Perfect Nightmare by John Saul



Perfect Nightmare by John Saul, Abridged Audiobook
Every parent’s nightmare becomes reality for Kara Marshall when her daughter, Lindsay, vanishes from her bedroom during the night. The police suspect that the girl is just another moody teenage runaway, angry over leaving behind her school and friends because her family is moving. But Lindsay’s recent eerie claim - that someone invaded her room when the house was opened to prospective buyers - drives Kara to fear the worst: a nameless, faceless stalker has walked the halls of her home in search of more than a place to live.

Patrick Shields recognizes Kara’s pain - and carries plenty of his own since he lost his wife and two children in a devastating house fire. But more than grief draws Patrick and Kara together. He, too, senses the hand of a malevolent stranger in this tragedy. And as more people go missing from houses up for sale, Patrick’s suspicion, like Kara’s, blooms into horrified certainty.

Someone is trolling this peaceful community - undetected and undeterred - harvesting victims for a purpose no sane mind can fathom. Someone Kara and Patrick, alone and desperate, are determined to unmask. Someone who is even now watching, plotting, keeping a demented diary of unspeakable deeds . . . and waiting until the time is ripe for another fateful visit.
I'm giving this 3 1/2 out of 5, here's why:
Somehow I ended up with an abridged copy of this audiobook. I don't like abridged because I always feel like I'm missing something super important, usually characterization, but this abridgment wasn’t too bad.

This story is about a psycho attempting to create a family by abducting women through Open Houses. It has tones of that horrible triple abduction story in Cleveland, where the monster kept three women imprisoned for his own selfish needs for over a decade. Truly a horrible, nightmarish true-crime. But this book was written years before Castro was exposed as a rapist and kidnapper which makes reading this all the more horrifying. This version doesn’t linger too much on the damage inflicted on the victims and for that I am grateful. I had enough of that after watching Lifetime’s “Cleveland Abduction”.  I can’t speak for the unabridged version, however, so beware.

When teen Lindsay is abducted, her mother Kara is distraught and heartbroken and takes action. When things go from bad to worse for Kara she doesn’t dissolve into a puddle of self-pity but keeps on keeping on with the search. As admirable as that is, it felt a little unbelievable and unnatural but I’ll chalk it up to the four hours that were cut from this version and give it a pass. Kara quickly ends up joining forces with a man named Patrick, a widower and brother of a friend, and I found that bit rather strange and unnatural too considering the previous turn of events which I will not ruin.

It should be noted that I figured out who the killer was pretty early on. It should also be noted that I am not at all good at these things. I can only assume that it was pretty darn obvious.


The narration is done by Dick Hill and Susie Breck. I liked the fact that there were two narrators but Dick Hill’s voices weren’t very distinctive and his males all sounded like the same man, except for the killer. His killer voice was over the top, bordering on silly. Still, the story was definitely creepy and it was a page-turner so I’ll give it a solid 3.5 stars.

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