Top positive review
4.0 out of 5 starsDomestic Thriller with A Dark Twist
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 17, 2022
Melanie is an aspiring writer with a lot on her plate. She’s a wife, a mother to a teen daughter and a young son on the autism spectrum, and active in her community. Additionally, she cares for her mother-in-law, who has dementia, and is living with the family. She’s tired, stressed and drowning in obligations. Collin is Melanie’s devoted husband. He sees the relentless demands of her busy life and wants to ease the weight of caregiving. He suggests she join a neighborhood book club and a local writer’s group, hoping some free time will provide her with some respite. The family dynamic between Melanie, Collin, Rachel and Ben is expertly depicted. The reader feels their healthy bonds and genuine closeness. The dialogue in these scenes is warm, often-funny and pitch perfect.
So, reluctantly, Melanie attends the writer’s workshop one night, and is immediately captivated by a published novelist, Luke, who is a guest speaker at the event. Melanie is taken in by his talent, and shares her dreams of writing before marriage, kids and life intervened. Unsurprisingly, Melanie and Luke begin a passionate affair, destined not to end well. Mel loses herself in the clandestine relationship, wrestling with her guilt and her ever-increasing need for this new man. The drama up to this point is nearly non-stop, as Melanie juggles her conflicting needs and desires. Then, when Luke is found dead under mysterious circumstances, the stakes become even higher. Melanie fears losing her marriage, being found out, and being implicated in this complicated crime. To make matters worse, she’s being blackmailed by someone unknown, and all the pressure and worry cause her to begin to unravel. Who killed Luke? Who would want to harm her? Can she keep her secrets and her family safe amid this web of danger and deceit? She trusts no one, and when shocking truths are eventually revealed, Melanie’s life will never be the same.
Nova-Glass knows how to spin a suspenseful story, even though it becomes less plausible as the book progresses. Melanie morphs from a doting soccer mom to someone far darker when she embarks on her affair. Her lies are numerous and endless. She conspires with a cast of shady characters, under the guise of protecting her family, but the deception is so effortless, that the reader is left to ponder this duality and to wonder who Melanie truly is.
This is a good read with steady momentum and several twists and turns. It keeps the reader guessing and turning pages deep into the night.