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The Manuscript

Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Four old friends.

An unpublished manuscript.

A long-buried secret.

Jeremiah Trent works as a Seattle homicide detective. When he’s contacted by a friend from his childhood, he packs his bags and heads to a mansion in remote Colorado. As he arrives at the best-selling author’s home, Jerry can’t shake the feeling it was a mistake visiting the people from his past. 

The mystery deepens when Jay offers them a chance to read his newest manuscript, one chapter at a time. When Jerry digs in, he finds the story is their own from 25 years ago, only with different character names and a changed setting. 

Abby, Ken, Jay, and Jerry’s tale unravels, and when a body is discovered by the local police department, one that has been there for years, everything escalates into a shocking conclusion.

The Manuscript is a suspense thriller by Nathan Hystad, the author of The Event and Lights over Cloud Lake.

©2019 Nathan Hystad (P)2020 Tantor

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Profile Image for Dr. Geoff
  • Dr. Geoff
  • 22-02-2020

Great murder mystery and thriller well written

Nathan Hystad is best known for his work in the science fiction genre. However, in the past few years, he has dabbled outside of his best-known element, He has now written horror, paranormal/UFO and now mystery thriller. He is surely demonstrating a high level of talent in each of these series. I was very skeptical as to whether he could pull it off. But he did. Really, really well.

The story focuses on 4 "friends for life" who grew up in a very small rural town. In their middle teen years, they started to grow up a little and progressed from kids messing around as kids to teens with raging hormones and the typical problems - including interest in the opposite sex. Bad things start happening to their relationships, and then traumatic, life-changing events ensue.

This story is about the characters as adults, now aged about 40, 25 years later. One of their numbers has become a famous author and struck it stupid rich. On a supposed weekend to rekindle their "friends forever" vows, things get ugly. And low and behold, Jay the author's latest book is about their traumatic experience as teens, and they are the main characters!

Now the question is, can they make it out alive. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so read and or listen to find out.

The narration of this book was really, really well done. James Cronin delivered a smooth narrative performance with just enough variation between voices and characters to really give authenticity to who was speaking, what they were thinking, and their own perspective. There were no recording issues or flaws save for 1 that I picked up, and that was so small that 99% of listeners won't hear it.

Nathan's strength as a writer is his ability to paint pictures that are so real you can see them, and scenes, characters, and dialogue really come to life with him. He has a habit of placing our four-legged friends in many of his works, and I have to say they add life and realism to the story. Sally the collie dog, who belongs to Jerry the main character, who's narration drives the book, is one such animal. She is so realistically portrayed, that visions of Lassie and other collies I have known (in person) kept coming to mind. This is a huge strength for Nathan. It makes the stories so real and commonplace, The relationship between Jerry and Sally brings reality into the often bizarre and life-threatening scenes portrayed and makes the whole story hang together much better.

Overall this is an incredibly good book, with a smooth performance that leaves you wanting more, and hanging on the edge of your seat for what is going to happen next. I was as surprised as it is possible to be by the ending and I didn't see it coming at all. But the clues were there all along.

I highly, highly recommend this audiobook. Kudos to Nathan for delivering the goods one more time. If you are a fan of his writing or a good murder mystery/thriller, this should definitely be on your list.


2 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica Garcia
  • 28-03-2020

Very Surprised

Very surprised at how good this book is. Very well written and kept my attention to the end.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanne Herrman
  • 04-03-2020

A book within a book

I usually listen to Sci-Fi, and I know of Nathan Hystad as a Sci-Fi author. I was a little surprised to find this was a mystery, but really enjoyed the story. Four good friends growing up are brought back together at one of the friends house when they are 40 years old. The central character is a detective, and the friend who organized the reunion is now a best selling author. He wants them to read the manuscript of his next book which turns out to be based on their last summer together as a close knit group when they were 15 years old. I won't write more than that except to say that summer changed them all. I enjoyed the story and recommend it.

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  • Mary B. Coates
  • 02-03-2020

An Excellent mystery

This was an interesting, fast paced and exciting mystery with a psychological twist. It is written as two stories in one. I loved it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-02-2020

All Plot

Meh characters, no wit or charm - good plot tho. It was a fun listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandra R
  • 28-02-2020

Suspense Filled Story

This skillfully written, suspense filled story is complimented by well developed, interesting and believable characters. The detailed descriptions and scenes easily drew me into the story. The plot is plausible and well paced. The mystery held my interest and kept me guessing until brought to a surprising, satisfying conclusion. The Audible presentation of this book further enhanced my enjoyment of this gripping story. I was provided a free review copy of this audio book and am voluntarily leaving this review.

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  • feisty
  • 23-02-2020

Outstanding

I am an avid Nathan Hystad reader but I will tell you I was pleasantly surprise with this book. It was well a written suspense with plenty of curves and a who done it. I was shocked at the end and never would have come to that conclusion myself I thought it was the other guy. It was the perfect book that I needed because i was looking for a new book to download so it came at the right time. I loved this book!!!