Category Archives: The Overnight Guest

Review: The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf

Title: The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
Length: 337 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A woman receives an unexpected visitor during a deadly snowstorm in this chilling thriller from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf.

True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.

As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.


The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf is a mesmerizing mystery.

True crime writer Wylie Lark is working on her latest book at an isolated farmhouse in Burden, Iowa. She is prepared for an oncoming blizzard but she is surprised when she finds a young child in the front yard. Wylie finally gets the child to trust her but she cannot any information from him. Certain he is not alone, Wylie braves the white-out conditions and frigid temperature to find the boy’s parents. She finds the wrecked vehicle but where is the driver?

Wylie regrets how she left things with her son so she knows she needs to return to Oregon soon. She is enjoying this time by herself and she does not expect anything out of the ordinary to occur during her stay. That is until her unexpected visitor. She is frustrated by her brusqueness with the little boy, but she is very worried about him and his missing parent(s). When the electricity goes out, she begins to experience the first vestiges of fear. Wylie is committed to keeping the child safe until morning, but will she be able to keep her commitment?

In the summer of 2000, a shocking murder rocks the small farming community in Burden. Sheriff John Butler, Department of Criminal Investigations Agents Camila Santos and John Randolph work tireless in the oppressive heat and humidity to find the killer. Who would have reason to kill the well-liked family? They zero in on a suspect, but will find the evidence they need to make an arrest?

The Overnight Guest is a well-executed thriller with an atmospheric setting. The storyline is fast-paced with chapters that alternate between three different events. In the past, the murders are unsettling and the investigation is intriguing. In the present, the blizzard is claustrophobic and the tension is disquieting. The third perspective offers a haunting glimpse into an abusive and volatile relationship. With explosive plot-twists, Heather Gudenkauf brings this riveting mystery to an action-packed dénouement.

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Filed under Contemporary, Heather Gudenkauf, Park Row Books, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Overnight Guest, Thriller