Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: The Lost Concerto, by Helaine Mario


Once more he thought about the Bright Angel file locked in his briefcase and the woman code named Concerto. Magdalena O'Shea. Add in Zachary Law. Victor Orsini. What connected all of the players? What was the one thing they all had in common? Sofia Orsini? No. Education? No. Work? Friends? Passions?

"Music," He said suddenly.

Music.

What if the O'Shea woman had something Orsini needed? She was a musician, after all. If music was the common thread, then Magdalena O'Shea was at the center of the storm.

I was invited to review this book through Tomoson (a review website) and was intrigued by it - I'm a (former-ish) violinist and I love books that weave music themes throughout. The novel ended up being very Mary Higgins Clark meets Harlan Coben, and I ended up enjoying it even though it was a little lengthy (about 425 pages).

Official synopsis:
A woman and her young son flee to a convent on a remote island off the Breton coast of France. Generations of seafarers have named the place Ile de la Brume, or Fog Island. In a chapel high on a cliff, a tragic death occurs and a terrified child vanishes into the mist.

The child’s godmother, Maggie O’Shea, haunted by the violent deaths of her husband and best friend, has withdrawn from her life as a classical pianist. But then a recording of unforgettable music and a grainy photograph surface, connecting her missing godson to a long-lost first love.

The photograph will draw Maggie inexorably into a collision course with criminal forces, decades-long secrets, stolen art and musical artifacts, and deadly terrorists. Her search will take her to the Festival de Musique, Aix-en-Provence, France, where she discovers answers to the mystery surrounding her husband’s death, an unexpected love—and a musical masterpiece lost for centuries.

A compelling blend of suspense, mystery, political intrigue, and romance,
The Lost Concerto explores universal themes of loss, vengeance, courage, and love.

This novel takes us from Boston to France, and there are a ton of plot points going on that eventually converge at the end. 

I'll admit that it took me a week or so to read the book, because it's rather lengthy and it took me a while to place all the characters, since there are a lot of them. Once the novel gets rolling, however, there is a lot going on, and it's an interesting story.

Maggie O'Shea's husband, Johnny, passed away last year, and she also has a son with a different man, Zachary Law, who passed away while in the army; her son, Brian, is expecting a child soon, as well. Maggie finds out that Zach Law may in fact still be alive, and the government needs her help to find him, as he may be connected to the circumstances surrounding the death of her best friend, "Fee" (Sofia) Orsini, who was murdered.

My only complaint about this book is that the author seemed to add a lot of random twists/turns at the end of it. Normally these are welcome, but there seemed to be a lot of really convenient twists. Otherwise, I'd recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys mystery stories, or stories that involve music and music history.

3.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase this book}

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tomoson, and also received compensation for this blog post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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