Cover Image: Twenty Years Later

Twenty Years Later

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Member Reviews

Twenty Years later started slowly for me and I didn't get fully invested in the book until around the 40% mark. The book starts with a strong opening scene, and I was onboard, the book hits the brakes and begins with the back story. Usually, I don't mind this but this one just hit the brakes for me. There are a lot of characters in the mix - don't worry you will be able to remember and keep track of them, but they did add to the slower pace. Once I got to the 40% mark, things began getting interesting, so hang in there if you feel the beginning is slow as I did.
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Publisher's Synopsis:
Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience’s attention. Her latest story—a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal—is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner’s office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence.

Emma Kind has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won’t be complete until she can clear Victoria’s name. Alone she’s had no luck, but she’s convinced that Avery’s connections and fame will help. Avery, hoping to negotiate a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The rope, the bedroom, and the entire crime scene was covered in Victoria’s DNA.

But the twisted puzzle of Victoria’s private life just the beginning. And what Avery doesn't realize is that there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery’s own secret past—one she has kept hidden from both the network executives and her television audience. A secret she thought was dead and buried . . . 

Review: I really enjoy Charlie Donlea's books I think he writes a good blend of mysterious and creepy and this one was definitely more on the mystery side. I first got into his books from "The Suicide House" which I loved. This one felt a bit too over the top and all over the place for me - I had trouble focusing on the various story- lines and characters. I didn't feel like it had the same vibe as his other books. 3.5/5 stars for me.

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for my free digital copy.
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Avery Mason, host of a network news show, sets out to do a human interest story about remains identified twenty years after the fall of the twin towers on 9-11.  When she arrives in NYC she finds the story isn't that the remains were identified but that the woman, Victoria Ford, had been suspected of a murder that occurred shortly before but the case was never solved because of her death in the towers.  We are taken on a wild ride - Avery's father was responsible for a major Ponzi scheme, has been in hiding and has reached out to Avery, The investigator, Walt Jenkins, on the original Ford case returns to help Avery but also work with the FBI to apprehend her father; and the personal / romantic relationship between Avery and Walt.  I enjoyed every twist and turn and highly recommend the book.
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I loved the mystery aspect and reporting style as we follow both the case of Veronica Ford being accused of murder 20 years ago but also we are following Avery’s connection to her criminal father. Very intriguing the entire time and wanting to get to the bottom of everything
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I have read every book that Charlie Donlea has written and loved each and every one. 

I was thrilled to read his newest , Twenty Days Later! It was filled with mystery, twists and intrigue. 

Avery Mason is a television personality with a complicated and sad past. 
Currently she is looking into Vicotria Ford, who was thought to have murdered her lover (who was married). The evidence was pretty damning, but before she could be charged she died in the North Tower during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

The chilling part is that her last call was to her sister pleading her innocence. 

"20 Years Later" we have new technology and Avery starts digging and what she finds is quite shocking. 

This was such a fantastic book, I absolutely LOVED it, twisty and shocking and an end that will leave you with your mouth on the floor!
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RATING: 1 STAR 
2021; Kensington/Recorded Books

I have enjoyed Donlea's novel's in the past, but this one - plot wise is a bit too much to believe. I still was in it to the end to see who the killer was. I am not sure if the author and editor also grew bored with the story, but the ending was lame. It was one of those "oh, I got to page 400 and don't have an ending and need to finish it in 2 pages". I did think the cover was gorgeous, and the narrator did a good job. I will still read the next Donlea novel as I do find his books overall well done.

***I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook/eBook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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Twenty years after 9/11, remains from the rubble in NYC have been identified. The interesting twist is that the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of murder and was getting ready for trial on that fateful day in 2001. Her last phone call on 9/11 was to her sister, claiming her innocence in the murder. Avery Mason, host of a news program, feels that this story has teeth - and is going to captivate America. Initially, Avery doesn't care whether or not Victoria is innocent... but as she begins to look deeper into the case, she's convinced there's more to the story than it seems. She begins to find herself immersed in the story, determined to find the murderer and clear Victoria's name - while dealing with her own mysterious past...

Charlie Donlea is an auto-read for me, so I was so excited to read this book. It started out a little slow for me, but once it picked up, I couldn't put it down. While I prefer Donlea's new books about Rory Moore (keep writing these, please!) I still enjoyed this thriller.
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I really enjoyed the authors precious work, Don’t Believe it, so I was excited to give this a go. The beginning did not immediately grab me and honestly took ten percent for me to even find a groove.  Way too many plot lines and things going on to maintain a focus.  At the end I felt like it was a fine and enjoyable read but not one that will stick with me.
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So, I don't know why my thoughts are so much different than others on this story but I barely like this one, yet it's got almost 5 stars everywhere.

Oh well. To each their own.

I felt like the story was way too choppy, what one timeline had to do with the other took way too long to figure out. The characters were disinteresting or unlikable for me.

The actual storyline was just ok.
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In the opening scene of Twenty Years Later there is a murder. The next few chapters skip around to different scenes, introducing the various main characters of the book. I first tried to read this when I was a bit distracted, and couldn't keep up with the changing scenarios and put the book down. I'm so glad I picked it up again, restarted from the beginning, and gave it another chance. Once I did I was soon fully immersed in the characters and the story, I couldn't put the book down!

Twenty years ago Victoria Ford was accused of murdering her married lover and was on the verge of being arrested. She was at her lawyers office in the twin towers when the events of 9/11 unfolded. She was presumed dead these many years, and then proof is found, in the form that her DNA remains are identified. I found this portion of the book, which went into detail about how victims are still being identified from those tragic events twenty years ago very interesting. 

Avery Mason is the super successful young host of American Events, a 60 Minutes type news program. She is looking for her next meaty story when she comes across the news of Victoria Ford's remains being found. Avery begins to look into the backstory, and the more she delves into it, the more intrigued she becomes. Meanwhile, Avery herself is hiding a big secret, right in plain site in front of the millions of Americans who watch her on television. 

There are multiple plot lines going on in this story and I thought the author did a good job of intertwining the various points. Avery is a likable character, and I'm wondering if anyone else had the comparison I do? Avery reminds me of the characters that populated Mary Higgins Clark books, a young and plucky successful young woman with a big event in her past she has had to overcome. Also, other than the lurid sex scene of the murder, the language is user friendly, like in Clark's books. I mean this comparison totally as a compliment. I loved Clark's books and miss her yearly publication. The biggest difference is a somewhat darker ending that caught me by surprise and gave an added twist to the story.

I really enjoyed reading Twenty Years Later. Thank you to NetGalley, the author Charlie Donlea, and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read this ARC. Opinions are my own.
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Mason is the popular host of the television news show, American Events. When new technology is able to identify victims of the 911 bombing, she decides to talk to family members to see where the story will lead. Finding out that the remains belonged to Victoria Ford, a woman who had been charged in the death of her married lover when she was killed in the tragedy. Victoria's sister, Emma, asks Avery to prove her innocent and plays Victoria's final message to Avery, one she saved on her answering machine all these years. Avery realizes this could be ratings gold and begins her investigation. Working with Walt Jenkins, a retired FBI agent who was the detective overseeing the murder case all those years ago, they begin to uncover inconsistencies in the case and evidence.

This was an interesting and consuming story. Adding 911 to the plot is tricky as it is still so fresh in so many minds, especially with the 20th anniversary just passing, but it is done well and not a huge part of the story. I liked the characters of both Avery and Walt. They are driven to find answers to this case, although for different reasons. I have recently read a few books about reopening and investigating cold cases using podcasts, but this was a bit different with the television show angle. The evidence uncovered seemed pretty blatant to me, so adding a coverup by an unscrupulous DA gave it credibility. I thought I knew where this story was going, but the twists threw me for a loop. A very satisfying crime thriller containing all the twists, revelations and clues that I have come to love in Charlie Donlea's writing.
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Charlie Donlea has been a must-read author for me since I first read his debut, Summit Lake, years ago and I have continued to love his books since, Twenty Years Later is no exception. With alternating viewpoints and timelines, TYL kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't stop turning the pages. I loved how Donlea weaved the various plots and timelines seamlessly together like only he can do.
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Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea was told in multiple points of view and tells a story within a story, which kept me guessing until the very end. I thought the mystery within the 9/11 timeframe was intriguing and also helped set the scene so well for me. I enjoyed that Avery Mason was a smart and strong female character while also having her own insecurities and demons. 

The use of DNA and solving a cold case was fascinating and was a big part of this layered storyline. I did find that the timeline seemed a bit off with the age of the main character, but other than that, this was a very enjoyable read for me.

Thank you Kensington Publishing for my gifted review copy.
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Charlie Donlea is one of my favorite writers and I was quite excited to see this new book arrive on bookshelves! The premise of this story centers around 9/11 and one particular person who was wanted for murder and was assumed dead when the planes hit the towers.  Twenty years later occurs when a small fragment of bone is discovered and tests back to our suspect.  With this discovery, her story is brought back to the forefront of the public.  A popular TV show host has history in New York and is looking for her next big story.  She chooses to travel back to New York in order to follow the intricate details of the new discovery and learn more about the past story and investigation, alongside one of the original investigators, only to have everything come unravelling with questions surrounding every detail we thought we knew. 

Unlike other stories by this author, it did take me awhile to get into the story and find a connection to the characters.  I stuck with the story because I knew this author was going to take me on a journey.  It took me to get about half way through this story before I found I couldn't put it down.  Once I got to the unravelling, it was the downhill part of the twisty, turney roller coaster, until the last page.  I don't know if I would start with this book if you haven't read Donlea's novels before, as I feel his other books get you hooked much faster.  But don't bypass this book as it truly is an entertaining and thoughtful read.
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Reading this book was like constructing a puzzle. First you begin with the edges, the periphery, and as you add more pieces, the picture begins to take place. 

No puzzle is just one picture though, there as always several elements that tie together to create the whole. 

It’s the same for this book. Piece by piece, chapter by chapter, the picture begins to emerge culminating in a holy ******* moment. 

I’ve read a few Charlie Donlea books now, but this one is by far the best of them all. 

Many thanks to Charlie Donlea, Kensington Books, and NetGalley and an arc of this riveting book in exchange for an honest review.
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Posting this review pains me. I love Charlie Donlea’s writing style, but this book simply didn’t work for me at all.

The story is all over the place, with way too many subplots that detract from rather than enhance the main plot. Despite the busyness of the multiple storylines, content is also oddly (and annoyingly) repetitive. Donlea had the unfortunate tendency to restate previous information again (and again) at the start of new scenes throughout the book, as if readers couldn’t be trusted to remember what we learned a few pages prior.

Pacing is inconsistent, content is implausible, and I didn’t love any of the characters.

Donlea has a gift for twists, so there is a payoff in that respect.

Clearly not my favorite by this author, but this is just my opinion. If you love puzzles and twists, and you don’t mind being immersed in 9/11 for a plot device, then you might be among those who love this book.
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Wow! A seriously great book! Have found myself a new author! 
I could not put this book down. I finished this in one sitting! A wonderful thriller, mystery and murder and so much more.  Told from several POV's and a duel time-line, it was a perfect combination of plot and well executed. With plenty of twists and unravelling of secrets, I highly recommend it.  Thank you kindly to NetGalley, the author and Penguin for this advanced reading copy.
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I’m a big fan of Mr. Donlea’s novels and was very excited to pick this one up. I won’t say too much on the plot to avoid spoilers…Investigative journalist Avery Mason is looking for her next big story, while also covering her own secrets. She stumbles upon an unsolved murder, which was shelved twenty years earlier after it’s main suspect died on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center collapse.

What did I like? The mystery is compelling. Mr. Donlea effortlessly layers twists and turns throughout the story. I enjoyed the characters of Walt and Avery. I liked the perspective of the experienced Walt looking back on his first homicide case.

What didn’t work for me? I think it was due to the nature of the dual timeline and the different narration points of view, but sometimes the storytelling felt a bit repetitive at times in the first half of the book.

Overall this is a page-turning, suspenseful mystery and a very fun read.
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The simple title Twenty Years Later belies the complicated nature of the story within a story of this book.

In 2001 Victoria Ford is about to be indicted for the murder of her lover famous author Cameron Young, [it’s as sordid as it comes]. On the eve of the indictment, two planes crash through the north and south towers of the World Trade Centre in the most significant event of terrorism the world has ever seen and with it went the case against Ford, as she was one of the missing in one of the towers, identified twenty years later by DNA found in the rubble. 

In 2021 Avery Mason is riding the crest of a career wave as a TV anchor, all the while hoping her history doesn’t catch up with her. Avery’s real name is Claire Avery Montgomery and her father went missing when his companies were revealed to have duped people out of billions of dollars. She’s interested in pursuing a story about Ford but it’s also a cover for her to make some other inquiries, because her father has reached out to her, three years after his disappearance. Avery crosses paths with former FBI agent Walt Jenkins, who was the detective in charge of the Young murder investigation. She needs him, and he’s not telling her everything.

This is the first Charlie Donlea book I’ve read. For me it was a corker. The chapters are quite short but a little complex in that they jump around in setting and across characters, despite being chronological from the identification of the DNA evidence, and thus the life of Avery following the case.  Within the chapters there are reflections by the characters that then switch the time periods, which were a bit tricky to navigate. 

Avery and Walt were interesting characters without the depth in Walt I wanted to see. Their ‘chemistry’ was not really convincing for me and more could have been made of it I think. Avery also has an epiphany about the evidence which had me scratching my head as it just occurred to her .. these made me rate it 4 stars instead of 5 stars. 

The plusses? It had me really thinking on who had something ti gain from Young’s death. What was the motive? Who held a grudge? The pacing was good. What was really great for me was the ending though, which made me think ‘oh no you didn’t’ which I love in a thriller. 

Thanks to netgalley and Kensington books for a complementary digital copy of this book. It was released in December 2021.
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I just love every book that I have read that was written by Charlie Donlea!  This one is another winner.  I always get sucked up into the stories and I also love how they are all connected.  This one links up to Suicide House with Mack Carter and his show, now hosted by Avery (aka Claire), a woman who is looking for the interesting and sometimes gruesome or thrilling to run on the next season of American Events.  With the twenty year anniversary of 9/11, a good lead comes in the form of a chilling phone message left by Victoria Ford.  There are many twists and secrets, some of Avery herself and I enjoyed seeing how the two puzzles intertwined, Avery's and Victoria's, past and present. 

It was a great book and I can't wait to read the next book that this author writes! Thank you to netgalley for providing an electronic copy of this story in exchange for a review.
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