Friday, January 13, 2017

Gilding the Lily by Justine John (Review)

A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies.

Book Details:

Gilding the Lily by Justine John
ISBN: 9781911079750
Published: November 24, 2016
Published by: I_AM Self-Publishing
e-book: 212 pages
Content rating: PG-13

Book Description:

A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies. An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics. Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her… When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wits' end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them answers, but the ruthless truth is something no one expected…

My Review:
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

This fast-paced debut novel, a psychological thriller, captured me from the Shakesperean quote, to the introductory words and held my attention to the end. 

 "She looked around her. It was a warm, bright day in September, but there was an unusual wind – a hurricane was forecast. There were many head-stones here, and a few statues. Of angels mainly. Different colours but somehow the same hue. A few trees lined the perimeter fence, some bare, some evergreen. Beyond them the city buzzed – it went on with its day and didn’t notice anyone missing..."

I got a chill up my spine with those words that set the stage for the story.

The author has done a superb job of creating a suspenseful atmosphere, with surprising twists and peopled with complex characters, foremost among who is Evelyn, capturing the essence of Evelyn's "strangeness", for example. Even the humble "lily of the valley" flower takes on ominous overtones, adding to the mounting mystery.

I was highly disappointed in the gratuitous expletives and f-bombs peppered throughout the book. Otherwise it’s a well-written tale of jealousy, family dynamics, mystery and murder.

Sandra Olshaski's disclaimer: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Justine John became a full-time writer in her late forties, after a successfully running various businesses in London. Her first novel, Gilding The Lily, is a domestic-noir suspense story. Animal lover Justine lives in the beautiful Surrey Hills with her husband, horses and hounds. Follow her on Twitter @justinecjohn.

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