Cover Image: The Photographer

The Photographer

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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!
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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.

recommend!
i think the audio book was worth it, over reading from the page.
the narrator's voice was perfect.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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This was a super creepy domestic thriller. It makes you wonder who you let infiltrate your life and what their intentions truly are. 
Also, this story terrifies me because you really don't know who can be secretly crazy. There were lots of good things about this story. It was well written and had a solid plot line, but I just found it to be a bit dull. It is definitely a slow burn of a thriller and there is no insane climax to the plot with blood and horror everywhere. 
It is all very internal and mental. 
I think this will get some good buzz upon its release later this month, but it wasn't my favorite thriller.
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Title: The Photographer
Author: & Narrator Mary Dixie Carter
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 304
Audio Length:  8 hours, 47 minutes
Publication Date: 5/25/2021  

The Photographer is a psychological thriller set in New York City.  Delta Dawn (yes – it’s her name!) is a photographer for the elite families in New York City, specializing in children’s birthday parties.  When she photographs Natalie Straub at her 11th birthday, she connects with the Straub family.  This connection turns into an obsession. 

Plot & Pacing:  The pacing in this psychological thriller is great. It is a fast-compelling read. Delta just keeps worming her way into the Straub family one creepy move at a time. It feels like it is building up to this great thrill or reveal.  However, I was incredibly disappointed by the ending.  It did not live up to the tension that the author built in the book. The twist was predictable and mild compared to what the author built me up to.  I also thought there was a couple of loose ends that did not get resolved – such as the Ian character.  

Character Development:  I think that the Natalie character was quite well-developed for a side character.  Delta Dawn remains an enigma throughout the novel with tiny tidbits dropped about her growing up in Orlando.  She is presented as just a creepy stalker and you have no idea why or what her motivation is. I would have loved some more back story on Fritz and Amelia.  We hear a little bit about the history of their business but not how they met or any of the nuances of their relationship.   

World-Building:  A lot of time is spent in the Straub’s house and I felt like I could view it clearly in my mind based on the descriptions. Both of the Straub’s are architects and that is a heavy factor in this world.   

Narrator:  This is an author narrated book.  Her tone and innotonation were soothing to listen to.  I enjoyed the changes in her voice to the other characters.  Her speed was a bit slow and I had to speed it up to 1.2x to enjoy it.    

Cover: I loved it!  it fits well with the theme and tone of the novel as it gives off a creepy vibe.     

I would recommend this to fellow thriller readers who are okay with mildly twisty ending.  This might be good for people who are new to the thriller genre. I found the novel to be a quick, fun thriller and might be a great book to read by the pool this summer.   

ARC provided to me by St. Martin’s Press and MacMillan Audio, via Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.

#ThePhotographer #NetGalley
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"In one image, I could extract more information than many people could extract from an entire book."

The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter was a solid debut thriller from Minotaur Books. While reading, I did a combo of audiobook, print, and ebook. The author does the narration for this. I always love that because who knows the characters better than the author? I thought Mary did a great job with the narration, and this book gave me allll the creeps. I'm going to pick out a wedding photographer very carefully now!

I did see the ending of this one coming, which I usually never predict correctly; the same goes for movies, I'm the worst! I think it wrapped up nicely, I just wish we had more insight into the main character. I want to know why she was this way or what caused her to get to this point.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable and fast psychological thriller, and I'm looking forward to more from Mary Dixie Carter!
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Thank you Netgalley for this audiobook edition of The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter.

First, commentary of the narration.  Listen, if you write the book, do what you want, it's yours to narrate if you want.  But also, maybe don't?  There are so many talented voice actors out there that will really elevate your story, use them!  Having said that, I just couldn't get into the unimpressive tones of the author.  It definitely contributes to my feeling about the book.

I gave this one a serious try, DNF at 50%.  It was just a bit too ridiculous.  I've read plenty of books about obsession, stolen lives, stolen spouses, etc, and if done right they can be very entertaining.  This one just made no sense.  There wasn't enough context into why the characters did what they did, they just all seemed a bit crazy from the get-go.  And on top of that, the story itself just never got off the ground.  It definitely had potential, but I couldn't do it.
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I received a complimentary egalley of THE PHOTOGRAPHER by Mary Dixie Carter thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley. I also received the advance listener copy thanks to Macmillan Audio!

THE PHOTOGRAPHER begins with photographer Delta working a birthday party for a young girl. She’s captivated by the family and by the young girl’s mother. Soon she is finding ways to befriend the daughter and parents alike, stepping in as emergency babysitter and all around family friend. The family doesn’t really know the true Delta and they certainly don’t know the lengths she will go to to cement her place in their lives.

This is a book where I think going in blind is a big help! Getting inside Delta’s mind is a wild ride as she finds ways to spin a story that even she almost believes about her own life. This isn’t a book that is big on plot twists, but the wild extremes that Delta will go to kept me hooked to the story and needing to know what would happen next.

I think this is a book that lends itself well to audio since we’re getting so much of the story from Delta’s thoughts and the audiobook made for a great read! I was really hooked right up to the end needing to know how this would all turn out!

I will be looking to pick up more from this author in the future! THE PHOTOGRAPHER is out today!
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This story had the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up. The main character’s level of obsession and self-denial is super creepy!

Delta Dawn is a talented photographer who has started photographing families and birthday parties for well-off New Yorkers. But she’s starting to believe she belongs there, in their houses, as part of their families.

She tries to make herself indispensable to one family in particular, believing she can become more than a hired contractor to them if given half a chance. Soon she’s Photoshoping herself into their photos when she’s alone, and imagining herself there beside them. And it doesn’t stop there.

The audiobook is narrated by the author and has an interview at the end. I don’t always love when authors narrate their own books but I thought she did a really great job. The audio comes in at 8 hours and 46 minutes, so you’ll scream through it in no time. I guarantee you’ll be more careful about who you let into your home, and life, after reading this book.
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The book itself was good, however I couldn't listen to the audio. The NetGalley Shelf app is truly terrible, and I wasn't a fan of the author's narration.
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Delta Dawn is a brilliant photographer and has many high-class people in her . But what you see and what you don’t see are starkly different. Behind closed doors, Delta uses her insanely good editing skills to juxtapose images of herself into pictures with the elites, even taking place of some of their wives. Delta’s manipulation of her photos becomes something darker, and more obsessive. This was so interesting to read and honestly had me fascinated when I probably should’ve been scared. Thank you to MacMillan Audio and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Have you ever read a book where you completely disagreed with and did not connect to the protagonist? This was that book for me. I was pretty dismissive of the book because of this but was curious enough to see it through, rolling my eyes the entire time. However, the ending had me literally gasping and clutching my pearls! I don't think you're supposed to particularly like the protagonist though, she does some very questionable and unethical things. To me, if a book makes me FEEL something that's a good book. So I definitely recommend this book, but you're definitely going to want to have some patience and stick with it because it all comes together in a dazzling explosion at the end that you're going to want to sit back and enjoy the show!
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I feel like this story was very slow paced. The character interactions were a bit odd, but overall I loved the story line. Though when it got towards the end the story began to feel a bit rushed. I was hoping for a bit more of a dramatic ended after the build up. Though either way the end of the story was quite unexpected.
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The Photographer follows Delta Dawn: New York photographer who quickly becomes obsessed with the Straub family. This was a fast-paced thriller that kept my attention throughout, but the ending fell short for me. I found myself wanting more depth from the plot and was confused about the climax. While the premise was clever and the characters were intriguing, at the end I was left wondering "that's it?"
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Another added to the list of "Not a bad thriller, easy to read in an afternoon or a few lazy days, but probably won't revisit it again." 

Delta Dawn is a photographer - primarily specializing in documenting wealthy kids' birthday parties - who is exceptionally skilled at her craft. She lives in New York City and gets to mingle with the creme de la creme through her work. Although she prides herself on dressing in expensive, carefully chosen pieces and carrying herself so she can fit in with these crowds, she knows she's not in the same social class as many of her clients. She longs to be wealthy, privileged, and effortlessly chic, as many of the families she works for are. One day, she's photographing a party for the Straub family, a high-end, up-and-coming architect couple and their eleven-year-old daughter Natalie. As soon as Delta enters their exquisite home, meets spellbinding wife Amelia and handsome husband Fritz, she knows: this is the family she is meant to be a part of. In the span of one night, Delta's new north becomes the Straub family, and she becomes obsessed with getting as close to them as humanly possible. 

Delta narrates the whole story, and you very quickly learn that she is an unreliable narrator. She thinks everything she does is perfectly reasonable and sane, justifying even her worst behavior to make herself feel good about her choices. One of the interesting components of her narration is that you have no idea what you can trust about her - the lies that have become so ingrained in her narrative that you don't even know what's real and what's not, even in her innermost voice. 

This book reminded me a bit of The Last Mrs. Parrish - of course, they both have one character who is so obsessed with another family that they'd do anything to infiltrate it. But one thing I lost in this book that was present in The Last Mrs. Parrish was a sense of connection with the narrator, a sense of why she was doing what she was doing and what she hoped to get out of it. Throughout the book, I never understood the real purpose of Delta's obsession, other than the obvious reason of her envying the life that the Straubs lead. But even then, the Straubs are far from perfect and she quickly sees that, yet still wants to be a part of their lives. 

The other main issue I had with this book was its pacing. She becomes obsessed with the Straubs almost instantaneously, within the first chapter of the book. The next 80-90% of the book is all rising action, little ups, downs, and worries here and there, but mostly all waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Then all of a sudden, something happens, the tables turn super quickly, and it's over. Usually, the ending sequence is the most exciting part of a book like this, but here, it's over in the blink of an eye, with few consequences. 

Overall, a super easy and fun beach read, but if I was looking for a creepy, obsession-driven thriller, I'd pick up The Last Mrs. Parrish again. Thank you to the publisher for the eARC via Netgalley!
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