Charlie Donlea. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1380-3.
New York producer Sidney Ryan, the heroine of this riveting if flawed novel from Donlea (The Girl Who Was Taken), is producing a documentary TV series about Grace Sebold, an American medical student who has spent 10 years in prison in St. Lucia for the murder of her boyfriend, Julian Crist. As Sidney becomes convinced of Grace’s innocence, fans of her show, The Girl of Sugar Beach, pressure authorities to exonerate Grace. One viewer, however, has a different opinion: a retired police detective who investigated a similar death in Grace’s past. Racing to meet weekly deadlines, Sidney grapples with whether Grace is guilty—a conclusion that will infuriate network executives, devastate fans, and hurt her career—or whether she can identify the killer among Grace’s circle. Donlea splices Sidney’s investigation with excerpted scenes from the documentary and jury room, creating a fast-paced narration that mimics TV shows’ frequent scene shifts but doesn’t encourage in-depth character development. A risky late plot twist will frustrate some readers while thrilling others, and a few loose ends hint at a potential sequel.
Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary Agency. (June)
April 9, 2018
Reviewed on: 04/09/2018
Release date: 05/29/2018
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