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Posts Tagged ‘hallie ephron’

You’ll Never Know Dear: A Novel of Suspense by Hallie Ephron

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

You'll Never Know DearLissie and Janey Woodham were playing house with their dolls in their yard when a puppy showed up. Lissie who desperately wanted a puppy followed the dog into the woods trying to catch it hoping she would be allowed to keep it. When she gave up the chase and returned to the yard, she assumed Janey had tired of waiting for her and gone inside. By the time the family realized Janey was missing, valuable time had been lost and Janey was gone. Because the girls were playing with their custom made portrait dolls and Janey’s doll went missing with her, her mom, known to all as Miss Sorrel placed an ad in the paper each year for a reward leading to the return of the doll.

Fast forward forty years when Maggie Richards answers the ad with a doll that although in very bad condition might be Janey’s. From there the plot moves in a predictable direction. The woman panics and runs off leaving the doll behind, Lessie and her daughter Vanessa track down the woman and discover her mother, Jenny, could possibly be the long lost Janey. Not wanting Miss Sorrel to get her hopes up Vanessa tries to nail down Jenny’s past. There are the expected family secrets that eventually come out as well.

There are some twists along the way. An explosion damages the Sorrel house, causing both Lessie and Miss Sorrel to be hospitalized. A break in leads to the loss of the most valuable of Miss Sorrel’s doll collection including all of the remaining portrait dolls she and her neighbor Evelyn had made. Vannessa’s research on nightmares figures into the plot as well.

The characters were well developed and for the most part likable. The pace of the book is just right giving readers enough to keep them turning the pages to see what the next revelation would be and how it would fit into the puzzle. The subplot on Vanessa’s research on nightmares was quite interesting. I just wish that Ephron would have spent a little more time working on hiding the solution to the long ago crime. For me at least the “who did it” was pretty obvious fairly early in the book.

In spite of its not too well concealed solution, readers who enjoy a suspense filled book with a few interesting side plots should enjoy You’ll Never Know, Dear.

There Was an Old Woman: A Novel of Suspense by Hallie Ephron

There Was an Old Woman Reviewed by Patricia Reid

When children grow up and leave home they lose track sometimes of their parents lives and actions. Evie Ferrante receives a call from her sister Ginger that her mother is ill and it is her turn to go home and try to find out just what is going on. When Evie arrives at her mother’s home she finds the house in terrible disrepair. Her mom is in the hospital, and Evie learns that when the ambulance took her mother, Sandra Ferrante, to the hospital that Sandra whispered to Mina “Don’t let him in until I’m gone.” Mina writes down the message. At 91 she doesn’t trust her memory. Mina has been Sandra’s neighbor for years. Evie immediately turns to Mina for information and help.

Her mother has a new flat screen TV on the wall. There is a stock of expensive liquor – much more expensive than Sandra’s usual brand. Evie can’t understand where the money is coming from. She attempts to investigate what has been going on in her mother’s life. Read the rest of this entry »

Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron

Come and Find MeReviewd by Nancy Eaton

Come and Find Me is a very different kind of book to read. It reminded me of a combination suspense/science fiction story.

The author really did a great job with the technology aspect of Come and Find Me. I loved the idea of the avatars and how Diana used Nadia for virtual meetings with clients. This really places this thriller in today’s world.

Diana Banks, a former computer hacker, lost her husband, Daniel, in a mountain climbing accident. His cries for help still haunt her and she suffers panic attacks. She very rarely leaves the house which is equipped with the latest security available. The only thing she will do is open the door for the UPS deliveryman or a visit from her sister Ashley. She and Daniel’s best friend run an Internet security company. It is convenient for her because she does the work from her home. Read the rest of this entry »