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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Ever do things back to front? I do…and did…when I read book 3 of Lucinda E. Clarke’s psychological thrillers before I read book 2: A Year in the Life of Andrea Coe. But here’s the good news: each book in Clarke’s series is so well written that each can be fully enjoyed as a stand-alone. That said, don’t be surprised if you find yourself curious about what happened in the previous book and definitely wanting to know what happens in the next.
Now the last name of this Andrea Coe character could easily be “Cold”. She is definitely that: cold, calculating, manipulative…the last person one would want as a friend. She epitomizes that saying, “with friends like that, you don’t need enemies!” There are times in this story when I wanted to jolt the overly trusting and soon to be wealthy Leah Brand into awareness. How could she not see through all the syrupy “Darlings” and pretenses of caring that Andrea lavished on her, all the while plotting to steal her pending fortune? In true psychological thriller style, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see if Andrea’s plan would succeed. Did it? That’s for you to find out. No spoilers here.
Just as I felt when I read book 3, A Year in the Life of Deirdre Flynn, I thoroughly enjoyed Clarke’s ability to breathe life into each of her characters. None were far-fetched. Whether you were watching the sassy typical teenager Belinda mouthing off, or her confused step-mother Leah trying to do the right thing by everyone, or those nasty plotters, the narcissistic Mason, dishonest Leo, and devious Andrea, you could easily see, hear and read their innermost thoughts. In short, through revealing dialogue, realistic characterization, and well-thought-out plotting, Lucinda E. Clarke is offering you another book you should add to your bucket list. Do it!