Published by Kensington on May 29th 2018
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Don’t believe it, but Donlea pulled the wool over my eyes yet again!
Grace Sebold has been incarcerated for ten years in a St. Lucian prison for the murder of her boyfriend, Julian. Julian was murdered while the couple were on the island for the wedding of Grace’s friends. They appeared to be the perfect couple. They were happy, in love and going to attend the same medical school. They had a whole future ahead of them until that fateful night when Julian was killed. Grace has maintained her innocence from the very beginning. She has never wavered in this and has written documentary filmmaker Sidney Ryan numerous times asking for help. Sidney Ryan has a passion for justice and has aided in getting those who are falsely imprisoned exonerated.
Finally, Sidney is willing to hear Grace’s story. Intrigued, Sidney wonders if Grace is truly innocent and the victim of a rushed investigation and/or faulty police work or is she in fact guilty. Sidney knows there is a story here and after pitching it to her network, she begins filming “The Girl of Sugar Beach.” The documentary keeps gaining viewers with each installment and becomes a rating hit. The audience tunes in each week as Sidney reports on old and new evidence. An American tried and convicted in another country is an intriguing subject and has everyone wanting to know – Did she do it?
Donlea works his magic and continues to keep readers guessing. He is a master at throwing out false leads, possible suspects and had me thinking, re-thinking and questioning my suspect list. There are quite a few twists and turns in this book which moves the story along quite nicely. I personally felt the office/network scenes slowed the book down a little and didn’t add much to the story. During those sections, I wanted to get back to the documentary investigation and get there NOW! The documentary sections of this book were strong and enjoyable.
I was happy with the forensic work in this book. Almost as happy as I was with the multilayered and well thought out plot. Donlea is very clever at leading the reader down the wrong path. What you think you know to be true- may not be true and vice versa. Half the fun of reading this book is trying to figure out whodunit. Was Grace the killer? Was there another killer? Why was Julian Killed? I had so many questions while reading this book. Many of my questions were answered but I was left with one remaining question: will there be a sequel?
After recently reading two books by Donlea, I am hooked. He writes intelligent and carefully crafted novels that have me glued to my seat fully absorbed in the story. Riveting storytelling that doesn’t disappoint.