I finish this narrative with a sigh of relief, and while I hate leaving a negative review, my honest response to this audiobook was that it was hugely irritating to listen to on several fronts. Firstly, the narrator had a really annoying voice and was totally unable to do male voices, turning them into an awful screech. Secondly, the book itself was written in third person, but the characters kept announcing what they were thinking, which really didn't work for me. Either a book is in first person, or it isn't.
In brief, a large department store has taken over an old favourite and split the loyalties of the stores' shoppers. Viviana De Mornay has moved her up-market clothing brand from one store to the umbrella organisation, and she has both a closing sale and a grand opening.
Marnie Taylor, the kidnapped twin who we met in Twisted Webs, is now living with her true family, although she still has strong attachments to Erica, her 'mother' until she was eight. She suddenly has an identical twin and a younger sister, as well as a life of luxury, after being brought up in a trailer park. Her wealth, however, makes her a target for another kidnapping and the frightening issue of on-line grooming is tackled. The kidnapping itself is over dramatised, along with a lot of the aforementioned expression of thoughts by a large number of the characters involved.
Although this is the fourth book in the Webs series, I believe it is actually the second featuring this particular cast of characters and provides a sequel to book 2 in the series, Twisted Webs. I found the cast of thousands in Twisted Webs, very confusing, and had to create a 'family tree' to work out who was who and how everyone was interrelated. I would imagine this would be quite a problem if you were coming to this book without having read the prequel.
According to GoodReads, this book received the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards Best in Fiction and the International Readers' Favorite Gold Medal, and other readers have rated it highly. I would therefore suggest that before deciding against this book, based on my review, prospective readers take a look at other reviews and make their own judgments.
I was not inspired by the corporate plot-line surrounding department stores in America and was quite relieved that this informed less of the story than in Twisted Webs. I certainly didn't need the update provided in an epilogue, about the state of these stores in the modern world.
I promised to listen to this audiobook and leave an unbiased review, this I have done. Thanks to the publishers, the author and the narrator, for my audiobook copy. Also thanks to Audiobook Boom who provides the contact between authors/narrators, and readers.