Cover Image: The Photographer

The Photographer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Despite being slow paced and feeling bored sometimes, this was an entertaining read that still held my attention because I needed to know how it ended. I found the twist to be predictable, but I am glad it ended the way it did. A “lighter” thriller, I recommend this to those just starting out reading thrillers or who may be too squeamish to read anything heavier.
Was this review helpful?
The Photographer 
By Mary Dixie Carter 

I went into this read expecting a thriller but what I experienced was more of a slow burning mystery. While the concept was Intriguing there was never a sense of danger or fear driving the reader, simple curiosity of how it would all play out. The characters felt stereotypical and Delta seem to find her way into the family’s hearts a little too quickly in my opinion. If you’re looking for interesting read with a bit of a Psychological twist this might be the book for you. 

I didn’t love this one enough to recommend it but if you happen to pick it up I’d love to hear your thoughts.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars for this 2021 release 

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur books for providing an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinions and review.
Was this review helpful?
Netgalley Audiobook: 2.5 stars rounded up to 3

I very much enjoyed this audiobook! You never knew where it was going and the plot led you down some "fake trials." The narrator was spot on and a perfect choice. Thank you so much Netgalley for an ALC. I didn't care for the abrupt ending.
Was this review helpful?
“I didn’t want Fritz or Amelia to have a personal life separate from me. The further I burrowed myself into them, both of them, the less likely I’d ever have to return to my own existence. The less likely they could disentangle themselves from me.”

Delta Dawn is a skilled photographer for the NYC elite, snapping pics of their children’s birthday parties and family events. She has an uncanny ability to tweak the pictures in post production to portray what she thinks the parents want to see, altering facial expressions or gestures to create the “perfect” shot. Then she is hired to photograph Natalie Straub’s 11th birthday party and Delta decides that she 𝓷𝓮𝓮𝓭𝓼 to be part of this family. Will a set of perfectly photoshopped pictures give her the in she needs to infiltrate the Straub household? 

The Photographer gave me some 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴  The Hand That Rocks The Cradle vibes, but in the digital age. It is creepy, disturbing, and frightening, and Delta’s obsessive behavior had my hair standing on end. But her character was also a bit superficial. She’s deranged, yes, but there is no back story or in depth look into her psyche to explain why. I was fascinated by the descriptive elements of photoshop and how she used it both professionally (generally accepted) and personally (very stalkerish). I just wish that Delta had a little more depth, a bit more of an explanation for her deranged behavior. 

Overall this was an entertaining read, and I really enjoyed the authors narration of the story! I feel that authors bring a little something extra when they narrate their own books as they are more in the heads of the characters. 

Thank you to Netgalley, Minotaur and St Martin’s Press, and Macmillan Audio for these ARC’s in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I listened to the audiobook and it was fantastic! It’s read by the author herself and she did a great job. I even enjoyed the interview by Jennifer Hillier at the end. 

This is a slow burn psychological thriller. I can’t believe this is Mary Dixie Carter’s debut novel. It was creepy & disturbing. Delta is such a cringe-worthy character. I listened to this in one sitting and when it was over I just sat there thinking what did I just listen to. Not in a bad way. It’s hard to do the book justice because I still don’t know how I feel. I can’t wait to see what Mary Dixie Carter does next. If you love thrillers do yourself a favor and pick this one up! 

Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press & Macmillan Audio for the ALC.
Was this review helpful?
I listened to the audiobook of this one and it was amazing with just the right amount of creepy on it.  The author read it herself and did an excellent job giving voice to Delta and the other characters that helped them come alive for me.   Her tone and mannerisms really matched the main character for me.

The story does take a bit of suspended belief at times.  And is a more than slightly disturbing look into the main characters head.  Delta Dawn is a photographer that specializes in taking pictures of children.  She has a much alluded to abusive childhood and some warped views on attachment.  She meets the Straubs when she photographs their daughters birthday party and before  she can leave their sitter canceled.  Because Delta felt such a strong connection she offers to babysit and instantly begins to edge her way into their lives.  It was fascinating to hear her perspective and rationalizations of her connection with them.  As she gets closer and closer it’s clear that photographs are not all Delta manipulates.  There were moments I had to pause and truly absorb the twisted things I was reading.
Was this review helpful?
The Photographer by @marydixiecarter is one of those books that you feel guilty about. You feel guilty for cringing at someone who clearly has some serious issues.  Delta Dawn, is hired to photograph the eleventh birthday party of Natalie Straub and soon becomes obsessed with her entire family.  With subtle manipulations and not so subtle machinations Delta manages to ingratiate her way into the Straub family's good graces. But she soon finds out that often things that develop in the dark are exposed in the light.

Delta is the books sole narrator and we only get her P.O.V for the entire book. This means we hear her spin on everyone and everything that happens. Delta though very smart and keenly observant as many photographers are, is not the most reliable narrator. Everything about the Straub family is filtered through her personal lens which is skewed to envious and obsessive. For lack of a better description, she falls in love with the Straub family and wants to become a part of it. She plays on the emotions of the entire family especially Amelia the wife and mother who desperately wants to adopt a baby.  

This book is at times funny, sad and tragic as you hear Delta talk about her sad upbringing and longing to become a cherished member of the Straub family.  Throughout the book you question the validity of everything that she is telling you.  Her daydreams are interspersed with reality in one big unhealthy amalgam.  Ultimately you feel sorry for a woman who never belonged to a real family and tries to claim one for her own.  

Thank you @Netgalley for giving me an ALC of this book.
Was this review helpful?
The Photographer is a slow-burn psychological thriller starring a professional photographer who envisions herself in her clients' lives.

Like, literally -- she secretly Photoshops herself into images she's taken of clients in intimate settings. And also does what she can to insinuate herself in their lives. 

This was a fast read for me, but I couldn't help feeling like it was missing something. I expected to be more creeped out than I was, or held in greater suspense. (This may be the result of reading a lot of thrillers -- it's possible others will get the creepy vibes more so than I did!)

Author Mary Dixie Carter did a great job painting main character Delta Dawn as understandable, despite her inappropriate behavior. Delta's targets were so unlikeable, perhaps that's why I didn't feel scared on their behalf? Looking forward to whatever Carter writes next; here's hoping for more drama or more of the "creep" factor (or both)!

I liked, but did not love, the audiobook narration. I don't think it was better or worse than reading the text -- it would have been great for the narration to add to the text (like I think Santino Fontana did for the You series). The narrator does come across as fairly egotistical, which seems appropriate for the protagonist.
Was this review helpful?
Rating: 7.0/10

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance copy of The Photographer for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Let’s just say Delta Dawn is Joe Goldberg turned up to 11. Carter’s debut will make your skin crawl, but it is warped, intoxicating fun.

This was an enjoyable psychological thriller where you have to suspend every single shred of belief you have. It’s like a ad without the background check, and also happens to be really good at photoshop. Every time I think back to the read, I shiver just a bit.

I get it: the Straub’s seem to have the picturesque family with a beautiful home and high-end lifestyle, so why wouldn’t you want to be apart of it? While Delta’s way of inserting herself into that life is rather… farfetched, it clearly worked. Once you begin to see the family dynamic, though, you’ll see why they are blind to her ambitions.

The only character I genuinely felt any remorse for throughout the read was Natalie, which is why Delta was so easily able to break into the family. She saw how Natalie was treated by her parents, as sort of an afterthought at times, and she was able to force herself right into the family through that chink in the armor. What happens next is a spiral into envy, obsession, and manipulation that Dawn somehow finds herself treading the finest of lines.

Overall, The Photographer is a smart, gripping read that may leave you thinking twice about that family photographer or babysitter. Go into it knowing that the story is completely unbelievable, but much like a car accident, is impossible to avert your eyes from. I love how the author is also the narrator, and Mary did a phenomenal job bringing Delta to life. Highly recommend going that route.
Was this review helpful?
Obsession taken to a whole new level!!!!!!
Mary Dixie Carter was amazing in narrating her own novel! Brilliantly done! 
Delta wants to be in Amelia and Fritz Straub’s home... And will do anything to be in that life! 
A quick page turner that you’ll get completely absorbed in from the first chapter!
Thanks Publishers and NetGalley for this gifted copy!
Was this review helpful?
**I was given a free copy of the audiobook ARC in return for an honest review.

Overall, the book moved quickly and efficiently through the story so that I was never bored or just trudging through. Since I had the audiobook version I cannot comment on typos or misspellings and even if I did since this is an ARC I would assume that would be fixed by the final edition. The Photographer was something that kept me guessing as to what the point was, mostly because the mind of the main character kept me looking for her point. Typically I have a good feel for the final outcome of a story, even if the details can be surprising. However, this book left me with a “Did that really happen,” moment.

*Possible spoilers

The Photographer is so cringe-worthy. Not because of a bad story or writing, it is the opposite. What I mean is that the writing was so well done that you really feel what is happening within the story. The cringe comes from the main character, who seems to make the most horrible choices possible for (lack of a better phrase) an average person. Beyond that, the way she treats her photography just screams, “I need a psychologist!” Even though I found the story cringe-worthy due to her choices, I would definitely suggest it to (psychological) thriller lovers.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this one and will most likely get me a physical copy because it is well worth it..I want to read more from this writer
Was this review helpful?
One of the most bizarre books I have read this year, I just could not put this down.

Delta Dawn is a photographer that specializes in children. When she is asked to photograph Natalie Straub’s birthday party, she sets down a dark and twisty road.

Nothing about Delta is what it appears to be, but one thing is true she has her eyes set on ingratiating herself with the Straub’s in a borderline obsessive manner. She quickly builds the trust of everyone of the Straub’s until it culminates into an offer she cannot refuse.

This was a thriller, but mostly because you just feel so unsettled most of the time. As I read, I was thinking what I am reading, yet I finished this in less than 2 hrs. Surprising and terrific ending, that pulled everything together. I cannot recommend this one enough.

Thank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Enjoyed this, but it wasn't super compelling. 

I liked the characters, liked the story, but I do think a professional narrator would have helped. There was something put-on about this voice, like it was a weird little kid trying to be creepy. This is an oddly specific reference and I apologize, but there is a series of CSI episodes where Sara is kidnapped by a crazy woman who makes little miniatures of her own crime scenes and this narrator sounds like that actress. A professional narrator might have helped with the tempo and maybe made it a little more compelling.
Was this review helpful?
Delta is a photographer that uses her lens to capture people and situations not exactly the way they are, but the way she wants them to be! Manipulation of others is an understatement. She desperately lacks the love, acceptance, and joy that she wants in her life, so she creates it in her photographs, because reality is nothing more than our own illusions, right? At least that’s how she sees it. When she falls in love with the Straub family and their seemingly perfect life, she will stop at nothing to finally make her vision a reality and be an accepted part of the family. 

I couldn’t put this book down. The protagonist is so unbelievably crazy that watching her next moves is like watching a train wreck! You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the insane decisions, near misses, and then she ups the crazy some more. Will she destroy the family? Destroy her own life? Or get away with everything? This will be a great summer read. Grab a cold drink and pack this one in your beach or pool bag – and get ready for a roller coaster read! 

This releases on May 25th but you can preorder now! Thank you to Minotaur Books and Netgalley, MacMillan Audio for my advanced copies in exchange for an honest review! I loved it!
Was this review helpful?
so creepy and chilling - a love / hate book for me.
but it was captivating and mesmerizing - drew me in and spit me out!
the characters were so self-centred and demented, that i couldn't help but like them.

i think the audio book was worth it, over reading from the page.
the narrator's voice was perfect.
Was this review helpful?
I listened to the audiobook of The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter that was brilliantly read by the author, Mary Dixie Carter, herself. It was addictive and hard to stop listening to. As a character driven psychological thriller, the characters were well developed and complex. It was hard to believe that this was a debut novel for Mary Dixie Carter. I would definitely be excited to read other books that she writes.

The plot for The Photographer centered around an actual photographer, Delta Dawn, and the envy she felt toward her wealthy clients and the lives they lived. Delta became obsessed with the details of their lives and began to imagine herself intertwined in their lives. That was what happened when Delta was commissioned to photograph Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday party. As she photographed Natalie, her parents, family members and friends, Delta started to imagine herself as part of the Straub family living in their opulent home and being part of their day to day lives. Delta remained at the party, even after the guests left, and was able to put a plan into action to accomplish her goal. She volunteered to help the Strauss parents out by babysitting Natalie that evening. Delta made sure that the Straub’s realized that this was something that she did not usually do but under the circumstances she would do it for them. This was just the beginning of Delta’s plan to make herself indispensable to the Straub’s. Would her plan work? How far would Delta go to accomplish it?

The suspense and tension built over the course of The Photographer which made it riveting and unsettling at times. It was a little creepy and even dark but I could not stop listening. I really enjoyed listening to this compelling thriller and highly recommend it.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for the opportunity to listen to this advanced copy of The Photographer through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Publication is set for May 25, 2021.
Was this review helpful?
Delta Dawn  is a wacko kids photographer from NY. She meets the Straub family when hired to shoot their daughter Nathalie's 11th birthday. Delta quickly become obsessed with this family and starts editing photos of the family in a very disturbing way. She is trying so hard to become part of, I still don't understand why. She sexually fantasizes about the couple and she goes as far as offering her body as a surrogate to carry Amelia and Fritz's second child.   

The story is far fetched and I didn't feel a minute of suspense, a very bland story overall. The narrator lacks expression and variation of tone in her voice.

I appreciate the entertaining value of this book and I loved the author's interview at the end of the recording. I wish publishers would add such bonuses more often. This is bringing an extra dimension to the reading experience.

Thank you Macmillan audio and Net Galley for this audio advanced copy in exchange for m y honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to MacMillian Audio, Mary Dixie Carter, and Netgalley for this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved the narration. The plot kept me wanting for more. Though I felt it was a little rushed in the end, but all in all a definite enjoyable listen. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating from me.
Was this review helpful?
The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter was a great slow burn thriller! I don't usually love the slow burn kind of thriller, they tend to fall flat to me but this one had me hooked from the beginning! Much like Delta falls into her obsession I was quickly obsessed with this book. It was unsettling, dark, and made me feel uneasy through to the very last page!

 I kept trying to guess where the plot was going and it totally had my tension, and anticipation building and building. I loved the whole family dynamic and the subtle manipulations. I honestly recommend going into this blind as I do with most thrillers. The audio narration was done by the author, Mary Dixie Carter and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I feel like she had the perfect voice for her characters since she knows them best, if you can grab this in audio I'd say that's the way to go!
Was this review helpful?