The Verona Exchange, by Lauren B. Grossman and Bernard Jaroslow: #BookReview.

242 Pages


I picked up a copy of this book, as I’d enjoyed Lauren B. Grossman’s first in the series, The Golden Peacock. That dealt with a mystery surrounding the holocaust. This book deals with a kidnapping by the Italian Red Brigade.

Although this is essentially a thriller, great attention has been given to building the characters and making them real people. There’s some small backstory for those unfamiliar with the central protagonist, Rainee, who is a writer. The scene is set quite quickly so that we’re into the story relating the intended meeting of Rainee with a son she gave into adoption when he was only a week old and she was 21. This section of the book provides a good deal of emotional content, and sets up the reader to care about what happens to the cast of characters in subsequent chapters.

There are some editing fails and sometimes a little ‘info-dumping’ but, by and large, the writing is good, and it certainly carries the story through. There are scenes in Italian cities that took me right back to a recent holiday I spent there; recognising those locations was fun.

The action starts when the kidnap occurs and continues as the risk and danger is ramped up with events. Rainee is one of those characters who never knows when she should stop and let others take on the task; there’s an element of obsession that places her in danger, for the best of reasons. The reader is therefore treated to situations in which the natural response is ‘Don’t do it, Rainee!’, and that’s followed by the need to make sure she escapes the danger into which she’s ventured.

The denouement builds well, with plenty of twists and jeopardy along the way, and is resolved in a satisfactory manner. The ‘clean-up’ of events following the climax is short, and provides the reader with closure regarding the characters.

A good read.

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]

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