Cover Image: The Photographer

The Photographer

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Member Reviews

Delta’s narration was good.

Amelia’s narration made me want to laugh at times. I found her voice to be very shrill and off putting.

As far as the plot goes I found it to be lackluster. The ending was abrupt. I wanted more for the final showdown so to speak. I can’t recommend this book at all.

Trigger:
Fertility issues
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Capturing memories is a photographer’s job. Delta Dawn, named for the country song by the same name, is an expert in not only recording life’s precious moments, but creating them too. Delta is a character that frustrated, angered, and broke my heart all at the same time. Her obsession drives this fast paced twisted tale where perception and reality are not always in sync. Unsettling, disturbing and extremely entertaining describe this debut psychological thriller by Mary Dixie Carter. The narration was perfectly executed by the author. I also enjoyed her interview withJennifer Hillier at the end of the audiobook. I look forward to reading future books by this author. 
    Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Audio  for my audiobook.
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The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter is a psychological thriller of obsession taken to the extreme.  Delta Down is a photographer for the families of the wealthy elite. Taking pictures of children's birthday parties and editing the photos to show the perfect familial bliss she is paid to depict.  Then one day she goes to take pictures at the Straub house and things escalate to the next level.  Delta is soon editing herself into the photos and inserting herself into their lives. She has crossed the line from voyeur to stalker behavior. Who is Delta Dawn?  Is that even her real name?  All that the reader knows for sure is that her parents are dead and she grew up at Disneyland.  What is certain is that there are no lengths to which Delta won't go to further her obsession.

I listened to the audio of this book and it was fantastic!  The author narrates it herself and I think that always enriches the listening experience, since no one knows the nuances of the characters as well.  This is a great book for fans of psychological thrillers. It is dark and disturbing and twists and turns and kept me up deep into the night. Certainly one of the top thrillers of the year for me so far and I think it will be hard to beat!
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Quick, odd listen! This was very different from anything I’ve ever read. Loved the first person view point - I thought most of the characters were out there!! Makes you realize you never know peoples motives. Loved the narration. Thanks netgalley.
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The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter is a slow burn of a novel. A very slow burn.  Virtually nothing happens in the entire book and the twist at the end isn't really a twist. It's what I completely expected to happen since the main character, Delta Dawn was a complete narcissist.  She was almost as bad as Amelia, the mother of the family she stalked.  

I only stuck with the book because I wanted to see if it ended the way I thought it would.  I was tempted to turn it off and forget about it multiple times as I listened.  I don't think I've ever had such a visceral reaction of dislike to a book or it's characters. Not one of them had a redeeming quality, even Natalie, the child.  

I also felt that the narration would have been better done by a professional narrator rather than the author. Rather than sounding creepy, she just sounded...bored. Bored with the characters, bored with the story and even at the end, bored with how it ended.  Maybe the book would have been more interesting if she had shown a little enthusiasm or vocal intonation.  This one for me would be a hard pass if I hadn't received a complimentary audio copy of the novel from the author, MacMillan Audio and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  My advice? Skip it!
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Unfortunately, I DNF'ed (did not finish) this book. It felt very creepy and I honestly didn't know if it was going down a pedophile route. The narrator made me uncomfortable.
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This was a twisted but enjoyable read. The fact that it is written in 1st person makes it more compelling. We never truly get Delta's back story but she clearly hasn't dealt with her demons and has lost it as a result. I definitely recommend it!
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It was an interesting thriller, but I just could not connect with the characters. I know that the point is that the main character is supposed to be disturbing, but I could not find anything likeable about her. And that is totally ok, this one just wasn't my favorite. It reminded me a lot of some Lifetime movies I've seen. I think if you're a fan of thrillers, you'll enjoy this one.
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Delta Dawn is a photographer but she’s so much more. She’s a lurker, a creep, and most likely a sociopath. Listening to this audiobook was at times cringeworthy as it delved into Delta’s inner dialogue and her views not only on herself but on others. It wasn’t so much a pulse-pounding thriller but more of a deep dive into the brain of a very sick woman who ingratiates herself into the lives of a wealthy yet strained couple, exploiting their weaknesses and taking full advantage. 

This is littered with unlikeable characters with the exception of Natalie, the child of the couple, and it shows the ugly side of relationships and those that will take advantage. Delta herself is able to take the ugliness she captures in photos and manipulate it into something completely different. Her mental instability is really what made this a compelling listen for me. Her justification for everything she did just made so much sense to her and as she ingratiates her way deeper into the lives of the Straub’s things begin to go south quickly under Delta’s slippery machinations. 

This is a slow burn suspense that builds as the pages turn and created a subtle creepy sense of foreboding. I wasn’t quite sure how far Delta would take things and this left a lot of room for apprehension and speculation. Delta makes references to past relationships/friendships that have ended because of her behavior but I would have loved a bit more backstory on her. 

The author, Mary Dixie Carter narrated and I think she did a superb job with all the characters but she really excelled at conveying Delta’s level of crazy. The remorseless inner dialogue that justified every hideous action with a level of normalcy was a tad chilling! Well done, Ms. Carter!

I’d highly recommend this to any fan of the genre!

Thank you Macmillan Audio for this ALC!
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First of all, I loved the narration! The characters were a bit crazy but the way it was read made the thought process sound completely normal. The way she justifies inserting herself into families lives, the disturbing pictures, and the open ended conclusion to the story; it was all written so well. It had the right balance of character development and plot twists for me. Just the kind of thing I needed to get out of a reading slump. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review the audiobook!
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The Photographer is a twisted thriller about a photographer that will do anything to be part of the perfect family she is photographing. As a photographer, Delta edits pictures to make perfect memories, until one day she wants to be part of these perfect pictures. Delta babysits for the Straubs in hopes of becoming a permanent part of their family. I enjoyed getting into the twisted head of Delta. Delta soon realizes that the Straub family isn’t as picture perfect as they seem. The story is interesting and kept me engaged throughout the book. I recommend The Photographer to fans of thrillers with manipulative characters.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Mary Dixie Carter and enjoyed her narration. I love when authors narrate their own books.

Thank you Minotaur and Macmillan Audio for The Photographer.

The Photographer is a twisted thriller about a photographer that will do anything to be part of the perfect family she is photographing. As a photographer, Delta edits pictures to make perfect memories, until one day she wants to be part of these perfect pictures. Delta babysits for the Straubs in hopes of becoming a permanent part of their family. I enjoyed getting into the twisted head of Delta. Delta soon realizes that the Straub family isn’t as picture perfect as they seem. The story is interesting and kept me engaged throughout the book. I recommend The Photographer to fans of thrillers with manipulative characters.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Mary Dixie Carter and enjoyed her narration. I love when authors narrate their own books.

Thank you Minotaur and Macmillan Audio for The Photographer.
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I love a book about obsession, so this psychological thriller was right up my alley! The Photographer follows Delta Dawn (yep, just like the song!) as she photographs the seemingly perfect lives of those around her in New York City. She not only captures the images, she also transforms them through photoshop by manipulating the pictures to portray the perfect image.

Things take the obsessive turn when Delta photographs Natalie Straub's 11th birthday party. Delta realizes she desperately wants to be part of the Staub's life and she quickly devises a plan to make it happen. She wins over Natalie, the mom, Ameila, and the father, Fritz. Before long she is inserting herself into all the nooks and crannies of the Staubes' lives. Especially once she catches wind that Amelia is desperately wanting another baby that she hasn't been able to conceive... 

I enjoyed this debut thriller from Mary Dixie Carter. I also loved that she narrated the book herself! She was able to really capture Delta Dawn as a character and I found myself fully engrossed in the story, waiting for the next turn of Delta's obsession.
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The Photographer
2/5 ⭐️

Thank you @netgalley and @macmillan.audio for the ARC! This was released this week on May 25.

🙈🙈🙈 

Okay so this is the first time I have an ARC that I did not enjoy. This took me almost a full week to listen to which is very unusual for me. I just couldn’t get immersed in the story. I know it was supposed to be a thriller but I literally lol’d when she described her cat hating her. There was something about Delta that made her character laughable. She didn’t come across as creepy which I think was the intention, just strange and a little sad.

I knew where the plot was heading from the start and sadly it didn’t build any suspense from there. Oh and when the plot finally came to climax it quickly tied everything up and was done. 

#thePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter #MacMillanAudio #netgalley #thriller #mystery #audiobook #arc #readingnow #listeningnow #newrelease #bookish #newbook #bookworm #booknerd #goodreads #bibliophile #nsbookstagrammer #canadianbookstagrammer
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THE PHOTOGRAPHER is Mary Dixie Carter’s first book. It was a good and disturbing read. It is told in the voice of Delta Dawn, a photographer obsessed with a successful family. It gives you insight into how troubled she is and how far she will go to get what she wants. The story is a mix of ONE HOUR PHOTO by Mark Romanek and FATAL ATTRACTION by H.B. Gilmour. It is a well-written book that will make you wish you will never meet someone like Delta. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Thank you, MACMILLAN AUDIO for granting me an audio copy for review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book early! I want to start this review by saying this is a thriller that definitely requires you just go with it and don't think too critically. I'm rating based on entertainment, not plausibility or quality of writing.
This book is about Delta. She is a photographer that specializes in kids' birthdays. She takes pictures for the Straub's and their daughter, Natalie, and becomes involved with the family, babysitting and filling other unmet needs. We know from the beginning that she's got an agenda of some sort, but its never really clear what that agenda is. Even upon finishing the book, we know what happens, but her motivations are still unclear. She befriends the mom and dad (Amelia and Fritz) and intentionally manipulates them and their lives. There is more that happens, but not much. It's mostly just manipulation after manipulation and to what end? Again, we know the end point and what she gets out of it after reading it, but her motivations throughout were unclear. Perhaps that was intentional to keep us turning pages and engaged, but it ended up feeling repetitive and a little slow in the middle. This book isn't anything that you haven't read before, but it was short and fast and entertaining.

SPOILERS AHEAD:
Amelia and Fritz struggle with fertility and they're planning to adopt but Dawn gets the adoptive mom to back out and offers to be a surrogate for them. She gets pregnant and then says she loses the baby but actually goes on to raise him herself. She lied the whole time about having a son and created a whole imaginary life and I guess the goal was to get a baby and have a piece of the elite life?
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I would up this more to 3 1/2-stars.
Highly enjoyable and definitely has suspense, but lost some points for lack of background info and some character/storyline develooment. Although I appreciated Mary Dixie Carter keeping it straight and sweet and getting straight to the point, I was missing a connection.

The PROS: 
*Definitely a page turner. How or if Delta going to continue to up the game and keep herself immersed in the Straub's life kept me reading. I wanted to know what was next and how she was going to keep the lies going. Was she going to get more dangerous? *Liked that Delta appeared normal to the other characters but we as the reader got a glimpse into her twisted mind.

The CONS: 
*I didn't quite get to know Delta. What made her like this. Was everything in her head made up or did she become this way due to something in her past. In the beginning it was good not to know, but as the book continued I would like a little more insight into why Delta was doing what she was doing. 
*As Delta's lies caught up to her, the other characters started to question her but then seemed to let a lot go or the impact of figuring her out was just swept away. 
*Natalie's friend Piper seemed to be a huge influence on Natalie and her behaviour in one scene and then just fell away like she didn't matter in the next. She got mentioned but her impact suddenly didn't seem important.  
*Amelia. I just didn't see why Delta was so drawn to her. Her character felt a bit flat.
*A storyline with the garden apartment that never really got fully explored. It felt like there was going to be more there.
*Ending was predictable. Was expecting more. When it finished I said out loud "that's it?!"

Overall, I wasn't blown away by the suspense but it was an interesting and quick read which I appreciated. 

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Looking for a new definition of “obsession”? This book offers it in spades. A young photographer is hired to photograph the Straub’s daughter’s birthday party. The Straubs are living the life that Delta has always dreamed of... beautiful house, rich friends, financial security, and all the extras that their riches can buy. She wants more from her own life, and soon starts to insert herself into their lives. She babysits, runs errands, becomes a confidante. And things start to get a bit twisty from there. 

Narrated by the author, the story held my attention, but I wanted so much more. The characters felt a bit one-dimensional. And the story had the potential to become a strong psychological thriller, but fell flat for me.

Grateful to NetGalley and MacMillan Audio for the advanced audiobook version, in exchange for my honest review.
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GOOD LORD. OH MY. THIS WAS... EPIC.

Plot
Delta is a photographer and she observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York city's elite. She snaps photos of children at their birthday parties and transforms these images into something she finds better. When Delta is hired to take pictures at Natalie Straub's she becomes obsessed with the family. She tries to make everything broken whole and change this family for the better. But what if what she thinks is better is actually worse?
And that's how Delta starts babysitting Natalie, as a way to get closer to the Straubs. And she succeeds in making herself the center of the family, to close that bridge between the family members without removing herself from the connection she has to pose a surrogate having already had a child. Amelia cannot have a baby, so Delta agrees to be a surrogate for her and her family. Although Amelia has just met Delta, they feel close and have an intimate connection. But little does Amelia know how messed up Delta really is.


I don't read a lot of Phycological thrillers but this has my stamp of approval (whatever that's worth)


Delta
The First-person perspective drove me crazy. I kept searching the author up to see if she was mentally OK because honestly the first-person perspective was done so perfectly well that I'm freaked out. But at the end of the audiobook, there was an author interview that I was so thankful for because honestly, I was a bit worried. Delta was a... what's the word for it, a CRAZY character. She is so...WOW. I mean she gets pregnant for a person she barely knows for the reason that she wants to be cared for and loved and fussed over like a pregnant woman. I guess that doesn't sound like much but the connection she yearns for with the people she doesn't even know that much is so intense and scary. AND HER ACTING? I am convinced that she is a psychopath. The way she manipulates and uses people was just...WOW. But other than that, I loved seeing her perspective of the world especially since she's a phenomenal photographer and addresses everything in the environment.


Amelia, Natalie, Fritz
Nonononononononononoooono! That's me throughout the whole book. I feel so bad for this family and the way it's being manipulated. Amelia is a horrible mom to Natalie. Delta takes up that mom role even though she's crazy (this is where the acting comes in) and kind of ruins Natalie forever. But anyways Fritz and Amelia and horrible parents that neglect their child, but you know what, they still didn't deserve what happened to them in the end.

Overall
Overall this was a fun, crazy book that has thought me not to trust anyone. No matter how kind and friendly they are.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publishers, and Macmillan audio for sending an Acr my way in exchange for an honest review.

~Till Next Time!
📚 Ꮢҽαԃ σ⨍⨍ ɾҽαԃҽɾട! 📚
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I wanted to love this one, but it is way too slow and the narrator is too dry and monotone. I wasn't loving it, so I gave up after trying to force myself through it over several weeks.
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This one was a bit disappointing for me. I was hoping there was going to be some big reason for Delta's behavior but I was disappointed when there wasn't a resolution. The whole concept for me was just a bit weird after not having some huge reveal that I hadn't already figured out. Might be an okay read for someone who doesn't read thrillers a lot.
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