Compelling and superbly executed… Compulsively readable.
Blakeman’s latest is a tense and enthralling page-turner that offers plenty of intrigue, mystery, and murder. Dr. Callie Wallace, a young promising neurologist, is back in her hometown of Sperling, Texas, to set up her neurology practice with her business partner and friend Dr. Richard Cortez. When one of Callie’s patients unexpectedly dies, she finds herself left flabbergasted, trying to understand the reason for the sudden death. More deaths follow, leaving Callie questioning her own sanity. Struggling with her personal dilemmas, Callie must sort out the mystery or risk losing both her reputation and her medical license. Blakeman writes with an assured hand, depicting in poignant and surprising style everything – from the intricacies and changes happening within Callie’s relationship with Richard, Zane, and her mother to the conflicted situations she consistently finds herself in. She beautifully conveys her characters’ inner upheaval and the underlying restlessness, while exploring the visceral level connection between lovers, friends, and parent and child, the questions of friendship, paternal love, and what it means to love truly and wholeheartedly. Callie, with her vulnerabilities as well as her innate strength remains a sympathetic protagonist. Zane, with his single-mindedness and resilience shines, making the reader root for throughout his pursuit of sorting out the complexities of Callie’s life. Richard, who holds the power initially when it comes to Callie, loses his shine in front of Zane as the narrative progresses, fading in the background almost. Dynamic and multifaceted, the secondary characters are sketched with equal skill and precision. The narrative is expertly paced and the hefty dose of mystery mixed with science and magical realism adds to the intrigue of the story. Blakeman capably uses every device in the novel from red herrings to blind alleys, from low-key twists to instant shocks, keeping readers glued to pages. Imbued with the textures and traditions of a small Texas town, the story is driven by the effortlessly incorporated mystery as shocking, unexpected deaths brings chaos in Callie’s life. Evocative, intelligent, crisp prose pulls the reader deep into the intriguing storyline. The book is as much about the very nature of the enduring relationship and its intricacies as it is about the questions of trust, family ties, friendship, betrayal, and revenge. This absorbing story of murder, mystery, and relationship intricacies is sure to wow both the fans of finely constructed mysteries and literary fiction.
by Nina Blakeman
Pub date October 2, 2020
Price $10.23 (USD) Paperback, $6.58 Kindle edition