Audiobook Review: IN THE BLOOD by Lisa Unger

Format: Audio; 10 hrs, 4 mins
Narrators: Gretchen Mol, Candace Thaxton
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Released: January 7, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher

LANA GRANGER LIVES A LIFE OF LIES. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?

When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her whereabouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.


IN THE BLOOD is the first book by Lisa Unger I’ve read (or listened to), and I was completely wowed! It’s hard to convey how much I loved this book. It was so good. The story is told from the point of view of Lana Granger, a college student whose best friend Beck goes missing. Lana is a self-professed liar with a past full of secrets, so can the reader really trust what she says? You gotta love those unreliable narrators!

As the search for Beck is on, Lana becomes wrapped up in this demented game with Luke, a troubled child that she’s been hired to care for. Lana doesn’t know what Luke’s ultimate goal is with the game, but she can’t resist playing along and finding out what he knows. Putting it mildly, Luke has issues. He’s a master manipulator, very intelligent with psychopathic tendencies. Luke’s character gave me chills, and my heart went out to his scared and emotionally exhausted mother Rachel.

IN THE BLOOD was a gripping psychological thriller filled with shocking twists and turns. I had to pause more than once for a jaw-dropping “O.M.G.” moment. Just when I thought I’d put the pieces of the puzzle together…nope! I was proven wrong. I love books that can really mess with my mind. This book addresses the question if “evil” can be inherited, and if it is “in the blood,” can it be overcome?

The audiobook was narrated by Candace Thaxton and Gretchen Mol, and both performances were amazing. Ms. Thaxton narrated from Lana’s POV, and Ms. Mol read the part of a mystery woman writing in her journal. They both did a great job capturing the essence of their characters. I could really hear the tension, fear, and desperation in their voices, perfect for this thriller. Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.