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Many thanks to Net Galley, Montlake Romance and the author for a chance to read and review this book.
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s been really a long time that a book has left me utterly speechless and gasping for breath as if I have been underwater after the final chapter was done.
The story begins with a court scene in New South Wales and a picture is formed of a wife accused of murdering her husband. We are then introduced to the main characters to the story, Ellie Hartley, the heiress to the Hartley Empire who is recovering from a very public meltdown with her ex-husband and court mandated institutionalized after the loss of her 3 yr old daughter to drowning. As always at loggerheads with her father, craving for attention, she meets the very mysterious Martin Creswell-Smith and falls hard. A whirlwind romance, and a impetuous marriage followed by a promised grand adventure in Jarrawara Bay, Ellie’s castles comes tumbling down.
There are 3 parts to the story that details the NOW scene of the murder trail, the THEN of Lozza Bianchi as she becomes involved with the case and the THEN of Ellie whose crazy spins leaves us with a sense of foreboding. Jarrawara Bay is described beautifully, but the Australian town doesn’t spell any warmth, the humidity, the spiders, the flying bats the swamps giving it a feeling of dreaded menace.
This is my first book by Loreth Ann White and if this is how good she has been writing I am sorry that I have missed reading them. There’s level of manipulation of the reader’s minds that is completely mind-blowing that the twists and turns in the story feels like an impregnable tunnel. There are enough cues mentioned at random but we are led to believe a particular trail of crumpets before that final reveal in the court and then to shock one’s senses with another twisty morsel that felt like WHAT, WHAT in the world was that??
Believe ME, this book has to be read to understand the total mindf**k that the author has orchestrated and I can keep going ON and ON🙄🙄🙄 but without any doubt one of the best this year for me.
I hope you don’t find him. And if you do, I hope he’s dead and that he suffered…
Real-estate mogul Martin Cresswell-Smith is the best thing that has ever happened to Ellie. After her daughter’s devastating death, a divorce, and an emotional breakdown, he’s helped her move as far as possible from the grief, the rage, and the monsters of her past. Ellie imagines her new home with Martin in an Australian coastal town will be like living a fairy tale. But behind closed doors is another story—one that ends in Martin’s brutal murder. And Ellie seems almost relieved…
Naturally, everyone thinks Mrs. Cresswell-Smith is guilty.
Senior Constable Lozza Bianchi has reasonable doubt. She sees evidence of a twisted psychological battle and a couple who seemed to bring out the worst in each other—adultery, abuse, betrayal, and revenge. If anything Ellie says can be believed, that is. As the case takes twist after spiraling twist, Lozza can’t shake the gut instinct that she’s being manipulated. That Ellie is hiding something. That there are secrets yet to surface. Lozza has no idea.
AMAZON India : https://amzn.to/31Uqo5d
This review is published in my blog https://rainnbooks.com/; Amazon India, Medium.com, Goodreads, and Twitter.