Listener’s Remains (Jia’s review)

Title: Listener’s Remains
Author: L. Julia
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 8th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense
Page Count: 341
Reviewed by: jia
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.88 stars out of 5


Gillen Lynch has a complicated relationship with his brother-in-law, Eduardo Sanchez. Gillen hasn’t mentioned his attraction to Eduardo; Eduardo hasn’t mentioned he’s a mind reader. Betrayed by the deception and mortified by his attraction to his sister’s spouse, Gillen decides to take it out on Eduardo by killing him.

Murdering a mind reader is no easy task, but this isn’t the first time Gillen has killed. His other victims didn’t mean anything to him, and they definitely didn’t use their dying breaths to copy their minds into Gillen’s head. Now, with no barriers between them, Gillen can’t stop Eduardo from digging up the secrets he’d hoped to take to his grave. He’s scared, powerless, and unprepared to face the fallout of his actions as he flees from both the cops and a group of mysterious pursuers who are as connected to Eduardo as he is.

With his pursuers closing in on him and Eduardo threatening to tear him apart from the inside, Gillen must overcome his self-hatred and take back his mind. If he can’t, he’ll be at the mercy of the man who has every right to want him dead.

Gillen kills Eduardo and there’s a side effect he didn’t expect, Eduardo lives on inside his head. Now the blurb isn’t quite spot on because Gillen has known for a long time that Eduardo was a mind reader and has been working hard to learn to keep him from reading his thoughts and seeing his true self.
Eduardo keeps trying to find out why Gillen killed him and being able to see Gillen’s thoughts still doesn’t make him understand, he needs to hear it. The blurb wants us to believe Gillen kills Eduardo because he can’t handle the fact he might be gay but as the story unfolds that is not the reason according to Gillen (as I understand it), and keep in mind Eduardo is in his head so he can’t lie. The reason Gillen behaves like he does feel a little vague, and the whole attraction isn’t something that I really felt, it was only mentioned in the ending, except for when Eduardo hinted at it in the beginning (when newly dead) saying they could have made an arrangement, that he could have done worse than Gillen.

So we have Eduardo as gay and Gillen in denial. As Eduardo was dead I figured the explicit sex would be a bit interesting but it turns out the sex, which I could hardly call explicit, was between a male and a female instead. It certainly wasn’t dubious consent.

So back to the reason for Gillen’s behavior, well Gillen’s character and his reasons are more complex than the blurb hints at. If the reasons for killing Eduardo are only because of his own attraction toward him and the betrayal of being a mindreader, then I’d say that message didn’t come through clear enough. In addition, the ending left questions unanswered and I can’t say I was happy or even satisfied with the ending. Question is – will there be another book?

There’s no gay action whatsoever in this story or love, so if you need romance and/or love you’d better look elsewhere. However I’m still gonna recommend this book because I genuinely liked most of it, or everything really. I merely wanted more… the ending came to early.

This book is written in third person and there’s never a dull moment. A lot of interesting parts takes place in the interactions with Eduardo and I loved that part. I really liked Gillen’s character as I got to know him better and even the Eduardo in his head. There were parts where it was easy to become confused however I also don’t see a problem with different readers forming different conclusions about the plot, and this is how I saw it.

So my issues with this has more to do with the warnings and the blurb and the fact that the ending left me with questions. The plot was very intriguing and fun to read. It had a thrill and a freshness to it that I enjoyed a lot and therefore I’ll recommend this one for those who like a bit darker plots with psychological elements even though there’s no romance or intimate bedtime between the main characters.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Listener’s Remains provided by NineStar Press in exchange of an honest review.


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