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Twenty Years Later

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Fans of Lisa Unger and Allen Eskens won’t want to miss this thrilling new suspense novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Taken! Hiding her own dark past in plain sight, a TV reporter is determined to uncover the truth behind a gruesome murder decades after the investigation was abandoned. But TWENTY YEARS LATER, to understand the present, Fans of Lisa Unger and Allen Eskens won’t want to miss this thrilling new suspense novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Taken! Hiding her own dark past in plain sight, a TV reporter is determined to uncover the truth behind a gruesome murder decades after the investigation was abandoned. But TWENTY YEARS LATER, to understand the present, you need to listen to the past… The New York Times Best Thrillers This Season | E! News Recommended Books | Overdrive Biggest Books of the Month | Everything Zoomer, December’s Best Fiction Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience's attention. Her latest story--a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal--is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner's office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence. Emma Kind has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won't be complete until she can clear Victoria's name. Alone she's had no luck, but she's convinced that Avery's connections and fame will help. Avery, hoping to negotiate a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The rope, the bedroom, and the entire crime scene was covered in Victoria's DNA. But the twisted puzzle of Victoria's private life belies a much darker mystery. And what Avery doesn't realize is that there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery's own secret past--one she has kept hidden from both the network executives and her television audience. A secret she thought was dead and buried . . . Accused of a brutal murder, Victoria Ford made a final chilling call from the North Tower on the morning of 9/11. Twenty years ago, no one listened. Today, you will. TWENTY YEARS LATER, to understand the present, you need to listen to the past...


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Fans of Lisa Unger and Allen Eskens won’t want to miss this thrilling new suspense novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Taken! Hiding her own dark past in plain sight, a TV reporter is determined to uncover the truth behind a gruesome murder decades after the investigation was abandoned. But TWENTY YEARS LATER, to understand the present, Fans of Lisa Unger and Allen Eskens won’t want to miss this thrilling new suspense novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Taken! Hiding her own dark past in plain sight, a TV reporter is determined to uncover the truth behind a gruesome murder decades after the investigation was abandoned. But TWENTY YEARS LATER, to understand the present, you need to listen to the past… The New York Times Best Thrillers This Season | E! News Recommended Books | Overdrive Biggest Books of the Month | Everything Zoomer, December’s Best Fiction Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience's attention. Her latest story--a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal--is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner's office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence. Emma Kind has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won't be complete until she can clear Victoria's name. Alone she's had no luck, but she's convinced that Avery's connections and fame will help. Avery, hoping to negotiate a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The rope, the bedroom, and the entire crime scene was covered in Victoria's DNA. But the twisted puzzle of Victoria's private life belies a much darker mystery. And what Avery doesn't realize is that there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery's own secret past--one she has kept hidden from both the network executives and her television audience. A secret she thought was dead and buried . . . Accused of a brutal murder, Victoria Ford made a final chilling call from the North Tower on the morning of 9/11. Twenty years ago, no one listened. Today, you will. TWENTY YEARS LATER, to understand the present, you need to listen to the past...

30 review for Twenty Years Later

  1. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    Now available. (Be sure to check out some other favorable reviews, as mine seems to be in the minority!) I have a true affection for author Charlie Donlea, since his page-turning thrillers have busted me out of major reading slumps on more than one occasion. That said, his 2020 publication, The Suicide House, was a bit of a miss for me since there was just too much going on. So many characters, so many plot lines. While it pains me to say it, 2021’s Twenty Years Later suffers the same affliction. Now available. (Be sure to check out some other favorable reviews, as mine seems to be in the minority!) I have a true affection for author Charlie Donlea, since his page-turning thrillers have busted me out of major reading slumps on more than one occasion. That said, his 2020 publication, The Suicide House, was a bit of a miss for me since there was just too much going on. So many characters, so many plot lines. While it pains me to say it, 2021’s Twenty Years Later suffers the same affliction. The start of this one feels like flipping through channels on TV. You bounce around from scene, character, and year, with a hope that at some point they’ll all come together. It took me until about the 30% mark to feel like I was getting invested in anything. Also, being a Donlea fan, I know that while his books can all be read as stand-alones, some of his characters pop up here and there. For example, his tried-and-true forensic pathologist Livia Cutty appears in a few scenes. The impact of this technique though made me constantly wonder if other characters were previously introduced in his other books and I’ve just forgotten them. Do their histories feel told rather than shown because there’s another entire book devoted to them? Or is this just another side effect of trying to cram too much into 300 pages? But here’s the real question for readers… Twenty years later, are you ready to read a thriller where the central storyline revolves around September 11th? Where real victims’ tragedy is exploited for entertainment value? Turns out I am not. I’ll direct you to the publisher synopsis, where there is an actual phone number* given to call. When I started writing this review, I was at 3.5 stars since I did end up flying through the back half of the book and still very much look forward to Donlea’s next one. But then I called that number. If it’s a spoiler to say what’s on the other end of the line, I really don’t care. It’s a recording of a fictionalized phone call from one of the characters stuck in the World Trade Center to her sister right before it collapses. I couldn’t even make it through 15 seconds of this absolutely vile marketing stunt. I hope the author didn’t approve this, and I hope it’s removed before major PR efforts roll out. *UPDATE (Sept. 2021): Since I initially posted this review back in June 2021, the publisher has removed the marketing stunt phone call I referenced from the book synopsis on Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley. Wise decision!!! I received an advance readers copy to review courtesy of the publisher via Edelweiss. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    A good read with some flaws Twenty Years Later centers around two crimes: one from the past that holds an eerie link to 9/11 and another surrounding a fugitive on the run. A TV reporter finds herself investigating one crime and playing a starring role in the other. Avery is a TV reporter with a large fanbase. With a contract extension on the line, she is looking to grow her ratings. When she hears about new technology that can identify DNA from 9/11 victims, she jumps on the opportunity to highl A good read with some flaws Twenty Years Later centers around two crimes: one from the past that holds an eerie link to 9/11 and another surrounding a fugitive on the run. A TV reporter finds herself investigating one crime and playing a starring role in the other. Avery is a TV reporter with a large fanbase. With a contract extension on the line, she is looking to grow her ratings. When she hears about new technology that can identify DNA from 9/11 victims, she jumps on the opportunity to highlight the latest victim identification on her show. But what makes the story even juicer is that the newly confirmed victim was an accused murderer. At the same time Avery launches an investigation into the DNA 9/11 identification program, Avery is desperately trying to keep a secret from her past from being exposed to her viewers. This book moves in many different directions--too many directions IMHO. In the beginning, it seems like the plot is going focus on the murder from 20 years ago, but it is more about the present. Donlea covers everything imaginable, which muddles the plot, including flashbacks to the murder 20 years ago, flashbacks of those involved in the murder, flashbacks of the detective who solved the murder, and flashbacks to Avery’s past. In addition to all of the flashbacks, much takes place in the present. I didn’t care about any of the storylines until the last 10% of the book, which is when things get very interesting. Avery is the primary narrator--it took me a while to warm to her. It’s not that she is unlikeable, I just didn’t find her all that compelling. Walt is the other main narrator. I liked him from the start, but I was left with a lot of questions about his past. There are some additional perspectives woven in. This book is slow in the beginning. I didn’t care much about the case or Avery, but my interest grew as I continued to read. There is a lot of repetition, which made me groan. However, things eventually smooth out. The ending was exciting and a little surprising. The epilogue was fun and added another spin to the events. Twenty Years Later was a solid 3 star for me, but the ending bumped it up a notch to a 3.5 rating. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    One of the MANY things that I enjoy about Charlie Donlea’s work, is that his stories take place in actual locations which bring them to life for me. If you have visited, Negril, Jamaica, you may have sampled Hampden Estates rum or watched drunken tourists dive off of the 35 ft cliff at Rick’s Cafe. Manhattanites in turn, may be drinking their rum at The Rum House, or enjoying a steak at the iconic Keen’s Steakhouse, the only survivor of the Herald Square Theatre District, hoping for a glance at One of the MANY things that I enjoy about Charlie Donlea’s work, is that his stories take place in actual locations which bring them to life for me. If you have visited, Negril, Jamaica, you may have sampled Hampden Estates rum or watched drunken tourists dive off of the 35 ft cliff at Rick’s Cafe. Manhattanites in turn, may be drinking their rum at The Rum House, or enjoying a steak at the iconic Keen’s Steakhouse, the only survivor of the Herald Square Theatre District, hoping for a glance at the largest collection of Churchwarden Pipes in the World. It’s pipe club had over 90,000 members over the course of its history, including names like Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein and “Buffalo Bill” Cody to name a few… But, it’s more than the locations visited, so let’s talk about this story… It opens with a death in the Catskill Mountains on July 15, 2001-two months before 9/11 . A newly minted, police detective has been called to the scene-a naked Victim, hangs from a rope from a second story balcony, twirling in the night. September 11, 2001-Lower Manhattan: A woman named Victoria Ford, has been accused of murdering our Victim from the Catskill scene, and she is meeting with her attorney on the eightieth floor of the North Tower, when American Airlines flight 11, hit its target. Manhattan, NY-Twenty Years Later: The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office is still working to identify Victims from the Twin Towers, using a newly developed technology which could extract DNA from pulverized bone fragments.*** An identification is made from a tiny fragment. It matches the DNA sample provided by Victoria Ford’s sister. Avery Mason, the lead anchor for American Events-the most popular prime-time newsmagazine program on television needs a reason to go to NY. She decides that this new technology and identification will be her “cover”. Her story, and what she uncovers about the newly identified Victim will unfold in six parts: The Sting Fate Deception Evidence The Long Game Repayment I figured out one piece of the puzzle early on, but was surprised by a second piece, and by the clever revelation in the epilogue. This would make for a fantastic Blockbuster movie, so the Hollywood ending worked for me. ***The 9/11 Project is still ongoing-as of September 11, 2021 there are still 1,106 Victims whose remains have not been identified, per a NY Times article. (about 40%) AVAILABLE NOW!! Thank You to Kensington Publishing Corporation for the gifted copy provided through NetGalley. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Twenty Years Later is the type of book that's difficult to put down once you've gotten going, with many different plots that overlap and bind together by the explosive ending. There is A LOT going on in this book, and I know that's a make it-or-break it deal for some readers, but for me it worked well. I loved the complex nature of the varying degrees of ongoing investigations, and as a seasoned consumer of suspense novels, it kept from any part being obvious and doled out twists as the book pro Twenty Years Later is the type of book that's difficult to put down once you've gotten going, with many different plots that overlap and bind together by the explosive ending. There is A LOT going on in this book, and I know that's a make it-or-break it deal for some readers, but for me it worked well. I loved the complex nature of the varying degrees of ongoing investigations, and as a seasoned consumer of suspense novels, it kept from any part being obvious and doled out twists as the book progressed, rather than saving one whopping doozy for the end. However, the ending does have a big twist. 😂 If you're looking for a thriller that has murder, sexy shenanigans, a hint of romance, and twists rolling out at a breakneck speed, definitely consider picking up this one! Please note this book deals heavily with a plot revolving around 9/11, and those with trigger warnings should be aware that it is not glossed over, but central to the story. *Many thanks to the publisher and author for providing my review copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    4+ stars! Gripping. Twisty. Edgy. Avery Mason is a famous tv host who is investigating the story behind a victim of 9/11 identified by a bone fragment found twenty years later. Breakthrough technology allowed scientists to determine the DNA within a tiny piece of bone sifted out of the large pile of rubble left after the twin tower attacks. Twenty years later, there remains a team that is still trying to find answers and give closure to the many families who never heard from their loved ones afte 4+ stars! Gripping. Twisty. Edgy. Avery Mason is a famous tv host who is investigating the story behind a victim of 9/11 identified by a bone fragment found twenty years later. Breakthrough technology allowed scientists to determine the DNA within a tiny piece of bone sifted out of the large pile of rubble left after the twin tower attacks. Twenty years later, there remains a team that is still trying to find answers and give closure to the many families who never heard from their loved ones after that devastating day. Avery’s investigation brings forth far more detail and answers than she ever anticipated. It’s brave for an author to take on 9/11 as a subplot. It’s a tragedy that many of us still cannot process and will never fully understand. I felt the author did an excellent job weaving this devastating part of history into the story. I enjoyed the tv show angle. It kept the plot fresh and relevant. I really liked the main characters and how their own unique back stories brought suspense and tension to the storyline. The ending was shocking and highly entertaining! Loved it! Readers will definitely have a “love” or “hate” feeling for the conclusion. For me, I felt it was clever, twisty and absolutely perfect! Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is absolutely a GREAT HIT! Well, the best thing about reading mind blowing page turner book is getting two different story lines at the same time! At the moment both of the mysteries are intercepted you learn to respect the creative mind of the author who juggles both mysteries over her head adroitly by playing enigmatic, complex mind games with us! I am great fan of the author’s Rory Moore/Lane Philips’ series I highly recommend you to read. This standalone thriller is great tribute to the This is absolutely a GREAT HIT! Well, the best thing about reading mind blowing page turner book is getting two different story lines at the same time! At the moment both of the mysteries are intercepted you learn to respect the creative mind of the author who juggles both mysteries over her head adroitly by playing enigmatic, complex mind games with us! I am great fan of the author’s Rory Moore/Lane Philips’ series I highly recommend you to read. This standalone thriller is great tribute to the victims of 9/11 and I wished it could have published at the very same day! We have two plot holes: one is about twenty years old unsolved cold case’ investigation which picked interest of successful tv journalist Avery Mason who is the host of highly rated TV true crime show : “American Events” . She was dragged into the captivating story when she found out a 9/11 victim’s DNA was identified by medical examiner. But this victim was not an ordinary woman. She’s Victoria Ford who has been accused to kill her bestseller novel author lover who has found hanged from his balcony. Especially the opening scene of the book at the mansion located in Catskill Mountains where they found the naked body was blood freezing just like the scene we witnessed Victoria’s last conversation with her lawyer in Twin Towers: audible vibration, office’s rocking and swaying, explosions, shattering glasses, rising black smoke: I don’t know which chapter is scarier! Now Avery flies to NY to meet and chat with Victoria’s sixty years old sister Emma. Their deep talk accompanied with chilled Chardonnay bring out the secrets, resulting Emma share the last voice messages of Victoria scream her innocence and beg her sister to find a way to exonerate her! Well Avery is already hooked! This is definitely juicy, intriguing crime story she’s dying to dig deeper! Other plot line is about Avery Mason’ s secret identity. Her real name is Claire Montgomery! Her father Garth was indicted for one of the largest Ponzi schemes of American history, named as Thief of Manhattan! It seemed like $30 billion had been fraudulently obtained and squandered on Garth Montgomery’s jet-setting life style! After truth has come out, Garth has vanished into thin air. And Avery has dealt with lots of tragedy including her mother and brother’s deaths, public humiliations which forced her to change her name and left the life behind! Now her father is trying to contact her via postcards which alarmed FBI and that’s where reluctantly retired FBI agent Walt Jenkins is reassigned to connect with her to follow each step she takes and report it to the office. He was the agent who has investigated Victoria Ford’s case and their teaming up help Avery to learn more about the investigation. But when they mix business with pleasure, Walt finds himself at the dangerous position: could he betray the woman he has feelings for? And as long as they dig deeper, they start to find interesting facts about Cameron’s murder! Could someone hurt him instead of Victoria? Could Victoria be a victim just like him? Overall: even though the book was a little too long, I never got bored! The characterization was perfect just like other works of the author! The final twists especially the last one reminded me of Usual Suspects’ jaw dropping ending! Of course I’m giving five full action packed, head spinning, earth shattering, such a wild ride stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    I so wish I could say I loved this one. But truly all I can say is, it was… ok.💁🏻‍♀️ This story plays out in two timelines. 2001. In the midst of the 911 attack, with many references to the day in vivid detail. So for some this may certainly be a difficult read. A famous author is killed, and the primary suspect Victoria just happens to be meeting with her lawyer at the time a plane hit the first tower. 2021 Avery, a TV investigative reporter travels to New York to investigate the death of this auth I so wish I could say I loved this one. But truly all I can say is, it was… ok.💁🏻‍♀️ This story plays out in two timelines. 2001. In the midst of the 911 attack, with many references to the day in vivid detail. So for some this may certainly be a difficult read. A famous author is killed, and the primary suspect Victoria just happens to be meeting with her lawyer at the time a plane hit the first tower. 2021 Avery, a TV investigative reporter travels to New York to investigate the death of this author, as well as the woman accused of his killing. But perhaps Avery has an alternative reason for being in New York. The transition between timelines was smooth and was able to follow easily. But with a high number of characters and subplots along the way, you’ll definitely need to pay close attention. For me, it’s been a bit of hit and miss with Charlie Donlea’s books. I’d say I was engaged throughout but not enthralled. I toggled between the audio and digital copies. The narrator did an amazing job with the characters and helped to keep me from putting this one aside. Hoping I will be loving his next release!🤞🤞 A buddy read with Susanne that left both of us a bit underwhelmed. Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Thank you to NetGalley and RB Media and Kensington Books for both a digital and audio ARC

  8. 5 out of 5

    L.A.

    🙌🏼❤️🙌🏼Happy Publication Day!!!! 🙌🏼❤️🙌🏼 What an outstanding premise and the weaving of several characters to make this one of the top murder mysteries for this year! There were some uncomfortable situations in the horror of 9/11 and those unforgettable last calls home, but an exceptional way of building the story to make you wonder about the possibilities of that day. July 2001 - In the Catskill Mountains, a brutal murder has taken place of an outstanding author, Cameron. He was found hanging from 🙌🏼❤️🙌🏼Happy Publication Day!!!! 🙌🏼❤️🙌🏼 What an outstanding premise and the weaving of several characters to make this one of the top murder mysteries for this year! There were some uncomfortable situations in the horror of 9/11 and those unforgettable last calls home, but an exceptional way of building the story to make you wonder about the possibilities of that day. July 2001 - In the Catskill Mountains, a brutal murder has taken place of an outstanding author, Cameron. He was found hanging from the balcony, bound and naked. You soon learn in the story about his ultimate affair with another author Victoria. Remnants of her presence were found throughout the room, she was charged for the crime. Two months later, she is meeting with her attorney in the North Tower on that fateful day, 9/11. Another important character is Walt Jenkins, the main investigator on this case and will play another important role twenty years later. "But Twenty Years Later to understand the present, you need to listen to the past..." Twenty Years Later, through outstanding DNA analysis and sifting through massive mounds of rubble from those buildings, a single tooth was found belonging to Victoria. *Astonishing as it sounds, each piece of bone fragment is analyzed to recover those still unaccounted for to this day.* An outstanding anchor woman, Avery, from American Events, gets information about the identification and also the story behind the scenes of her as an accused murderer. With her sister's release of her phone call on 9/11, we learn about Victoria's plea to clear her name even though she knew she was going to die. You will be stunned by the research and work put in by this reporter, but you will also learn about her wealthy past and her dad's crimes that has put him on hiatus from life. So many loose ends to tie up in those final chapters that you will think how is he going to do this and so many players in the game.......He does it but not without his twists and turns you will not see coming. I'm just floored by this book and did not know quite how to sum it up because it is just that good!!!! Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books from NetGalley's Public Catalog for this title in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Charlie Donlea has once again created an entertaining mystery. Avery Mason is a young newscaster who hosts a popular weekly nighttime show. In a search for a hot new topic to bring ratings gold, she latches onto a 20 year old murder, complete with “kinky sex, tragedy and betrayal”. The hook is that the suspect, Victoria Ford, was killed in the 9/11 bombings of the Twin Towers and her DNA has just been identified. Her sister, Emma, has a phone recording from that day where she proclaims her innoc Charlie Donlea has once again created an entertaining mystery. Avery Mason is a young newscaster who hosts a popular weekly nighttime show. In a search for a hot new topic to bring ratings gold, she latches onto a 20 year old murder, complete with “kinky sex, tragedy and betrayal”. The hook is that the suspect, Victoria Ford, was killed in the 9/11 bombings of the Twin Towers and her DNA has just been identified. Her sister, Emma, has a phone recording from that day where she proclaims her innocence and asks her sister to clear her name. The story is told from multiple perspectives. In addition to Avery, there’s Walt Jenkins, a retired FBI agent who handled the initial investigation. Turns out, the FBI is interested in Avery as her father was behind a massive Ponzi scheme but disappeared before he could be convicted. The characters were well developed. I did find it a bit of a stretch that no one had revealed Avery’s true identity. It takes a while to get straight on the various storylines as the story alternates between the characters and we’re given the background on Avery’s past, the FBI agent’s history and the murder. There were some decent twists, not just with the main storyline, but the backstories as well. While I had figured out one of them, I sure didn’t see that ending coming. I listened to this and found Vivienne Lehenny did a great job of bringing the right amount of energy and emotion to the task. My thanks to Netgalley and RB Media for an advance copy of this audiobook.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars A news reported trying to prove she has what it takes. A twenty-year-old murder. A sister wanting to clear her sister’s name. A retired agent called back to investigate. A horrible tragedy. Twenty Years later started slowly for me and I didn't get fully invested in the book until around the 40% mark. The book starts with a strong opening scene, and I was onboard, the book hits the brakes and begins with the back story. Usually, I don't mind this but this one just hit the brakes for me. T 3.5 stars A news reported trying to prove she has what it takes. A twenty-year-old murder. A sister wanting to clear her sister’s name. A retired agent called back to investigate. A horrible tragedy. Twenty Years later started slowly for me and I didn't get fully invested in the book until around the 40% mark. The book starts with a strong opening scene, and I was onboard, the book hits the brakes and begins with the back story. Usually, I don't mind this but this one just hit the brakes for me. There are a lot of characters in the mix - don't worry you will be able to remember and keep track of them, but they did add to the slower pace. Once I got to the 40% mark, things began getting interesting, so hang in there if you feel the beginning is slow as I did. By the halfway mark, I was trying to figure things out and get to the truth myself. There is the main plot and some subplots and when they merge, there was a nice payoff. The second half of the book went much faster, and the pages began turning. As we learn more and more is revealed, things got juicy and just when I thought, I knew what was going to happen, Donlea threw a curve ball and shocked me at the ending. Well, played, Donlea, well played. Although, this was not my favorite Donlea book, I did enjoy it once I got past the slow beginning. As always, I will be on the lookout for future books by Donlea. Be aware that this book does use the 911 tragedy in the plot. Thank you to Kensington Publishing Group, Goodreads and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    In a Nutshell: One of the better thrillers I've read this year, though I have mixed feelings about how the 9/11 attacks were used in some scenes. Story: The prologue (which is excellent, btw) is set in 2001, but the main story is set ‘twenty years later”, in 2021. Avery Mason, a top-rung TV news journalist, is always on the lookout for stories that grab the audience’s attention. Her latest story seems to be a potential goldmine for ratings. Developments in DNA technology have made it possible to i In a Nutshell: One of the better thrillers I've read this year, though I have mixed feelings about how the 9/11 attacks were used in some scenes. Story: The prologue (which is excellent, btw) is set in 2001, but the main story is set ‘twenty years later”, in 2021. Avery Mason, a top-rung TV news journalist, is always on the lookout for stories that grab the audience’s attention. Her latest story seems to be a potential goldmine for ratings. Developments in DNA technology have made it possible to identify unknown 9/11 victims from mere bone fragments. And the latest victim to be thus discovered happens to be Victoria Ford. The twist is that Victoria was accused of murdering her married lover in cold blood just days before the 9/11 attacks. But till the end, she maintained that she was innocent, contrary to all evidence for at the crime scene. While Avery is digging more into the Victoria story, the FBI is on her own trail for a secret she has been able to keep from the world all these years. Will Avery be able to keep her past away from the public eye while bringing justice to Victoria? There are too many characters in the story. Initially I tried to keep track of who's who but that proved a monumental task. I usually keep all the main and secondary character names in mind but in this book, I had to give up after about 20% and just went with the flow, hoping the content would provide enough cues about the character in the scene. Luckily, the writing is clear enough to make you recollect well in time who the character is. To a certain extent, I feel the author went overboard with the number of characters. But to be fair, he uses most of the characters wonderfully in the story and everything comes together neatly at the end. It also helps that the characters were mostly grey and hence felt a bit more nuanced than simple black or white characters. To add to the confusion, there are too many parallel tracks in the story, and they seem quite disconnected at first. So it is a tough task to keep all stories distinctly in your mind at the beginning. But once the tracks show signs of merging, you realise that every subplot is used well by the author to lay the foundation for the finale. Some of the twists are guessable, especially because of the way the author builds foreshadowing into the narrative. If you are an attentive reader, you will figure out many of the twists. But there are still enough surprises that will catch you unawares. I loved the ending, and in a thriller, if an ending makes me happy, I am quite blind to its other shortcomings. I was hooked right from the prologue until the end. The author uses all the locations competently. Thought I haven’t been to any of those places, right from the Catskills to NY to Jamaica, I could visualise them clearly through his words. The pace of the story is maintained nicely and there are hardly any scenes which seem added for the heck of it. The sole exception, (but this is a crucial exception), is the detailing of Victoria’s and her lawyer’s experiences in the WTC tower after the plane crashed into the building. I’m okay with authors using the 9/11 attacks in their stories in genuine cases, but to stretch them out needlessly felt like trauma porn. I wasn’t very comfortable with this writing decision. The audiobook, narrated by Vivienne Leheny, clocks at 11 hrs. Her narration is impeccable and I absolutely loved her voice. However, as I said, there are too many characters and subplots in this book. So if you are an audiobook newbie, I would recommend you read rather than hear this book. Despite the teeny flaws, “Twenty Years Later” is still one of the better thrillers I’ve read in an otherwise lacklustre thriller year. I’ve never read any other work by this author but I am definitely interested in trying more. Recommended if you want a complicated and quick-paced thriller that manages to surprise you fairly well. 4.25 stars from me. My thanks to RB Media, Recorded Books, and NetGalley for the ALC of “Twenty Years Later”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the audiobook. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Two months before 9/11 Death was in the air. He smelled it as soon as he ducked under the crime scene tape and stepped onto the front lawn of the palatial estate. The Catskill mountains rose above the roofline as the early morning sun stretched shadows of the trees across the yard. The breeze rolled down from the foothills and carried the smell of decay, causing his upper lip to twitch when it reached his nostrils. The smell of death filled him with excitement. He hoped this was because EXCERPT: Two months before 9/11 Death was in the air. He smelled it as soon as he ducked under the crime scene tape and stepped onto the front lawn of the palatial estate. The Catskill mountains rose above the roofline as the early morning sun stretched shadows of the trees across the yard. The breeze rolled down from the foothills and carried the smell of decay, causing his upper lip to twitch when it reached his nostrils. The smell of death filled him with excitement. He hoped this was because this was his first case as a newly minted homicide detective, and not from some perverse fetish he had never known he possessed. A uniformed police officer led him across the lawn and around to the back of the property. There he found the source of the foul odour. The victim was hanging naked from a second story balcony, his feet suspended at eye level, and the white rope around his neck angling his head like a broken-stemmed lollipop. The detective looked up to the terrace. The rope stretched over the railing, tight and challenged by the weight of the body. The twine disappeared through french doors that led, he presumed, into the bedroom. The victim had likely twirled for most of the night, the detective imagined, and had now unfortunately come to rest facing the house. Unfortunate because, as the detective walked across the back lawn, the first thing he saw was the man's naked buttocks. When he reached the body he noticed welt marks covering the man's right burr cheek and upper thigh. The contusions flared a faint lilac against the liver mortis blue of the dead man's skin. ABOUT 'TWENTY YEARS LATER': Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience's attention. Her latest story--a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal--is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner's office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence. Emma Ford has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won't be complete until she can clear Victoria's name. Alone she's had no luck, but she's convinced that Avery's connections and fame will help. Avery, hoping to negotiate a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The rope, the bedroom, and the entire crime scene was covered in Victoria's DNA. But the twisted puzzle of Victoria's private life belies a much darker mystery. And what Avery doesn't realize is that there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery's own secret past--one she has kept hidden from both the network executives and her television audience. A secret she thought was dead and buried . . . MY THOUGHTS: I liked Twenty Years Later a lot, but I didn't love it. I failed to become totally immersed in the story and am not really sure if it was because the narrator didn't narrate with much emotion, or because the reader is being told much of the story rather than experiencing it. There are several different storylines going on, narrated in the present and in flashbacks, primarily by Avery, secondly by Walt, and thirdly by various other minor characters. It was the murder that opens the book that I was mainly interested in, but that is very much a secondary thread though, to me, it was definitely the more interesting. I really had no interest in Avery's salary negotiations which went on, and on, and had no real relevance that I could fathom. I found Avery's character difficult to relate to and I never really warmed to her, although I did admire her cleverness in resolving her family problem. I really liked the way Donlea tied everything up at the end, even if it was a little tedious in parts getting there. But the absolute ending, where the solution to the murder is revealed, that is absolutely delicious and made wading through all the other stuff worthwhile. ⭐⭐⭐.8 #TwentyYearsLater #NetGalley I: @charliedonlea @recordedbooks T: @CharlieDonlea @recordedbooks #contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #familydrama #murdermystery THE AUTHOR: Charlie Donlea resides in Chicago with his wife and two young children. He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. DISCLOSURE: Thanks to RB Media, Recorded Books, via Netgalley for providing an audio ARC of Twenty Years Later written by Charlie Donlea and narrated by Vivienne Leheney for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    Wow! Seriously wow! Charlie Donlea has become a go to author for me and I was super excited to get an early copy of his new book Twenty Years Later. If you haven't read his books what are you waiting for? Avery Mason, presenter of American Events is determined to show her bosses that she is the real deal. She has had the role for a year now, after the death of the former presenter Mack. She hears about a story and travels to New York to find out more. When she gets there the story is so much more Wow! Seriously wow! Charlie Donlea has become a go to author for me and I was super excited to get an early copy of his new book Twenty Years Later. If you haven't read his books what are you waiting for? Avery Mason, presenter of American Events is determined to show her bosses that she is the real deal. She has had the role for a year now, after the death of the former presenter Mack. She hears about a story and travels to New York to find out more. When she gets there the story is so much more than she expected. A victim of the 9/11 terror attacks is identified from fragments in a lab from 20 years ago. But this victim was a murder suspect at the time of her death and her sister believes that she is innocent to this day. The more Avery looks into the story, the most intrigued she becomes. But Avery has her own secrets, and another reason for being in the city. I could not put this book down and ended up staying up well past midnight to finish it. It was a case of one more chapter, one more chapter but I just couldn't stop. It has all the elements of a great thriller, mystery, murder and so much more. It really was fantastic and will be a favourite book for 2021. Thanks so much to Penguin Australia for my advanced copy of this book to read. Out in Australia August 3rd.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book is about two crimes that happened two months apart , one crime had an uncanny resemblance of the book to 9/ 11 where we all know was a horrific event. Avery a TV reporter has a large fan base but wants to get her ratings up so she decides to press on with her story. This is a very slow burn which was drawn out until the last bit of the BookIt was tedious & Avery was very unlikeable let’s say for me was disappointing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I want to extend my sincere thanks to NetGalley and RB Media for this audiobook in return for an honest review. Charlie Donlea proves he can write a complex, twisty plot with jaw-dropping twists and revelations. However, there were so many subplots, the book seemed convoluted and bloated and veered off in so many directions with unnecessary padding. It was longer than I felt appropriate for telling a coherent, straightforward story. This detracted from its intensity and suspense for me. I think I want to extend my sincere thanks to NetGalley and RB Media for this audiobook in return for an honest review. Charlie Donlea proves he can write a complex, twisty plot with jaw-dropping twists and revelations. However, there were so many subplots, the book seemed convoluted and bloated and veered off in so many directions with unnecessary padding. It was longer than I felt appropriate for telling a coherent, straightforward story. This detracted from its intensity and suspense for me. I think that the search for the truth behind a murder in July 2001 that took place in the Catskill Mountains would have made a fluid, fast-paced story without all the distractions along the way. The murder victim was a bestselling novelist found naked and hanging from a balcony. Evidence revealed he had been engaged in violent sex with a woman whose DNA was recovered from blood and urine at the crime scene. A sex tape was also found in the home. The woman was identified as Victoria Ford, and she was accused of murder. On September 11, she met with her lawyer on the 80th floor of the WTC North Tower. He tells her there is every chance she will be convicted of the crime. At that moment, a plane crashes into the building. The case never went to court, and the tragedy took minds off the scandal surrounding the author's murder and focused thoughts on terrorism. After 20 years, some may feel it is too soon to exploit the memory of the 911 heartbreaking disaster in a crime thriller. Moving forward to 2021, new technology has identified Victoria as a WTC victim from her DNA in a tiny bone fragment. Avery Mason is the anchor of a popular TV news magazine. She is highly driven and intense, demanding a higher salary due to her ratings. She decides to pursue the story of the new DNA technology and the newly identified victim. She learns that Victoria was the murder suspect in an old crime involving a famous author that involved kinky sex with a woman, not his wife. She feels she can exploit this old story for ratings gold. Her audience will be glued to a program about a scandalous crime and follow her program intently. Avery is actually Claire Montgomery. Her father was the notorious Garth Montgomery. He was indicted for a large Ponzi scheme known as the Thief of Manhattan. He embezzled 30 billion from clients and then disappeared. Avery changed her name to escape the humiliation of her father's crimes. She also is haunted by a past tragedy where her brother drowned when their boat capsized. Walt Jenkins was a young detective assigned to the murder case 20 years earlier. He reluctantly retired from the FBI and is now living in Jamaica. He is recalled as a consultant by the FBI. They have been searching for Garth Montgomery, and Walt's assignment is to team up with Avery and try to discover her father's whereabouts. After a visit to Emma, sister of the late Victoria, Avery obtains tapes of phone calls made in her final moments after the plane struck the WTC. She pleads with Emma to establish her innocence and exonerate her from a crime she did not commit. Avery and Walt are drawn into a personal relationship, and both start to believe that perhaps Victoria was not a murderer. They examine old forensic evidence that shows Victoria may have been set up for the murder and false evidence planted at the murder scene. The story got off to a slow start but now picks up its pace. Again, subplots get in the way. The ending is startling and shocking, and the author certainly succeeded in misleading the readers! I believe, despite some misgivings, that this will be a popular book that will entertain the majority of its readers.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    4.5 stars rounded up to 5. So far, every Charlie Donlea book that I have read gets better than the last, and this is his best one yet! I thought it might be tricky for Donlea to incorporate 9/11 into a thriller, but he did it masterfully - it was not a major storyline, just a background plot point, and it was very well thought out. You know from the beginning that Victoria Ford is accused of murdering her married lover and there is plenty of evidence at the scene linking her to the crime. Before 4.5 stars rounded up to 5. So far, every Charlie Donlea book that I have read gets better than the last, and this is his best one yet! I thought it might be tricky for Donlea to incorporate 9/11 into a thriller, but he did it masterfully - it was not a major storyline, just a background plot point, and it was very well thought out. You know from the beginning that Victoria Ford is accused of murdering her married lover and there is plenty of evidence at the scene linking her to the crime. Before she can be indicted or charged, she dies in the North Tower on 9/11, but not before leaving her sister a voicemail proclaiming her innocence and begging her sister to prove it somehow. Fast forward twenty years, Avery Mason is a television host who stumbles upon the case after hearing that Victoria's remains had finally identified by newfound DNA technology. As part of her investigation, she meets with Victoria's sister and learns the backstory and listens to Victoria's last phone call. Knowing it is TV ratings gold, she sets out to discover the truth about Victoria Ford; although Avery is hiding something herself, and she has no idea that the cat and mouse game has been set in motion, with Avery herself being the target. What follows is a crazy rollercoaster with so many twists and turns, I was dizzy! I did think this one started out slowly, and I found myself wondering how it was possible that the two stories would intersect. There are definitely some instances where you have to suspend belief i.e. why Avery, an investigative reporter, didn't know before meeting Victoria's sister that Victoria was the main suspect in a sensational, renowned murder; and how being the television star she was, no one had figured out Avery's past - very unlikely on both counts - but somehow it all worked. There are several minor plots too, and at one point I was wondering if it all might become a bit too convoluted, but then, wham! Donlea hits you with a twist or two when you least expect it that rights the ship, so to speak. And Avery's story! All I'm going to say is that you got me, Donlea! I didn't bother with the gimmicky telephone number on the back cover (thank you for the warning, Regina!), so thankfully that did not take away from my reading experience. In the end, this is one that I couldn't put down with twists that snuck up on me and made me wonder how in the heck I missed the signs.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Colleen (On Semi Hiatus until Jan 26) Scidmore

    This is my first official read in 2022! This book had me captivated for many reasons. One of those reasons was because it was centered around a very horrific and important date in America’s history, 9/11. I have the memory of a pea brain nowadays, but I will never forget where I was and how I was feeling when I realized the gravity of what was happening on that terrible day. As I’m sure most of you who were alive and old enough will remember. Still to this day some of us are still dealing with th This is my first official read in 2022! This book had me captivated for many reasons. One of those reasons was because it was centered around a very horrific and important date in America’s history, 9/11. I have the memory of a pea brain nowadays, but I will never forget where I was and how I was feeling when I realized the gravity of what was happening on that terrible day. As I’m sure most of you who were alive and old enough will remember. Still to this day some of us are still dealing with the trauma from 20 years ago. So seeing a story surrounding these events really piqued my interest, but also hoping that is was done in a fitting manner. It took me a minute to get completely engrossed because the story from the very beginning flipped from scene to scene. It was a bit confusing and I wasn’t sure where it was going. But when it finally clicked I was totally sucked in! It starts out with a murder investigation that takes place 20 years ago in NY that involves a best selling author and his mistress Victoria. The murder made headlines because of who the victim was, as well as during the investigation it was discovered that he had a torrid extramarital affair involving a sex tape and the use of BDSM. Even though the crime scene had Victoria’s finger prints and some irrefutable DNA evidence, she strongly maintained that she was innocent and went as far as to hire one of the best defense lawyers in the country. Victoria was meeting with her lawyer on the morning of 9/11 in The Twin Towers. As chaos ensued and Victoria realized she may not make it out alive, she made one last recorded call to a loved one, which also pertained to her lovers murder. That message was not heard by another soul until 20 years later. Present day, Avery Mason, TV Reporter and host of a popular news program similar to Dateline, is trying to clean up a family mess and also following the long forgotten and decades old story of deceased 9/11 victim Victoria Ford being accused of murdering Cameron Young. There was a recent discovery where Victoria’s DNA was found among the 9/11 rubble using a single tooth. Avery thinks this will be a great piece to air on the show as part of a memorial with a twist. And it’s also giving her the perfect reason to be in New York City covering up the real reason why she’s there. Avery gets in contact with Walt Jenkins, a BCI agent at the time and also the lead detective on the murder investigation. Walt is now a forty something year old retired FBI agent who is more than happy to help the reporter out with his old case for his own reasons, unknown to Avery. As they work along side each other to put the pieces together of The Cameron Young/Victoria Ford case, things are not so cut and dry as it seemed 20 years ago. Especially after Avery listens to the very last message Victoria left. Now both this decades old case and the main reason Avery traveled all the way across country are embroiled in one big mess. And both Avery and Walt need to figure out the past in order to move forward in the present. I loved how Charlie Donlea wrapped both the murder of Cameron Young and the present dilemma, 2 different stories made to come together in such an intricate manner. That takes a lot of talent to do so well and not confuse most readers! The characters were well developed and felt completely realistic. I really enjoyed getting to know Avery Mason and Walt Jenkins, their back stories, faults and all. And the punches I did not see coming threw me for a loop! I had inklings but I really wasn’t certain, especially on one story line in particular. Be prepared to be blown away! And the epilogue had goosebumps running down my spine. CD has a new fan and I’m excited to dig out my buried copy of The Girl Who Was Taken and give it a read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brenda ~Traveling Sister Book Reviews

    Do you have a Christmas book gift card you are itching to spend? Well, here is another bold, high tension, and original, suspenseful story by one of my favorite authors. Nobody can spin those twists like Charlie Donlea can. 3 Things I loved Charlie Donlea always has a few things going in his books to keep up with, and here it's all about the many subplots bouncing around. It can be a bit much; however, he keeps all the balls in the air and somehow manages to bring them all together. I love how he Do you have a Christmas book gift card you are itching to spend? Well, here is another bold, high tension, and original, suspenseful story by one of my favorite authors. Nobody can spin those twists like Charlie Donlea can. 3 Things I loved Charlie Donlea always has a few things going in his books to keep up with, and here it's all about the many subplots bouncing around. It can be a bit much; however, he keeps all the balls in the air and somehow manages to bring them all together. I love how he leaves a few clues to pick up on and figure some things out and then pulls the net out from under us with an exciting and surprising twist in the end. I love that past characters make appearances in his books. It's always nice to see what they are up to. 3 things I didn't love as much The story is not as tight as I would have liked and pacing is off. There is a bit of telling us things the characters do that weren't all that interesting and felt repetitive I feel like I shouldn't have liked this one as much as I did because of using the tragedy of 9/11 as a plot device to drive the story forward. I read another book using 9/11, and I was not too fond of it because of that. I didn't find the character engaging as much as I liked due to the many subplots. Not as much time was spent on developing them to really engage in them. However, it's all about the suspense and unexpected twist in the end that makes this an exciting one. 3 reasons you should read If you love to follow clues and try to figure things out along the way to be surprised with how it turns out in the end. Or maybe to see if you did figure it out. You like bold stories that might be questionable by their use of them. Here 9/11. You are a fan of Charlie Donlea. If you haven't read anything written by him, I highly recommend giving it a try!! I received a copy form the publisher.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    Charlie Donlea has been one of my favorite authors. I love all of his books! I was ecstatic to receive any early copy of his newest Twenty Years Later. Donlea once again amazes me with his storytelling. Avery Mason is a young newscaster who hosts a nightly show. She is searching for a hot new topic and starts to unravel a 20 year old mystery. The more Avery looks into this 20 year old murder, the more intrigued she becomes. The beginning was a bit slow starting for me but around 35 percent it re Charlie Donlea has been one of my favorite authors. I love all of his books! I was ecstatic to receive any early copy of his newest Twenty Years Later. Donlea once again amazes me with his storytelling. Avery Mason is a young newscaster who hosts a nightly show. She is searching for a hot new topic and starts to unravel a 20 year old mystery. The more Avery looks into this 20 year old murder, the more intrigued she becomes. The beginning was a bit slow starting for me but around 35 percent it really started picking up. I was trying to figure things out myself and get to the truth. I kept turning those pages and things became more juicier a every turn. AND my goodness Donlea throws you a lovely curve ball with that ending. My goodness. What a nice play Donlea. I will continue to keep an eye out for new releases by Donlea. He's become an auto-buy author for me. Thank you Kensington Publishing for my copy. 4/5 stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    NILTON TEIXEIRA

    This is my first book by this author and I’m going to look for his previous books, as I enjoyed his writing. This was a very easy and fast reading. I thought that the concept was brilliant and I was hooked from the beginning and I liked the characters, although one was not that charismatic. I do confess that in the beginning I thought that I had a winner in my hands, but unfortunately the development of the storyline was not what I expected, including a romance that was not necessary. Perhaps the m This is my first book by this author and I’m going to look for his previous books, as I enjoyed his writing. This was a very easy and fast reading. I thought that the concept was brilliant and I was hooked from the beginning and I liked the characters, although one was not that charismatic. I do confess that in the beginning I thought that I had a winner in my hands, but unfortunately the development of the storyline was not what I expected, including a romance that was not necessary. Perhaps the main problem here were all the sideline stories and the number of chapters for such small book (80 chapters and the book is divided into 6 parts). There are some enjoyable twists but nothing that I found remarkable, except the very final one (hats off to that!). Although the year is 2021, at least there was no mention of COVID-19. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    fleurette

    Such a good book. The main character, Avery, who hosts the program on television, plans to make material for her show on the recent identification after many years of one of the victims of the 9/11. However, she soon discovers that the identified woman, Victoria, before her death, was the prime suspect in the high-profile murder of her lover. But was she really guilty? That's not the end of the secrets, because Avery is also hiding something. And her past isn't all that smooth either. This is a gr Such a good book. The main character, Avery, who hosts the program on television, plans to make material for her show on the recent identification after many years of one of the victims of the 9/11. However, she soon discovers that the identified woman, Victoria, before her death, was the prime suspect in the high-profile murder of her lover. But was she really guilty? That's not the end of the secrets, because Avery is also hiding something. And her past isn't all that smooth either. This is a great story. We have two very interesting cases here. One is discovering what really happened many years ago and whether Victoria really is a murderer. The second focuses on Avery, who comes to New York not only to solve a murder case from years ago. Both are really fascinating, and I waited with bated breath for them to be solved. There have been some really surprising twists and the stakes have been high all along. The ending was excellent. Recently, it happens less and less that I do not predict the end of the thriller. In this case, a few things really surprised me. The author was able to brilliantly play on a few well-known themes in this genre and use them to confuse us. The ending is very satisfying. This is my first book by this author, but I will certainly read more. I definitely recommend it to everyone who likes mystery thrillers with an interesting, non-obvious story and numerous twists. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience's attention. Her latest story - a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal - is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiners office to make it's first successful examination of a 9/11 victim in years. The twists the victim, Victoria Ford, has been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victori Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience's attention. Her latest story - a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal - is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiners office to make it's first successful examination of a 9/11 victim in years. The twists the victim, Victoria Ford, has been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged to prove her innocence. Emma Ford has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won't be complete until she can clear Victoria's name. The story is told from several perspectives, has a dual timeline, then and now, and it's an easy book to read. It's been well written and executed, the characters are well developed and believable. This is a story of lies, regrets, deceit and secrets. There's plenty of twists and revelations. The plotline held my attention throughout. I would like to thank #NetGalley #Canelo and the author #CharlieDonlea for my ARC of #TwentyYearsLAter in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Last month was the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks. Twenty Years Later is a story this considers the aftermath of this tragic world event in the form of a crime thriller novel. With plenty of plot twists, shocking secrets, flooring revelations, perplexing motives and mystery surrounding Charlie Donlea’s latest, suspense readers will be sure to lap this one up. Twenty Years Later looks closely at the strange case involving Vict *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Last month was the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks. Twenty Years Later is a story this considers the aftermath of this tragic world event in the form of a crime thriller novel. With plenty of plot twists, shocking secrets, flooring revelations, perplexing motives and mystery surrounding Charlie Donlea’s latest, suspense readers will be sure to lap this one up. Twenty Years Later looks closely at the strange case involving Victoria Ford, a woman who perished in the World Trade Centre 9/11 attacks, two decades ago. Victoria was the subject of a murder investigation at the time of the deadly attacks, but her final words to her sister Emma before she died was to declare her innocence. Two decades on from the attacks, Emma reaches out to Avery Mason, an American television host, in the hope that she can help to prove her sister’s innocence. Avery throws herself into this cold case investigation, hoping to finally close this perplexing mystery. Can Emma clear her sister’s name for good? Charlie Donlea’s sixth novel well and truly cements his status as an international crime thriller writer. I have been a fan of Donlea’s work since I devoured Don’t Believe It in 2018. I have continued to praise Donlea’s work since and I always make an effort to request Donlea’s books. I was delighted to receive a copy of Twenty Years Later and I can highly recommend this novel if you enjoy exciting thrillers. Donlea presents a really interesting scenario in his latest novel. Linking the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to a present-day television investigation was a fantastic combination. I enjoyed the sense of mystery, intrigue, the flooring plot diversions and mind boggling narrative twists that Twenty Years Later offered. I love Donlea’s ability to weave a solid crime mystery around past secrets and a fascinating contemporary media line. Donlea balances both of his featured timelines well. Each chapter is kept short, sharp and engrossing. The use of clear date and location chapter headings helps guide the reader through this complex case. The progression of these succinct chapters assists the reader to progress very easily through Twenty Years Later. It becomes a really fast-paced race to the finish line, as little clues are unearthed and missed facts are revealed. I was barely able to predict the direction of this novel, so for me this is a clear indication of a cracking dark mystery tale! Twenty Years Later does an excellent job of putting forward the possibility of an individual using the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks as a scapegoat for escaping a murder charge. What a perplexing and truly complicated case Donlea presents! When you consider the possibilities, it really is quite fascinating and I enjoyed tossing around all sorts of plausible scenarios in relation to this challenging case. I also found the use of updated technology used to help recover, identify and connect victims from the 9/11 attacks to be completely absorbing, I wanted to read more and find out more! I’m pleased that Donlea tapped into this very clever plotline, it really elevated this book as a whole. The characters in Twenty Years Later act as essential partners to the overall story arc. I found most of the cast to be agreeable, but it did take some time for me to develop a connection to Avery, she seemed a bit aloof at times. I definitely sympathised with Emma, in her efforts to clear her sister’s name. There is an ex-FBI agent thrown into the mix, who adds some interesting dynamics to this tale. Twenty Years Later delves into the raw secrets, hidden truths, past histories and central motivations of the core cast of this novel. This is a very astute crime that takes the reader one way and throws them in a completely different direction in the next breath! It is a rocky road to the close and Twenty Years Later delivers plenty of unexpected twists and sudden discoveries. A twirling, exhilarant, and tantalising tale that will take you by surprise, Twenty Years Later is another bold suspense tale from Charlie Donlea. *I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    In New York’s Catskill Mountains, popular author Cameron Young is found dead. All the evidence points to the woman he had been having an affair with – Victoria Ford. When Victoria goes to have the first meeting with her defense attorney in the World Trade Center. It is September 11, 2001 and tragedy strikes. Once it is discovered that Victoria perished in the North Tower, the case is put on a shelf. Twenty years later, Avery Mason, an up-and-coming television news anchor is seeking her next big In New York’s Catskill Mountains, popular author Cameron Young is found dead. All the evidence points to the woman he had been having an affair with – Victoria Ford. When Victoria goes to have the first meeting with her defense attorney in the World Trade Center. It is September 11, 2001 and tragedy strikes. Once it is discovered that Victoria perished in the North Tower, the case is put on a shelf. Twenty years later, Avery Mason, an up-and-coming television news anchor is seeking her next big story as she negotiates her contract for the popular primetime show American Events. When a bone fragment of Victoria is found from the wreckage, Avery sees an opportunity for a news feature about the new developments in DNA research to identify remains of the 9/11 victims and the importance of closure for the families as the 20th anniversary approaches. While doing her research, Avery learns about the murder Victoria was accused of committing and it takes the story in a new direction. Avery meets with Victoria’s sister Emma who shares tapes of Victoria’s frantic calls from the World Trade Center declaring her innocence and her plea for her sister to clear her name. Avery’s realizes that her story is going to be even bigger than she had imagined. Walt Jenkins, who was the lead investigator of the murder case, comes out of retirement to help Avery but his true motives are not revealed to her, as he knows that Avery is hiding her own secrets. Twenty Years Later is a highly entertaining mystery thriller filled with a cast of characters who are all keeping things hidden. It’s fast paced and very clever. Having two mysteries in one made for one very compelling read. Some things to note: no one can forget the horrors of 9/11 and reading about it may not be something you'd care to do. And the crime scene of the murder of Cameron Young was a bit a gruesome with lots of details provided. If you’re still interested, I’d recommend checking out Charlie Donlea’s latest. It will keep you guessing throughout. Rated 4.25 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Wow! What a fantastic way to start the New Year! Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea is a riveting, page-turning mystery/thriller that I couldn't put down. Investigative TV Reporter Avery Mason is hiding her own dark past as she is determined to discover the truth behind a grisly murder many years after the investigation unexpectedly discontinued. Looking to boost her ratings Avery covers the recent discovery that new DNA technology has allowed medical examiners to successfully identify a 9/11 vic Wow! What a fantastic way to start the New Year! Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea is a riveting, page-turning mystery/thriller that I couldn't put down. Investigative TV Reporter Avery Mason is hiding her own dark past as she is determined to discover the truth behind a grisly murder many years after the investigation unexpectedly discontinued. Looking to boost her ratings Avery covers the recent discovery that new DNA technology has allowed medical examiners to successfully identify a 9/11 victim twenty years later. The victim, Victoria Ford, was accused of gruesomely murdering her married lover. She perished in the North Tower of the WTC on 9/11 while meeting with her lawyer. As this story unfolds, as well as Avery Mason's back story, the author gives us many twists and turns as well as pulling everything together perfectly. This novel was unputdownable! Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Charlie Donlea, RB Media, and Recorded Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Having stumbled upon this latest novel by Charlie Donlea, I thought that I would take the risk and hope for the best. This is a curious story that straddles two time periods and is highly impactful throughout its development. An investigative reporter returns to New York to look into some new DNA First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Charlie Donlea, RB Media, and Recorded Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Having stumbled upon this latest novel by Charlie Donlea, I thought that I would take the risk and hope for the best. This is a curious story that straddles two time periods and is highly impactful throughout its development. An investigative reporter returns to New York to look into some new DNA technology that has uncovered the identity of a new victim from September 11, 2001, but there is more to the story. Victoria Ford was accused of killing her lover in a brutal manner, but all that was forgotten when the Towers fell. Now, Avery Mason is keen not only to get to the bottom of the case, but also uncover truths that were left to dissipate when the world turns its attention to the terrorist attack. She is determined to find truths, even two decades later! A great story that has me wanting to find more Donlea novels in the near future. While the events of September 11th, 2001 are etched on the minds of many, the number of unidentified remains continue to pose an issue for those tasked with bringing closure to the lives of grieving families. After new technology emerges and a fragment of Victoria Ford is identified, it’s newsworthy. Avery Mason, host of a popular television newsmagazine wants to air the discovery around the time of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack. As Avery digs a little deeper into the life of Victoria Ford, she uncovers a goldmine. Victoria was accused of murdering her married lover by hanging him over a balcony, left to appear like a kinky sex act gone wrong. However, after her arrest, Victoria proclaimed her innocence and sent a final voicemail to her sister on the day of the attack, pleading that she was not guilty of he crime. Now, Avery has a copy of the recording and is keen to discover what actually happened and how the truth might have been buried. Hoping to make this a smash hit for herself and the ratings, Avery contacts the former investigator in the Victoria Ford case and has him return to New York. The case seems pretty open and shut, but Avery refuses to believe it is that simple. She digs deeper and revisits much of the evidence, only to learn that nothing is quite as it seems. She’s hoping that she can blow things wide open and show that a greedy state’s attorney pushed the case along without examining the evidence properly. While Victoria’s DNA is all over the crime scene, something does not seem right and Avery is keep to find that missing link before someone else does. All the while, she is juggling keeping her own past a secret so that she won’t have to admit hard truths that have loomed over her for years. When Avery uncovers an old and dusty manuscript, something clicks and she racing along to see if that might be the beginning of something that could exonerate Victoria Ford once and for all. This is more than ratings or stardom, it’s the honour of a woman whose life ended on September 11th, but left a family behind tarnished by the accusations. A chilling tale by Charlie Donela that has me hoping for more soon and kicking myself for not discovering his writing sooner. I often surprise myself when i discover a new author, only to learn that they have been writing and impressing others for a long time. Such was the case with Charlie Donlea and this thriller. There is so much to enjoy with this piece, from the well-paced narrative to the great plot twists that took time to develop. I can only hope that many of his other books are as intense and I will surely find some soon, adding them to my list of must reads (rather than simply to be read). Avery Mason is a wonderful protagonist with a great deal to offer the reader. Her backstory is both complex and ever-evolving throughout the novel, leaving the reader to see some of the struggles she faced and how she tackles them now. She does, however, not simply live in the past, but finds herself developing throughout the novel, presenting struggles both with the mysterious murder before her and the need to carve out a niche for herself in the world of television news programming. She can hold her own throughout this piece and I would love to see her in action once again, even if one-offs might be more Donlea’s style. A great thriller uses a foundation of strong writing to begin, building on that to entice the reader throughout. Such can surely be said of this piece, as Charlie Donlea provides a stellar piece of writing here. His ideas layer together well and keep the reader on their toes as they progress throughout the piece. The mystery grows as the narrative gains momentum, allowing the plot to lead the reader down many a curious path. I cannot say enough about the ability that Donlea has to spin multiple plot lines together and keep the reader curious until it all comes together effectively. I wondered and guessed my way through this book, filled with teaser chapters that begged me to keep reading a little longer. I am quite eager to find more books by Charlie Donlea and am open to suggestions by those who have some to make! Kudos, Mr. Donlea, for a fabulous novel. I cannot believe it took me this long to find you. I won’t wait too long before I return, of that you can be assured. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

    *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr **4.5 stars** Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea. (2021). Avery, TV host of 'American Events', knows her latest story - a murder mystery laced with sex, tragedy, and betrayal - is ratings gold. With new technology, an ID has been made of a 9/11 victim - Victoria. At the time of her death she had been accused of murder and in a chilling last call, Victoria begged her sister to prove her innocence. Twenty years later Avery has gone into *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr **4.5 stars** Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea. (2021). Avery, TV host of 'American Events', knows her latest story - a murder mystery laced with sex, tragedy, and betrayal - is ratings gold. With new technology, an ID has been made of a 9/11 victim - Victoria. At the time of her death she had been accused of murder and in a chilling last call, Victoria begged her sister to prove her innocence. Twenty years later Avery has gone into investigative overdrive. But the twisted puzzle of Victoria's life belies a much darker mystery. And there are other people involved who are interested in Avery's own past - one she has kept secret from her bosses and her audience... This author is one of my favourite thriller writers, so of course I was looking forward to reading this. I appreciated that the main character, Avery, was a strong and intelligent female lead with a bit of secrecy in her past. Complementing her nicely was an ex-FBI agent, Walt, who worked on the original case when Victoria was accused of murder; it was good to see Walt go from absolute conviction to questioning his own case, all the while juggling an attraction to Avery. There was a lot going on with plots within plots but I personally thought it flowed well and of course all came together nicely in the end with a couple of surprises. As per usual for this author, I really enjoyed it and would not hesitate to recommend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    Well this was a highly entertaining read overall. Maybe a little too busy towards the end but the journey there more than made up for it. Contrary to some reviews, 9/11 is used as a backdrop for one of the dual storylines here. It is not a central plot. I really liked its use as a device in the plot line and found it in no way disrespectful. The story is told from a few different view points and jumps back and forward in time but it is very easy to follow and keep track of, due to well written rou Well this was a highly entertaining read overall. Maybe a little too busy towards the end but the journey there more than made up for it. Contrary to some reviews, 9/11 is used as a backdrop for one of the dual storylines here. It is not a central plot. I really liked its use as a device in the plot line and found it in no way disrespectful. The story is told from a few different view points and jumps back and forward in time but it is very easy to follow and keep track of, due to well written rounded characters. Its a story of lies, deceit, regret, love, life...all wrapped up in an excellent thriller with many a plot twist to boot. The ending perhaps a little too neat but it didnt take away from the overall enjoyment of this excellent book. Thanks to the publisher for an ARC through Netgalley.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe

    Thank you so much to Kensington Books and Charlie Donlea for my copy of Twenty Years Later. Donlea is a fantastic writer and sucks you into any story he writes. I was introduced to him during his book Suicide House, and couldn’t get enough! This book takes multiple storylines and brings them together to tell an amazing story. The first character is Avery, the host of a popular TV show. She looks into past crimes or important events in history and tells their stories. She wants to tell a selaciou Thank you so much to Kensington Books and Charlie Donlea for my copy of Twenty Years Later. Donlea is a fantastic writer and sucks you into any story he writes. I was introduced to him during his book Suicide House, and couldn’t get enough! This book takes multiple storylines and brings them together to tell an amazing story. The first character is Avery, the host of a popular TV show. She looks into past crimes or important events in history and tells their stories. She wants to tell a selacious murder mystery, but now she is realizing there is more to it than meets the eye. The accused murderer was killed on 9/11, so the case went cold. As the towers were falling, she made a call to her sister proclaiming her innocence. Her sister is trying to clear her name, but all the evidence points directly at her and is hard to refute. There are so many sub-mysteries at play here and they all come together to make a great story. Thoughts: I loved this plot! It was unique to have the setting of the murder around 9/11 and it gave it an interesting twist. I enjoyed all the perspectives of the story, especially Avery’s story. Donlea did an amazing job tying the stories together and creating a story that is memorable and unputdownable. I loved that the chapters were short and labeled easily so you knew the date and time of each perspective. There are some things that are a bit of a stretch, but they are still enjoyable. I guessed many of the twists in this book, because there were only so many things that could happen. It was still fun to read the story and Donlea’s writing is fantastic as usual. 4-stars!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Thacker

    I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since 9/11. This book was told in a different way and it kept my interest from the very first page. It’s a thriller that focuses on a crime right before the twin towers were hit and they had to solve the crime. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review. A big trigger in the book is suicide and it’s mentioned multiple times.

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