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  • Toxic

  • By: Rick R. Reed
  • Narrated by: Paul Will
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Summary

Connor Ryman thought he had it all--a successful career as a mystery novelist, a condo with stunning views of Seattle's Lake Union, a supportive and long-term partner, Steve, and a loving daughter, Miranda, who was following in her father's creative footsteps.

It all went bad when Steve left the family suddenly. Jilted and heartbroken, Connor begins to search for love online. So long off the market, he enlists his daughter's help in crafting a dating profile.

His prayers are answered when Trey Goodall, smart and handsome, answers his ad. He's witty, urbane, a wealthy attorney, and his sex appeal is off the charts. But he's a liar, a monster under a pretty mask. Miranda sees through the red flags and senses something very wrong beneath the façade.

Can she convince her father to save himself before it's too late? Or will Trey, a master manipulator with a very tainted history, play upon Connor's innocence to ensnare him in a web of deceit, intrigue, and ultimately, murder?

©2022 Rick R. Reed (P)2022 Rick R. Reed
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic reviews

"Rick R. Reed's Toxic is a smart, nuanced novel of dark and compelling relationships with sparks of wicked humor - all hallmarks of a writer at the top of his game. Toxic is an unmitigated triumph by a master of twisted suspense." (Gregg Olsen, number one New York Times best-selling author)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Edge of my seat thriller!

This was such an interesting plot!!

I was literally at the edge of my seat listening to this one.

All the twists and turns were unexpected and so compelling.

Definitely recommend this mind twister

2 people found this helpful

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What a thrill!

I am a fan of mystery and thrillers and this blurb made me curious. Rick R. Reed has written a gritty thriller that had me riveted. The author has built up incredible suspense and as a reader you are dying to know what happens next in the story.

It quickly becomes clear that something terrible is going to happen to Connor and his daughter Miranda. The book jumps ahead in time as the villain takes advantage of Connor's good nature and plays charming with him. As a reader, you sit there knowing that bad things are going to happen in the future. I was inclined to yell at Connor as I listened. But at the same time, I really wanted to know what Trey had come up with and what else was going to happen in detail. The author did a great job of that.
The story is gritty, suspenseful and exciting.

The narrator Paul Will was new to me, but he did a terrific job. He brought the story to life and did a great job portraying the emotions. I liked his version of Connor best, who he gave incredible depth.

1 person found this helpful

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Toxic

What a thriller!!! I was pulled into the story and not disappointed. All around, well done.

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A true winner

Loved the suspense in this one, especially when Miranda realizes what Trey is before Connor does. Trey is written so skillfully, he does initially appear to be a dream catch. And then.....Leave the lights on and don't start this one right before bed. You won't stop reading until it's finished. I wrote that a while back after I read the story so I was curious to see how it would be to listen to it. Oh boy! This one is superb as an audiobook but it's even more disturbing to hear how smooth and attractive Trey can be in this live performance. Paul Will does a superb job of bringing all the characters to life and you'll be yelling at Connor and fearing for Miranda as you listen to the viper at work. Cannot recommend this one highly enough.

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Intriguing story

I didn’t read the blurb for this book – choosing to go in blind as I often do. The first chapter sets things up clearly, but I spent the rest of the book wondering why it’d been included at the beginning since it gave away much of the ending. The last paragraph of the book loops back and it all makes sense, but I kind of wondered if it’d been better without giving so much away.

Well, no worries. I enjoyed the book. Told from multiple points of view, this is really Connor Ryman’s story. He’s got everything going for him when his long-term partner leaves him. He decides he doesn’t want to be single, so he embarks on a journey to find a partner. Cue dating apps.

Ugh. Personally, I don’t see the appeal. But speed dating is no longer a thing, so what other options are out there?

Connor meets Trey who appears to be everything one would hope for in a partner. Things start going sideways, though, and it’s pretty clear Trey’s not a good guy. The question was, of course, how is this going to end?

End it did, and I enjoyed the story. Made all the better with the audio narrated by Paul Will. The story had thriller elements, but was just a good book with interesting characters and a good plot. I enjoyed it.

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What a Thrill! Lovely Performance by Paul Will

Holy Smokes, what a thrill!

I love mysteries that are just a little scary, where the tension builds, and you can't wait to see what happens next. Rick R. Reed has penned a great one in Toxic. Given the way the story starts out, it's no great stretch to figure out just who the bad guy is, but finding out how it all goes down... that's a nail biter!

Very exciting, and beautifully written - of course, it is Rick R. Reed after all.

I listened to the audio version of Toxic and I have to say I really appreciated Paul Will's performance. This is a vast cast of characters, and there's a great deal of emotion, and Mr. Will brings it all to life admirably. I'm especially impressed with his delivery of Connor's daughter Miranda, who has a pivotal role in the story.

an audiobook copy of Toxic was provided to me for the purpose of my honest review, all opinions are my own

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Riveting

Toxic is a suspenseful thriller that had my heart in my throat. It’s clear from the start that something horrible has happened to Connor and his adult daughter Miranda, and soon we know who the culprit is. What we don’t know is how this all unfolded. The story jumps back in time to the beginning moments that introduce the fatal decisions that start the disaster ball rolling.

We, as the readers, know that something terrible is in store for the main characters, and that tension just keeps escalating as the charming villain plays Connor and preys on his good nature. I love this kind of suspense in a thriller because I get sucked in and HAVE to know the details of what happened. I found myself yelling at Connor and Miranda despite knowing it was futile, but that kind of investment into the characters is what made this book riveting.

The audiobook was narrated by Paul Will who does a great job voicing Connor. His voice for Miranda was consistent, but the real emotional depth was with Connor’s performance. The audiobook production was well done.

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Brilliant!

I don't read horror very often but this sounded really great and it was absolutely brilliant! I was hooked from the beginning and very invested in the story and the characters. I'm glad we got many POVs, I thought that they helped with the suspense a lot. I loved it and I thought that the ending was perfect. The narrator did a fantastic job bringing the story to life.

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Wow

I read the warnings & summary, thought I knew somewhat what to expect. I got more - and less - than I expected. The overall story was okay, tho it had some holes, but I definitely felt rushed through the end. I was shaking my head and often mentally screaming at the characters, reminded of horror movies - not necessarily a bad thing, but these characters acted outside of their defined/intimated personalities, which was a tad jarring. I did like the audiobook,
Paul Will is a new to me narrator, and he gave a very good performance - I'm kinda picky with my narrator choices. I liked the style, intonations, inflections, pacing. Good job

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  • Leah Brock
  • 01-08-22

A Dark Cautionary Tale

I like a darker, suspenseful story with a romantic tinge, like ‘Toxic’. This book is a little different for me in that the reader experiences part of the story from the ‘bad guy’s’ POV, and that he is part of the main couple of the story. Even with this knowledge, Rick R Reed builds the tension until the climactic ending. The story is told through multiple characters’ POVs for a richer, more fulsome story.

Paul Will delivers a very good narrative performance. With his distinct voices, he immerses the listener into the story completely.

This review reflects my voluntary and honest views about the book. I requested it as an ARC.

Recommended.

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Profile Image for Samantha Cato
  • Samantha Cato
  • 18-07-22

Nice listen!

Enjoyed this new thriller from Rick Reed! It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through! Great to listen to on a road trip! New narrator for me, he did a nice jib.

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  • DLB2572
  • 10-07-22

Dark Thriller

This is a dark thriller with a good story. I found myself sucked in from the start. I just could not stop listening especially when you add in the great narration. Please pay attention to trigger warnings.

I received an ARC and this is my unbiased opinion

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  • pdaake
  • 28-06-22

Thrilling and engaging

Holy moly! What a listen! First off this storyline is so thrilling! I listened way past my normal time so that I could finish this audiobook. Not only the story is engaging but so is the narrator. He was fantastic! I haven’t listen to a book so fraught with terror!