Madeline Dare would be the first to tell you her money is so old there's none left. A former socialite from an aristocratic family in decline, Maddie is a tough-talking, would-be journalist exiled to the rust belt of upstate New York. Her prospects for changing her dreary lifestyle seem dim--until a set of dog tags found at a decades-old murder site is linked to her family. Shocked into action, Maddie embarks on a search that takes her from the derelict smokestacks of Syracuse to the posh mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast. But instead of the warm refuge of home, this prodigal daughter soon uncovers dark, sinister secrets that will violently challenge everything she believes in and holds dear.
Read's impressive debut stars the unusual Madeline Dare, a jumble of contradictions who comes from an old-money Long Island family but is married to Dean, a railroad worker, in Syracuse, N.Y., which our heroine likens in a moment of exasperation to "some mental dust bowl." Dean's job requires frequent travel, while Madeline writes fluff features for the local newspaper. Nothing in her background prepares her for trying to solve the bizarre 20-year-old murder of two young women, a crime that her cousin, Lapthorne Townsend, might have been involved in. Read writes with verve and passion as Madeline sets out to clear her cousin's name, an effort that develops into a much larger, life-changing struggle. Some readers may find Madeline's volatile character less than credible, but the fine supporting cast--notably husband Dean and flaky, flamboyant friend Ellis--consistently delights. The author's sharp social commentary on everything from the idle rich to the environment adds to the pleasure. 5-city author tour. (May)
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Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . absolutely terrific read!
Posted July 24, 2010 by kj , smiths,alRead's book is both well written and well crafted...a good story with great use of language and a heroine who's smart, funny, and conflicted...my favorite. It doesn't hurt that I grew up in the same time frame in upstate NY and she nails her settings and the feel of the places and people and attitudes. We all wanted out...just took some of us longer. I"m about to order her next two books.
2 . Excellent New Author!
Posted January 04, 2010 by Auric , Alton ILCornelia Read is an excellent writer! Her protaganist Madeline Dare is both funny and entertaining. Good prose throughout with some tongue in cheek literary associations that delight - see if you can find Simon & Garfunkel in there somewhere...
Grand Central Publishing
July 09, 2007
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