Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Conspiracy Of Silence by Martha Powers

Claire Prentice, a journalist, has come to Grand Rapids. Five months ago, her life was moving along steadily. She had a job she loved and was engaged to be married. Then she discovers that she was adopted, and that the woman she called her mother all her life, had not shared this with her. Thrown by this news, and by her adoptive mother's death, she comes to Grand Rapids where she believes her birth family's story can be found. Her seemingly perfect life is in tatters. So upset that she can't work, she has also ended her engagement after her fiance's reaction to her traumatic news. Her editor, who knows what is going on in Claire's life, gives her an assignment in Grand Rapids that can serve as cover while she searches for her personal story. She is to interview the reclusive novelist Nate Hansen for a magazine article.

On her first day in Grand Rapids, Claire starts an intensive, exhausting journey of discovery. She discovers that her name is not even Claire Prentice, but Abby Claire Newton. Her adoptive mother turns out to have been her aunt. She adopted Abby and changed her name after a family tragedy. Claire's mother, Lily, was murdered, and the murderer was her father, Jimmy Newton. Jimmy had confessed to the murder, left town and been killed himself in a railroad accident. Reeling, Claire is determined to find out more. Along the way, she is helped by the local librarian, various townspeople, and most importantly, by Nate. They have an instant connection which ripens into a romantic interest. His father had been the sheriff who investigated the murder, and as the sheriff, he never believed that Jimmy was the murderer. The book rackets up suspense with every chapter as the truth of that tragic night comes closer and closer to being revealed.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. The characters are well drawn, and the book moves along without straining the reader's incredulity. Reaching the climax of the book has the reader concentrated on the mystery, and satisfied when the truth is finally revealed. This book is recommended for suspense lovers and readers of romances.

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