Review: Soundbyte (Byte 05) by Cat Connor

I got a copy of this book from NetGalley free of charge in return for an unbiased review.


How unlucky can the Bleich family be? Four out of five murdered on the same day … the obvious link being the Heathcote Diamonds, reputed to be cursed. Wait a moment…a cursed stone in the 21st century? Who would believe it?

SSA Conway is not having a great time either: she is shot when all she wanted was a good cup of coffee. NCIS Director Doyle’s sister is abducted by an international hitman who proves to have intriguing connections. When FBI Director O’Hare, NCIS Director Doyle and NCIS Agent Noel Gerrard go missing at the same time, Ellie is sure there are malign and subversive forces behind these ‘random’ events. Add to that problems with an unruly teenage daughter and those songs which keep playing in her head…

My impressions:

The first in the series was Killerbyte four years ago. I jumped right at the end but didn’t feel any vertigo at all so, in my opinion, the author did a great job with the narration.

It is a thriller with some paranormal elements and a very unusual but nice heroine. Ellie Conway is a mature woman, freshly widowed, raising an adoptive daughter on her own and dating a handsome rock star. The fact that Ellie keeps hearing songs in her head which help her solving murder cases suggesting most likely answer to some pretty quizzical questions makes her not less likeable. Is it just a quirk of her brain or something more?

She also keeps seeing and conversing with her dead husband – small wonder her colleagues suspect she might be developing a brain tumor. Still her pointers are so helpful hardly anybody dares to mention that option to her. The murder of a diamond cutter and his family sends Conway and her team Delta A traipsing across Northern Virginia trying to locate an abducted woman and missing diamonds. The case occupies almost all her time so Ellie feels more and more guilty because she must leave her teenage daughter behind. I liked the fact that she was such a responsible woman, trying her best to combine career and household duties, sometimes failing miserably too. The appearance of Mac’s (her late husband was called so) doppelganger is a profound shock and Mac’s ghost resurrects Elllie’s smothered rage. CIA Agent Jonathan Tierney surfaces too often for peace of mind and then her daughter, Carla, raises the teenage stakes causing Ellie’s psycho-prophetic alarms to go into overdrive. When FBI Director O’Hare, NCIS Director Doyle and NCIS Agent Noel Gerrard go missing at the same time, Ellie recognizes there are malign and subversive forces behind these ‘random’ events but will her songs tell her who the perpetrator is? Maybe. So far they have been spot-on but Ellie might not want to listen to some of them at all.

One small carping – there is a cliffhanger at the end of the novel which I didn’t appreciate.

Final verdict:

A nicely executed thriller which I really liked, its heroine, Ellie, as well. I think I might revisit her strange world just to find out why she is hearing those songs in her head.

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4 Responses to Review: Soundbyte (Byte 05) by Cat Connor

  1. blodeuedd says:

    I see that someone wanted to write a NCIS book

  2. heidenkind says:

    That’s a lot of government agencies.

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