cover image The Grownup

The Grownup

Gillian Flynn, read by Julia Whelan. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 1 CD, 1.5 hr., $9.99 ISBN 978-0-451-48423-9

This intriguing, suspenseful short story by the author of Gone Girl packs a powerful punch in audio, thanks to the excellent narration by Whelan, who sounds completely truthful and earnest as the unnamed, unnerved young woman telling her unsettling tale. The quirky protagonist earns a living giving hand jobs in the back parlor of a fake fortune-teller’s shop, and Whelan conveys her unconventional personality perfectly. When the young woman is promoted to the role of fake fortune-teller herself, she sees an easy mark in Susan, a rich socialite who believes her house is haunted. But when she comes to “spiritually cleanse” the house, the fake psychic finds more than she bargained for and fears that she herself may truly be in danger from a supernatural force. Whelan uses her voice to gradually increase the suspense and sense of dread, and she perfectly portrays the hysterical, desperate housewife and her sullen, hostile teenage stepson, in addition to the protagonist. Fans of Flynn’s novels and listeners who enjoy Twilight Zone–style suspense stories with surprise endings will love this one. A Crown hardcover. (Nov.)