#thecornwallsaregone #jamespatterson #brendandubois #laurenfortgang #edoardoballerini #theshortdrop #gibsonvaughn #matthewfitzsimmons #jamespatrickcronin #findinggrace #klslater #lucypricelewis #lietome #jtellison #sarahnaughton #juliawhelan #saskiamaarleveld #matthewwaterson
As I closed out the month listening to the startling words of J. T. Ellison’s twisting twister of a tale, Lie to Me, I realized that the Best of August has a common theme — in each of the books, someone is missing. In Lie to Me, a wife is missing, in The Short Drop and Finding Grace, a daughter is missing, and in The Cornwalls Are Gone, a father and a daughter are missing. In each book, the motivations are different: one has a political motive, one arises from secrets from the past, one is blackmail disguised as revenge, and one is a form of convoluted justice hatched in the mind of a psycho. I will be merciful and tell you that all have satisfying endings although I stop short at the use of the word “happy” for any of them.
If you are an adrenaline junkie who loves a strong, but vulnerable, female protagonist, then The Cornwalls Are Gone by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois won’t disappoint. Captain Amy Cornwall has made the wrong people angry and now her husband and her daughter are missing. Who are these people and why did they choose her husband and daughter to use as the incentive for her to carry out their heinous mission? There is a lot of action and suspense in this one and we get to watch as Capt. Cornwall opens her bag of tactics to save her loved ones from certain death. Jack Reacher would be proud! There is suspense and there is danger and betrayal at every turn. Lauren Fortgang and Edoardo Ballerini turn in a masterful performance of this action-packed 4 Star thriller.
The Short Drop: Gibson Vaughn by Matthew FitzSimmons wins my “Totally Out of Left Field Ending” Award for the month. Suzanne Lombard, daughter of Senator Benjamin Lombard, goes missing in a cloud of mystery and sensationalism. Ten years later, as then-Senator Lombard is now Vice President Lombard and is running for president, inquiring minds still want to know whether Suzanne is dead, as presumed, or whether she is alive. So much is at stake . . . peace of mind for those who continue to mourn for her and the presidency of the United States. This was a hard one to put aside. From the complexity of the characters and the relationships to the superb performance by narrator James Patrick Cronin, the storyline moves compellingly to the shocking conclusion. In our current era of political shenanigans, this 4 Star listen is very timely.
Finding Grace by K. L. Slater will take you inside every parent’s worst nightmare. Blake and Lucie Sullivan’s 9-year-old daughter Grace is missing . . . vanished into thin air between their home and a friend’s home even though two sets of parental eyes are watching out for her. As with any crisis, things come out that no one suspected and Blake and Lucie each is hiding dark secrets that may or may not have something to do with Grace’s disappearance. As the suspense builds, we wonder whether the past will destroy this family even if they find their daughter. But don’t think the ending is predictable. In addition to the secrets that are revealed, there are twists in the storyline that will keep you guessing until the end. Lucy Price-Lewis is an excellent choice for the narration of this heart-wrenching 4 Star tale of deception and family drama.
I confess to downloading Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison because of a blog post by the author stating “the actors did such an outstanding job of embodying the characters, I forgot they were reading my words! I can’t give higher praise.” What a story! The missing person in this one is writer Sutton Montclair, wife of author Ethan Montclair. These two have a turbulent relationship made even more disorderly by the sudden death of their infant son. What happened to the passion once shared by this couple and what really happened to their son? Moreover, what has happened to Sutton? Is she dead? Alive? Murdered? An even more important question is who is Sutton? Is she a grieving mother, an abused wife, or a hopelessly deranged psychotic? Exceptional performances by Sarah Naughton, Julia Whelan, Saskia Maarleveld, and Matthew Waterson will keep you fully engaged as this drama unfolds. And the ending? Total perfection! 5 Stars to the author and the cast.