Friday, October 04, 2019

A Family of Strangers

A Family of Strangers. Emilie Richards. 2019. 491 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: What do alligators dream about?

Premise/plot: Ryan Gracey is a successful podcaster with a true crime show. Her sister, Wendy, calls her out of the blue sounding desperate. Her business trip has gone horribly wrong. She can’t come back home. She fears that she might be a suspect in a murder. She is making a run for it. Can Ryan go and take care of her two nieces?! It’s not like Ryan is given a choice. To Florida she goes! Her nieces are essentially strangers to her...but so too is her much older sister. How much does she truly know about who her sister is...past or present?! When Ryan was born, Wendy was already in college. By the time she was starting school—her earliest memories—Wendy was married and living out of state. Could Ryan know only what Wendy wants her to know?!

There are dozens of indications that all is not as it her sister’s home, her sister’s marriage, her sister’s alibi. Has Ryan got a crime to solve within her own immediate family?!

Ryan’s journey takes her straight back to her hometown where an ex-boyfriend still lives...will it take two to solve this case?!

My thoughts: I am torn with this one. The first half was so packed with suspense that I just HAD to cheat and flip to the end. But once I had peeked, I regretted it. Gone was the suspense and tension. My compelling read turned ho-hum. Everything seemed too obvious once I had cheated. But it’s not as if the author forced me to peek. In fact, this is a case where I am clearly in the wrong. If I had not peeked...would there have been twists and turns in the story that kept me hooked...and guessing...until the end?! Would I have solved this mystery on my own long before the big reveal without cheating?!

I do think the romance element was completely predictable. Perhaps with one exception...this was the first romance novel I have read that starred a hero with a prosthetic leg.

Romance isn’t something I “need” in a mystery or a thriller. It’s an added ingredient—perhaps like raisins. It was not a clean romance either. But I will say this it wasn’t a horribly graphic one either—in terms of amount of detail/text.

If I could undo my cheating, I would.
© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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