by Valerie Keogh
Release date: April 21st, 2023
(3.5 rounded up)
I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Librarian by Valerie Keogh from Net Galley and Boldwood Books in order to read and give an honest review.
…Overall, it was an okay read I give it a 3.5 rounded up. It was an entertaining and quick read that would be perfect on a dark and stormy night….
Introverted Ava Warrington works as a librarian at Tate Modern. Living a quiet life in London, a dedicated workaholic. When Ava and her best friend Poppy visit a bistro for a drink as usual her attractive, flirtatious, and outgoing friend gets close to a handsome gentleman she spots at the bar. When Ava, feeling ill, excuses herself for a few minutes and upon her return to the table notices her seat was filled by the gentleman that Poppy had been flirting with. While getting ready to leave another man approaches Ava, insistent on buying her a drink but when he politely declines the man pursues her and becomes aggressive. When she stands her ground, he is angry and warns her that she will be sorry. Not being able to shake the incident, she realizes that it is the ten-year anniversary of a traumatic event from her university days which has caused her to run away from the world and hide in her “safe life.” When she is set up for a heinous crime at work, suspended, making her feel like her world is falling apart.
While trying to think who could be setting her up her mind kept coming back to the gentleman at the bistro as he was the only one who had taken issue with her. She confides in her friend Poppy who is self-interested, occupied with her new romance. A colleague believes her and wants to help so they decide to stake out the bistro together for the mysterious man. Things take a bizarre turn when she experiences a few creepy occurrences, she feels she is being watched and she learns of the murder of a colleague. When it becomes clear to Ava that she is alone it is up to her to clear her own name and get her job back. When at her lowest, not sure if her paranoia is due to the ten-year anniversary, her friend Poppy goes missing after making plans with her and when she realizes she is alone she turns to her older sister Judy for help. After a string of occurrences lead her on a harrowing journey, she learns that she can no longer run away from her past.
This was a tough review for me…parts of it I really enjoyed, some not so much but, in my opinion, it had a lot of potential, but it just fell flat for me. I enjoyed the atmosphere and tension the author brought to the page as well as the cleverly crafted and complex characters, I will say this, wow, the villains were definitely chill worthy. However, there were numerous references to the traumatic event from Ava’s past to the point of becoming tedious. The event is not really revealed until the climax and even then, the backstory seemed disappointing. Overall, it was an okay read I give it a 3.5 rounded up. It was an entertaining and quick read that would be perfect on a dark and stormy night.