REVIEW: THE WIDOWER’S WIFE, BY CATE HOLAHAN

 

Ana Bacon, a beautiful young wife and mother, tumbled off a cruise ship into dark and deadly waters. Ana is gone–leaving behind her wealthy husband and adorable daughter–but not everything about her disappearance adds up. What secrets did she leave behind?
My Thoughts: Before the fatal cruise, Tom and Ana were barely holding on financially. Tom had been unemployed for a while, and his beautiful wife Ana had lost her job recently under mysterious circumstances. Many secrets are hidden behind these closed doors. What will Tom and Ana do to find a way out of their financial difficulties? How will they protect their three-year-old daughter Sophie?

The Widower’s Wife is told in alternating narratives, from Ana’s first person voice in August, leading up to the end of that cruise; and then we have the voice of an insurance investigator, Ryan Monahan. His narrative begins in November, as he tries to determine if he should pay out the insurance benefit. He has some serious concerns about the story Tom is telling.

The back and forth storyline shows the reader Ana’s thoughts and what she and Tom had planned, and as we read Ryan’s narrative, we see how far off track their plans led them.

This was a story I could not stop reading, wanting to know how it all played out, but there were also some twists that strained credibility and kept me from truly immersing myself in its outcome. In the end, I decided to go with it and imagine that all would work out for my favorite characters. 4 stars.

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REVIEW: THE MELODY LINGERS ON, BY MARY HIGGINS CLARK

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A story of an investment banker, Parker Bennett, who deceived his clients; the aftermath for those who were affected; and the mystery of what happened to the supposedly deceased crook, grabbed me from the first page of The Melody Lingers On.

Lane Harmon is a young interior designer, an assistant to Glady Harper, famed designer to the rich in Connecticut, Manhattan, and nearby wealthy neighborhoods. A single mom to four-year-old Katie, Lane finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Eric Bennett and his mother Anne, who reside in a downsized condo now being renovated by Lane and Glady.

It is obvious that there is considerable question as to whether or not Parker Bennett is actually dead, and if not, how he pulled it all off. There is also question as to how much, if anything, his wife and son knew of his dealings. Various FBI agents and undercover operatives bring out interesting perspectives.

Typically intense, this page turner kept me going, wondering about the answers to what happened, who knew what and when, and what the mysterious music box in Anne’s home had to do with anything.

Of course I had my own guesses about the characters and events, but the author also offers the reader a peek at what went on before the downfall, and we get to watch the mysterious drama unfold. The fun is in wondering just how far the deception went and how much of his family had been privy to his goings-on, as well as who is in danger and who will save the day.

Rating: ratings worms 4-cropped

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