Cover Image: The Woman in the Library

The Woman in the Library

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Member Reviews

The woman in the library 
By Sulari Gentill 

Wow wow wow❗ 
I loved this book, so intelligent, buckling and addictive.

Special thanks to Netgalley and the poisoned pen press for sharing this digital reviewer copy in exchange for an honest review.

Freddie, Whit , cain and Marigold are sitting at a table in the library when they hear the blood-curdling scream of a woman in other room..
Security guards immediately appear and instruct everyone inside to stay put.

This is a novel within the novel and both are hugely compelling.
The story is brilliant, hats off to the author.
 4.5 /5 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
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Honestly, I was drawn to this book because of the title! I love reading; libraries/bookstores are one of my favorite places even though I don't go in person much anymore. But I can honestly spend hours browsing books. So I was in love the setting before I even read the description.

The book is pretty cool because it is sort of a book within a book. At some points I was wondering which of these stories is the actual book. Is The Woman in the Library referring to the woman who screamed or is it the woman who is writing the book? But as the stories unfold, there is a twists (which I did not see coming) and you start to under what is actually going on. 

Something that irritated me how the main female characters were way too naive and lovestruck. I had to roll my eyes quite a few times while reading. I know the story needed to progress quickly to make it interesting but they fell in love way too fast with practical strangers and had strong convictions about people's innocence and/or guilt. 

There are many things I liked about this book other than the fact that it is a great mystery and thriller. I liked the social aspect of it. It makes you question yourself.  Does it matter what race the characters you reading about are? Do you think someone that has been in prison can be truly rehabilitated? Is leaving out information the same as lying?
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Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

What an fresh take on a frame story! The Woman in the Library tells a tale of 4 people united by bearing witness to a mysterious scream and subsequent murder in the Boston Public Library. Sulari Gentill takes the story one level further, embedding this main mystery within the correspondence of 2 authors sharing their work. All the while, the true danger is realized through the one-sided email correspondence we see at the conclusion of each chapter. 

While some of the twists in the main story were not shocking to me, the freshness of the frame story surrounding the fictional novel kept me racing to the end. Overall a very cool concept.

Review crossposted to goodreads at:
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It took a few pages to get into the flow of this book with the jumping between the emails, the story within a story and the events as they unfolded.  Bits and pieces of the characters were revealed as the plot made its twists and turns.  It all came together logically in the end but it was a wild ride.
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I liked it, there is an author who is corresponding with a murderer writing about an author who "hears" a murder in  the reading room at Boston Public Library.  Interesting premise and some good suspense.  I definitely can recommend.  
Thank you Net Galley for a chance to read and review.
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“We heard her scream. A scream is supposed to bring help, and we heard her scream.”

A book within a book, within a book! The Woman in the library follows correspondence between authors Leo Johnson and Hannah Tigone, as Hannah is writing a novel from Australia set in Boston, and the current pandemic has borders closed. Leo, living in Boston reads each chapter of Hannah’s new book and provides her feedback . . . which you can tell as the chapters progress are being incorporated. We, the reader, get to read each chapter as it’s done, and Leo’s email replies begin to be more and more disturbing. 

Hannah’s novel centers around four strangers who meet by happenstance as they are sitting in the reading room at Boston’s Public Library and hear a scream. Quickly thereafter, we find out that a writer for The Rag has been murdered, but these four individuals – connected by a scream – soon become friends (and each other’s alibis). 

Red herrings abound as we are guided through this gripping thriller by Freddie (in Boston on a Marriot Fellowship from Australia), who is loosely writing a novel about her three friends that she met on that fateful day in the library. But the coincidences begin to add up, and we are left to wonder if everyone is telling the truth, and ultimately, whodunit? Each character has their role, and you can imagine several as the killer when motives start to materialize.

I have never read a novel so ingeniously constructed; this unique composition was reminiscent of Cain’s writing web where the reader had to remember what “story” we were in and properly follow it. Sulari Gentill made a quick fan out of me – and now knowing she gave up being a corporate lawyer to write makes me like her that much more. Her prose literally pulled me in and captivated me – what a great twist on mysteries!

I don't want to give anything away . . . but I was certain who the murder was (and I was wrong! - the book ends with him though, so if you have read it you know who I am referring to). You will be on the edge of your seat, quickly turning the page!

Anyone who loves thrillers, libraries, or writing will applause this novel! I give it a 4.5 and will be recommending it to my friends. “Words have meaning,” and Gentill lead us readers right where we needed to be. 

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this amazing novel; all opinions are my own!
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This book started off slow, and I thought "I don't think I am going to like this".   But I had to try just one more chapter to see what happened next.   Then just one more.   Next thing you know, I am engrossed in this weird, wild, wonderful ride.  

The story starts with an author Hannah, conversing with a colleague in Boston about her upcoming novel. She is feeding him the story chapter by chapter.  So we also get to read the story, which is about four random people who happen to be in the reading room of the Boston Public Library when a murder is committed.  (It was actually sort of a weird meet cute for these 4 people).   From here the story unravels on multiple levers,  with many twists and turns and several "wtf" moments.     I can't even describe it - you have to read it for yourself.  

Thank you to the author #SulariGentill the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.
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I can't recall how I found out about this book but just yesterday, I was reminded of it and I requested an ARC from NetGalley today. To my utter delight, I got the book and I devoured it this afternoon. The story kept me guessing and was fully invested in the main character/narrator. It feels like an homage to classic murder mysteries, with the dead body in the library, the red herrings, the average person trying to detect what the police cannot, and the fear that the person closest to you might in fact be the murderer. My minor hang-up was some of the letters (emails?) in the story took me out
of the plot; however, a minor quibble in a book I otherwise thoroughly enjoyed.
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I LOVE this book! It had me hooked on the first page and blew me away by the end of the chapter. A writer, Freddie, is sitting at a table in a  Boston library with three other strangers, when a blood curdling scream breaks the silence. A woman has been murdered. The strangers, who all had various reasons for being at the library that day,  form a friendship and seek to find out what happened, but one of them may be a murderer. The reader is taken outside the story by letters at the end of each chapter addressed to Hannah, who is writing the story about the murder in the library and the characters who meet there. There is something suspicious about the author of these letters. The mystery increases when other murders take place and someone may be stalking the friends. An entertaining, suspenseful read that leaves the reader guessing right up to the end.
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Wow! What a book!

Sulari Gentill combines a smart plot with lovable characters that make Woman in the Library extremely addicting. Written in a unique format of a book within a book where art imitates life.

We follow Freddie, an author, in her newly formed friendships with tree strangers she meets at Boston Public Library, Cain, also an author, and two college students, Marigold and Whit. The live of the four become entangled when they embark on a quest to find more about the murder of the Woman in the Library.

Mystery and thriller are not the type of genre that I usually gravitate towards, but this book may just have changed that for me.
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I was SO excited to read this book and thanks to NetGalley I was give the opportunity to get an early chance at it. I didn't read any other reviews like I usually do, just dove in head-first! What a shock to find that this pool is only ankle deep. What a disappointment. Ugh. Where to begin? the story is lame, the characters are cardboard and there's really no mystery since we know one of the four main characters is a murderer. There are SO many interesting and creative ways this story could have been told! Didn't happen. Instead we don't care. About any of it. Even the dead person is beyond a second thought. Boring, predictable and lame.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentil.

Sulari Gentil truly mastered the art of creating a beautifully woven mystery. This was not what I was expecting at all from reading the description. Upon meeting each character, you don't know who to trust and you can't help but to hate and love each one of them. Not only did she succeed in creating a mystery that already feels like a classic in the lines of Christie and Hitchcock, she created two in this single book. Bravo to this author, who brings us a future classic.
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What a terrific read!! I'll admit to being slightly confused in the beginning but things became clearer the more I read. These are great characters, witty, sharp and interesting. And the correspondence "between" Leo and Hannah is an added bonus. The villain isn't a huge surprise, but no matter; I just loved being with these people. Also enjoyed the descriptions of restaurants, food, oh all the coffee and tea, and the Boston area. Highly recommend!! I look forward to delving into Ms. Gentill's Raymond Sinclair series asap!

P.S. Many thanks to #netgalley for the ARC.
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I love this book.  Once I had met the four main characters, and heard the scream, this story had me on edge and the edginess continued throughout the story. I simply had to finish reading it.

This is story within a story within yet another story.  Four people randomly meet in Boston Public Library.  There is a scream and it is as though that scream connects them as friends.  And they became my friends and once it is discovered that a woman has been murdered, how could any one of these four be connected to it? 

As the story continues, secrets are revealed...their characters become more visible, there is another murder and the hunt for a killer is definitely underway.

I love the part of the book that uses emails as a 'critique' of Hannah's story. It gives further insight into Hannah, her critic and a greater depth to the four main characters.

If you enjoy a twisting, turning thriller, this is a story for you.

I am very familiar with this Author's writing having previously read all the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries and one other stand alone novel.  All are brilliant as is this one!

Thank you NetGalley for my preview copy and thank you once again Sulari Gentill...brilliant!! I will definitely be purchasing a print copy of this book once it becomes available...must have it on my shelf with all the others!
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Thank you NetGalley and Sulari Gentill for letting me read this Advanced Reader's Copy.

The double plotline is a first for me, and I'm afraid you've ruined me for all thrillers to come. Solving 1 murder mystery is confusing enough with us poor readers questioning the motives of all characters involved. Add to the mix a helpful write from US and you've a confused bunch of readers. More than the main 4 characters, I liked the writer Leo and his development from Helpful Friend to Serial Killer.

I may decide to binge read all of your books. Thanks once again for the amazing read. You've saved me from a very serious book slump.
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This is a cleverly written novel within a novel featuring a mystery writer writing about a mystery writer writing a novel. 

The novel opens with an email from someone called Leo in Boston to author Hannah Tigone in Australia asking her how her new book is going. Leo is a fan and also an aspiring writer whose novel keeps being rejected by publishers. He tells her of sitting in the Boston Public Library looking for inspiration but mostly staring at the ceiling. This inspires Hannah to write a novel featuring her main character, Winifred (Freddie) Kinkaid as an Australian writer in Boston on a writing fellowship who meets three strangers, Cain, Marigold and Whit in the Reading Room of the Boston Public Library after they hear a piercing scream. They go on to meet up again, becoming friends and becoming entangled in a murder mystery.

Each chapter of Hannah’s novel finishes on a cliff hanger followed by an email from Leo who is reading her chapters as she is writing. Due to the pandemic Hannah can’t travel to Boston for research so Leo has taken it upon himself to undertake some research on her behalf and sends her feedback and suggestions. As time goes on Leo’s suggestions become more and more chilling and assertive and it becomes clear he is more than a little deranged and obsessive. This adds another intriguing layer to this multi layered novel which is smart, fun, unpredictable and a totally compelling read.
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This book is a masterpiece. The highly intelligent and sophisticated writing style made me feel like a child learning from a master. I hung on the author’s words, much like Leo does. I feel a re-reading is in order, so I can re-frame my understanding of the book second time around. It was not easy to follow the plot threads expertly woven throughout, but I know it all fits together perfectly, even if my understanding isn’t complete. The characters are only partly crafted, so as to let the readers (incorrectly) fill in the gaps. It baffles me that this author is a mere mortal: this book is masterful! Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this advanced copy!
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Ok, first of all, the story within a story is trippy and amazing! We start out the story learning about 4 people in the Boston Public Library that hear a scream. At the end of the first chapter, we learn that this is a story being written by an Australian author by Leo, a fan and wannabe writer. Each chapter ends with Leo's notes and comments on the book and it kept me turning the pages. I can't decide if I was more intrigued to end a chapter or start a new one - both stories are extremely intriguing. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the author), I was not able to guess the killer! I was totally wrong but it made sense about a chapter or two before the big reveal. Definitely a solid novel!
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The Woman In The Library
Sulari Gentill
Hannah is a mystery writer in Australia. She is writing a book about a murder in the Boston Public Library. She needs to research the library and surrounding area but due to the pandemic she is writing from her home base. Leo Johnson is one of her biggest fans and offers to research the library and surrounding area. He sends her photographs of crime scenes and proofreads each chapter. Leo becomes more and more manipulative and attempts to change the path of Hannah’s book. Hannah is writing about four strangers sharing a table in the Ornate Reading Room at the Boston Public Library. Freddie is the main character and the narrator. She is in the US on a scholarship. Freddie takes note of her companions and decides to use them as characters in her book.
Freddie, Whit, Cain and Marigold heard a scream coming from one of the other rooms. The place is locked down while the police search for a body. After they are allowed to leave, they come together for a coffee at the Map Room Tea Lounge where they discuss what happened. “Strangers bonded by a scream…” One of the tablemates is a murderer but which one.
This is a unique story for it is a mystery within a murder mystery. Hannah is a mystery writer.
Sulari Gentill has written a  unique and brilliant plot. This tale is filled with twists and turns. There are two mysteries: Hannah/Leo and Freddie/tablemates. The premise reminds me of an Alfred Hitchcock mystery
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Fantastic thriller! I read a LOT of books and mainly thrillers lately. This by far is the best I’ve read. It was definitely completely unique type of book which made it awesome! Could not put it down. No spoilers but the chapter regarding “hoodies” made me laugh out loud and the response made me laugh even harder. I would highly recommend this book to all even those who say they don’t like thrillers…it’s just that great of a book!
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