Ask a Bookseller: 'The Overnight Guest' is a suspenseful ride

A book cover showing a house in winter.
"The Overnight Guest" by Heather Gudenkauf
Courtesy of publisher

Part of the fun of the Ask a Bookseller series is getting the local scoop from bookstores across the country. Heather Gudenkauf is both a New York Times Bestselling Novelist and a local favorite at the River Lights Bookstore in Dubuque, Iowa. Gudenkauf worked for years in the Dubuque school system. River Lights bookseller Angela Kircher heartily recommends Gudenkauf’s newest thriller/mystery, “The Overnight Guest.” 

Part of the intrigue in this fast-paced novel comes from the way it deftly weaves together three narratives in different timelines. One timeline takes place in the dead of winter, in an isolated farmhouse when a crime writer brings in a small child she finds out in a snowstorm. The other timeline is in the heart of summer, where two teenage girls sneak out to the Iowa State Fair and “all heck breaks loose,” says Kircher. “There are gunshots, they're running through the cornfield, [they’re] not sure who's alive and who's not alive.”

Kircher says the reader doesn’t always knew who everybody is in these timelines, which adds to the suspense as the story reveals what happened on that fateful night in summer, who was involved, and how everyone is connected.

Before you keep reading ...

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