Beta Reader


Emery Klatten just lost her husband, Adam, in a brutal and gruesome murder. He was an author, and she acted as his beta reader—the first eyes on his manuscripts when he completed his novels. She’s struggling to move on with their son, Westley, who is only three years old and doesn’t understand where his Daddy has gone. Her very close friend, Grant, is helping her cope, sleeping on her couch because, since Adam’s death, she is afraid of being alone.

Her life further begins to unravel when she receives an anonymous email containing the last manuscript Adam was working on, one she’d never seen. As she begins to read the story, Emery realizes that many of the events and characters sound familiar—too much like her own life. Who sent this manuscript to her, and why did they have it? Emery realizes that the manuscript is a warning, and that both her and her son’s lives are in danger.

This fast-paced suspense hooks the reader from the opening pages! The characters are well developed, and one quickly becomes invested in Emery’s predicament, feeling her pain, confusion, and fear. The plot earns merit for originality, with many unexpected twists. Its only shortcoming is a continual shifting of timelines. The flashbacks, although clearly designated in most instances, interrupt the story’s flow and sometimes cause reader confusion. The novel does, however, succeed in keeping readers on the edge of their seats and turning pages. A truly suspenseful read!

FS Brown