too much.

I think I won’t carry on listening.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather Cane
  • 28-04-2019

Disappointed

This is my fourth Sarah Denzil, the second with Audible. I wish I had read this one as I thought that the narration was terrible, overly theatrical and the alternative voices the narrator used for other characters were poor. I persevered because basically the story is good, but I winced while I listened.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • jill phillips
  • 24-08-2019

A book not to be read by anybody who wishes for any goodness

One of the most depressing books I have ever read definitely not reccomended I was most disappointed though admittedly this book is hard to forget

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendy Costanzo
  • 11-06-2019

good story

it was one of the best I've listened to in a long time😁😁😁i listened to it while i was lying in the sun

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jamie attridge
  • 03-06-2019

Only Daughter

Excellent read very gripping and a emotional rollercoaster would highly recommended
Its a must read book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-04-2019

Amazing

I found this Book gripping from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Excellent story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 11-04-2019

A bit deep for me

Although the story was ok, I found it a little depressing to be honest & very sad. Also a little complicated.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • irishchyna
  • 09-04-2019

Disappointing

I hate leaving bad reviews... but honestly, I was disappointed! I loved Sarah’s other books? And was expecting another fantastic story, but this one just didn’t do it for me. I’d stick to the others and give this one a miss.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt Doyle
  • 21-03-2019

another masterpiece.

second book by Sarah I've listened to and once again an absolutely gripping thriller. a must listen to!!!!!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • 23-10-2019

superb as usual

incredible story once again by the talented Sarah denzil cannot fault this writer strongly recommend