I just finished another good novel by an author I've enjoyed over the last 20 years.
I haven't read all of her books...she has written many!
But when I saw this on the "new books" shelf at our town library, I looked at it because the cover caught my eye.
It's an excellent story, although, once again, this is an author who has included some graphic scenes that are practically porn with smutty language thrown in and really, in my opinion, the story would be fine with out all of that. The reader gets a sense of the characters without the smut! Sigh...but....overall, a good suspenseful mystery and family saga.
The Lyston family is very wealthy. They are very well-known throughout Texas.
They have also experienced a horrible tragedy.
18 years ago, Bellamy Lyston's older sister, Susan(age 16), was murdered at a company picnic. It was Memorial Day and her dad, Howard, who owns the company, had thrown his annual picnic at a local state park. Howard had remarried a woman named Olivia after the girls' mother died when Bellamy was just 3 years old. Olivia has a son Steven who is just a couple years older than Bellamy. Bellamy was just 12 yrs old when her sister was killed. Susan's supposed killer was jailed and was killed in prison just 2 years later. His name was Allen Strickland.
But questions have always haunted Bellamy and other people involved with the family tragedy.
Bellamy has a fear of storms and tornadoes that destroyed the crime scene and her own memory of what really happened that day long ago.
But now that it's eighteen years later, Bellamy has written a fiction book that has become a sensational bestseller. It was based on Susan's murder and the tragic events that still haunt the family. She published the book under a fake name to protect the family from publicity. However, an annoying reporter for a sleazy tabloid has discovered that the book is actually based on fact and Bellamy's identity is now exposed along with the family scandal.
Meanwhile, Bellamy becomes the target of an unknown stalker who either wants revenge for the wrong person being accused and punished, or who wants the truth of Susan's murder to stay unknown.
To find out the identity of her stalker, Bellamy must face her past. She also must face Denton Carter the reckless boyfriend that Susan was seeing before she was killed. Dent was an original suspect. He also wants Bellamy to face her past so his own name can be cleared.
Bellamy begins to remember certain events of that fateful day. And with those returning memories come new dangers.
Will she discover Susan's real killer?
Or will the real killer strike first??
This was a page turning kind of book with long chapters. There were breaks in the chapter, with different sections, which was good as I had a busy week and had to put the book down (although reluctantly!) to get stuff done! So I would read a couple of sections and then take a break. But my evenings have been pretty free so far this summer so I read alot and up until midnight!!
The book is very emotional. There are spell-binding moments with sections of the story dealing with legal corruption, psychological torment, childhood abuse among siblings and heart-rending betrayal. The author helps us explore the darker side to families in regards to loyalty, love, and forgiveness or lack thereof.
The book's ending is quite a surprise. I was not prepared for who the killer really was!! Whew....and parts of the ending were so sad!!
i definitely would recommend this story if you like suspense and family sagas.
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (although a younger teen could read it as it is not difficult from a literary standard. It's the language and graphic scenes that I wouldn't want my own 14 yr old daughter to read!).
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this an 8.