Has the novel ‘What She Never Said’ By Catharine Riggs caught your eye? Trying to find the next best thriller novel to read can be a difficult task.
With so many different books out there, all promising to be gripping page-turners, sometimes it can feel overwhelming. So let’s say you’re looking at this 2019 novel and wondering if it’s a good book for you to pick up.
At 338 pages long, this could be an investment to get into, so we’ve written a short review to give you a good understanding of what you’re getting into before buying.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the premise of the novel, its writing style, and what other readers have to say about it. We’re also going to give you a short overview of Catharine Riggs and some other books she’s written.
The tagline for this novel is as follows…
‘People are dying at a luxury retirement community…and not from natural causes.’
This is a good summary of what you can come to expect from the following 338 pages. This novel follows the story of Ruth Mosby, the VP of operations at the retirement community known as ‘Serenity Acres.’ This is a unique setting—a retirement home community for the supremely wealthy.
However, the plot of the novel kicks into action when Ruth finds many of the poorer residents start to die. This is made worse by disturbing notes found with each community member who dies. There are whispers of murder around the community, and Ruth begins to investigate.
With the help of an ex-detective friend names Zach, they begin to search for the murderer known as ‘the Angel.’ But this is just the beginning of the story, and as the story progresses we find that Ruth has secrets of her own that begin to unravel.
In short, What She Never Said is a thriller with a unique setting and a deep mystery at its heart. It is the second novel in Catharine Riggs’ Santa Barbara Suspense series (though the two are not connected by plot) and it shows her growth as an author.
It is written in first person perspective with a short, punchy sentence style. You should expect short chapters and a mystery that unravels, sign-posted by diary entries that explain the passage of time through each chapter.
One of the real strengths of Riggs’ writing is her character. Both her central characters are simple to understand but come with a series of flaws and complexities that make them exciting to read about.
The main character of Ruth Mosby is a great example of this. Although she is placed in the center of the story, and you want to root for her, there are many character flaws that make her difficult to understand. Riggs then builds on this uncertainty by unveiling secrets that have been lurking in the past.
Another real strength of this book is the understanding of the setting and the realism that Riggs has imbued into the story.
The retirement home is realistic, and the way the residents are depicted is intriguing and well-researched. This adds to the overall plot of the story and allows you to get lost in the
So let’s take a short look at the book’s blurb so that you can get a quick understanding of how the story is presented to you by the publisher. Check it out here:
“Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die.
For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. Ruth thinks this is a fine arrangement, but the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay.
Ruth is deeply disturbed when destitute residents start dying at an alarming rate, as if on cue. Even more troubling, a macabre note accompanies each departed guest. Surviving guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.
Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own.
To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend from her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?”
We’d recommend this book to anyone who likes a fast-paced, character-driven thriller that might be a little bit different from what you’re used to.
The setting of a retirement home in Santa Barbara isn’t likely to be something you’ve read before, and the concept of an ‘Angel of Death’ killer, is an intriguing mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.
There are elements of traditional detective/mystery thrillers in this book—mostly from the backstory of the character Zach—but it does set itself apart from these with its setting. If you’re looking for a more traditional detective/mystery story then it might not be the right book for you.
You also might want to stay away if you struggle with multi-faceted characters. One of the most common problems readers have with this book is with the character of Ruth Mosby—who can be glaring and frustrating at times.
However, if you’re willing to read along and accept character flaws, you’ll likely find her to be well written.
When trying to choose whether or not this is the right book for you to pick up, it can be important to look at the opinions of others. What She Never Said has been extensively reviewed on its Amazon page.
It has 43 star ratings and 25 reviews, placing the book with a total rating of 4 stars out of 5. Let’s take a look at a range of customer reviews so you can get an understanding of what others think.
One Of The Best “Who Done It” I Have Ever Read
“It was such a compelling read that I couldn’t put it down! I can’t wait for her next book!”
Sioux Mackenzie (5 Stars out of 5)
“This book is more than just a murder mystery. Catharine Riggs has a real talent for creating characters with depth and flaws and allowing these characteristics to assist in driving the storyline.”
Anonymous Kindle User (4 Stars out of 5)
“Real-life problems, intriguing characters, greed, passion, and dark secrets are all neatly packed into Catharine Riggs’ newest thriller What She Never Said, a compelling read that will keep you awake well into the night.”
T.R. Ragan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.
The audiobook version of What She Never Said is presented by Brilliance Audio and is narrated by Joyce Bean, Amy Rubinate, and Timothy Andrés Pabon.
The three voice actors take up different character perspectives and really bring the story to life. We found the audiobook to be overall very well produced and easily worth an audible credit or general purchase.
Catharine Riggs is an author from central California who after a series of different jobs, became a full-time fiction writer. She first released ‘What She Gave Awaym’ the first novel in her series of Santa Barbara Thrillers.
It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a series linked by plot, and you can read both of her works as standalone stories. Catharine Riggs is a bright new voice in thriller fiction and we’re very interested to see what stories she has for the world in the near future!
So in conclusion, What She Never Said is a great novel if you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller with an intriguing mystery at its heart.
It uses complex characters and a unique setting to create a page-turning novel that will keep you gripped over the course of its 338-page manuscript.
We hope that this review has given you a good understanding of the type of novel this is and whether or not it’s a good one for you to pick up. If you still have some questions, check out our short Frequently Asked Questions section below.
You can purchase What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs in kindle, audiobook, and paperback formats. Check out the amazon.com page here to see the options you have available and current price listings.
What She Gave Away is the first novel by author Catharine Riggs. Published in 2018, it follows the stories of two women who become locked in a deadly and thrilling game of murder, deception, and mystery.