Everything She Feared
By: Rick Mofina
Narrator: Jennifer Jill Araya
Publication Date: 04/11/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)
"Rick Mofina has penned a creepy, heart-pounding page-turner…. A gripping, chilling thriller from beginning to end."
—Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest
Every mother worries about their child. But Sara Harmon fears hers…
When a teen falls while taking a selfie at the edge of a cliff, the last thing she sees before plummeting to her death is Katie Harmon, the nine-year-old girl she was babysitting, looking down at her.
Investigators gather at the scene, and Katie’s mother, Sara, rushes to comfort her daughter. Yet there’s a small, secret ping of alarm in Sara’s heart that she cannot share—though rookie detective Kim Pierce senses it.
For years, others have tried to unravel this secret. From true-crime podcasters to a haunted journalist searching for a killer who vanished after being released from prison several years ago. And now, with detectives tightening the focus of their investigation, Sara is consumed by her darkest fear—that the babysitter’s death was not an accident.
Former journalist, crime writer, and bestselling author Rick Monifa's latest highly anticipated novel, EVERYTHING SHE FEARED, is a complex, multi-layered intelligent, and riveting suspense crime thriller— that starts with a bang—when a teen babysitter falls to her death with only one witness.
What comes next is a desperate search for the killer. In this propulsive, well-written, unputdownable domestic thriller, cop procedural, and crime thriller —Monifa intricately interweaves the past and present, keeping you on the edge of your seat, flipping the pages to learn how the stories connect.
Set in Washington State/Seattle area with flashbacks to Montana, Arizona, and Idaho years earlier, Anna Shaw is a 17-year-old girl helping out Sunny Days Youth Center for a day trip outing at Sparrow Song Park with twenty-four kids, four adult supervisors, and three teen assistants.
As she often does, Anna is a babysitter for nine-year-old Katie Harmon. Katie spent the previous night with her for their early morning trip. They are the last off the bus, lagging behind the others on the trail.
When Anna backs up on the edge of the trail on the mountain to take a selfie, she falls off the cliff, hanging on a tree branch. Katie runs for help; however, they cannot save her. Katie is the only WITNESS.
What comes next is an extensive and INTENSE investigation. Was this an accident, pushed, or something more sinister? Was there criminal intent? Could this be a child murderer?
Sara Harmon, Katie's mother, is a hard-working waitress at Jet Town Diner and considering getting her real estate license. She is financially responsible for her adoptive mother's care. She is also very protective of her daughter.
Her husband, Nathaniel, died in a motorcycle accident years earlier. She is a single mom trying to overcome her traumatic past. She never wanted to have children due to her past; however, her loving, kind-hearted husband desperately wanted a child, so Katie was born. She never told him about her history.
Sara has tried to raise Katie like her adoptive parents raised her with good morals and reinforced right and wrong. However, something happened in Canada when Katie was younger, and a boy died. Sara's biological parents were also monsters, which we learn more about later. Is there evil in their DNA?
When the investigation looks like foul play is involved, Katie winds up with Anna's necklace, and her therapist is concerned with her disturbing drawings— Sara is worried that the evil/bad has passed down to her daughter. Is Katie innocent or guilty?
Adopted by a loving couple, George and Marjorie Cole, Sara's adopted dad has passed. Sara and Katie live in her mom's house, and her adopted mom resides at the Silverbrook Hills Senior Living Home.
As a reader, we do not know what happened with Sara's bio parents until later; however, we know it was terrible, and she wants no one to connect her and her daughter to her past. They have changed their names and carefully concealed their horrible past.
Between the ongoing INTENSE and complex investigation led by Detectives Pierce and Benton, the cameras, the ex-boyfriend, the rock, the sex offender, and suspects —there is an alternating story in the nineties regarding crimes in multiple states: Montana, Arizona, Idaho, and others.
A crime podcast, Tell-Tale Hearts, discusses these crimes that involved brutal murders by a husband and wife serial killer team.
Ryan, a journalist and brother of one of the victims, is determined to find his sister or her body and bring closure to the case.
The tension and suspense build with many red herrings and twists you do not see coming as the two parallel stories connect for an explosive, satisfying conclusion.
ENGROSSING! Dark and chilling, and emotionally complex— WOW! What a book. Superb writing! Dark secrets of the past flow into the present in this emotionally resonant, profoundly insightful tale of family bonds, violence, and mystery.
The author dives deep into the dark spaces of intimate family relationships as they are passed down from generation. Riveting suspense with an intense family drama at its core—from horrific murders and mysteries resurrected from the past, a storyline packed with tension, suspense, and vivid characters brings it all to life.
I cannot believe this is my first book by this talented author with an impressive bio. I read in one sitting. I must get his backlist!
What I enjoyed about EVERYTHING SHE FEARED was the highly creative and impressive investigation and how deep they had to go to come up with clues, whereas most would write this off as an accident. I enjoyed the forensics, cop procedurals, and crime aspects, mixed with past and present mysteries. I also was highly impressed with the author's writing. He has been added to my favorite author list, and I cannot wait to see what comes next.
Fans of authors Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, Michael Robotham, Fiona Barton, and Michael Connelly will enjoy this well-written thriller, both character and plot-driven, which explores genetic and environmental influences on criminal behavior. I find the topics fascinating—an ideal book club pick for further discussions.
Criminal behavior has always been a focus for psychologists due to the age-old debate between nature and nurture. Is it the responsibility of an individual's genetic makeup that makes them a criminal, or does the environment in which they are raised determine their outcome?
Great examples in the novel. While genes and environment play roles in the criminality of an individual, having a genetic predisposition for criminal behavior does not determine the actions of an individual. Still, if they are exposed to the right environment, their chances are more significant for engaging in criminal or anti-social behavior.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pub Date: April 11, 2023
Everything She Feared moves like a raging river. This is a thriller not to be missed!
—Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author
In Everything She Feared, Rick Mofina has penned a creepy, heart-pounding page-turner. Simmering with unrelenting tension and family secrets, Mofina mines the darkest corners of the human heart and explores the age-old question—is evil born or made? A gripping, chilling thriller from beginning to end.
—Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest
"Everything She Feared hooked me from page one and didn't let go. An intriguing premise coupled with masterful storytelling and a well-plotted mystery made it impossible for me to put it down. Compulsively readable with twists and turns right up until the stunning conclusion. I loved it."
—Amber Garza, author of A Mother Would Know
"Everything She Feared is a propulsive, page-turning thriller; I couldn't put it down. I was immediately immersed in the different perspectives, all realistic and fascinating characters whom I couldn't help but root for. Mofina has successfully written The Bad Seed for the twenty-first century, with even more twists and turns."
—Flora Collins, author of A Small Affair
About the Author
Rick Mofina is a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row, flown over Los Angeles with the LAPD and patrolled with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic. He's also reported from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, the Caribbean, and Kuwait's border with Iraq. His true-crime freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Telegraph (London, U.K.), Reader’s Digest, Penthouse, Marie Claire, The Moscow Times and The South China Morning Post, (Hong Kong). He has written more than 20 crime fiction thrillers that have been published in nearly 30 countries, including an illegal translation produced in Iran.
His work has been praised by James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Louise Penny, Tess Gerritsen, Jeffery Deaver, Sandra Brown, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Nick Stone, David Morrell, Allison Brennan, Heather Graham, Linwood Barclay, Peter Robinson, Håkan Nesser and Kay Hooper.
As a two-time winner of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award, a four-time Thriller Award finalist and a two-time Shamus Award finalist, the Library Journal calls him, “One of the best thriller writers in the business.”
Rick Mofina lives in Ottawa, Canada. For more information please visit www.rickmofina.com