‘Tell Her Story’ by Margot Hunt

Paige Barrett was living her dream as a journalist in New York City, racking up bylines as a staff writer at The Razor, a cutting-edge online magazine. But when she’s suddenly fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, she finds herself back home in the quaint seaside town of Shoreham, Florida, waiting tables and living in her sister’s guesthouse. 

Restless and itching for something meaningful to occupy her time, she decides to launch a true-crime podcast about the death of Jessica Cady, a beloved teacher who died mysteriously 20 years earlier. The case went cold with no leads and no suspects, but the more Paige digs into the woman’s death, the closer she comes to a killer. In a small town like Shoreham, it’s impossible to keep a secret forever.  

Tell Her Story is performed by Dakota Fanning and features the voices of LJ Ganser, Vikas Adam, Emily Bauer, Ann Osmond, Fred Berman, Jonathan Davis, and Laura Darrell.  

‘Tell Her Story’ had a strong plot that leveraged the True Crime podcast trend to frame the story. Dakota Fanning did a good job as the main narrator and the supporting cast brought the podcast segments alive.

Despite all of that, I never got fully engaged with this novella. To me, it seemed to plod along, spooning out exposition to move the plot along in a fairly mechanical way. The characters all had the potential to be interesting but I didn’t really get to know any of them particularly well. The story didn’t bore me but it didn’t make me care either about the people and what happened to them or about solving the puzzle about who the killer was.

From the other reviews that I’ve seen, mine is a minority opinion but I found this novella to be bland. It was more like an early storyboard than a completed story. I wanted something to make me care but there was no threat, no risk, just mild curiosity.

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