The last time I went to a public library was 9 years ago. I went daily for 5 weeks straight to study for my physical therapy board exam. It was NOT a quiet place! I was settled at a table in the center of the stacks (adult fiction, G-J) with people milling around me, chatting with their friends, the other “regulars.” I was only a few feet away from the bank of computers where people could access the internet, so that brought its own special noise as people laughed at their screens or asked help of the attendant. Patrons held cell phone conversations, and listened to music through headphones at a volume that could be overheard. And the best part by far; the library was housed below a senior center where shuffle board was played regularly on the floor above. Scrape, shuffle, collide and begin again at regular intervals with a drop ceiling buffer. A McDonald’s PlayPlace may have been a quieter environment to study! With the convenience of mass-market book stores and the advent of the Kindle, I haven’t needed to re-visit the library since, but I do appreciate the concept of free use of books. Now that I can borrow from my Kindle, I’m more inclined to try the title that doesn’t cost me anything and return them when I’m done. That’s how I crossed paths with this title and I enjoyed its price as well as its content.
Book# 25- Conspiracy of Silence, Martha Powers
Synopsis: Grand Rapids, Minnesota is a quiet little lake-side town. Unassuming and uneventful as far as small towns go. It’s home to renowned author Nathan Hassan, and that is the reason for Clare Prentice to travel there from Chicago; to interview him for her literary magazine. But she has another reason as well. She recently discovered she was adopted after her mother’s death and her only clue to her identity is a class ring from the town from 1962. Clare’s best friend also has a connection to the town; her father grew up there, and her aunt still lives there with a cottage for rent by the lake. As Clare begins her research, she discovers her adoptive mothers real name is Rose Gunderson, and that her sister Lily Newton was murdered in 1982. It becomes clear very quickly that Clare is really the Rose’s niece, Abigail Clare Newton and was sent away because her father was responsible for the murder. As Clare uncovers more details, she grows closer to Nate and his daughter Erika. But she also clearly stirs up a past that someone doesn’t want uncovered. There is more to this murder that meets the eye and someone doesn’t want Clare sticking her nose into it. Who is it, and what lengths will they go to to keep the past quiet? That is what Clare is about to find out before she can find out who she is.
My Impressions: I do love a good murder mystery. In fact I think I’m a bit of a sucker for them. This one was pretty good, though slightly predictable… I figured out that the boy would get the girl after their first meeting; as happy endings tend to go. And I figured out the source of secrecy about half-way through, even though the unveiling of details still made for an interesting journey to the ending.
The ending of the story itself was rather abrupt. I would have liked an epilogue to tie a bow on it. Perhaps since Clare’s cover story for the investigation was an update of the 25th anniversary of the murder, the epilogue could have been her article on the subject. I think it would have been nice to have a brief telling of all of the facts surrounding the story. Or a first person narrative of her journey to the truth since that is how she ultimately found her identity.
Overall the voice and the character development were fitting, and not forced. Even when I thought relationships were progressing unnaturally fast, the characters would recognize it and accept responsibility for it before backing up a little bit for a reality check.
Why You Should Read It : A sweet, if not a little clumsy heroine, a handsome hero. Murder, suspense, intrigue and small-town charm. It’s a recipe for success! Plus if you are a Kindle/Prime user (this is not a plug, I have no financial interests here!) it’s free. I guess also if you are a library user, than so is every other book; so there’s that…
Read if you liked: The Bean Trees (Barbara Kingsolver), The Secret Life Of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd), Lost Lake (Sarah Addison Allen)
Book #25 in the bag!
“You can find friends between the pages of a book, wonderful friends.” ― Cornelia Funke, Inkspell