Member Reviews

August 2000: Josie and her friend Becky are exploring outside after midnight because they couldn’t sleep after witnessing a fight between Josie’s dad and brother Ethan. Upon hearing gunshots, Josie takes off running for her house and sees flashes in her parents’ bedroom as another gunshot echoes in the night. Realizing she needed to get away, she urges Becky to follow her into the cornfields so she can make her way to her grandparents who live a mile away. Hearing someone say her name, Josie turns and see the male raise a shotgun and fire. Feeling a searing pain in her arm, she realizes she’s been shot and has to find a place to hide. After Becky falls from tripping, Josie takes off on her own. The next morning, Josie cautiously returns to her house and the horror she finds inside causes her to immediately leave. Upon exiting the house, she finds her grandfather who goes into the house to see what it was that Josie found. Traumatized, he calls the police who process the crime scene. Who would kill Josie’s parents, beloved by the town? Where was Ethan and her best friend Becky?

Present Day: Wylie is an author of true crime books and after hitting a rough patch with her son, moves into a house in Iowa where the town’s bloodiest crime took place twenty years before. With a winter storm moving in, she hunkers down for the night. After letting the dog she took in when getting to her rental doesn’t come back after being let out, she goes in search of him. She finds him sniffing a small boy who looks dead in the growth down the gravel road leading to her house. Getting him back into her house, the boy is frightened and doesn’t communicate with her. After he falls asleep under a couch, she pulls the couch away to check the bloody head wound he had. This leads her on a search for what happened and who could possibly still be out in the frigid weather. She comes across an overturned truck and laying in barbed wire a woman. Upon discovering the woman is alive, she covers her with her coat and reassures the woman she will return after getting wire cutters. But when she returns, the woman is gone.

The Overnight Guest gripped me from the beginning. There are three intertwined storylines within the novel, but there isn’t confusion. The timing of skipping from one storyline to the next is seamless and helps you to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. You find yourself thinking this person did it and then the storyline switches and you start questioning if that is the right person who murdered Josie’s family. You try to figure out why Wylie decides to write about true crime after you get clues that she also has a traumatizing event in her past. You find yourself wanting to shout, “How does it end?!” It ends deliciously and keeps you on the edge of your seat. This one would make a great thriller movie! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#netgalley #arc #theovernightguest #harlequinbooks

Was this review helpful?

Thank you so much for letting me read The Overnight Guest. I thought this book was great and I loved everything about it. It did start off a bit slow but finally started to pick up and I was consumed in this one and couldnt wait to find out what was going to happen and who killed Wylie's family all those years ago and who took Becky. I love a good psychological thriller and this one hit the spot! It was intense, very suspenseful and full of action. I also liked the use of the different timelines in this one to finally bring it all together in the end.
Lots of twists among this one too which I really liked! Definitely shocked by the end. Great job Heather!! Cant wait for your next book in the future!

Was this review helpful?

Another 5 ⭐️ read from Heather Gudenkauf! I absolutely loved this book. Heather has a way of grabbing my attention from the very beginning and it doesn’t let up. This book is filled with twists and turns and without giving anything away, there was one twist that had me like WOAH!!!

Thank you NetGalley for my copy and I will be anxiously awaiting the author’s next book.

Was this review helpful?

Cancel your plans because you won’t be able to put this one down until you turn the very last page. You’ve got a true crime writer holed up in a remote house with no one around for miles, a furious snowstorm, a loss of power, an inability to communicate with the outside world – and an unexpected guest. The perfect recipe for a chilling book, perfect for a January read. Get cozy. You’re not going anywhere.

What I Loved 🌿

✨The well-paced suspenseful narrative
✨The various timelines that seamlessly come together in the end
✨Just the right amounts of twists and turns
✨Those holding my breath moments and the audible sighs and gasps as the story unfolded

I have read several books by this author and have loved every one of them. You’re definitely going to want to add this to your 2022 TBR.

My thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book before its January 25 publication date.

Was this review helpful?

This book sucked me in from the very first chapter, which wasn't surprising because this author is AWESOME! I think she is one of the most underrated authors out there. Her books are SO good! I loved how there were three different stories going on at once. It took me awhile to completely figure out how they are all intertwined and I loved it!

Was this review helpful?

What a great read. Told from three different perspectives this book kept me engaged from the beginning. The character development was strong and I really cared about the outcome. It also had some great twists. Highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

This will be a good winter read. It's very suspenseful and I liked how the story went back and forth and finally connected. It did remind me a bit of the book Room.

Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

OMG, I had a complete melt down when I was approved to read and review the Overnight Guest. Heather Gudenkauf is an auto-buy author for me and a force to be reckoned with. Her writing style is always on point, the first chapter draws you right in and consumes me with an overwhelming addiction. Each page adds more and more to the nail biting feeling that starts to rise in my chest. I can not contain my excitement, one more chapter is never enough.

The Overnight Guest, is a book I devoured in one sitting. I didn't expect anything less. This is probably one of my favorite books of the year and I will be purchasing this novel for my reading group for our February 2022 read.

The Overnight Guest is due to release January 25, 2022 and this is one you do not want to miss.

Was this review helpful?

Excellent story! I could not put this down! I think this may be her best book yet! Highly recommend and look forward to reading more novels by this author!

Was this review helpful?

This is my sixth Heather Gudenkau] story. The other five were GREAT ~ I am a fan!
I was sooo excited when I got this early release.

The story timeline go back and forth between now with Wylie Lark~ now in a snow storm; and then a blistering summer several years ago with two murders and a missing girl!

Now: Wylie Lark is an author who is staying at a remote farmhouse to work on her fourth true crime book. When a snowstorm happens, she believes it and a cozy fire will be the perfect inspiration she needs to write. However, in the middle of this snow storm she sees a young child half buried in her front yard.

Hmmm ~ don't want to give too much away but this story had me on the edge of seat with my my heart pounding
Story is very disturbing and emotional.
I had to stop every once in a while to take a deep breath to lower my rapid heart rate.
As I mentioned I am a fan but don’t remember a story like this one.

Yep Heather Gudenkauf does not disappoint!
Want to thank NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing ~ Park Row for this eGalley. This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form for an honest professional review.
Publishing Release Date scheduled for January 25, 2022

Was this review helpful?

OMG this story gripped me from the start and never let go. Told from the perspective of a true crime writer following a midwestern murder from 20 years prior, this story is atmospheric, haunting and one I couldn’t put down.

Was this review helpful?

This novel begins as three novels in one. Thus, the first third of the novel is a little confusing and slow moving, but then the pace really picks up and the three story lines are each compelling. In one, a 12-year-old girl survives a horrific crime. It’d be terrible anywhere, but it’s particularly unusual for this small farming community. In another, all we know is that a little girl and her mother are locked in a basement, and their continued existence is at the hands of a violent man. In the third, a woman is trying to finalize her true crime novel when, in the middle of a wicked snowstorm, she finds a little boy nearly frozen to death near the remote home she’s renting. Survival becomes more complicated as the night wears on.

I can’t say why I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 without giving away too much, but it’s a fun read all in all.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book, which RELEASES JANUARY 25, 2022.

Was this review helpful?

Pretty Good Read!

3.75 stars

The Overnight Guest is an atmospheric and gripping thriller about a missing teenage girl linked to a horrific crime and the true-crime writer who attempts to unravel the missing pieces.

There are three central mysteries. One involving a crime from the past. The other two are centered around events in the present. All are linked together.

There are a lot of characters and three different timelines to keep track of. This was a little tricky to navigate in the beginning, but I caught on quickly. All of the narratives take place in rural Burden, Iowa. All three are compelling and made me want to keep on reading!

One of the narratives takes place during the hot Summer of 2000. This story revolves around 12-year-old Josie, who witnesses a horrific crime.

In the present moment, we are introduced to Wylie’s perspective. Her story is shared against the backdrop of a blizzard. Wylie, a true-crime writer, has rented a house in Burden to work on her next book. While hunkered down for the blizzard, she discovers an injured boy nearly frozen to death in the snow. She takes him in as her overnight guest.

Then there is a story of a little girl. All the reader knows is that she is living in a basement room with her mother.

If you are like me and read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, the events will not be surprising. I guessed two out of the three mysteries. Had I been able to keep track of all of the characters and read a little bit closer, it would have been easy to solve the third. While this didn’t have any major surprises, and I guessed what was happening, I enjoyed seeing how the events unfolded.

My favorite perspective was the one told during winter in the present moment. I was transported to the rural country house, surrounded by tree limbs covered in ice, and the blizzard conditions made me shiver. This setting added an extra layer of creepiness.

On the downside, there are too many characters and too many perspectives. I also thought that the little girl seemed much older and wiser than her age, adding a layer of unbelievability. The ending was over-the-top and dragged a bit. At the same time, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions.

On the upside, I loved the seasonal element that encompassed the narratives. There is a bit of blood and gore and also some difficult-to-read scenes involving emotional and sexual abuse. The title has multiple meanings as there is more than one overnight guest. Overall, this was a compelling and chilling read.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Having returned to the town where her family was murdered and her best friend went missing over 20 years ago, true crime writer Wylie Lark is finally ready to tackle the true crime story about her own family. Needing time away from her ex-husband and her out of control teenage son, Wylie rents a farmhouse out of town and away from prying eyes and wagging tongues. When a severe snowstorm arrives cutting her off from any help, Wylie discovers first a child and then a woman in the snow. There is something dreadfully wrong about this pair and when Wylie begins to piece together their story, she realizes that she is much more involved in their tale other than rescuing them from the snowstorm. The tension builds as Wylie recalls what happened to her family that fateful night in alternating chapters with a current police investigation. Who can they trust? The friendly neighbor? The police? Their family? Everyone is a suspect and red herrings abound keeping the reader frantically turning the pages until the very end.

Was this review helpful?

Such a fantastic read! Heather Gudenkauf has once again brilliantly written an unforgettable thriller! The Overnight Guest is paced at lighten speed and I truly never wanted to put my kindle down because I had to find out what happened! The twists and turns were well-placed and plentiful—I think I pulled my jaw off the ground at least a dozen time throughout this book! The Overnight Guest is a 5+++ star novel that will have you staying up way past your bedtime! I highly recommend this gem to all mystery/thriller fan—a true must read!

Was this review helpful?

Heather Gudenkauf held me and my over thinking mind captive all day long. My back, my legs but mostly my brain cells are seriously numb! The pacing, the characterization, slow burn mystery building, high tension, the cabin in the woods theme meets the Room plot line executed impressively!

This book keeps you on the edge of your seats, pushing you bite your nails harder and scream louder!

Can you imagine you’re in the middle of blizzard, trapped in one hundred years old farmhouse as creaky and contrary as old man had only the basics: the electricity and water?

Quick correction: now it’s out of electricity without landline. True crime author Wylie Lark is trapped in this claustrophobic place in the middle of the winter. Why she insisted to choose this place and why she stayed so long even though she’s planned to leave in one week?

After her argument with her teenage son who decided to leave her alone to go to his father’s house, she finds herself working on the next true crime novel project, living secluded, isolated life!

Now in the middle of the blizzard, lights go out, landline is not working and she finds an unexpected guest lying on the front yard: a little boy who is wounded, scared, acting like caged animal. How did he get hurt? How did he arrive in the middle of the blizzard? Why is he not talking and why is he so scared?

We move back and forth between 2000 and present to learn what happened in the same farmhouse: somebody killed the members of Doyle Family (mother and father): Josie Doyle, 12, got shot and her best friend Becky with her 16 years old brother are missing!

Did the killer take them or could her own brother be responsible from those massacres who argued a lot with her parents lately? Two timelines and another additional POV of little girl reminds us of Room’s Jack who is locked in a basement with her mother whose abused by her own father, are keeping our attentions alert. I personally enjoyed each timelines, kept squirming, screaming as I flipped the pages as fast as I could.

All those stories intercepted very wisely. Till the last chapters, I was about to give five stars but the last vengeance parts are a little overrated and long. The culprit turns into something between Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers who resists to die like a cat with nine lives which made me roll my eyes several times. And there are still some unanswered parts about the motives of the murderer.

Long story short it was still unputdownable, exciting, wild ride I truly enjoy! I’m giving four heart pounding, claustrophobic, high tension stars! If the last chapter may have been shorten a little bit, it could be possibly five starred read for me!

As a big fan of the author I highly recommend this fantastic, shocking, surprising wild ride!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

Was this review helpful?

*I give a rating of 3.5 stars but rounded up to 4 since I cannot give half ratings on here.*
Wylie Lark is a true crime writer who is renting an old farmhouse while trying to finish another book. With a huge winter storm outside, trapping her inside, she finds a child lying on the ground outside the home. But unfortunately the child will not speak, not even to answer basic questions. However, that’s not the only issues that Wylie has, she fights her own internal battles as well. And perhaps being in the house where a brutal crime occurred doesn’t help, but where did the child come from? And how can she help if she cannot get any answers?

So at first I was thinking I wouldn’t like this one. I’m not a big fan of books that switch from past to present, but when you read this one and get to a certain point, it fits very well for the plot. This one had me on edge a lot, and reading very fast to figure out what was coming next, especially at the end. The only thing I found annoying is that this book did not format well with my kindle or kobo. The text was a bit messed up, and that bothered me a bit, but not so much I still didn’t enjoy it.

There are a lot of different perspectives to read from, but it’s not confusing. And I love different perspectives so that’s a positive for me. I also did predict everything that happened, except one thing, and it was a surprising twist. I don’t mind when I accurately predict something when I’m reading, so it ruined nothing for me.

Overall, this was a very good read for me. I started it and finished it in one day, and that was with taking some long breaks throughout the day. If you like crime related thrillers, check this one out when it releases!

Was this review helpful?

Wylie Lark takes a trip to an isolated farmhouse to write her true crime novel…. the same house it happened in. The secrets of the past reveal themselves along with the child she discovers outside in the snow.

There were a lot of parts to this book, but they all came together in the end. I was confused by the time jumps, but after a few chapters I got used to the characters and understood what was going on. I liked how it all tied together in the end and the characters started to relate to each other. It slowly build up and then the ending was an exciting bang. There was also an unexpected twist that got me!

“Homes were supposed to be a shelter from the elements, a fortress to keep out evil, and her home had betrayed Josie in the worst possible way.”

The Overnight Guest comes out 1/25.

Was this review helpful?

I was given this book by NetGalley for an honest review - -
I absolutely devoured this book!!
Wylie is writing the true crime story of her life. She is living in the home where the murder happened. Her family was murdered, she and her friend ran, but her friend was never seen again - Who took her? Is she alive? Who murdered her family?
As a storm gathers she finds a child in the snow and brings her in. She goes back to find the woman in the truck - but she's gone? She will freeze to death - where did she go? Why are they out in this weather? It seems as if they are running away? The child won't speak?
As the days move on she slowly finds the answers and when there is a knock on the door - they began to fear for their lives?

Was this review helpful?

Wylie Lark is holed up in an isolated farmhouse during a snowstorm, virtually cut off from the outside world. This suits her just fine. Until he goes outside and finds a small child almost frozen in the snow. Is she really as isolated as she thought?
Several different storylines, a lot of characters and some slight confusion (on my part) that came together really well. There was one unanswered question that bugged me a bit, unless I missed it, so I may have to go back and search! I really did enjoy this book, Heather Gudenkauf just never disappoints!

Was this review helpful?