Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
Craven Falls, Ohio, is a small town with twenty-eight hundred residents—a town where everyone knows almost everyone else and where nothing ever happens, until one day two children disappear. Ashley Teodora spends her days juggling work, school, and her five-year-old daughter, Lily. She receives a phone call from her best friend, Carla Michaels, requiring her to go to Illinois to help Carla who is going through a tough time in her life. When Ashley returns home, she receives horrifying news that turns her world upside down; her precious Lily has been abducted! Reece Garran is released from prison after a five-year sentence. His primary goal is to find the woman whose memory kept him alive all those years while behind bars. This woman had captured his heart and wouldn’t let go. When the transport bus pulls into the town of Craven Falls, Reece thinks it’s just another small ordinary town until he finds a reason to stay. Catherine Teodora, Ashley’s mother, loves crocheting, baking, gardening, and spending time with her granddaughter, Lily. On a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, Catherine’s world is torn to pieces. All she did was look away for a split-second, and Lily was gone! A family pulls together in a time of need, but what happens when those that are close to you are hiding behind twisted secrets?
A shrewd, stylish and haunting psychological thriller, Twisted Secrets proves an exercise in reader manipulation with Zadunajsky quick to create an atmosphere of subtle menace and powerful intrigue. She’s not an author to pump up her plot with recycled genre tropes, it excites the emotions in the way a good story arch should and in keeping with the theme of her Secrets and Second Chances series she again delivers an exacting and often noir narrative underlined by a stratum of impending peril and an adroit orchestration of suspense. On the immediate level, her characters are well nuanced which allows Zadunajsky to modulate the tension and create an atmosphere of menace which quickly gathers momentum with her metier being the ability to create a vivid evocation of time and place. One of the biggest complaints about mystery, thriller and suspense novels is their lack of plausibility and whilst Zadunajsky occasionally stretches the limits she tempers this by endowing her narrative with a reflective perspective that will leave few readers untouched.
Powerful and deserving of much praise Twisted Secrets makes a welcome addition to the genre and is sure to win Zadunajsky a host of enthusiastic new followers. It is highly recommended.
Growing up as a lonely kid in the Frozen North had one thing going for it, libraries! I was a frequent visitor in every library in every place we moved to. I spent a lot of summers at my grandparents. They had an old house, with an attic and I built my own little hiding place under the eves. I found lots of old books and magazines, and spent hours reading them while listening to the rain. Many of the books in the attic were missing covers or pages, didn’t matter, I read them all, and created my own worlds.
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