Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Fatal Affiar" by Velda Johnston (A Short Review)

Published:  1986
Setting:  Modern Day

Book Synopsis:

The inheritance of a condominium in New York, along with a considerable amount of money, brings Betty and Jenny Carr from the small town of Carrsville, Missouri, to the glamorous big city. Betty, the younger of the two sisters, has dreams of becoming a famous dancer. Their sole contact in New York is their unsavory cousin, Colin. Soon Betty takes up with Colin's equally dubious friend, the sleekly sophisticated, middle-aged Antonio Braselmo. Jenny knows little of Betty's affair with Antonio, nor that after months of rejection and disappointment in the theater, Betty has gambled her half of the inheritance on a show that folds after only one performance. Shortly thereafter, Betty disappears, and with only a terse poscard from London as a clue to her whereabouts, Jenny takes off across the Atlantic in search of her sister. There she meets the attractive, sardonic journalist, Mike Baker. From him she learns that Braselmo is a notorious, throughly unscrupulous trafficker in anything that makes money. If Betty is with him, she is in very grave danger indeed. Mike joins Jenny in her desperate search, which leads to a confrontation that is as bizarre as it is deadly. Set in Manhattan, London, Paris, and a mansion high in the Swiss Alps.

Best Gothic Elements:  shattered dreams, missing persons, crime, kidnapping, inheritance, dangerous relative with evil intentions, a secluded glen in the Swiss Alps, a surgeon willing to commit an unthinkable, two sisters torn apart by secrets and lies, businessman who've become rich by crime, money laundering

This is one of my favorites by Velda Johnston thus far.  This book begins with a well-enough sense of mystery and danger, and it only progresses as the terror/mystery deepens the complete span of the book.

I would have to say my favorite thing about this book is the harrowing sense of adventure, and the heroine who is not afraid to bend heaven and hell to save her unsuspecting sister from criminals hell-bent on doing anything (even maiming the beautiful ballerina dancer) for the promise of a quick-made fortune.

The story begins in Manhattan, the girls then travel to Paris...the grand finale occurs in the deep green, rolling hills of the Swiss Alps.

I loved this book.  My only complaint is I wish it had been longer!  Fans of vintage gothic romance will love this story.  Also makes for a great, exciting cozy mystery and is a great mystery, in and of itself.  Highly recommend!


My Rating:
4 Stars

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