Holy Hell by Elizabeth Sims was a fun audiobook. It is about Lillian Byrd a reporter at a local newspaper. She ends up stabbing the owner’s son when her warnings about his sexual harassment are ignored. Needless to say she ends up without a job.
Things get worse when she is following up on a story of a local murder and realizes that she knows the victim.
Lilian is drawn into a spiral of events that lead to life and death situations and a dark subculture.
Couple that with an amusing, unwanted love interest, a pet rabbit and a sexy writer who joins forces with her and you have a fun listen.
Lillian is an entertaining character in terms of her ability to get into all sorts of awkward situations. However, I found her difficult to relate to. She goes through some really awful things in this book and it was like they didn’t really affect her emotionally.
There was a large cast of memorable characters. They were diverse, fun and altogether enjoyable. It was easy to keep track of who was who and I enjoyed how Sims wove the characters into the story.
The Writing Style
It was a light, entertaining mystery novel. The pacing was good and the plot kept me listening.
Dina Pearlman did a good job with the narration lending personality to even the strangest characters in the novel – and believe me when I say there were some strange characters.
The research and plot lines were really interesting. I enjoyed a look into a subculture that we don’t often hear about. I also loved the pet rabbit.
There are some beautiful scenes where Sims added little touches that I appreciated like the downstairs neighbour and the donuts – listen to the book and you will get it.
I wanted to connect a little more emotionally with Lillian. She was a distant heroine.
An entertaining audiobook. The story is well thought out, the topic is interesting and the narration was good. All in all, I recommend it.
Excerpt from Holy Hell by Elizabeth Sims
After a moment, still gazing into my drink, I became aware of a looming presence. My peripheral vision registered a sturdy leg encased in heavy blue denim. A boot flew up from the floor and landed with a bang on the seat of the empty chair next to me. I didn’t have to look up to know it was Lou.
But I did look up, out of reluctant politeness. I’m not short, but from my seated position it was long way up from Lou’s booted foot to the yawning crotch of her overalls to her loud plaid shirt to her column-like neck to her stern red face, tonight sporting an aggressive smile for me.
She leaned down and propped an elbow on her knee. She’d been letting her iron-streaked hair grow out, I noticed; she has it in a rather bouncy ponytail that took a few years off her.
She was a Snapdragon regular.
“I was hoping you’d come in tonight, and you did,” she said, a note of triumph in her scratchy voice.
Lou had liked me for a long time, way before the Snapdragon existed. I thought she was a nice enough person, from a distance anyway. I have nothing against husky women in overalls who happen to be a little lacking in manners. I just didn’t like Lou the way she liked me. Over the years at the Snap and other places – blind pigs and house parties – I’d managed to dodge her advances without hurting her feelings. But tonight she was especially intent.
“You and Judy,” she said, and drew a finger across her throat.
“Well,” I said, “not exactly. Um…”
She heaved her boot back to the floor, yanked out the chair, and straddled it. She appeared perfectly capable of devouring me in one bite. Her eyes locked into mine. “Are you or aren’t you two together anymore?”
Get This Audiobook On Amazon/Audible
The Lillian Byrd Series
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780692351703
- Publisher: Spruce Park Press, originally published in 2014
- Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios
- Narrator: Dina Pearlman
Elizabeth Sims Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Holy Hell by Elizabeth Sims. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.