Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Just Jennifer

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
Audrey has just learned she has advanced cancer and not long to live; her fondest wish is that her adult daughters Jess and Lily will reconcile and their teenaged-daughters, nearly the same age, will have a close relationship.  Jess, a struggling television producer, and her older sister Lily, a successful professional marriage to a handsome and powerful attorney, have been estranged for almost thirty years, having been torn apart by a terrible secret and lies.  As Audrey attempts to reunite the sisters, she knows she too will have to reveal her secrets and the role in which she played in the sisters’ estrangement.  What could have been a melodramatic plot with wishy-washy characters is not, but rather a tender, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, and redemptive story.  The women are flawed, yet strong; they recognize their short-comings and stubborn streaks, and ultimately, they each want the same thing: to find their way back to each other, as well as to themselves. 

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay
It is scary enough when one elevator malfunctions spectacularly and plunges thirty floors, killing all four occupants in a New York City high rise, but two more elevator accidents, a car bomb, and a dead many on the High Line set the residents of the city on edge, all on the eve of the opening of a new high rise, Top of the Park, one of the tallest buildings in the city.  Journalist Barbara Matheson, one of mayor Richard Headley’s biggest detractors, gets caught up in the mayhem, as does her daughter Arla, with whom she has a difficult relationship, who has just accepted a job with the mayor’s office, her boss, the mayor’s son Glover, who seems to never be able to please his father, a displeasure the mayor too often exhibits in public.  Detectives Jerry Bourque and Lois Delgado are investigating the dead man on the High Line and quickly realize the man without fingertips has a connection to the elevator incidents and someone doesn’t want the connection made.  Responsibilities for the violence are attributed to terrorism, but foreign or domestic? A domestic group The Flyovers quickly comes to the forefront of the FBI’s notice, but the detectives are not so sure, as their investigation keeps circling back to the mayor’s office.  Tightly written with taut, tense action, well-developed characters having interesting, long reaching and tangled stories round out this all stand-alone thriller with an all-too plausible plot, chilling and realistic.

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