Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig

The Forgotten Room. Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. Penguin Publishing Group (USA). Copyright 2016. 384 pp.; ISBN: 9780451474629.

Dr. Kate Schuyler is treating very wounded soldiers in a New York Hospital in 1945.  She has to deal with a huge amount of resentment and anger from her male colleagues.  One of the wounded soldiers, Captain Ravenel, insists she looks familiar to the woman in the miniature portrait he wears around his neck.  Add to that she’s wearing a ruby pendant that was passed down to her from her mother but one that Ravenel recognizes immediately later on in the story.

Then there’s Olive Van Allen, a maid in the home of the man who once refused to pay the architect bill and therefore ruined Olive’s father together.  Olive’s persistent desire for revenge is palpable; but instead she’s serving as a drudge maid who is exhausted from the pace of cleaning, etc. that this job entails.  Then she meets one of the Pratt sons, and her life begins to dramatically change.  She wonders if her motives will eventually be exposed at the same time she is becoming romantically attached to Harry’s romantic and artistic skills.

Finally, there is Lucy Young, who has come to work in New York but really is seeking out the identity and presence of her father.  She is actually coerced into serving as a companion to someone who just might know about the secret solution Lucy is seeking. 

The three women in this novel live in different times but their stories begin to coalesce.  The discoveries gradually and sensitively revealed are shocking to each of the three women.  Their quests will and will not be fulfilled, but the roller coaster ride is sure to satisfy every lover of adventure and mystery fiction.

These three notable authors have managed to create a smoothly plotted but solvable mystery with a life-threatening, hostile ending sure to send shivers down every reader’s spine.

Very nicely done!

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